We need to outfight the enemy, not outlawyer him.
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The covert operations law functions to limit presidential power, but it was never intended to be a substitute for constitutional due process, which requires notice to the opposing person and an opportunity to be heard in his defense. It is also not an unconstitutional restraint on the president’s powers to fight a war. But we’re not in a war, say Obama and his liberal allies. They’re attempting to outlawyer the enemy, not outfight him. The result is a legal muddle that no one is likely to resolve any time soon.
Some have proposed a terrorist death warrant court to function in secret like the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, which is specifically structured to work quickly and in secret. But courts aren’t going to be handing out death warrants quickly. Any defense — provided by a secret non-governmental attorney — would have to be able to discover the government’s evidence and gather its own to present even the least defense. Even if the court functioned in days rather than months, it can’t function quickly enough to ensure that a terrorist won’t escape. The well-planned operation that killed bin Laden was the exception. The idea of a new court hearing the kill-by-drone cases would ensure the failure of most operations.
It may be that Congress could amend the covert action law to provide some congressional notification of operations intended to kill American citizens. That, too, won’t be a substitute for due process.
The Constitution says that an American levying war against the United States is guilty of treason. Our immigration laws say that anyone who takes arms against the United States — or even joins a military engaged in war against us — shall lose his citizenship. That should be enough, coupled with the president’s powers as commander in chief, to send in the drones or special operations teams against any American-born member of al Qaeda or any other terrorist group that has sworn America’s destruction.
Let’s stop trying to outlawyer the enemy. Let’s outfight him.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online