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Thread: If a President Has a Power to Assassinate You...

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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    If a President Has a Power to Assassinate You...

    This is an excellent article on the true danger posed by "assumed" powers when in the hands of an executive.

    "If a president of the U.S. has a power to assassinate American citizens, then, logically, this means that he also has punitive powers that stop short of killing, since killing is for most of us just about the worst thing that can be done to us. In particular, if he has the assassination power, then he also has the power to imprison you indefinitely, to torture you, to starve you, to isolate you from the company of others, to take away all your property, to prevent you from working, to remove your vital organs, and to mutilate you. If a president has a power to kill you, then he has the power to do anything he wishes with you and to you."

    Link to full article here.

    My comments here.
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    Regular Member Gil223's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    This is an excellent article on the true danger posed by "assumed" powers when in the hands of an executive.

    "If a president of the U.S. has a power to assassinate American citizens, then, logically, this means that he also has punitive powers that stop short of killing, since killing is for most of us just about the worst thing that can be done to us. In particular, if he has the assassination power, then he also has the power to imprison you indefinitely, to torture you, to starve you, to isolate you from the company of others, to take away all your property, to prevent you from working, to remove your vital organs, and to mutilate you. If a president has a power to kill you, then he has the power to do anything he wishes with you and to you."

    Link to full article here.

    My comments here.
    I read the article and found it to be........ of some interest. For being a small word, "If" carries a lot of suppositional weight. Of course the president has no official power to "assassinate" anyone, but when you're at the top of the political food chain you can get almost anything done by somebody, and still maintain 10 levels of deniability. And then there is the 'cleaner' option. We all can recall how the killer of the killer of JFK - Jack Ruby - died of a "pulmonary embolism, secondary to lung cancer", thereby eliminating the lower two levels that might someday trigger a need for deniability in the upper echelons. I consider no self-preserving action as to be beneath politicians. Pax...
    Last edited by Gil223; 03-23-2012 at 01:36 AM.
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    Regular Member F350's Avatar
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    This is another blogger crying over the killing of Anwar al-Awlak.

    If a US born person is actively engaged in acts of war against the US and is actively implementing plans to kill US citizens, but is beyond the ability of the US to arrest and try him; what would you suggest? Sit around drinking tea and say "Tisk, tisk, what a bad boy he is, if he ever comes back to the US we'll teach him a lesson"!

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    This is another blogger crying over the killing of Anwar al-Awlak.

    If a US born person is actively engaged in acts of war against the US and is actively implementing plans to kill US citizens, but is beyond the ability of the US to arrest and try him; what would you suggest? Sit around drinking tea and say "Tisk, tisk, what a bad boy he is, if he ever comes back to the US we'll teach him a lesson"!
    +1

    And killing someone is hardly the worst thing you can do to someone...
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by F350 View Post
    If a US born person is actively engaged in acts of war against the US and is actively implementing plans to kill US citizens, but is beyond the ability of the US to arrest and try him; what would you suggest? Sit around drinking tea and say "Tisk, tisk, what a bad boy he is, if he ever comes back to the US we'll teach him a lesson"!
    Don't like tea that much... I would prefer to see acting immediately through Due Process. Trial in absentia. You know, that pesky Fourth Amendment thing? Then, when Due Process has been satisfied and a conviction has been reached by a jury, put out a nice reward for the first one to bring in his head. Attached or not.

    I take issue with killing a man without a trial... Either all Americans have Natural Rights which are codified and protected by the Constitution or none of us do.

    When the POTUS assumes power to kill any American, he assumes the power to kill us all. Sorry, read your history. Tyrants tend to use powers left to them by their predecessors. Bush left the Patriot Act and Obama has expanded on that. What will the next man do with the power to kill certain Americans?
    Last edited by Freedom First; 03-22-2012 at 07:58 PM.
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

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    Regular Member Hardbuck90's Avatar
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    The man your talking about openly declared war against our country though...

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    Great! Then let the executive prove it to a court.

    The point isn't that the prez killed someone. The point is that the prez did it not only without trial but without a shred of judicial oversight, completely denying both the father's due process rights and the son's.

    The son, you say?

    Yep. His 16 yr old son was killed in a separate strike. Somehow, that gets overlooked a lot.

    I don't care how "out of reach" the guy is, the executive can make a case before a judge and jury. They had plenty of time for that against the father. They had tried and failed months earlier.

    All anybody has to go on is the executive's say-so that this guy was a threat that needed killing. Sorry, that horse won't run.
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-23-2012 at 03:55 AM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    When more US citizens start taking incoming Hellfire missiles, then I'll start to get concerned about the president assassinating US citizens. What is more local is thug cops assassinating US citizens rights.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Great! Then let the executive prove it to a court.

