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Well, then, this New York Times article most certainly has me riled up. I can’t wrap my head around the audacity of the executive branch of the United States government in the power they think they possess to kill American citizens abroad.

A judge asked the government if American citizens abroad have rights and what the limits to the executive branch’s assertion to be able to kill American citizens abroad is, if any.

Brian Hauck, a deputy assistant attorney general said this:

Mr. Hauck acknowledged that Americans targeted overseas do have rights, but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed. Judges, he suggested, have neither the expertise nor the tools necessary to assess the danger posed by terrorists, the feasibility of capturing them or when and how they should be killed.

“Courts don’t have the apparatus to analyze” such issues, so they must be left to the executive branch, with oversight by Congress, Mr. Hauck said. But he argued, as Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has in the past, that there are multiple “checks” inside the executive branch to make sure such killings are legally justified.

I mean, they’re saying, forget the checks and balances which are a hallmark of the American democratic system; we — the all-knowing executive branch — can make the decisions and check ourselves that our decisions were the right ones. The audacity, the arrogance, I just can’t get my ahead around it. I’m infuriated by that, quite frankly.

As the judge said the “executive is not a check on the executive.”

And then this really gets under my skin:

In addition, he said, allowing a lawsuit against top national security officials to proceed would set a dangerous and disruptive precedent.

“We don’t want these counterterrorism officials distracted by the threat of litigation,” he said.

While sure, maybe, I can grant the notion that whimsical legislation may be distracting, this notion in and of itself is absurdity and just another bullshit reason to justify the executive checking itself free from outside scorn.

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a sixteen-year-old American kid, is not a whimsical bit of litigation that could prove “distracting.” Ugh.

Abdulrahman

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