Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Under Pressure, Holder Adds Tentative "No" to Killing Citizens on U.S. Soil

Joe Wright
Activist Post

AG Holder answered to the Senate Judiciary Committee today about a range of issues from state drug laws, gun control, voter registration, sequestration and most vocally about killing American citizens with drone strikes. Holder's recent letter to Sen. Rand Paul about the legality of killing Americans with drones inside the United States has resulted in heightened concern across the political spectrum.

So far there has been virtually unanimous agreement over the lack of transparency with the targeted killing program as outlined in the so-called "targeted killing playbook," by John Brennan.

Sen. Mike Lee R-Utah urged the release to the oversight committee of the full Office of Legal Counsel Memorandum on targeted killings that has so far been kept secret and upheld by a Manhattan federal judge.

Despite promises to release all information, so far there only exists a timeline of 20 instances beginning in February of 2011 that members of Congress have asked for the memo without success.
...with the exception of the 35 members of the intelligence committees getting a quick peek without staff assistance and (presumably) a more substantial review by members of the Gang of Eight, the Administration has blown off every single one of those 20 requests. (Source)
Once again, pressure has been applied, but nothing has been forthcoming except for more deflection from Holder and some new disturbing statements....


Sen. Lee stressed that the definition so far understood about threat "imminence" which he cited from page 7 of the 16-page leaked version is different from any other definition understood thus far by legal experts. Namely, that there is no specific evidence needed. Holder stammered through attempted answers stating repeatedly, "I'm not sure" of the full legal definition of imminence. The full OLC memorandum and related documents have not been reviewed by the oversight committee.

Perhaps most disturbing is when the subject of judicial review came up. Holder said that he, like Brennan, thinks there could be a place for that, but is worried that it would interfere with operations. Essentially, this is reinforcing the notion that intelligence agencies and the president can work hand-in-hand behind the scenes, away from Congressional review to decide who dies anywhere in the world. It is an incredibly arrogant and dismissive position to take toward the legal representatives of the American people.

As noted by theemptywheel.net, the delays we have seen regarding the full legal explanation is that they very well could still be working on a justification:
...it appears more and more like what happened with torture: which is that the spooks were executing the program under Presidential authority–that is, under the Gloves Come Off Memorandum–and only after someone complained internally about the legal sketchiness of it all, did they go about getting an OLC opinion sanctioning the actions that had already happened. (Source)
However, when pressed by Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Holder did seem to indicate "I thought I was saying no" to the question of constitutionally killing Americans with drones domestically. Yet, it is worth noting that, similar to his written response to Rand Paul, Holder made it clear he was responding to a "hypothetical." The central concern can be found here -- the Constitution is written clearly and unambiguously so that clear and unambiguous answers can be given to legal questions. This appears to not be understood at the DoJ.

Much more clarification is needed from an entire administration that has been conducting itself with far less transparency than promised, especially since what was put in writing to Sen. Paul was a clear yes to assassinating Americans inside the United States.

Activists from CODEPINK closed the proceedings by pointing out some real facts about drone strikes killing innocent civilians in far greater numbers than those targeted as "militants." These were facts documented in the report "Living Under Drones" which paints a picture that can only be described as stated-sponsored terrorism:
US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. 
Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. 
Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. 
Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior. (Source)
So far this terror campaign has been waged overseas, and on its own is an indictment against U.S. military tactics and adherence to domestic and international law. As public backlash increases across the political spectrum, our nation's chief legal officer must be called to fully account to Congress and the American people about what constitutes the undermining of our legal foundation as a nation, as well as a real national security threat.

Here is the main segment in question:



Full proceedings can be found at C-SPAN HERE at the video post in right-hand column of the C-SPAN website. Holder's answers to Sen. Cruz can be found at 57:20 - 1:01:20.

Coming to America?



Full legal analysis of drone strikes can be found here:
http://livingunderdrones.org/report-legality/

Read other articles by Joe Wright Here:


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11 comments:

Brandon said...

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us. Once they killed the Muslim American in Yemen I knew this would happy. We all did I’m sure. What this does tell us is that we have yet another benchmark for the collapse of not just our country but the world as we know it…

Jordan said...

Eric Holder is a piece of shit. Every time I come across a story or a clip of him he's up to no good. I like to think many of the people messing up our country have good intentions and harm us only out of ignorance but when I look at Holder I see someone that is intentionally undermining the freedoms and privileges this country affords us. It doesn't help Obama has his back and never allows him to face the music.

Nemetron 2000 said...

Obama and Holder are the "Cheech & Chong" of civil rights infringement and extrajudicial assassinations.

Anonymous said...