    The point isn't that the prez killed someone. The point is that the prez did it not only without trial but without a shred of judicial oversight, completely denying both the father's due process rights and the son's.

    The son, you say?

    Yep. His 16 yr old son was killed in a separate strike. Somehow, that gets overlooked a lot.

    I don't care how "out of reach" the guy is, the executive can make a case before a judge and jury. They had plenty of time for that against the father. They had tried and failed months earlier.

    All anybody has to go on is the executive's say-so that this guy was a threat that needed killing. Sorry, that horse won't run.
    I think you are mistaken.

    He was added to the list for being a member of Al Qaeda. Congress approved considering Al Qaeda members as military enemies of the state and therefore, as military targets, they are not protected by the ban on assassinations, American citizen or not.

    The executive really doesn't need to prove anything, well, they only need to prove he is a member of Al-Qaeda. He's on tv, youtube, Al-Jazeera and multiple other news sources stating he is in Al-Qaeda. Done... A confession, that's clearly not forced, is proof enough. Despite our newfound love of DNA and other types of evidence, a confession still meets the minimum requirement of proof.

    Plus the list he was on was NOT an assassination list. It was a list of targets "approved for capturing or killing."

    Essentially, he was wanted, dead or alive. That used to be the operating procedure in this country back when the government was smaller and the country was free like many people here wish it were again. People were to be brought in dead or alive.

    Shrug...

    He shouldn't have been in a war zone, actively fighting for a military enemy, in a foreign land. If American laws can be applied outside of the country, like in cases of child sex vacations (whatever they call that nastiness) then surely American law can be SUSPENDED outside of the country.

    ***
    Article 3 - Section 3 of the Constitution

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. 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. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


    He clearly admitted treason on multiple media outlets. Congress, not the president, determined Al-Qaeda to be an "Enemy." Clearly, through his admission, he was "levying War, adhering to Enemies and giving Aid and Comfort."

    Clearly, he confessed...

    If your hang up is the in "Open Court" part I'd get over it. One could argue he voluntarily gave up, or "waived his right" to "open court" by hiding in a foreign land while continuing to levy war against us. Note the Constitution does NOT specify how one may or may not waive their right or who gets to decide if it has or hasn't been waived. Plus, clearly, open court was intended for the confession to be heard by everyone so that they knew it was not coerced. I'm pretty sure his antics on Youtube and Al-Jazeera meet this requirement.

    Since we do have trials in absentia, absence clearly can be used as a waiver of the right to confront accusers or participate in their own defense. It follows then that perhaps absence can be used as a waiver for the entire trial.

    Plus, since we know the constitution applies to ALL people within our legal jurisdiction and not just citizens it would seem that Constitutional rights are not attached to citizenship but rather to physical location. It would then follow that the Constitution only applies within our jurisdiction. This dbag was clearly out of the jurisdiction of the Constitution and therefore should not have been protected by it.

    Of course, I'm no Constitutional scholar so...
    Last edited by Stanley; 03-23-2012 at 08:58 AM.
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  10. #10
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    How are American booted thugs differentiated here in the United States from there in A Frikkin' 'stan?

    Once combatants are liable to criminal law then the military is obsolescent.

    "Oyez, oyez. Silence in the court. Speak and ye shall be heard." "We hear the application to Hellfire-missile Hill 526. Prosecutor, make your argument."

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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    I think you are mistaken.
    Been there, done that...

    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    Article 3 - Section 3 of the Constitution

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. 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. The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


    He clearly admitted treason on multiple media outlets. Congress, not the president, determined Al-Qaeda to be an "Enemy." Clearly, through his admission, he was "levying War, adhering to Enemies and giving Aid and Comfort."

    Clearly, he confessed...

    If your hang up is the in "Open Court" part I'd get over it. One could argue he voluntarily gave up, or "waived his right" to "open court" by hiding in a foreign land while continuing to levy war against us. Note the Constitution does NOT specify how one may or may not waive their right or who gets to decide if it has or hasn't been waived. Plus, clearly, open court was intended for the confession to be heard by everyone so that they knew it was not coerced. I'm pretty sure his antics on Youtube and Al-Jazeera meet this requirement.

    Since we do have trials in absentia, absence clearly can be used as a waiver of the right to confront accusers or participate in their own defense. It follows then that perhaps absence can be used as a waiver for the entire trial.

    Plus, since we know the constitution applies to ALL people within our legal jurisdiction and not just citizens it would seem that Constitutional rights are not attached to citizenship but rather to physical location. It would then follow that the Constitution only applies within our jurisdiction. This dbag was clearly out of the jurisdiction of the Constitution and therefore should not have been protected by it.

