Nobel Peace Prize Winner Unwilling To Explain When It’s Ok To Kill Americans

Barack Obama

“What did I win mine for?” Obama asked of his Nobel Peace Prize recently.

Good question, Mr. President.

Sen. Ron Wyden has spent two years demanding that the Obama administration share its legal opinions justifying the targeted assassinations of suspected American terrorists abroad. After all, as a member of the Intelligence Committee, the Oregon Democrat is entitled (and cleared) to know. How can his panel provide oversight if officials won’t say what legal authority they have, let alone in which countries it applies? The White House has spent those two years stonewalling. “The administration’s position is basically, ‘Trust us,’” Wyden tells National Journal. “Nowhere in the charge to the committee does oversight get defined as trusting the executive branch of the United States.”

In part, Wyden is just a recent victim of a shift in constitutional power that has been going on for decades, back to when President Truman ordered forces into Korea without congressional approval. But today’s covert war—in which spies and soldiers kill people without trial—establishes new terrain somewhere between military and intelligence activities. Here, the executive branch feels compelled to protect its security interests at the same time that Congress has the constitutional power to declare and oversee war. And rather than explain why it considers its tactics legal even off the battlefield, the White House simply claims authority to do as it pleases under the Authorization of Use of Military Force passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks. “Without real public accountability,” says former Rep. Lee Hamilton, a cochairman of the 9/11 commission who now directs Indiana University’s Center on Congress, “the president has the power to kill people any time, based on a secret process. That, as far as I’m aware, is unprecedented.”

If Congress really wanted to, if they were keen on living up to the check on executive power that their branch of government is supposed to represent, they could rescind the post-9/11 AUMF and the basis upon which President Obama is resting these powers.

But they probably won’t. These are the same people who let Obama go to war with Libya without even asking for Congress’ input, let alone a form authorization, without raising a finger.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • borborygmi

    new tact from Conservatives. Please Mr. President go soft on terror and terrorists. HOw progressive of you. ON a related note, less people were killed in the US the last 4 yrs then were killed in Mass shootings carryed out by white guys, religious affiliation not known.

    • Rob

      So…explaining the legal thinking behind executing Americans without due process is “going soft on terrorism?”

      I think you should worry less about trying to score points against conservatives, and worry a little more about the topic at hand.

      • borborygmi

        Rob Port Terrorist Hunter, ” ah guys, we think we know where a terrorist is lets have a meeting tomorrow, and we will split into committees and in about two or three days we will figure if we can strike but and its a big decision since there maybe American Citizens also known terrorists in the vicinity so maybe we should make sure and anyway the terrorists will wait around for us … let’s discuss. We could send in Seal team six and they can snatch this guy but we won’t be able to arm them since you know he “the Known Terrorist” is an American Citizen.

    • PK

      So the American people are just as great, or greater, a threat to national security than radical Islam? What about the hundreds of children we’ve killed with drone strikes in Pakistan? But those kids don’t matter as much as the 20 killed in Newtown, so we need to scrap the 2nd Amendment to keep our kids safe and continue the mechanized warfare. Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son, along with other American citizens, were killed in that drone strike to get one man. One man who was never given a trial. And now Jesse Jackson is calling for Homeland Security to combat gun violence and they’re already assisting the BATF in raids. Hmm, so the government can kill American’s without trial and Homeland Security is now being used against the American people. I guess those nut job conspiracy theorists were right when they said it was all for us.

      • borborygmi

        PK numbers don’t lie. Why there is at this moment an anti gov’t wingnut holed up in an Ala bunker after taking a five year old kid hostage after he killed oops allegedly killed a bus driver. You can make whatever conclusion you wish to.
        Please Collateral Damage. Did you complain about this when we went into Iraq or Afghanistan under the Bushes. Collateral damage, is the proof of moral relativity. THou shalt not kill…except ? God himself did random killings or commanded whole sale slaughter of those that displeased him including women and children and babies.
        As far as Homeland security joining BATF what is the difference if it is them or FBI or Local and State law enforcement. No one is coming to take you guns unless you were stupid enough to threaten someone, committed or about to commit a crime. I suppose we could wait for Mr. Armed J Q Public to step in instead.

