Step Up, Get Whacked

Well, via Hit and Run, I now find out the answer to my question.

Apparently, the Justice Department has determined that the POTUS now has the power to order the execution of suspects. Now, the lawyer qualified that with the usual weasel words about "under certain circumstances". From what I read in the article, lacking a full transcript, it appears that my interpretation of the issue is validated. The government can decide you’re a threat and whack you out, all nice and legal.

I’ll be the first to say the prospect disturbs me, simply because I don’t necessarily trust the government to get things right. I can find you reams of stories describing the cops busting down the door at the wrong address to serve a warrant. Hell, Radley Balko has made it a regular feature of his blog. The prospect changes slightly when it’s no longer the cops serving a warrant, but a Delta Force team with an op order and a target profile. It’s going to suck to be in the house either way, but your odds of living through the experience are much better in the first scenario.

Of course, any of us who have been paying attention know the drill anyway. If the federal government decides somewhere in the vast bureaucracy that you are a threat, you are going to have a real hard time walking away from the decision. You could go and ask Fred Hampton… oh, wait, no you can’t. The government shot his ass dead while he was asleep in an apartment in Chicago in 1969. I could also run through the sorry legacy of the Clinton years, where we saw FBI snipers taking the 5th about a dead baby and an armored assault and the subsequent torching of a farmhouse, but why bother? It should be evident to anyone with a brain that the federal government has the power to squash individuals like insects, and very little usually happens afterwards.

If you think the Justice Department admitting they think the POTUS has the legal authority changes a whole lot, I’d like to disagree. The only difference is that now they’ll admit they did it, and claim it was completely legal.


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