Execution without trial

SallyNasty wrote:

I dunno, if news around the world is calling me a terrorist, and I don't raise my hand and say - hey dudes, I am not a terrorist, I just don't necessarily agree with how you guys roll - you have my permission to assume that I am up to no good.

And this guy seems to be doing a bit more than just saying F you america.

I am not totally for assassination - don't get me wrong - I am not blood thirsty. I just want to assume that the government knows a bit more about this than I do, and am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

*Edit*

Also, I think that Americans in America have a very different set of rights than Americans abroad.

Yeah, if you get marked for assassination as a terrorist, let's see how far you get with saying, "I'm not a terrorist."

Again. It does not matter what he seems to be doing because he might not actually be doing it. Bolded and italic'd, for extra me-being-right. If he is actually doing it, it should be very easy to prove it. Prove it, and I'm on board. Refuse to prove it and to me, that doesn't say "that'd be a waste of time," it says "our case is too weak."

CheezePavilion wrote:

Sure, but you're jumping from "we need to figure out if he's part of that organization" to "we need a trial to figure it out" without demonstrating why we need a trial to figure it out. You're missing that essential middle part, where you show only a trial can do the job.

That's what trials are designed to do. They provide more than simply an "actionable" level of intelligence, they protect a man's rights while holding him accountable for his actions.

Now as for tapping his house in Yemen without a warrant, I don't know the law on that. What I do know is that you can apologize for wrongful surveillance and try to pay reparations. If the guy's dead, he's dead. If it turns out he was an innocent jerk instead of a guilty terrorist, then no amount of "sorry" will fix that. Assuming that both actions would be wrong, I'd think that killing the guy is a little bit "more wrong" than tapping him.

CheezePavilion wrote:

God that term is the bane of the internet...Godwinning involves making an analogy, not treating the term 'Nazi' as if it were the secret word on Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

No, Godwinning means using Nazis as a stand in for "the worst thing ever and if you suggest they're the second-worst thing ever then you're a monster." I think that's what you're doing here. You want me to agree with you, so you're asking, "would you authorize the assassination of one of the worst people ever?" Let me make this abundantly clear: I do not care if the man is accused of being Satan in human form, even if he has red skin and horns and a goatie. If he's a US citizen, we take him to court and we show a jury that he has red skin and horns and a goatie, and if the jury says, "yep, he's Satan," then we kill his stupid ass.

If you disagree with that, you disagree with the very basis of our judicial system.

Also, your views on citizenship and location aside, Americans are Americans. Even Americans that you totally f***ing HATE and wish would go away, that doesn't make them unAmerican. It just means you don't like them. You have the right to not like them but you do not have the right to deny them their rights simply because they aren't American enough. It extends to law, too. Just because someone looks guilty and you'd be terrified to let them go free if they are guilty, that doesn't mean you get to assume they're guilty. That's one step away from a gulag. I'll let you decide which direction that step is in.

SallyNasty wrote:

Ok, what do you want me to do about it? I am not the one putting the orders together, I am just a guy who says - hey, if it bends the rules to use a surgical strike, I am more ok with that than I am with a legal war where thousands will die.

A good first step would be acknowledging that it's a problem. Just because you are personally powerless to stop it doesn't mean you are sworn to defend it.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Again. It does not matter what he seems to be doing because he might not actually be doing it. Bolded and italic'd, for extra me-being-right. If he is actually doing it, it should be very easy to prove it. Prove it, and I'm on board. Refuse to prove it and to me, that doesn't say "that'd be a waste of time," it says "our case is too weak."

I am sorry if it didn't come out in my posts - but I totally agree. I don't think we should just willy-nilly assassinate on assumptions - just that trials aren't necessary. I am just at work and can't do long posts a la Cheeze:)

My being ok with assassination is predicated on the target being provably guilty.

Sally, it sounds to me like you're saying that you're OK with assassinating the guy if the trial would find him guilty, and only if. My problem with that is that it's putting a man's life in the hands of a classified mechanism. Basically, you're trusting the government to give him a fair secret trial. If the trial is classified, we will never know what goes on there. The government therefore has plenty of incentive to find him guilty (otherwise why hold the trial in the first place) and zero oversight.

It basically comes down to how much you trust the government to act against its own interests for the sake of its people. I do not have that kind of faith in our government and its ability to collect accurate intelligence, especially after what happened during the invasion of Iraq. I also think that Saddam's trial was pure theater; even though there was enough evidence to find him guilty of enough charges to execute him, there was absolutely no way we were going to put his fate in the hands of a system that could hypothetically set him free. We went through the motions but everyone knew how it was going to end, regardless of the evidence.

If you do trust them then that's your opinion and there is little either of us can do to change the other's mind on that point.

LobsterMobster wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Sure, but you're jumping from "we need to figure out if he's part of that organization" to "we need a trial to figure it out" without demonstrating why we need a trial to figure it out. You're missing that essential middle part, where you show only a trial can do the job.

That's what trials are designed to do.

I know that's what they are designed to do, but you're still missing my point: just because something is designed to do something does not mean nothing else can possibly fulfill the task. A trial may be *sufficient* but that does not automatically mean it is *necessary*.