        • borborygmi

          new news on the anti gov’t wingnut hole up in Alabama after killing a bus driver and taking a child hostage:

          “The FBI had borrowed from the U.S. military high-tech detection equipment similar to the technology used to discover homemade bombs in war zones, three Defense Department officials told CNN.

          It was unclear if the equipment, which is not readily available to civilian law enforcement, had been used by the FBI.

          One of the defense officials said no members of the military were involved in the rescue. They would have been acting a technical advisers, the official said”.
          There you have more evidence of a gov’t takeover followed by an execution of an American Citizen. Wasted tax dollars no doubt, Fed. employees, state employees. My that must have cost a pretty tax dollar. No doubt Obama supporters too.

          • PK

            That “anti gov’t wingnut” was a decorated Vietnam-era veteran. More proof that veterans and anyone who distrusts government are terrorists right? Every military/police state takeover always starts with the military helping out with reasonable things. Then, they just become the police and you get a system like Nazi Germany, Mexico or North Korea. It happens over and over. We have laws that restrict the use of the military domestically, but since 9-11-01, that’s changed dramatically. They told us DHS and all the new government authority was to be used against foreigners and we didn’t have to worry about any of it being used against the American people, even though the laws said they could. But they told us to stand down, and anyone who objected was called a nut-job conspiracy theorist. Now everything’s being flipped onto the American people and we’re told, “we’re not coming for your guns, stand down, gun owners and vets are terrorists, but we don’t want your guns”. We’re no safer from terrorists today from all these laws, but we’re a lot closer to real tyranny.

          • $8194357

            (That “anti gov’t wingnut” was a decorated Vietnam-era veteran. )
            Vets get to die in wars politicians and internationalist bankers want
            and then get shafted again when they come home to poor health care and targeted by the DHS…

          • borborygmi

            Vietnam being an exception since they were not volunteers. Todays armed forces being volunteers are doing there job and know they may be killed when politicians and internationalist bankers get the wars they want (something else we agree on). It is amazing how soft the conservatives are getting on crime when they feel a murdering wingnut ( I really don’t care how many decorations he got) is getting the shaft. It is tragic because he probably needed Gov’t help for his psychosis. Very Progressive of you.
            Back to Drone strikes- Why last night on Rachel Maddow she was also talking about this (drone strikes) and apparently you and her agree.

            Pigs be flying tomorrow.

          • $8194357

            (Pigs be flying tomorrow.)
            Why not?
            We got a “dual citizen communist” elected to his second term..

          • borborygmi

            I thought he was a Muslim.

          • $8194357

            Could be as well…
            He is ‘all things to all liberals’.
            Leftist messiah extrodinair…

    • PK
      • borborygmi

        Devil worshipper or Atheist?

        • PK

          “they[FBI] strongly believe he made use of devil-worshiping and suicide sites and boasted of his murder plans on message forums,” from the article i posted. An atheist wouldn’t waste his time on devil sites.

        • $8194357

          Both accomplish the same thing.
          One just knows who hes working for,
          the other doesn’t..

  • Neiman

    With Obama forcefully carrying out the extreme liberal agenda of the Democrat Party, with the Democrats ruling the Senate with an iron hand, with the high likelihood the Democrats will win the House and gain seats in the Senate in 2 years and with a weak sister GOP, I see nothing to rein in Comrade-Chairman Obama’s dictatorial rule and secret activities.

  • SigFan

    Meanwhile the courts in Indiana rule that John Walker Lindh, the convicted American Taliban, must be granted the right to hold group Muslim prayers five times a day in the prison he resides in. Our legal system is getting more ridiculous every day.

  • yy4u2

    Drones are what Obama uses for the late term abortions he supports in the first place.

    • borborygmi

      Another softie on terrorism writes.

  • Mike Adamson

    I renew my objection to the ridiculous tenet that the actions of the President in prosecuting war should be beyond criticism and are beyond legislative and judicial relief short of bringing the war to an end. It’s a stupid principle, it’s too smart by half and it’s evidence that responsible government is a sham. It was wrong in the Bush years and it’s wrong now IMO.

  • fredlave

    I’ll bet that the Nobel Peace Prize Committee feel like a bunch of idiots at this point. On the other hand, they may lack the introspection for regret.