Glenn Greenwald deplores the White House policy of permitting the assassination of American citizens involved in terrorism, but he would rather see it placed within legal bounds. Better to have a "murder warrant," he argues, than a president who can impose death sentences at will:
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?
While Greenwald clearly hates the assassination program--and compellingly condemns it--he is able to separate this concern from the larger one of "vesting assassination powers" in the president.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.