Now as for tapping his house in Yemen without a warrant, I don't know the law on that. What I do know is that you can apologize for wrongful surveillance and try to pay reparations. If the guy's dead, he's dead. If it turns out he was an innocent jerk instead of a guilty terrorist, then no amount of "sorry" will fix that. Assuming that both actions would be wrong, I'd think that killing the guy is a little bit "more wrong" than tapping him.

This is why I'm bringing it up: it's not just that we're concerned about the government violating someone's rights, it's about also being concerned with the gravity of the government act. Which means you can't say in this discussion "I'm all about protecting our rights" and then in a discussion about wiretaps say "oh--we can pay reparations and apologize so I'm not as worried about our rights." You're real position isn't that the government has to respect our rights, your argument is that the government has to respect those rights it can't make reparations for.

Which I don't agree with: I'm more okay with killing someone without trial than I am with the rendition of someone to a place where they will be tortured. The government can make reparations and apologize for torture, but I would put rendition for torture above assassination when it comes to the gravity of the government act.

God that term is the bane of the internet...Godwinning involves making an analogy, not treating the term 'Nazi' as if it were the secret word on Pee-Wee's Playhouse.

No, Godwinning means using Nazis as a stand in for "the worst thing ever and if you suggest they're the second-worst thing ever then you're a monster." I think that's what you're doing here.

Granting that is what it is for the sake of argument, that's not what I'm doing at all.

You want me to agree with you, so you're asking, "would you authorize the assassination of one of the worst people ever?"

No, I'm asking "would your argument hold up if we were dealing with the most iron-clad of situations ever" because I want you to see the issue here: does every act by the US government outside of a conventional war have to measure up to the standards we set for investigating something like the mafia.

Let me make this abundantly clear: I do not care if the man is accused of being Satan in human form, even if he has red skin and horns and a goatie. If he's a US citizen, we take him to court and we show a jury that he has red skin and horns and a goatie, and if the jury says, "yep, he's Satan," then we kill his stupid ass.

If you disagree with that, you disagree with the very basis of our judicial system.

I disagree that disagreeing with that means I disagree with the very basis of our judicial system. I think whether you are a US citizen or not, it doesn't matter if we're talking about the right to not be extrajudicially executed. I think *that* is the basis of our judicial system, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with with certain unalienable Rights, not given a right such as 'freedom from arbitrary execution' from the authority that grants them citizenship.

Also, your views on citizenship and location aside, Americans are Americans. Even Americans that you totally f***ing HATE and wish would go away, that doesn't make them unAmerican. It just means you don't like them. You have the right to not like them but you do not have the right to deny them their rights simply because they aren't American enough. It extends to law, too. Just because someone looks guilty and you'd be terrified to let them go free if they are guilty, that doesn't mean you get to assume they're guilty.

Are you sure you want to argue I can't deny Americans their rights for not being American enough, but I can deny non-Americans their rights for not being American enough? What happens when I bring that logic over to a discussion of illegal immigrants?

That's one step away from a gulag. I'll let you decide which direction that step is in.

Do you realize the irony of saying it's off-limits to bring up Hitler to make the other person look like a monster and then going on to tell that person if they disagree with you they are one step away from being Stalin? ;- D

I have to agree with LobsterMobster here.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Those are pretty clear on the matter. Essentially, where an individual is facing a (1) deprivation of (2) life, liberty, or property, (3) procedural due process mandates that he or she is entitled to adequate notice, a hearing, and a neutral judge.

Shoal07 wrote:

I have to agree with LobsterMobster here.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Those are pretty clear on the matter. Essentially, where an individual is facing a (1) deprivation of (2) life, liberty, or property, (3) procedural due process mandates that he or she is entitled to adequate notice, a hearing, and a neutral judge.

Your reading of that quoted text would mean that a cop who sees you committing a crime has to go find a neutral judge before arresting you. An arrest is a (1) deprivation of (2) liberty, so why don't you need (3) adequate notice, a hearing, and a neutral judge?

edit:

+++++

This goes back to something I brought up a while ago about how his father phrased the suit: are we imposing an extrajudicial execution as punishment for his crimes, or are we killing someone to disrupt his terrorist activities? Can we separate the two? That's why I keep asking if there's something in between a war against an army and an investigation into a criminal conspiracy. We allow killing-as-disruption in war against an enemy army, but not against organized crime like the mafia. Where does a terrorist organization fall though?

LobsterMobster wrote:

Sally, it sounds to me like you're saying that you're OK with assassinating the guy if the trial would find him guilty, and only if. My problem with that is that it's putting a man's life in the hands of a classified mechanism. Basically, you're trusting the government to give him a fair secret trial. If the trial is classified, we will never know what goes on there. The government therefore has plenty of incentive to find him guilty (otherwise why hold the trial in the first place) and zero oversight.

It basically comes down to how much you trust the government to act against its own interests for the sake of its people. I do not have that kind of faith in our government and its ability to collect accurate intelligence, especially after what happened during the invasion of Iraq. I also think that Saddam's trial was pure theater; even though there was enough evidence to find him guilty of enough charges to execute him, there was absolutely no way we were going to put his fate in the hands of a system that could hypothetically set him free. We went through the motions but everyone knew how it was going to end, regardless of the evidence.

