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Can the President order killings on U.S. soil?

scottyz

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Feb. 13, 2006 issue - In the latest twist in the debate over presidential powers, a Justice Department official suggested that in certain circumstances, the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States. Steven Bradbury, acting head of the department's Office of Legal Counsel, went to a closed-door Senate intelligence committee meeting last week to defend President George W. Bush's surveillance program. During the briefing, said administration and Capitol Hill officials (who declined to be identified because the session was private), California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked Bradbury questions about the extent of presidential powers to fight Al Qaeda; could Bush, for instance, order the killing of a Qaeda suspect known to be on U.S. soil? Bradbury replied that he believed Bush could indeed do this, at least in certain circumstances.
University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein says the post-9/11 congressional resolution authorizing the use of military force against Al Qaeda empowered the president to kill 9/11 perpetrators, or people who assisted their plot, whether they were overseas or inside the United States. On the other hand, Sunstein says, the president would be on less solid legal ground were he to order the killing of a terror suspect in the United States who was not actively preparing an attack.
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11180519/site/newsweek/

If the President believes you're some sort of terrorist does he and should he have the power to have you killed? No trials or chance to explain yourself.
 

cnredd

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I don't know...let's ask Schumer, Biden, & Feingold...

Q) Senators...Does the President have the authority to do this?

Senators) Is the President Republican or Democrat?

Q) Republican.

Senators) Then the answer is "no".

:shrug:
 

debate_junkie

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scottyz said:
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11180519/site/newsweek/

If the President believes you're some sort of terrorist does he and should he have the power to have you killed? No trials or chance to explain yourself.
Do police have the power to use "deadly force" if a criminal doesn't adhere to their demands to surrender, and said criminal subsequently proceeds to engage in an act that reasonably asserts a threat to the officer's lives? Should the same be said of a suspected terrorist if they engage in the same behavoir?

Cuz here's the deal.... being labeled a "terrorist" won't get you killed in this country. Attempting to thwart capture, and acting menacingly towards arresting officers will. Do you honestly think the President of the United States can say.... "Joe blow down the street is an Al Qaeda operative. Kill him" Come on... even THAT wouldn't hold up in the courts. Bush may not always be the brightest crayon in the box... but I doubt he'd try something like that.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Seems to me that the President isn't legally allowed to authorize killing any specific person; that would be assassination, which was declared illegal I believe sometime in the Seventies.

I also strenuously disagree with any reading of "legal principle" that allows the President to use military force against citizens of this country under any circumstances other than a full-scale revolution. This is what we have the FBI for, and they are specifically limited in their use of force.
 
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