“White House Press Secretary Jay Carney could not identify a constitutional principle that would prevent President Obama from carrying out a drone strike on an American citizen in the United States.
“I am not a lawyer and these are the kinds of things that are probably best expressed and explained by lawyers,” Carney said during the press briefing. “There are issues here about . . . feasibility of capture that I think are pertinent to that question.”
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, says that “no person shall . . .be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
A Justice Department white paper emphasized the importance of believing that an American citizen overseas, such as terrorist leader Anwar al-Awlaki, is an imminent threat to Americans when debating a drone strike.
“President Barack Obama today walked away from a roomful of journalists, leaving Jay Carney to evade numerous media questions about the administration’s semi-secret, closed-door process of killing American citizens who are tied to jihad.
The numerous questions were prompted by the release late Monday of the administration’s legal brief explaining why it has the legal and presidential authority to kill overseas Americans in al-Qaida, even without a trial or public due process.
Obama is a lawyer, and worked as constitutional-law lecturer during the 1990s.