If you do trust them then that's your opinion and there is little either of us can do to change the other's mind on that point.

I don't know how I feel about the whole issue, but I do have a question.

Imagine that a secret trial (or evidence presented to a judge) could prove without a doubt that the defendant was guilty, but that if the testimony/evidence was made public, third parties could easily determine the source of the evidence, what do you do? Does it matter if the source is an electronic measure? What about a spy/informant?

I don't think we should just always trust the government, but I can imagine scenarios where presenting the evidence could damage ongoing intelligence ops and even lead to the deaths of operatives or informants.

When you invoked Nazis, you were not making a case for an "ironclad" situation. You upped the stakes of being wrong. You invoked fear. That is why we don't like to Godwin; it's an emotional argument that amounts to, "can you imagine what would happen if you had a chance to kill a monster and you did nothing?" My answer was, is, and remains, that I would prefer to let a monster go than kill an innocent.

CheezePavilion wrote:

This is why I'm bringing it up: it's not just that we're concerned about the government violating someone's rights, it's about also being concerned with the gravity of the government act. Which means you can't say in this discussion "I'm all about protecting our rights" and then in a discussion about wiretaps say "oh--we can pay reparations and apologize so I'm not as worried about our rights." You're real position isn't that the government has to respect our rights, your argument is that the government has to respect those rights it can't make reparations for.

Which I don't agree with: I'm more okay with killing someone without trial than I am with the rendition of someone to a place where they will be tortured. The government can make reparations and apologize for torture, but I would put rendition for torture above assassination when it comes to the gravity of the government act.

Funny thing about me, I can see something as wrong without saying it's pure evil and I can see something as right without saying it's pure good. Wiretapping someone illegally is bad. OK? I don't agree with it. I still think it's not as bad as straight-up murdering someone. Can you get on board with me there? Give me at least that much? That maybe, just maybe, tapping someone's phone is slightly less rude than shooting them in the head, but it is preferable that you do neither?

If you see the two as equal and interchangeable, I don't know how we can continue this conversation. There is no argument to be had here: that is absurd. It is also why we have specific charges for specific crimes in the legal system, instead of charging someone with 10 counts of "being bad," each and every count being equal in all senses of the word.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Are you sure you want to argue I can't deny Americans their rights for not being American enough, but I can deny non-Americans their rights for not being American enough? What happens when I bring that logic over to a discussion of illegal immigrants?

I am sure. I'm sure because I recognize that in a war, a nation is a nation. I feel that America should not infringe upon the rights of any person, citizen or no, but that its first responsibility is to its citizens. When you take that to the border it becomes a matter of appropriate force. We do not shoot every Mexican to cross the border because they typically aren't that dangerous. When they are, our border guards can and do kill them, and then there's an investigation to make sure it was necessary. If we had Mexican soldiers rolling over the border with hostile intent, trying to kill Americans and claim Texas, then I'd think increased force would be justified.

The situations are just not the same.

CheezePavilion wrote:
That's one step away from a gulag. I'll let you decide which direction that step is in.

Do you realize the irony of saying it's off-limits to bring up Hitler to make the other person look like a monster and then going on to tell that person if they disagree with you they are one step away from being Stalin? ;- D

I hesitated to use the word for that very reason, but look at the two situations:

1. Have a reason to consider someone an enemy of the state. Kill him without trial.
2. Have a reason to consider someone an enemy of the state. Imprison him without trial.

I used the word because it's the word I meant. I think I've argued why Godwinning the argument - which you did, no matter how you want to redefine that word - is not applicable. Your turn to tell me how a gulag is an exaggeration.

CheezePavilion wrote:

Your reading of that quoted text would mean that a cop who sees you committing a crime has to go find a neutral judge before arresting you. An arrest is a (1) deprivation of (2) liberty, so why don't you need (3) adequate notice, a hearing, and a neutral judge?

Police are a special case. They are trained and licensed to stop a situation so that we may ascertain what happened. They are not required to find a neutral judge before arresting you. They are only allowed to restrict or deny you your rights to freedom for so long as it takes to find if there is a charge against you or not; in other words, starting the process of dragging you in front of a neutral judge. If there's no charge, they let you go. Police who abuse their special legal power ideally lose it.

I think you already knew that.

As for whether a terrorist organization is military or criminal, it's criminal. Our government wants it both ways: we want to deny suspected terrorists the rights we extend to suspected criminals without giving them the rights we extend to hostile soldiers. That means that to the United States, a suspected terrorist is not protected by law nor by the Geneva Convention. I happen to think that's a problem, too. I'd tell you why I think terrorist organizations are a criminal matter but that's another huge and separate discussion that boils down to matters of organization and execution. By which I mean "doing stuff," not "killing people," though with terrorists there is a good deal of cross-over to be sure.

BadFerret wrote:

I don't know how I feel about the whole issue, but I do have a question.

Imagine that a secret trial (or evidence presented to a judge) could prove without a doubt that the defendant was guilty, but that if the testimony/evidence was made public, third parties could easily determine the source of the evidence, what do you do? Does it matter if the source is an electronic measure? What about a spy/informant?

