The probably intentionally leaked, to NBC, informal so-called White_Paper by the Department of Justice (DoJ) titled “Lawfulness [sic!] of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen Who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa’ida or An Associated Force” justifying the targeted killing of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-yr old son and Samir Khan, in Yemen in September 2011 by drone airstrikes seems to amend the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment which reads,
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
In the White Paper the DoJ concludes that “a U.S. operation using lethal force in a foreign country against a U.S. citizen who is a senior operational leader of al-Qa’ida or an associated force would be lawful” where the following three conditions are met:
“(1) an informed, high level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States; (2) capture is infeasible, and the United States continues to monitor whether capture becomes feasible; and (3) the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.”
Of course, if one reads the Fifth Amendment carefully it presupposes “in time of War or public danger” (which was not the case in the Yemen assassination but that may be disputed).
While cowardly having not touched America’s Constitution’s Second Amendment yet, after the Newtown school shooting in December,
“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”
but seriously impeding Freedom of Press when it comes to unwelcome leaks so far granted by the First Amendment,
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances,”
law professor President Obama just continues bending America’s Constitution. It may come to one’s mind that an amendment of the above first condition, “an informed, high level official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of
violent attack against irreversibly damaging the international reputation the United States,” could apply. No irresponsible drone attacks are needed in that case, just impeachment.
6 February 2013 @ 6: 54 am.
Last modified February 6, 2013.