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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 15, 2010 / 7 Tishrei, 5771

With presidential drones, who needs judges?

By Nat Hentoff




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | President Barack Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta and Defense Secretary Robert Gates are now defendants in a historic lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Washington, by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights. The case is brought on behalf of American citizen Nasser Al-Aulaqi.

The complaint in the case starkly and accurately lays out the constitutional issue at stake: "This case concerns the executive's asserted authority to carry out 'targeted killings' of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism far from any field of armed conflict."

As I and other reporters have confirmed, the complaint continues: "the (U.S.) government maintains lists of suspects -- 'kill lists' -- against whom lethal force can be used without charge, trial or conviction."

That is an utterly clear description of how to deny the Fifth Amendment's command that "no person shall be…deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law."

As the lawsuit adds: "Individuals, including U.S. citizens, are added to the ("kill") lists based on executive determinations that secret criteria have been satisfied. Executive officials (Leon Panetta and Robert Gates as well) are invested with sweeping authority to impose extrajudicial death sentences in violation of the Constitution and international law."

The first U.S. citizen whom the administration has confirmed as being on this lethal list is Anwar Al-Aulaqi. He himself did not bring this suit because he has been hiding for his life in Yemen. His father, Nasser Al-Aulaqi, acting on his son's behalf, retained the ACLU and the CCR to bring his son back into the protection of the Constitution.

In this case, our court system, based on our vaunted rule of law, is also asked "to order the government to disclose the standards it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists."

Is that too much to ask -- not of a government ruthlessly run by Gen. al-Bashir of Sudan or the ultimate executive in the maximum prison called Iran -- but of the president of these United States? But I'm not aware of many free Americans being much concerned by this terminal execution of due process. I don't see protestors on the streets or marching on Washington.

As a reporter, I am aware of much of the evidence the Obama administration believes it has directly connecting Anwar Al-Aulaqi to acts of terrorism. But where does it find the assassinating authority to obliterate Mr. Al-Aulaqi without even bringing a charge against him?

In two sentences, the lawsuit gets to the core of this case: "The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights. Outside the context of armed conflict, the intentional use of lethal force without prior judicial process is an abridgement of this right except in the narrowest and most extraordinary circumstances."

What are, according to President Obama, the "extraordinary consequences" here? The CIA, whose drone planes are among the most experienced executioners searching for Al-Aulaqi, won't tell us. The CIA operates in a secret wing of our government, not envisioned by the Founders as is shown in James Madison's notes during the Constitutional Convention.

But doesn't President Obama owe us, or at least history, an answer to where the justifying "context of armed conflict" is in his hunt to the death of this American citizen?

In this legal action, the ACLU and the CCR tell Obama, Panetta and Gates: "The United States is not at war with Yemen, or within it," yet this quarry is being hunted there, so far escaping, says the complaint, "as many as a dozen unsuccessful attempts (according to one media report) on his life."

So again, what are "the extraordinary circumstances" authorizing President Obama's relentless pursuit of this citizen, who could be said to be a person without a country? The ACLU and CCR provide the test our government must meet in fulfilling the "extraordinary circumstances" for the summary killing of this citizen:

"Outside of armed conflict, both the Constitution and international law prohibit targeted killing except as a last resort to protect against concrete, specific, and imminent threat of serious physical injury. The summary use of force is lawful in these narrow circumstances only because imminence of the threat makes judicial process infeasible."

Now dig this, Mr. President: "A targeted killing policy under which individuals are added to kill lists after a bureaucratic process -- and remain on these lists for months at a time -- plainly goes beyond the use of lethal force as a last resort to address imminent threats, and accordingly goes beyond what the Constitution and international law permit."

Also further, and wholly violating the heart of the Constitution, the ACLU and CCR remind all of us it's this administration's absolute refusal to disclose its standards for target killing an American citizen. This startlingly violates U.S. citizens "rights to know what conduct may subject them to execution at the hands of their own government.

"Due process requires, at a minimum, that citizens be put on notice of what may cause them to be put to death by the state."

Where is an indication that congressional leaders, regardless of party, are seriously concerned about these hidden fatal standards?

"The accumulation of all powers," wrote James Madison in Federalist Papers No. 47, "legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands … may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny."

The tea partiers appear to be more conversant with the Constitution than many of us. What do they think of the official, secret, targeted killings of American citizens by the U.S. government? What do you think?

Is this still America?


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Evan Kohlmann, "an independent terrorism consultant" added: "We are handing al-Qaida a propaganda coup, an absolute propaganda coup" with the firestorm over Rauf's mosque vision. Kohlmann's job at Flashpoint Partners, where he works, is monitoring jihadist websites. He knows whereof he speaks -- and worries.

Rauf, even if inadvertently, is not the only American propaganda provider to al-Qaida. There is Terry Jones, a pastor at a megachurch in Gainesville, Fla., the Dove World Outreach Center.

It was not from the debate over the Rauf mosque that this pastor, on his own, has declared that Sept. 11 be "an International Burn a Koran Day." But after the jihadist threats following the New York mosque debate, Jones is nonetheless going ahead to actually burn a Koran on the evening of Sept. 11. The Fire Department refused to give him a permit, but the pastor is on what for him is a holy mission. Islamic radicals around the world will be very pleased at this glistening recruiting tool. They may toast the pastor.

In a significant article in the Aug. 18 Washington Post ("Mosque near Ground Zero? 'It's about the community, stupid.'"), Abed Z. Bhuyan, a Muslim and a graduate of Georgetown University who will be teaching English in Turkey next year as a Fulbright scholar, charges that this "is not a fight that ever really needed fighting."

He cites and agrees with Anne Barnard, who complained in The New York Times that Rauf and Kahn, who say they're so surprised at the baleful hurricane they have caused, "did not (first) seek the advice of established Muslim organizations experienced in volatile post-9/11 passions and politics."

Adds Bhuyan: "If they didn't expect this fallout, just how connected are Khan and Imam Abdul Rauf to the American Muslim community? … There is a difference between building a building and building a community. … If we are to grow as a community, we must demand strong leadership."

As I recently reported, there are possible indications that Rauf himself may not have been all that surprised at the uproar and its results, if he himself is somewhat a jihadist. He did say on "60 Minutes" before all of this, that the U.S. was "an accessory to the crime" of 9/11. While on his State Department Mideast tour, Rauf's reaction to the firestorm he created was (AP, Aug. 22) "that he took heart from the dispute over the mosque, saying 'the fact we are getting this kind of attention is a sign of success. It is my hope that people will understand more.'"

Does this strike you as coming from an honest man -- or a suave actor? What will the Muslim community say to this imam when he returns?

Do you think that Nancy Pelosi, so strong a supporter of the Ground Zero mosque, should investigate Rauf for igniting this conflagration?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


Nat Hentoff is a nationally renowned authority on the First Amendment and the Bill of Rights and author of several books, including his current work, "The War on the Bill of Rights and the Gathering Resistance". Comment by clicking here.

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