I don't think we should just always trust the government, but I can imagine scenarios where presenting the evidence could damage ongoing intelligence ops and even lead to the deaths of operatives or informants.

That would be a legitimate use of the state secrets defense that the government is trying to use. If you're asking me if I think that a military operation should be compromised in order to secure the rights of a single US citizen, then no, I don't think so. That does not mean that compromising his rights automatically becomes a good thing to do, or the right thing to do. It simply becomes the necessary thing to do, and it's a terrible shame the same way that a soldier must choose between returning fire or dying, with neither choice being entirely pure and good.

The fact of the matter is that we can't really know if the government is being on the up-and-up when they claim state secrets here. Given that, I think maybe we ought to hold the suspect until we can safely try him, instead of saying "to hell with it" and shooting him.

Farscry wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:

Not having heard the show, or seen any documentation that this is based on, I can only assume he's referring to foreign terrorists, and there's probably a ton of caveats to that, if any of this is true.

You're referring to "enemy combatants", which can be citizens who are accused of collaborating with other "enemy combatants" and thus aren't really citizens according to the government (I remember that discussion from earlier this year).

Lobster, all I can say is that I and others have been ranting about this for years (basically since the PATRIOT Act passed) being where our nation was headed, and time and again I've been called paranoid, told to "take off the tinfoil hat", or been disparaged via other barbs and insults.

This, unfortunately.

When Bush and Company decided that everyone at Gitmo (and others to be chosen later) were enemy combatants and therefore didn't need the rights we afford to other people we imprison* and Dems complained, the Repub answer was "why do you hate America?"

So, yeah, I guess that set something of a precedent.

* (even though Bush called them "enemy combatants," they were also exempt somehow from following the Geneva Convention as well, but that's a story for a different time)

LobsterMobster wrote:

When you invoked Nazis, you were not making a case for an "ironclad" situation. You upped the stakes of being wrong. You invoked fear.

I disagree.

That is why we don't like to Godwin; it's an emotional argument that amounts to, "can you imagine what would happen if you had a chance to kill a monster and you did nothing?"

But that's not the argument I made. It's the argument you heard, but it's not the one I made. If you want to show me how the words I used to make my argument can't help but give the impression that it was an emotional argument and not a logical one, then do so.

And if you want to try and prove I'm lying about my internal psychological state where I meant to put forward a logical argument and not an emotional one, do that do.

My answer was, is, and remains, that I would prefer to let a monster go than kill an innocent.

Well that's not really an answer. Even a trial in America only requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt, not proof beyond a shadow of a doubt.

This is why I'm bringing it up: it's not just that we're concerned about the government violating someone's rights, it's about also being concerned with the gravity of the government act. Which means you can't say in this discussion "I'm all about protecting our rights" and then in a discussion about wiretaps say "oh--we can pay reparations and apologize so I'm not as worried about our rights." You're real position isn't that the government has to respect our rights, your argument is that the government has to respect those rights it can't make reparations for.

Which I don't agree with: I'm more okay with killing someone without trial than I am with the rendition of someone to a place where they will be tortured. The government can make reparations and apologize for torture, but I would put rendition for torture above assassination when it comes to the gravity of the government act.

Funny thing about me, I can see something as wrong without saying it's pure evil and I can see something as right without saying it's pure good.

So can I, but we're having a discussion about constitutional rights here, not pure evil and pure good. I think some of the things people say are pure evil, but I will defend their First Amendment right to say them.

Wiretapping someone illegally is bad. OK? I don't agree with it. I still think it's not as bad as straight-up murdering someone. Can you get on board with me there? Give me at least that much? That maybe, just maybe, tapping someone's phone is slightly less rude than shooting them in the head, but it is preferable that you do neither?

I can, but now we've left the 'are his rights being violated' train and hopped on board the 'can we look the other way when someone is wiretapped illegally but not when they are murdered' express. Like I keep saying: are we demanding a trial because someone's rights are being violated, or because we want protection from government misbehavior?

Are you sure you want to argue I can't deny Americans their rights for not being American enough, but I can deny non-Americans their rights for not being American enough? What happens when I bring that logic over to a discussion of illegal immigrants?

I am sure. I'm sure because I recognize that in a war, a nation is a nation. I feel that America should not infringe upon the rights of any person, citizen or no, but that its first responsibility is to its citizens. When you take that to the border it becomes a matter of appropriate force. We do not shoot every Mexican to cross the border because they typically aren't that dangerous. When they are, our border guards can and do kill them, and then there's an investigation to make sure it was necessary. If we had Mexican soldiers rolling over the border with hostile intent, trying to kill Americans and claim Texas, then I'd think increased force would be justified.

The situations are just not the same.

Yeah but that's not a matter of them being Mexican, that's a matter of them being soldiers. We killed Confederate soldiers for being in our borders.

That's one step away from a gulag. I'll let you decide which direction that step is in.

Do you realize the irony of saying it's off-limits to bring up Hitler to make the other person look like a monster and then going on to tell that person if they disagree with you they are one step away from being Stalin? ;- D

I hesitated to use the word for that very reason, but look at the two situations:

1. Have a reason to consider someone an enemy of the state. Kill him without trial.
2. Have a reason to consider someone an enemy of the state. Imprison him without trial.

