|QUOTE (Attorney General Eric Holder)|
... he said three conditions must exist. The U.S. government must have determined that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against America; capture of the suspect is not feasible; and the operation would be conducted within the principles of the law of war.
Holder argued that al Qaeda has the ability to spring surprise attacks and is considered to be continuously planning against to attack on America. Therefore, the law allows for striking even before the "precise time, place, and manner of an attack becomes clear."
That makes sense to me, and I agree with that legal basis, but this is what irked me.
|QUOTE (Holder again)|
"Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process."
How could you argue that? Judicial process is a part of due process. The 14th amendment (actually the fifth even in this case since it's the federal govt) provides that the government must provide due process to all citizens. Part of due process in this country is the judicial process. I think Holder was talking out of his ass there and I'm surprised the law students at Northwestern didn't flip a sh*t on him for saying that. I'm not even a law major and if he came and spoke to one of my international relations or polysci classes and said that we'd have a field day with him.
How far can the government go in ensuring security? Is bending the constitution completely in order to further a national security goal alright? I absolutely recognize the operational and security necessity in taking out al-Awlaki. But the fact of the matter is, we in the US have a constitution which must be followed. When you start declaring parts of it arbitrary and meaningless, you run into trouble. Holder's main argument here is that the use of force authorization passed in 2001 by Congress allows us to take these actions, but again, you have an American citizen here. This is not some ragtag group of Islamic radicals running around Afghanistan blowing up NATO installations. This is a guy that was a US citizen. Infact, one of the other people that was killed in the drone strike (also a US citizen) was a guy that lived a couple of miles away from where I am from on Long Island. What do you all think? Is it alright to just throw the legal basis and the very institutions we claim to be protecting out the window under the guise of protecting the country? Or does it go too far?