Senior U.S. government officials in the Obama administration have now candidly admitted to reporters on condition of anonymity that American citizens are added to a kill or capture list by the decision of a secretive National Security Council panel which reports its decisions to the president.
If the president approves the decision, government forces are put in motion to hunt down and murder the subject anywhere in the world. Other persons, whether innocent or not, who might by chance happen to be with the subject at the wrong place and time are likewise murdered and their demise simply written off as “collateral damage.”
If a foreign subject, who is not an American citizen, is targeted on the kill list, the lethal decision is made by intelligence community spooks, and doesn’t even require approval by high-level
NSC operatives, least of all the president, according to the officials.
There is no public record of the methods, guidelines, criteria, rules, and procedures leading to the kill, no identity of the participants involved in the decisions, or victims on the list, no account of how long the practice has been going on, and, most importantly, no law authorizing the panel’s operations or even establishing its existence.
In short, American citizens and other foreign victims of this government sponsored death panel are admittedly selected and assassinated by extra-judicial fiat, without any semblance of due process of law as required by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, the laws of the United States, and/or international law.
Supposedly, there is a secret Justice Department legal opinion outlining justification for the murderous operations, but the Obama administration has refused to release it. So Americans can only speculate about why the president thinks he has the right and duty to assassinate Americans outside the protections of the Constitution and laws of the United States, not to mention foreigners anywhere in the world protected by international law.
Two speculative theories of justification are offered by the talking officials: First, that the killings were authorized by Congress as part of the nation’s response to the 9/11 terror attacks; and second, that international law permits a nation to defend itself.
Ridiculous! Neither of these pathetic excuses comes even close to legal justification for nullifying the Constitution and international law under the circumstances. Congress may not pass a law circumventing the Constitution, nor can any international law be relied upon to do so.
Notwithstanding all of the above, Senior U.S. politicians, certain high placed Saudi Arabian officials, and several other shocked world leaders are rattling their sabres, screaming bloody murder, and vowing to hold Iran responsible for an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States on American soil, which they describe as "a very serious breach of international behavior."
Attorney-General Eric Holder declared: "I think one has to be concerned about the chilling nature of what the Iranian government attempted to do here." It might even cause a military confrontation between Iran and America.
Iran has strongly denied the allegation, and the claims against it do appear dubious at best, however, even if true, we have to wonder what all the fuss is about. Surely it’s all perfectly legal, right?
Maybe the government of Iran has a secret death list panel similar to the U.S., and maybe they targeted the Saudi Ambassador for secret reasons analogous to the U.S. panel’s reasons for targeting subjects.
What’s the problem? After all, if these death panels are OK now, why can’t Iran have one? Why can’t Iran target people all over the world for extra-judicial murder just like we do it? If the rule of law can be bypassed; if it no longer matters; why can’t any nation do what the U.S. is justified in doing?
Pandora’s box is now wide open and the world has just begun to greet the consequences.