I used the word because it's the word I meant. I think I've argued why Godwinning the argument - which you did, no matter how you want to redefine that word - is not applicable.

Heh--and you accuse me of arguing semantics! Anyways, you've argued, but I disagree you've established.

Your turn to tell me how a gulag is an exaggeration.

I don't have to: I only have to show you "upped the stakes of being wrong. You invoked fear" according to your criteria.

Your reading of that quoted text would mean that a cop who sees you committing a crime has to go find a neutral judge before arresting you. An arrest is a (1) deprivation of (2) liberty, so why don't you need (3) adequate notice, a hearing, and a neutral judge?

Police are a special case. They are trained and licensed to stop a situation so that we may ascertain what happened. They are not required to find a neutral judge before arresting you. They are only allowed to restrict or deny you your rights to freedom for so long as it takes to find if there is a charge against you or not; in other words, starting the process of dragging you in front of a neutral judge. If there's no charge, they let you go. Police who abuse their special legal power ideally lose it.

I think you already knew that.

One, I do know that, but if you take as literal a reading of those Amendments as Shoal07 was, everything you said is irrelevant.

Two, you left out that the police can deny you your right to life if they kill you to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. This is why I keep bringing up the issue of extrajudicial execution vs. killing-as-disruption. I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying you're not grappling with the real questions.

Our government wants it both ways: we want to deny suspected terrorists the rights we extend to suspected criminals without giving them the rights we extend to hostile soldiers. That means that to the United States, a suspected terrorist is not protected by law nor by the Geneva Convention. I happen to think that's a problem, too.

I do as well. The problem is terrorist organizations do not fit into either category very neatly.

As for whether a terrorist organization is military or criminal, it's criminal...I'd tell you why I think terrorist organizations are a criminal matter but that's another huge and separate discussion that boils down to matters of organization and execution. By which I mean "doing stuff," not "killing people," though with terrorists there is a good deal of cross-over to be sure.

I don't think it's a separate discussion: I think it's at the very heart of this discussion. I mean, there was a criminal organization called Murder Inc. headed by Albert "The Executioner" Anastasia--talk about a good deal of cross-over!

CheezePavilion wrote:

Two, you left out that the police can deny you your right to life if they kill you to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. This is why I keep bringing up the issue of extrajudicial execution vs. killing-as-disruption. I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying you're not grappling with the real questions.

Well, CheezePavilion is right, the V and VI amendments only apply to the Judicial process, and Government law in general. In extrajudicial situations (pre-arrest in the case of law enforcement) these principles aren't yet in play. So, yes, a cop can deprive you of life within a certain set of rules, regulations, and precedent with no due process. I.E., if you point or fire a gun at a police officer, he can end your life.

Interesting debate. It's a little deeper than it initially appeared.

Shoal07 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Two, you left out that the police can deny you your right to life if they kill you to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. This is why I keep bringing up the issue of extrajudicial execution vs. killing-as-disruption. I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying you're not grappling with the real questions.

Well, CheezePavilion is right, the V and VI amendments only apply to the Judicial process, and Government law in general. In extrajudicial situations (pre-arrest in the case of law enforcement) these principles aren't yet in play. So, yes, a cop can deprive you of life within a certain set of rules, regulations, and precedent with no due process. I.E., if you point or fire a gun at a police officer, he can end your life.

Interesting debate. It's a little deeper than it initially appeared.

As it applies to this debate, though, I still think it's pretty simple. Take your example. If a US citizen is talking about nukes in a rather loose and worrisome manner, you question him. If the person has means, maybe you detain him. If he's talking about an actual plot you charge him with conspiracy. If he's about ready push the button, you shoot him in the head. I don't think this is very difficult. You use force in place of the judicial process only in the case of immediate threat of violence. Otherwise we have a judicial system that should be used because, once again, you want to have that option the day the president reads this message boards and decides you sound like a filthy terrorist.

DSGamer wrote:
Shoal07 wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Two, you left out that the police can deny you your right to life if they kill you to prevent escape if the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. This is why I keep bringing up the issue of extrajudicial execution vs. killing-as-disruption. I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just saying you're not grappling with the real questions.

Well, CheezePavilion is right, the V and VI amendments only apply to the Judicial process, and Government law in general. In extrajudicial situations (pre-arrest in the case of law enforcement) these principles aren't yet in play. So, yes, a cop can deprive you of life within a certain set of rules, regulations, and precedent with no due process. I.E., if you point or fire a gun at a police officer, he can end your life.

Interesting debate. It's a little deeper than it initially appeared.

As it applies to this debate, though, I still think it's pretty simple. Take your example. If a US citizen is talking about nukes in a rather loose and worrisome manner, you question him. If the person has means, maybe you detain him. If he's talking about an actual plot you charge him with conspiracy. If he's about ready push the button, you shoot him in the head. I don't think this is very difficult. You use force in place of the judicial process only in the case of immediate threat of violence.

See, I wouldn't say that's simple at all: now we're into the question of whether there's a difference between violating someone's rights with force and violating someone's rights with I guess you could say non-force (even though there is force involved in detaining someone, but I think I get your point).

