The Barr Code
Government claims right to assassinate citizens abroad
6:00 am March 19, 2010, by Bob Barr
Early in February, our country’s top intelligence official, Dennis Blair, the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), testified to the House Intelligence Committee, that the US government asserts the right to kill US citizens travelling, working or living abroad, if the government had evidence those citizens were in some manner involved with terrorist activities. Such assassinations could be carried out without providing a court any evidence that the targetted persons are in fact guilty of any terrorist or terrorist-related activities; and without providing to such person any of the constitutional guarantees to due process, right to trial, right to confront witnesses, and so forth, which they normally would enjoy if charged with offenses while in the United States.
This startling position continues a policy reportedly instituted by the administration of President George W. Bush in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The policy also is contrary to the long-established view that those rights such as guaranteed a person under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution, are not limited to the place in which a person is found at any particular time; but rather are to be enjoyed by U.S. citizens wherever in the world they may be, by virtue of being Americans. Apparently, even during times of declared war, such as World War II, the US government did not practice assassination of its own citizens who might have gone over to the other side.
Already, according to former CIA official Philip Giraldi, writing in the April 2010 issue of The American Conservative, three American citizens have been placed on the list for possible assassination.
So, why don't they just off the "bad" guys being held in Guantanamo? They aren't even American citizens. Save a whole lot of arguing about where and how to try them. Pop! Problem over. Change we can believe in.
Friday, March 19, 2010