Presidential Assassination Powers Clearly Illegal Under Constitution

By Keith Johnson

In early March, Attorney General Eric Holder declared open season on American dissidents by claiming that the president has the ultimate authority to murder any citizen he considers a threat.

Speaking before Northwest University of Law in March, Holder stated that although the Constitution’s guarantee of due process is ironclad, “it does not require judicial approval before the president may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war—even if that individual happens to be a U.S. citizen.”

The word “abroad” is an ambiguous word that Holder does not define, but alludes to elsewhere in his speech: “Our legal authority is not limited to the battlefields in Afghanistan.”

Though Holder’s much-anticipated address was expected to make the case for what is being called Obama’s “kill doctrine,” many were left unimpressed. This AFP writer recently spoke with two former  CIA officials who imparted their analysis on Holder’s recent speech.

“Holder refused to answer questions or produce the memos that justify the disregarding of the Constitution,” said retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern. “It could not be worse. When you look at Bush and Cheney and the whole business about presidential war powers, Obama and Holder have taken that to the nth degree. Now they can kill us all, without due process.”

When asked where Obama’s doctrine might have originated, and who carries out these orders, McGovern points to corrupt sycophants who only care about advancing their careers.


“The agency that has been corrupted beyond all recognition in the past decade is the so-called Justice Department,” said McGovern. “It is no longer a Justice Department if it is coming up with theories that permit the president to kill U.S. citizens at his own whim.”

McGovern adds: “It’s pretty grim what our legal setup has become under a president who pretends to be a constitutional law professor. I wonder what country’s constitution he taught about, because it certainly doesn’t seem like he has any familiarity with the Constitution of the United States.”

This AFP writer also spoke to Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism specialist and current executive director of the Council for the National Interest.

When asked who he thinks is making the critical decisions on these extrajudicial killings, Giraldi replied: “I don’t really have a good answer for that. I think Obama has his own vision of a New World Order, where the U.S. is less inclined to go to war and more inclined to be interfering everywhere in more subtle and invisible ways that are not transparent to the public.”

Giraldi added: “We’re seeing a surge in special-ops soldiers and drone attacks. I think this is essentially a different kind of vision that Obama has in terms of how America can police the world.”

When asked if U.S. peace activists and others who speak out against Obama’s foreign policy are in jeopardy of being targeted on American soil, Giraldi opines: “Not yet, but the mechanism is in place. This is extremely dangerous because the government can now kill citizens everywhere, and I wish somebody would check out the Bill of Rights on that one. It’s not in our Constitution that the White House or anyone else has this kind of authority.”

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Keith Johnson is an independent journalist and the editor of “Revolt of the Plebs,” an alternative news website.