Otherwise we have a judicial system that should be used because, once again, you want to have that option the day the president reads this message boards and decides you sound like a filthy terrorist.

Right, but it's not like using force is the only reason we should fear the president reading message boards--I think we should also be concerned about the use of detention (and not like, high school detention) in place of the judicial process.

Of course. Plenty of people have disappeared in to black sites. All the more reason to run everything through a fair and sane judicial system. Unfortunately it's been horribly compromised, especially by Bush and now Obama.

I never claimed to be making any argument specifically. I think you want to talk to Lobster as he's the one more than doing his share of holding up the debate and the minutiae. I simply think in general that we should follow the constitution. Doubly so for issues of due process. And especially when it comes to murder, I mean execution.

DSGamer wrote:

Of course. Plenty of people have disappeared in to black sites. All the more reason to run everything through a fair and sane judicial system. Unfortunately it's been horribly compromised, especially by Bush and now Obama.

Right, but that means not only should this guy's father be able to sue for extrajudicial execution because his son is on the kill-or-capture list, it also means he should be able to sue for false imprisonment.

In other words, you're not really making the argument "You use force in place of the judicial process only in the case of immediate threat of violence", you're making an argument about government acts towards suspected terrorists in general going through the judicial system.

DSGamer wrote:

I never claimed to be making any argument specifically. I think you want to talk to Lobster as he's the one more than doing his share of holding up the debate and the minutiae. I simply think in general that we should follow the constitution.

Why do you believe people who disagree with you think we shouldn't follow the Constitution? I think most of them disagree with you because they believe the Constitution requires something different than you do.

[quote=CheezePavilion] Ah, okay. It also says they can get permission to represent him despite his being on that list, though.[quote]

But they applied for the license on July 23rd and have yet to receive a response. Getting permission after the fellow is dead won't help him much. To me it seems like government interference, like delaying Freedom of Information Act requests. They can say he has the right to this petition and deny it by never granting it.

CheezePavilion wrote:

But *any person* accused of a crime is supposed to be entitled to due process of law by America, at least when it comes to execution orders. I get the gist of your point, but your point is mixing facts and feelings, which I think is at the center of all this: on the one hand it's law enforcement, on the other hand, it's what I would call the spy game (maybe that's the term you're looking for? That's why I put up the 007 graphic--wasn't just being flippant, was also making a point).

I think within the borders of the U.S., non citizens are extended rights under the Constitution. Outside the US they have no special rights per the US. Now a U.S. citizen, even outside the U.S. maintains his/her rights, regardless of were they are located. Those rights may be violated by the government of whatever ever nation they find themselves obviously, but the U.S. government is supposed to uphold their rights as U.S. citizens such as via embassies.
[quote=CheezePavilion] Well that's part of the question here: what is the check and balance prescribed by the constitution?[quote]

My understanding is the the legislative branch creates the law, the executive branch enforces the law, the judicial determines constitutionality. It is a violation the constitution for the executive branch to order the execution of a citizen without trial. Perhaps in practice it doesn't always work out this way, but this is the system these officials swear to uphold.

Sorry I mucked something up in the quotes again, can't for the life of me find were though.

There is something pretty concerning about this thread.

Alleged terrorists are killed every single day on foreign by the American military as an arm of its government and there's no uproar. People are killed in drone strikes without trial.

Another one is supposedly marked for death, yet this is a problem because of an accident of his citizenship? I find the idea that some lives are more valuable than others, based on pretty arbitrary factors, pretty disturbing.

MrDeVil909 wrote:

There is something pretty concerning about this thread.

Alleged terrorists are killed every single day on foreign by the American military as an arm of its government and there's no uproar. People are killed in drone strikes without trial.

Another one is supposedly marked for death, yet this is a problem because of an accident of his citizenship? I find the idea that some lives are more valuable than others, based on pretty arbitrary factors, pretty disturbing.

I can't speak for everyone, but for my part you've got it all wrong. I'm as frustrated and outraged at our killing of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. That's just not what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this. If we, as American citizens, can't abide by the rule of law when it comes to our fellow citizens then good luck waiting for us to behave lawfully on the global stage. We've sunk so low that not only do we kill indiscriminately, but sometimes we even kill our own citizens without due process.

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now. We're not a beacon of hope. We're not the shining city on the hill. We're just the banana republic with the biggest guns.

DSGamer wrote:

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now.

I can--think about those convicted of violating the WWI Espionage Act for speaking out against the draft. First Amendment rights were held to be no defense; the Supreme Court wrote: "when a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

That's pretty bad shape, when telling people to resist the draft is considered an act of espionage.

DSGamer wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

There is something pretty concerning about this thread.

Alleged terrorists are killed every single day on foreign by the American military as an arm of its government and there's no uproar. People are killed in drone strikes without trial.

Another one is supposedly marked for death, yet this is a problem because of an accident of his citizenship? I find the idea that some lives are more valuable than others, based on pretty arbitrary factors, pretty disturbing.

