The President's License To Kill Americans
kill or capture" list:
Insofar as I know, everyone on the current hit list is a terrorist bastard, and President Obama is almost certainly never going to become a tyrant. But neither is he going to fulfill what was his greatest promise: reasserting prudent limits on the presidency, an office just recently a heartbeat away from Dick Cheney. Is our current president unable to imagine a future Oval Office occupant he trusts even less? That this power helps us to eliminate a few dangerous men in the short term hardly justifies the imprudent folly of indulging an unchecked power so extreme it can only end in corruption.
He also points out that “no person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on confession in open Court,” according to the constitution. Greenwald grasps for a compromise:
It would be perverse in the extreme, but wouldn't it be preferable to at least require the President to demonstrate to a court that probable cause exists to warrant the assassination of an American citizen before the President should be allowed to order it? That would basically mean that courts would issue "assassination warrants" or "murder warrants" -- a repugnant idea given that they're tantamount to imposing the death sentence without a trial -- but isn't that minimal safeguard preferable to allowing the President unchecked authority to do it on his own, the very power he has now claimed for himself?