Can the U.S. Legally Kill an American Terror Suspect Overseas?
The Obama administration is considering using a drone attack against an American terror suspect living overseas and working with Al Qaeda.
New drone policies introduced by the administration dictate that only the military, not the CIA, can target American terror suspects overseas.
Other factors that must be considered include:
- Ongoing military conflict
- Target has taken up arms
- No possibility of arrest
- Decision by senior leaders
Judge Andrew Napolitano said legally, the government cannot kill this suspect. “Those four points… are not the law of the United States of America. They were written and made up by the president of the United States. They were not enacted by Congress.”
The judge explained that the POTUS does not have war powers to kill a U.S. citizen. If an American is accused of committing treason, the Constitution guarantees that person a trial.
Last night on On The Record, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani argued that the suspect does fall under the targeted strike policy. “It would be as if, take the Second World War, and we had some Nazis who were planning to come and attack us, and they happen to be in a foreign country and we had the opportunity to stop it before they did.”
Judge Napolitano respectfully disagreed with Giuliani because the Nazis were part of a government that had declared war on the U.S.
“The president and his people… are contemplating killing an American specifically protected in the Constitution," he said.