Well, it’s official. NBC reports getting a copy of a Justice Dept white paper to the WH that states it is completely legal and constitutional for the government to kill American citizens without any due process whatsoever. All the President has to believe is that the targeted American may pose a threat to the country. Here is a reported excerpt -
“A lawful killing in self-defense is not an assassination,” the white paper reads. “In the Department’s view, a lethal operation conducted against a U.S. citizen whose conduct poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States would be a legitimate act of national self-defense that would not violate the assassination ban. Similarly, the use of lethal force, consistent with the laws of war, against an individual who is a legitimate military target would be lawful and would not violate the assassination ban.”
This legal justification is recent, but its surrounding legal pretext is not. In short, what Eric Holder says here is that it has always been legal for the Executive to pre-emptively execute anyone it deems a threat, and to do that without going through any legal formalities that become a matter of public record. These are judgments without recourse, and their ex post facto justifications are explicitly relegated to the realm of subsequent political theater. Bang, you’re dead, you insipient terrorist you Next case please.
[6feb13 update] OK, I waited long enough for the appropriate response. When it was discovered that Bush2 had waterboarded 3 ragheads, the progressive purehearts and their lamestream echo chamber came unglued. There were all kinds of calls for Bush2's head as being the Great Satan that all of Islam was telling us he was. I mean there was some serious rending of garment and gnashing of teeth on the Left. Now we find out that President Obama's killing of American citizens without due process, or ANY checks and balances, is all legal and hunkey-dorey, and we hear crickets on the airwaves. And these are the people with whom we are seeking common ground?!