Senator Wyden Wants To Know Where Obama Gets The Authority To Kill Americans

todayJanuary 17, 2013 1

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Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Transcript – What is happening to this government?  It is out of control.  It is being executed by a man who believes he has carte blanche power to murder American citizens if he thinks or his hit man John Brennan think they have some justifiable case without any due process, without the American citizenry ever knowing about it.  Check out today’s transcript for the rest…


Begin Mike Church Show Transcript

Mike:  There is a very, very important post to read, posted by Conor Friedersdorf at The Atlantic.  He posted it Tuesday night.  The post is all about the struggle that Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon has been embroiled in with trying to find out exactly under whose authority President Dear Leader Chairman Maobama has claimed, under whose or what authority he has claimed the right to have this kill list that we keep hearing and talking about.  Wyden is being told: That’s really none of your business.  He’s a Democrat and they keep telling him: No, we’re not going to tell you.

Just imagine this.  The United States Senate is supposed to be comprised of the most wise, sagacious, and august members of our society that a United States senator, who’s trying to discharge his duty of advice and consent with the executive, and of handling foreign affairs and treaties and what have you, is being told that he doesn’t need to know what, when and how our intelligence gathering agencies are assassinating people, some of them American citizens.  When you watch these movies, like the Jason Bourne movies — AG, have you seen the recent Bourne movies like Bourne Identity?

AG:  Yeah, all the ones except the latest one.

Mike:  Who was it?

AG:  Jeremy Renner.

Mike:  Renner, Hawkeye from the Avengers replaced —

AG:  Hansel from the new Hansel and Gretel movie, which looks terrible.

Mike:  Jeremy Renner is the new Jason Bourne.  What agency is it that Bourne worked for?  I believe it was the CIA.  Bourne was trained to do what?  Kill.  He’s an expert at killing.  Americans seem to have their peace that our government is in the business of killing people and we don’t have a qualm about it.  [mocking] “Come on, Mike, that’s what governments do.”  Really?  Is that what the Republic of San Marino does?  Is that what the government of Monaco does?  Is that what the government of Switzerland does?  We seem to have convinced ourselves, since we have weapons and a frontier and have had to have the necessity of taking life in our westward expansion and the settling of this continent, that it’s okay for intelligence agencies to do it.  It’s not okay.  Under no circumstances should you be okay with what is going on.

I read Friedersdorf’s story last night.  It saddened me.  AG, you were talking earlier today about how you know there are some genuine members of the United States Senate and House of Representin’ who are disparaged by anyone on radio and television that is a “conservative” as liberals and that they don’t really mean what they say when they talk about gun violence and protecting children and all that.  There are some doctrinaire and sincere legislators.  I don’t know Senator Wyden.  I don’t know him.  I do know that he’s a big proponent of some form of socialized medicine.  I do know that he’s a reliable vote on most things liberal. He’s probably a reliable vote on most things gun control that President Obama, dear leader Chairman Maobama, our new gun czar dictator, is a promoter and proponent of.  I also know this: that does not mean he is incapable of sincerity.

I’m reading this post by Conor Friedersdorf about what Wyden has been going through to try and get answers from the Obama administration and they won’t give them to him.  Senator Wyden is now upset about this.  He has to be wondering: What is happening to this government?  It is out of control.  It is being executed by a man who believes he has carte blanche power to murder American citizens if he thinks or his hit man John Brennan think they have some justifiable case without any due process, without the American citizenry ever knowing about it.  I suspect many of you would probably applaud and cheer.  [mocking] “Yeah, he shouldn’t have been hanging out with them terrorists.  Kill him.”  That’s what many of you would say, due process be damned.  Of course, give you your due process when it comes to giving you your gun, but [mocking] “Any of them boys been hanging around anywhere near any of them damn terrorists, you gotta kill ‘em.  Snuff ‘em out.  Kill ‘em right now.”