    Of course, I'm no Constitutional scholar so...
    Good post and many good points Stanley. The issue I do have is that any of the points you made can be bent in the future to apply to me. Or my kids.

    If the executive can just say, "He's a terrorist!" then he can say anyone is. That is the "assumed power" that I find abominable and clearly unconstitutional.

    If the government can waive a trial to someone at a whim merely because they happen to be elsewhere, rather than a trial in absentia, then we all lose our right to trial by our peers.

    If all they need is a spoken phrase or written word to kill us, then again we all lose our right to a trial.

    One man losing his Rights to our government means we all lose those same Rights.
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    Been there, done that...



    Good post and many good points Stanley. The issue I do have is that any of the points you made can be bent in the future to apply to me. Or my kids.

    If the executive can just say, "He's a terrorist!" then he can say anyone is. That is the "assumed power" that I find abominable and clearly unconstitutional.

    If the government can waive a trial to someone at a whim merely because they happen to be elsewhere, rather than a trial in absentia, then we all lose our right to trial by our peers.

    If all they need is a spoken phrase or written word to kill us, then again we all lose our right to a trial.

    One man losing his Rights to our government means we all lose those same Rights.
    I would say then that "trials in absentia" are violations of civil rights and that henceforth, all confessions should not be counted as evidence...

    This is one of those letter vs spirit of the law things.

    The constitution only addresses traitors that have been caught. I doesn't address traitors actively engaged in warfare.

    You say they are criminals deserving of a trial. I say they are by criminals, but soldiers of an enemy army.

    If gaining citizenship in another country can result in the loss of citizenship then joining an enemy army should result in the same.


    I
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    I would say then that "trials in absentia" are violations of civil rights and that henceforth, all confessions should not be counted as evidence...

    This is one of those letter vs spirit of the law things.

    The constitution only addresses traitors that have been caught. I doesn't address traitors actively engaged in warfare.

    You say they are criminals deserving of a trial. I say they are by criminals, but soldiers of an enemy army.

    If gaining citizenship in another country can result in the loss of citizenship then joining an enemy army should result in the same.


    I
    Agreed but any impingement on the Rights of one man is an impingement on the Rights of us all. That is not a letter of the law, it's reality.

    Think of it this way: In many states we are ALL forced to obey unconstitutional gun control laws (CPL, GFZ, etc.) because of some few or even one man's crime. The government has now trained generations of Americans to believe that "...shall not be infringed." means "can be messed with when the government says it can." Not so but it's an accepted reality.
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom First View Post
    Don't like tea that much... I would prefer to see acting immediately through Due Process. Trial in absentia. You know, that pesky Fourth Amendment thing? Then, when Due Process has been satisfied and a conviction has been reached by a jury, put out a nice reward for the first one to bring in his head. Attached or not.

    I take issue with killing a man without a trial... Either all Americans have Natural Rights which are codified and protected by the Constitution or none of us do.

    When the POTUS assumes power to kill any American, he assumes the power to kill us all. Sorry, read your history. Tyrants tend to use powers left to them by their predecessors. Bush left the Patriot Act and Obama has expanded on that. What will the next man do with the power to kill certain Americans?
    This. American citizens get a trial, even if in absentia. Read the Constitution, y'all.

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverrat10k View Post
    This. American citizens get a trial, even if in absentia. Read the Constitution, y'all.
    And does the Constitution have jurisdiction in Yemen???

    I don't think so...
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  17. #17
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Threads are becoming challenging to read for all the "This message is hidden because"

    The United States Constitution applies to Americans.

    And, now, another one.
    Last edited by Herr Heckler Koch; 03-26-2012 at 08:10 AM.

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    The United States Constitution applies to Americans.

    And, now, another one.
    The Constitution applies to everyone within the borders of the United States... Even illegal aliens are protected by the Constitution.

    That implies that the Constitution is attached to location and not citizenship.

    If citizens aren't bound to laws of the United States outside of our territory then why would the government be???

    Just declaring "No, that's the way it is!!" ain't gonna cut it.

    Also, if the "citizenship" is the overriding concern then all Al-Qaeda has to do is make sure an American citizen is with every single "unit" they have and then PRESTO we can't bomb them because that would be violating the American's civil rights??? That ain't gonna fly neither...


    If you are surrounded by the enemy and you are NOT a hostage/POW then you've rescinded your rights. Hell, the cops can shoot you whilst trying to get the bad guy and suffer no repercussions. Why then can't the army bomb an American citizen in an attempt to kill the other non-citizen bad guys that were with him???

