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  1. #1
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Default What Was Obama's Authority for Killing Two American's Overseas?

    President Obama last week approved of a predator drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a prominent al Qaeda figure linked by U.S. intelligence agencies to two unsuccessful attacks on U.S.-bound airplanes. Samir Kahn, a second American killed in the attack, was the editor of the online al Qaeda magazine "Inspire." This occured in the foreign nation of Yemen.

    I understand that at least one of the individuals if not both were bad men. However, I also understand that they were not an imminent threat to killing or harming another individual (i.e. self defense/defense of others). I also would have less trouble if the killing occurred in countries that we engage in War or where the U.S. Congress authorizes a "military engagement" such as Iraq or Afghanistan. I am even less comfortable with the general idea when those we kill also are American citizens (for example I seemed relatively OK with the killing of Osama Bin Ladin [but would have preferred if he was arrested and tried in a legal proceeding]. Even the Nazi war criminals were not assassinate but taken for trial.

    What I am unclear on is what was Obama's legal authority to kill them? Do I have the same authority as an American Citizen to kill other American citizens overseas? I understand the Obama administration has a memorandum justifying its position (but its a 'secret' memorandum so at this time we just have to take his word for it). If Obama is authorised to kill these American citizens oversees are there American citizens overseas that he is not authorised to kill?

    Will this create new precedents for when it is Ok to kill/seize/ search a home without judicial review within the confines of the U.S.?
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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  2. #2
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    Enemy traitors in a foreign army get killed.

  3. #3
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Enemy traitors in a foreign army get killed.
    It gets a bit foggy as "terrorists" are not in a traditional foreign army. Also where does the battlefield end? Can we send drones into Russia/China/Europe and do the same thing or only little weak countries? And where are the checks and balances to make sure its only traitors who get executed/assassinated? Also is the act not a war crime if it is reciprocated that an in kind killing (i.e. group which considers one of its own as a turncoat going the U.S military or assisting (i.e. especially interpreters would come to mind) be justified as an act of war?
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    It gets a bit foggy as "terrorists" are not in a traditional foreign army. Also where does the battlefield end? And where are the checks and balances to make sure its only traitors who get executed/assassinated? Also is the act not a war crime if it is reciprocated that an in kind killing (i.e. group which considers one of its own as a turncoat going the U.S military or assisting (i.e. especially interpreters would come to mind) be justified as an act of war?
    I'd argue the terrorists are the ones to define the "battlefield".

    I wouldn't consider killing advisers to the U.S. military a war crime.

  5. #5
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    I'd argue the terrorists are the ones to define the "battlefield".
    So would it logically follow that sending drones to kill "terrorists" within the U.S. borders within Obama's war powers under the constitution as commander in chief without due process? The whole "War on Terror" is a new creation which differs from traditional wars against nations (i.e. War on Japan) that this area boarders are unclear.
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    Spamtar - a strange combination of boorish drunkeness and erudite discussions, or what I call "an Irish academic"

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    Quote Originally Posted by spamtar View Post
    So would it logically follow that sending drones to kill "terrorists" within the U.S. borders within Obama's war powers under the constitution as commander in chief without due process? The whole "War on Terror" is a new creation which differs from traditional wars against nations (i.e. War on Japan) that this area boarders are unclear.
    They could, but there's no need for that. It would upset the civilian population.

  7. #7
    Just a statistic rhinosaur's Avatar
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    There is no "authority" on an international level. I can think of only a few actions that could influence US military decisions, and they are 1) Popular opinion, as in the US citizens' right to vote, 2) Economic sanctions, and 3) Acts of terrorism and/or war.

    As I age I'm starting to think that American imperialism is a good thing, because it advances my own self-interests. Does that make me a bad person? Also, was it Chomsky who said that all wars are ultimately motivated by self-interest?

  8. #8
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I chuckle at the idea of legality applying to what one nation does to another.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhinosaur View Post
    As I age I'm starting to think that American imperialism is a good thing, because it advances my own self-interests. Does that make me a bad person? Also, was it Chomsky who said that all wars are ultimately motivated by self-interest?
    Yes, but from the perspective of a pacifist.
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  9. #9
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    He had no authority for this, and it sets a very bad precedent.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Just the sorts of questions terrorists are liable to ask each other when they plan to kill masses of unarmed, peaceable, lawful non-combatants without warning and inviolation of all law, including the laws of war. Its so important that democracies should hold themselves to the same high moral standards as the terrorists.

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