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     Feb 18, '14

Drone killing the Fifth Amendment
By Peter Van Buren

Imagine this: a president and his top officials as self-professed assassins - and proud of it, even attempting to gain political capital. It's not that American presidents have never been associated with attempts to target individuals before (but in 1981, by Executive Order, president Ronald Reagan banned assassination by the US government.)

Now, top officials connected to the White House want the public to know that they and the president spend significant time and effort on "targeted killings". When it comes to this possible future assassination, they seem eager to emphasize via leaks the care they are taking in preparing the way.

In the process, they have produced legalistic documents so secret that they can't be shown to the public, though their existence and import can indeed be publicized. These justify to

their satisfaction the killing of Americans without what once would have been considered "due process" or any role whatsoever for the actual legal system. More ...

Peter Van Buren, a TomDispatch regular, blew the whistle on State Department waste and mismanagement during Iraqi reconstruction in his first book, We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People. A TomDispatch regular, he writes about current events at his blog, We Meant Well. His next book is Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent.

Posted with permission of TomDispatch. Follow TomDispatch on Twitter and on Facebook or Tumblr. Check out the newest Dispatch book, Ann Jones's They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return From America's Wars - The Untold Story.

(Copyright 2014 Peter Van Buren)




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