    That was true in the Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam and now Yemen...
    Last edited by Stanley; 03-26-2012 at 08:23 AM.
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I'm not losing any sleep over a dead scumbag terrorist or his kid. Brought a little smile of satisfaction in fact. I consider the expenditure of ordinance to ice that scumbag terrorist the perfect example of my tax dollars hard at work. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't get many opportunities to say that.

    If that scumbag terrorist and his kid would've stayed here in the US and 'preached' to the faithful, here, he and his kid may have been in Gitmo right now (maybe not, given how screwy this DoJ and Obama are about such folks), instead of in heaven hanging with 72 'you know whats'. That scumbag killed his kid, or more accurately, that kid was dead already thanks to daddy, he just didn't know it.

    Now, if I'm driving around in Yemen, I might keep one eye out for any UCAVs, just in case I just happen to be on the same section of road, at the same time as some scumbag terrorist.

    Since I don't go to Yemen, or other places where scumbag terrorists hang out, I won't need to keep one eye open for UCAVs.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

  20. #20
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Since I don't go to Yemen, or other places where scumbag terrorists hang out, I won't need to keep one eye open for UCAVs.
    UCAV are being authorized for use by domestic (paramilitarized) police forces here in America. Pre-existing laws prohibit shooting them down.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    If you see a armed UCAV flying over your place in Wisconsin I'd call the FBI, the FAA and the DoD. Several local 'news' agencies and the big media outlets also. Oh, that video camera we all tote religiously, snap some photos and grab some video. Post-em to the Interwebs, twitter, facebutt, youtube.....you get the idea.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    If you see a armed UCAV flying over your place in Wisconsin I'd call the FBI, the FAA and the DoD. Several local 'news' agencies and the big media outlets also. Oh, that video camera we all tote religiously, snap some photos and grab some video. Post-em to the Interwebs, twitter, facebutt, youtube.....you get the idea.
    It's not UCAV, it's UAV. Rather, they won't be using UCAV's...

    Police aren't going to be flying armed Reapers. They are using much smaller uav's with cameras.

    Lolol!
    Last edited by Stanley; 03-26-2012 at 09:44 AM.
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  23. #23
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley View Post
    The Constitution applies to everyone within the borders of the United States... Even illegal aliens are protected by the Constitution.

    That implies that the Constitution is attached to location and not citizenship.
    I beg to differ, The constitution is a law that applies to the Federal government, it restricts the federal governments powers, grants others in enumeration, no where does it limit the restrictions of the federal government to infringe upon human rights only within our borders.

    Remember it was 13 individual little countries forming a union.

    Can you cite were these rights in the constitution only applies to U.S. Borders?
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

    U.S. v. Minker, 350 US 179, at page 187
    "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many citizens, because
    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  24. #24
    Regular Member Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I beg to differ, The constitution is a law that applies to the Federal government, it restricts the federal governments powers, grants others in enumeration, no where does it limit the restrictions of the federal government to infringe upon human rights only within our borders.

    Remember it was 13 individual little countries forming a union.

    Can you cite were these rights in the constitution only applies to U.S. Borders?
    No need to... US law does not apply outside of US territory. We do not have universal jurisdiction. In cases of child sex tourism or where we try someone for the murder of an American citizen, we do so because the government where the "crime" occured allows us to do so in their stead, not in addition to their prosecution.
    Which would be why killing someone in say, Mexico, won't get you tried for murder here in America.

    Can you cite something that states that US law DOES apply outside of America???

    EDIT: Apparently there is a 1994 law that allows prosecutors to try American citizens for the murder of American citizens outside of America but that is only murder and only American on American.

    In fact, besides, child sex tourism AND American on American murder, the only cases I can think of are foreign agents conducting espionage but still captured within American territory...

    United States. US v. Zehe, 601 F. Supp. 196 (D. Mass. 1985).

    None of this gives ALL laws universal jurisdiction.
    Last edited by Stanley; 03-26-2012 at 10:49 AM.
    "The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism." - George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

  25. #25
    Regular Member Freedom First's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    I beg to differ, The constitution is a law that applies to the Federal government, it restricts the federal governments powers, grants others in enumeration, no where does it limit the restrictions of the federal government to infringe upon human rights only within our borders.

    Remember it was 13 individual little countries forming a union.

    Can you cite were these rights in the constitution only applies to U.S. Borders?
    Oh jeeze Rob, don't tell these folks the truth... And don't go pushin' our public schoolin' too far. We just don't know what's what unless they tell us.
    Freedom can never be lost, only given away by ignorance, by choice, or at the point of a gun. Here in America we can still choose.

    Freedom First 1775

    "I aim to misbehave..." Malcolm Reynolds

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