I can't speak for everyone, but for my part you've got it all wrong. I'm as frustrated and outraged at our killing of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. That's just not what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this. If we, as American citizens, can't abide by the rule of law when it comes to our fellow citizens then good luck waiting for us to behave lawfully on the global stage. We've sunk so low that not only do we kill indiscriminately, but sometimes we even kill our own citizens without due process.

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now. We're not a beacon of hope. We're not the shining city on the hill. We're just the banana republic with the biggest guns.

Fair enough. It just seems like a subtle Us and Them undercurrent here that I thought I would call attention to. I was hesitant because it could be read badly, so I appreciate your response.

The situation is a mess though.

I'm sure the government has a good reason to suspect this guy is a threat, but it's tough to prove. I'm kind of with Sally Nasty that if someone is accused of terrorism and is innocent they should face trial and be vindicated, but what are his guarantees of a fair and open trial? But what should the government do to try protect its citizens?

Ballotechnic wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:

Ah, okay. It also says they can get permission to represent him despite his being on that list, though.

But they applied for the license on July 23rd and have yet to receive a response. Getting permission after the fellow is dead won't help him much. To me it seems like government interference, like delaying Freedom of Information Act requests. They can say he has the right to this petition and deny it by never granting it.

Well no, they had yet to receive a response as of the publishing of that article back on August 3. They got the license the next day.

But *any person* accused of a crime is supposed to be entitled to due process of law by America, at least when it comes to execution orders. I get the gist of your point, but your point is mixing facts and feelings, which I think is at the center of all this: on the one hand it's law enforcement, on the other hand, it's what I would call the spy game (maybe that's the term you're looking for? That's why I put up the 007 graphic--wasn't just being flippant, was also making a point).

I think within the borders of the U.S., non citizens are extended rights under the Constitution. Outside the US they have no special rights per the US. Now a U.S. citizen, even outside the U.S. maintains his/her rights, regardless of were they are located. Those rights may be violated by the government of whatever ever nation they find themselves obviously, but the U.S. government is supposed to uphold their rights as U.S. citizens such as via embassies.

I'm not sure how true any of that is.

Well that's part of the question here: what is the check and balance prescribed by the constitution?

My understanding is the the legislative branch creates the law, the executive branch enforces the law, the judicial determines constitutionality. It is a violation the constitution for the executive branch to order the execution of a citizen without trial. Perhaps in practice it doesn't always work out this way, but this is the system these officials swear to uphold.

Not really--for instance, the President can issue Executive Orders which have the force of law; the Judiciary creates law because America (outside of Louisiana) is a common law jurisdiction; Congress can set up Article I and Article IV courts. There's also administrative law where there is both lawmaking and judging done by agencies.

Sorry I mucked something up in the quotes again, can't for the life of me find were though.

You left out a forward slash in the first close quote tag--I fixed it in my quote of you.

My take on this is the same that I had under Bush. When the process is limited to a very few instances, and is subject to oversight with legal consequences, then I'm willing to trust that it'll be done right, or that people will be held responsible eventually. By that measure, Gitmo and the secret prison system was badly wrong. I don't like that we still have that network. But I think we're moving back towards a more normal stance for the classified agencies, where this kind of action is less likely than it was.

I don't like the warrantless eavesdropping systems either.

If there's no objective oversight, then yeah, it's wrong. But like it or not, our intel agencies exist in part to break the law, both US and international. Limiting that is very good; eliminating it would be very bad.

For those who take an absolutist stance on this, why would your arguments not include all the other rights being infringed by the intel agencies? It's up to you to explain how they could continue to function while absolutely protecting the rights of everyone in the world. I don't think the stance of "we should protect the rights of Americans but not any others" holds any water if your concern is human rights.

What role should intelligence agencies (civilian and military) be limited to, and what holes in American security would those limits lead to?

CheezePavilion wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now.

I can--think about those convicted of violating the WWI Espionage Act for speaking out against the draft. First Amendment rights were held to be no defense; the Supreme Court wrote: "when a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

That's pretty bad shape, when telling people to resist the draft is considered an act of espionage.

I just think that that is a pretty difficult thing to quantify. It is a totally personal reality. To you, perhaps, things have never been worse. For me, things have never been better. I have a house I can afford (because I made responsible decisions), a wife and child that I love, and a job that has great room for advancement. All of these things the news tells me that are bad like assassination, socialism (which I don't think is bad, as you may have guessed), Obama, Bush, and the Jersey Shore - don't really enter into my personal life. I certainly have opinions on all of them, but it would be silly and completely untrue to say that they impact the quality of my life as they directly affect me. Certainly there are secondary and tertiary affects, but it always annoys me when people say things like America is in terrible shape, or we need our country back, just because they read a news story or because they want someone to blame. Those things are knee-jerk, hyperbolic statements.

Also, my stance on assassination is exactly as Robear laid it out.

And Devil had a great post, one that rings true for me. I don't like how we act as though somehow American citizens should be treated differently in the world. If this was just another muslim cleric who wasn't an American citizen - would people really have an opinion?

SallyNasty wrote:
CheezePavilion wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now.

I can--think about those convicted of violating the WWI Espionage Act for speaking out against the draft. First Amendment rights were held to be no defense; the Supreme Court wrote: "when a nation is at war many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight, and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right."

