Report: Obama oversees secret terror 'kill list'
Critics question constitutionality of policy
- Duration 6:03
- Date May 29, 2012
Critics question constitutionality of policy
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But first today President -- secret terrorist kill list a New York Times report today detailing how the White House decides which terrorist suspects live and which get drone.
And the article raises some questions about the policy's effectiveness and its morality.
According to the report the president personally reviews the list each week a list described as similar to a yearbook with.
Photos names and whereabouts of known.
Or suspected terrorists those deemed to be a serious threat reportedly end up on the so called kill list.
People such as the American born radical cleric Anwar all a lock -- killed by US drone in Pakistan last year.
There is no question the Obama administration has been aggressively targeting militants and there has been quite a bit of success but some critics.
Including former White House officials told the times that it has morphed into a take no prisoners approach kill first.
Ask questions later striking because the president has -- the same time vocally oppose torture and has tried to shut the military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
And Henry is live at the White House more and Ed how -- the administration reacting to all of this.
Well treasure read it puts the White House in a defensive posture because here you have.
The president and Nobel Peace Prize winner trying to explain why he has to kill list also a former constitutional law professor.
Trying to explain how this comports both with the constitution and US and international law White House spokesman Jay Carney got a lot of questions about this a few moments ago at his briefing but insisted.
This is fully consistent with US law to -- -- We were at all times going to act in a manner that was both lawful -- system with our values.
And he has done that those men in both cases he is very serious about protecting the United States protecting its citizens.
Doubt Carney also referred to his speech given by the president's that counter terror advisor John Brennan last month here in Washington.
Where he said this is can this program is consistent with international law because -- US right now is that war -- al-Qaeda so we have.
A wide latitude to launch these drone strikes in -- Pakistan all around the world what's interesting about that of course.
Same justification that was used by the Bush Administration.
For some of their acts as well -- And didn't the president and have a different view of executive power during the 2008 campaign.
He sure did he was ripping into the Bush Administration back then saying that they had a much.
To my regular approach -- executive power he was gonna sort of -- that -- -- questions now being -- given this story in the times about whether that really is the case number one but we should also point -- fairness that back in the 2008 campaign the president as a candidate also said he was -- -- what he called a smarter.
More effective war on terror and one of the justification the administration.
Is using today saying look the president did take out Osama bin -- all kinds of other top al-Qaeda terrorists so it may be sloppy it may not be pretty.
But at the end of the day he's doing what he said in 2008 was is launching a tougher war on terror -- And Henry live at the White House -- thank you with us -- to break down the so called kill list Fox News senior judicial analyst judge.
And an -- Donna and judge you probably heard Ed's report -- I -- the White House is going back saying this is justified the White House has always been kind of on this court.
But that on this path rather the the justification here is we kill them because they're liable to kill us if we don't your thoughts.
Well when the attorney general Eric Holder attempted to justify this a couple of months ago.
At northwestern university law school his speech was widely panned.
Because he suggested that somehow the constitution authorizes this.
That the requirement in the Fifth Amendment for due process of law basically a fair trial.
Before someone who's not engaged in actually shooting at our soldiers can be killed by the president.
Can be substituted.
For by the careful secret deliberation that the president engages him.
And then when people at that speech I asked him for a copy of the legal researcher which he based these outrageous on president and claims.
He said it's a secret I can't share with you so the government is essentially having it both ways of saying we can do this because the law allows that but our -- -- secret and we can't let let you do it.
Baloney the loss simply does not allow the president to kill whoever he wants from a -- -- he can only kill people if we declare war on that country.
And -- soldiers from the country or if they're actually actively engaged.
In killing us and.
So -- the president -- lucky in -- -- I was saying in 2008 campaign he vowed to fight al-Qaeda using US morals and a lot of people have said judge -- US morals say no torture.
But US morals say it's okay to blow somebody up what.
President is hardly known for consistency he has radically changed his views.
Bush whatever you think of his presidency did not come close to anything like this.
And yet the values espoused by President Bush work work aggressively attacked by then a Senator Obama when he gets into the White House.
He takes what President Bush did and extends it exponentially.
Into this -- killing whoever he wants to kill.
Look Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would be turning in their graves.
If they thought that the constitution that they brought forth permitted the president to become a killer.
It doesn't it's wrong it's against our value is its unlawful it's unconstitutional.
And the congress should do something about it.
But look -- -- judge the same time a lot of people are saying look they're taken out some awfully bad actors and if that's what it takes that's what it ticks.
Simply does not put into the hands of one person.
The decision to decide -- to kill.
When he killed Anwar Al -- who was born in New Mexico and is sixteen year old son was born in New Mexico and their friend who was born in Virginia.
He crossed a line that most Americans can contemplate because of the president can kill Americans on his own -- so -- the constitution means nothing.