The President of the United States DOES NOT have the authority to use drones, especially killer drones, in America against American citizens. NOBODY is above the Supreme Law of the Land, including the President - and NOWHERE in the U.S. Cosntitution does it give the President the authority to use drones over America and against American citizens. However, Americans DO HAVE THE RIGHT, to defend, preserve and protect the U.S. Constitution and American citizens against all enemeies foreign and domestic - that includes shooting down and electronically neutralizing drones over American airspace to prevent them from harming citizens by design or bt accident.

Hide Behind said...

They who have the ability to change the world are not like some personages of the past that sought to share enlightment with all of humanity, oh how few they were, but more of the order of change for their own personal vanity.
Man has lost the mystery of his existence and substituted objects of material goods he can own.
Man today falls in love but does not become a part of it, posess it and if they either cannot own it and control the object of what they fell in love with they have no use for it and feel not when they seek other objects they covet and destroy love itself.

Anonymous said...

I didn't believe him before, but now that he says it won't happen I believe him with all my heart.

Anonymous said...

The U.S government has been killing non-U.S citizens the world over for decades, of course that murderous nature will be turned on U.S citizens too eventually.

Although I fully admit I have no direct evidence to support this claim I can't shake the feeling for many years now that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in international politics over the past century or more has just been theater.

As I mentioned in another thread here recently the words of Harry Waton are very disturbing to me -

"Judaism is communism, internationalism, the universal brotherhood of man, the emancipation of the working class and the human society. It is with these spiritual weapons that the Jews will conquer the world and the human race."

[From: "A Program for the Jews and an Answer to All Anti-Semites: A Program For Humanity"; 1939]

Conquering the 'human race' brings the whole "Green Agenda" and especially the depopulation agenda into perspective.

For a small minority of the world's population to "conquer" the human race requires that human race to be much smaller than 7,000,000,000 people.

And nuclear war would be the best option for reducing the population quickly to manageable levels.

But if these NWO forces that view themselves as both separate and superior to the rest of us began amassing nuclear weapons with a stated desire to "conquer" the human race - well I think people might become suspicious and try to stop them.

Create a bunch of countries all controlled by your forces and create a fake "Cold War" between them that itself conquers large portions of the world and facilitates the development of thousands of nuclear weapons and people would never suspect there is a greater agenda behind it - it's just "normal" war and politics.

As long as those nukes are meant for the "commies" or the "fascists" or the terrorists the general public would never suspect they are actually being developed for our own extermination.

Over the past century we have been slowly but surely conditioned to believe that nuclear war isn't a possibility but an inevitability.

So when the nukes start going off most people will still mistakenly trust their own governments to protect them, making them "fish in a barrel" for these forces to eliminate or enslave in labor camps and such.

I truly do hope this nothing but a bad feeling and I am truly nuts in this case, but sadly my 'bad feelings' have a bad habit of becoming far too real for my liking.

"Conquer the world and the human race"... for some reason I doubt "through peace and love" fit into that picture.

Peace,
Jonny

Anonymous said...

Eric Holder is a piece of shit. Every time he is dragged before Congress it's the same dead dog and pony show: they ask softball questions, he dodges them, and then goes right back to his job of murdering innocent people for their own good.

Average Joe American said...

I watched on TV the discussion of some peoples' (well, Obama's and Holder's) confusion over the meaning of the word: "imminent." As in, the Federal government's right to use drones domestically against an "imminent threat."

Imminent means: "On the verge of immediately occurring," like when someone points a gun in someone else's face and cocks the hammer, or pulls a pin on a grenade...an obvious IMMINENT threat.

Neither of these noteworthy Constitutional legal scholars (Obama and Holder) seem to differentiate between "imminent" and "eminant." Perhaps they skipped class that day, figuring: imminent, eminant, who cares how you spell it?

EMINANT means "standing above others," (as in PRE-eminant, standing above ALL others) though not necessarily posing an immediate threat.

Once you confuse the two words and their meanings, you may now imagine you're allowed to pre-emptively kill those you presume or suspect to be eminant threats as though they were imminent threats.

Rookie cops are taught the difference (not that they always act that way once handed a club, a gun, and a badge). Apparently our nation's highest legal scholars are not taught this stuff (or conveniently forget it, once given an office, a title of authority, and Executive Privileges).

Anonymous said...

Oh great, now I feel so much better, I'll just go to sleep now...again.

Anonymous said...

a.g. Holder must have sent his reply to Sen.Paul by the same route he sent and signed the search warrant for the Branch Davidians in Waco when he worked for a.g.Butch Reno!! it got there a month after they were murdered!! God help us!!

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