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How wonderful:

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions . . . . There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council . . . . Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate. . . . The role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is fuzzy. White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process. . . .

So a panel operating out of the White House -- that meets in total secrecy, with no known law or rules governing what it can do or how it operates -- is empowered to place American citizens on a list to be killed by the CIA, which (by some process nobody knows) eventually makes its way to the President, who is the final Decider.

So much for the Rule of Law.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 12:36:20 PM EST
My favourite bit about this is the outrage is that Americans can be targeted. Fuck everyone else.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:03:58 PM EST
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I derive a certain amount of sardonic something that, after arguing a couple of people out of the Weather Underground, I can now be executed without trial for so doing.

After all, I was giving "Aid and Comfort" when they were living my apartment; there is no Statue of Limitations for Treason.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:12:38 PM EST
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I guess that I'm lucky that I didn't let any of them sleep at my place(s).

Mark Rudd lives down your way; are you in contact with him? I guess that, if he is legally forgiven, you must be off the hook, too.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:39:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't, and don't, know anybody in the N.O.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:49:42 PM EST
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it's the "nation of Laws" bit that always gets quoted that makes me laugh loudest

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:16:30 PM EST
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I genuinely believe they still think that, it's the divided mind; they simply haven't thought through the implications of a policy that they seem to be making up as they go along. So long as nobody in the room says "wait a minute..." , they continue unquestioningly.

And the longer they go on, the more normal it becomes and the more logical the next step into the legal void.

The US government has been operating beyond the Constitution for 10 years now, it does so in secret yet with media and USSC complicity, and there really seems to be nobody to stop them. Sooner or later they will run up against the shooting up enemies amongst allies they can't offend, and I really can't decide which way they'd go.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 04:16:21 PM EST
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The US government has been operating beyond the Constitution for 10 250 years now.

FIFY.

The only difference now is it's official public policy to sneer at the Constitution.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 04:13:38 AM EST
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Nazi Germany was "a nation of laws" in the sense the Nazis were obsessively legalistic. Everything went through parliament and was "properly" legislated.

That's the problem with formalists - their formal system may be internally consistent but it means nothing.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 02:32:12 AM EST
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Oh, we have a long way to go yet. So far it's only Americans who are on "enemy" soil without our permission. We have not yet taken up the question of whether we can assassinate American tourists in France or Ireland. And then there is a question of such activities within our own borders. Beyond that, is it clear whether the party that controls the White House (namely, the Executive Branch) is limited against actions re the other party?

Many opportunities present themselves...

by asdf on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 02:37:22 PM EST
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You relieve my mind not at all.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 04:00:36 PM EST
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Wikipedia:
The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

...

The historical abuses of the Star Chamber are considered a primary motivating force behind the protections against compelled self-incrimination embodied in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The meaning of "compelled testimony" under the Fifth Amendment--i.e., the conditions under which a defendant is allowed to "take the Fifth"--is thus often interpreted via reference to the inquisitorial methods of the Star Chamber.

As the U.S. Supreme Court described it, "the Star Chamber has, for centuries, symbolized disregard of basic individual rights. The Star Chamber not merely allowed, but required, defendants to have counsel. The defendant's answer to an indictment was not accepted unless it was signed by counsel. When counsel refused to sign the answer, for whatever reason, the defendant was considered to have confessed." Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 821-22 (1975).



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 02:40:55 PM EST
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