Sunday, February 10, 2013

Obama's Drone Attack On Your Due Process

From Noah Feldman, at Bloomberg:
The biggest problem with the recently disclosed Obama administration white paper defending the drone killing of radical clerk Anwar al-Awlaki isn’t its secrecy or its creative redefinition of the words “imminent threat.” It is the revolutionary and shocking transformation of the meaning of due process.

Fortunately, as seen during John Brennan’s confirmation hearing for Central Intelligence Agency director, Congress is starting to notice.

Due process is the oldest and most essential component of the rule of law. It goes back to the Magna Carta, when the barons insisted that King John agree not to kill anyone or take property without following legal procedures.

What they meant -- and what has been considered the essence of due process since -- is that the accused must be notified of the charges against him and have the opportunity to have his case heard by an impartial decision maker. If you get due process, you can’t complain about the punishment that follows. If you don’t get that opportunity, you’ve been the victim of arbitrary power.
Continue reading.

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