From NBC, via Drudge:
As in Holder’s speech, the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful: In addition to the suspect being an imminent threat, capture of the target must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” But the memo elaborates on some of these factors in ways that go beyond what the attorney general said publicly. For example, it states that U.S. officials may consider whether an attempted capture of a suspect would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. If so, U.S. officials could determine that the capture operation of the targeted American would not be feasible, making it lawful for the U.S. government to order a killing instead, the memo concludes.
HotAir notes that even some leftist media figures find it “frightening”, and more by Ryu Spaeth:
Upon even a cursory examination, however, these constraints are virtually meaningless. The government is not required to “have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons will take place in the immediate future.” Furthermore, the feasibility of capture can be determined by several factors, including if it would simply be too risky for U.S. personnel to conduct a capture operation, or if a capture operation would imperil a “relevant window of opportunity.” There are miles of space to maneuver within the so-called constraints.
Enough evidence for a tyrannical regime? Check. Too risky to send jack-booted thugs? Sure. Relevant window of opportunity? Check.
Attorney General Eric Holder last year said the Constitution’s guarantee of due process does not necessarily entail a “judicial process” in situations in which national security is at stake.
The state must confiscate guns for the greater good. The people who want arms are a threat to the state. They are radical insurrectionists. The state does not need “judicial process” against people who oppose national security gun confiscation objectives.
That’s just taking things to their unfortunate conclusions. Methinks the Founding Fathers would be loading their M4s right now.
Scarborough makes a very interesting point at the 12:35 mark at the HotAir video:
Scarborough: (an American could be killed by a US drone strike) … Because somebody is sitting in the living room of a guy who is a terrorist?
Congressman Harold Ford (D): I’ve never had one in my living room.
Really? Because Obama has had this terrorist in his living room:
Update: As a counterpoint, Dr. Rusty at Jawa Report notes that provided the sentence is finished with “in Al Qaeda”, the meaning is totally changed.
1) He must be an immanent threat. By immanent, we don’t mean the threat is immediate. What we mean is that the person is involved in operations that will go forward unless he is killed. In other words, we don’t have to wait for a suicide bomber to get on the airplane before we kill him.
2) Capture is infeasible. This means that a terrorist living in France will be treated differently than a terrorist living in Mali. The major difference being that the French police are perfectly capable (assuming they have the backbone) of arresting a suspected terrorist. In the hinterlands of Mali, not so much.
3) The strike must be consistent with the laws of war. Which is just another way of saying we don’t bomb the whole city of Abotabad just because we know bin Laden is there.
I sure hope he’s correct in his interpretation, and that it is limited in scope solely to AQ operatives. The first few pages of the memo’s justification aren’t about AQ, though the last few pages get more AQ specific.
But then again, the DOJ that wrote it also intentionally armed the narcoterrorist cartels next door and killed hundreds of our Mexican neighbors and two US federal agents; and we’ve already seen the Obama administration’s hostility towards the Constitution, the rule of law, and the citizenry.