That's pretty bad shape, when telling people to resist the draft is considered an act of espionage.

I just think that that is a pretty difficult thing to quantify. It is a totally personal reality. To you, perhaps, things have never been worse. For me, things have never been better. I have a house I can afford (because I made responsible decisions), a wife and child that I love, and a job that has great room for advancement. All of these things the news tells me that are bad like assassination, socialism (which I don't think is bad, as you may have guessed), Obama, Bush, and the Jersey Shore - don't really enter into my personal life. I certainly have opinions on all of them, but it would be silly and completely untrue to say that they impact the quality of my life as they directly affect me. Certainly there are secondary and tertiary affects, but it always annoys me when people say things like America is in terrible shape, or we need our country back, just because they read a news story or because they want someone to blame. Those things are knee-jerk, hyperbolic statements.

Also, my stance on assassination is exactly as Robear laid it out.

And Devil had a great post, one that rings true for me. I don't like how we act as though somehow American citizens should be treated differently in the world. If this was just another muslim cleric who wasn't an American citizen - would people really have an opinion?

Not as strong of one, no, and I would be all about taking him out (I think most people know that). However, he is an American Citizen, so the game is different. But how is the question?

Through this debate, I've sort of solidified my opinion. Much like a police officer taking a life under certain circumstances, currently, this is an extrajudicial situation. If he was to turn himself in, or be captured, then he would receive full due process under the law like any other criminal (he would also be unlikely to be executed, IMO). However, since he poses an immediate threat (according to the government) they are taking extrajudicial measures to mitigate the threat. They have few options, and have decided eliminating him is the most viable option.

If he believed himself to be innocent, or cared about a fair trial, he could turn himself in. This isn't a "the government is 100% wrong" situation, he does share blame for the situation for not turning himself into US custody to be fairly tried. We could say maybe he doesn't know he's on the US sh*t list, but that's taking into consideration that this higher level educated cleric has no idea what's going on in the world around him, which I also doubt. Or that his actions against the US wouldn't elicit a response from the US.

If you committed a crime, or were suspected of committing a crime, running/evading custody would only make matters worse. And when the police come to take you by force, instead of turning yourself in, the situation could escalate and end in your death. Part of that is on you, as you knew what the "safest" way to legally deal with the situation, but instead want to play by your own game. We all know this, and it's not some magical insight. Even the rednecks on COPS know running is bad, yet some do anyway. The US government did not make him a radical Imam evading US custody, but they will bring closure to the situation.

Well, Cheeze, I don't know what there's left for us to discuss. Your responses to my responses have degraded into, "I disagree" with little or no support as to why. That either means you have no support for your disagreement or we're talking about pure opinions. I suspect it's the latter. Neither makes for good conversation.

You also keep trotting out this:

CheezePavilion wrote:

Like I keep saying: are we demanding a trial because someone's rights are being violated, or because we want protection from government misbehavior?

I've answered this at least twice so let me break it out here so you can stop asking:

There is no difference. We have those rights as a means of protection.

Questions?

DSGamer wrote:

I can't, for the life of me, think of a time when the US has been in worse shape than right now.

Really? Really? I could go on and on: Native Americans, Slavery, our first occupation of Haiti, the invasion of Panama, on and on.

We're not a beacon of hope. We're not the shining city on the hill. We're just the banana republic with the biggest guns.

As a nation and a culture we have always struggled to realize John Winthrop's call, but as imperfect as we are and have been, we at least strive to be that shining city. Can we be better, should we better? Absolutely. But just ask Ramin Haghjoo and millions of other asylum seekers if they think we are only some gun toting banana republic.

DSGamer wrote:
MrDeVil909 wrote:

There is something pretty concerning about this thread.

Alleged terrorists are killed every single day on foreign by the American military as an arm of its government and there's no uproar. People are killed in drone strikes without trial.

Another one is supposedly marked for death, yet this is a problem because of an accident of his citizenship? I find the idea that some lives are more valuable than others, based on pretty arbitrary factors, pretty disturbing.

I can't speak for everyone, but for my part you've got it all wrong. I'm as frustrated and outraged at our killing of innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. That's just not what this thread is about. What this thread is about is this. If we, as American citizens, can't abide by the rule of law when it comes to our fellow citizens then good luck waiting for us to behave lawfully on the global stage. We've sunk so low that not only do we kill indiscriminately, but sometimes we even kill our own citizens without due process.

My thoughts are pretty close to this, DeVil. I've been outspoken against our reckless slaughter of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan for years (and yes, that's exactly what it is, because the numbers are ridiculous). I don't subscribe to the nationalistic view that some humans' lives are somehow more important than others just because of where they happen to live or be born (or to whom they happen to be born).

However, I don't think the US is at its worst. It's just treading the same questionable path of breaking from the principles of the Constitution that it has done time and time again. Every time we stray from those principles, we end up at one of our dark moments. You'd think we'd know better by now, wouldn't you?

The reason I think this is the worst time in the country's history is because I don't see us turning back from this one. When we did similar damaging things in the past we pulled back from the brink and the country rebalanced a bit. This has been going on for so long and the "extra-judicial" powers of the president just keep piling up, that I don't know if we return from this one.