US Attorney General Michael Mukasey's recent article,
"The Drone Wars" in the Sunday, January 9-10, 2010 edition of the Wall Street
Journal was troubling. He seemed to
conflate the subject with some specific conclusions which re-write, or simply
discard, at least some rules regarding government actions during war
specifically related to U.S. citizenship, a condition which
he termed "irrelevant."
U.S. citizenship is far from
irrelevant when deciding who is eligible to be put on "approved 'kill
lists,'" or even, less finally, imprisoned without a right to judicial
review as to their status. These issues
are not without precedent, and one need only look back as far as our own civil
war to review their resolutions. In Ex Parte Milligan and Merryman, the
right of U.S. citizens who supported adversarial
causes in war to judicial review of their status was clearly laid down. Putting U.S. citizens on a "kill
list" would, of course, be much more troublesome, although the article
clearly insinuates that this is justified by the AUMF and our war status. This is more than disheartening. It is absolutely frightening coming from a
former U.S Attorney General.
am not a lawyer, but neither do I think that background necessary to understand
the implications of Mr. Mukassey's
"opinions," opinions which are themselves a clear and present danger
to our Republic should they meet with no rebuttal. Is anyone else concerned or should I simply
chalk the former U.S. AG's comments up to the peter principle? Even if I do the later, how can we be sure no
one is really listening to him?