Two excerpts that Friedersdorf brings up from Wyden’s letter to John Brennan:


“As you may be aware, I have asked repeatedly over the past two years to see the secret legal opinions that contain the executive branch’s understanding of the President’s authority to kill American citizens in the course of counterterrorism operations. [Mike: How long before you and I, as republicans, as rabblerousing red pill takers are designated terrorists? Yeah, he had a terrible accident. No, he didn’t, he was killed in a counterterrorism operation. “Come on, Mike, that’s ridiculous.” Really? You think so?] Senior intelligence officials have said publicly that they have the authority to knowingly use lethal force…”

[end reading]

Mike:  I’d like to know where.  Where do you have the authority to kill an American citizen, Mr. CIA Hitman?  This is scary stuff.  Oh, but it was only the Germans and Russians and evil communists that employ their government employees to assassinate or murder their citizens who get out of line.  This is the land of the free.  It could never happen here.  We have jets fly over our stadiums before football games.  That could never happen here.  It is happening.  It was happening before Obama, too, by the way.  Back to the Wyden letter:


“Senior intelligence officials have said publicly that they have the authority to knowingly use lethal force against Americans in the course of counterterrorism operations, and have indicated that there are secret legal opinions issued by the Justice Department’s office of Legal Counsel that explain the basis for this authority. I have asked repeatedly to see these opinions, and I have been provided with some relevant information on the topic, but I have yet to see the opinions themselves. [Mike: They won’t even give a United States senator, they won’t even give Ron Wyden the information that he is requesting as a legislator. They are denying him access.]

…For the executive branch to claim that intelligence agencies have the authority to knowingly kill American citizens but refuse to provide Congress with any and all legal opinions that explain the executive branch’s understanding of this authority represents an alarming and indefensible assertion of executive prerogative. There are clearly some circumstances in which the President has the authority to use lethal force against Americans [Mike: This is where he’s wrong] who have taken up arms against the United States, just as President Lincoln had the authority to order Union troops to take military action against Confederate forces during the Civil War.”

[end reading]

Mike:  Senator Wyden, with all due respect, sir, President Lincoln declared war against sovereign states.  He declared war against another country.  This was not a rebellion.  No one was trying to take over the government in Washington, DC.  Your courts were functioning all across the states that remained in the union.  Votes were still held.  They had three elections, national, federal elections during Lincoln’s reign of tyranny that you know as the Civil War.  Nobody was rebelling against that government.  They were perfectly happy to let Yankees have their elections.  They were just having their own.  That is a misstatement.  Lincoln was at war against sovereign states, just as the United States was at war with Japan, just as the United States was at war with Germany.  Back to Wyden:


“But it is critically important for Congress and the American public to have full knowledge of how the executive branch understands the limits and boundaries of this authority, so that Congress and the public can decide whether this authority has been properly defined, and whether the President’s power to deliberately kill American citizens is subject to appropriate limitations.”

[end reading]

Mike:  Senator Wyden, I would suggest to you that it is not only subject to appropriate limitations, it is subject to an outright ban on the practice.  There is no justification for intelligence agencies killing American citizens.  That’s why we have due process of law.  That’s why we have a Constitution.  That’s why we have those first eight amendments, to prevent presidents from taking the prerogative and the authority or empowering other agencies to have the alleged prerogative and authority to kill American citizens, unless you are in a declared war, and unless said individual is actively engaging in that war against the people of these United States.  That’s the only instance in which any manner of lethal force could be used, the way I read the Constitution and the history of these United States.


“I have an obligation from my oath of office to review any classified legal opinions that lay out the federal government’s official views on this issue, and I will not be satisfied until I have received them. So please ensure that these opinions are provided to me, along with the other members of the Senate Intelligence Committee and our cleared staff, and that we receive written assurances that future legal opinions on this topic will also be provided.”

The Obama Administration’s failure to provide that information alone ought to be a scandal. It is certainly more scandalous than President Clinton’s sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

As Wyden puts it: “I have been asking for over a year for the complete list of countries in which the intelligence community has used its lethal counterterrorism authorities. [Mike: We’re talking more than one country now. All across the world we whack people.] To my surprise and dismay, the intelligence community has declined to provide me with the complete list. In my judgment, every member of the Senate Intelligence Committee should know all of the countries where United States intelligence agencies have killed or attempted to kill people.  The fact that this request was denied reflects poorly on the Obama Administration’s commitment to cooperation with Congressional oversight.”

[end reading]

Mike:  As Friedersdorf points out, every American ought to be behind this.  Every American ought to be demanding to know: Where’d you get that authority?  We’re preoccupied with sophistry.

End Mike Church Show Transcript

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