The Word - Due or Die

  • Aired:  03/06/12
  •  | Views: 12,602

Attorney General Eric Holder explains why it's perfectly legal to execute an American citizen without trial in a time of war. (4:21)

LISTEN, CHLAMYDIA IS NOT A

FLOWER.

SAD.

NATION, I HAVE NEVER LIKED

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER.

I CAN'T FORGIVE HIM FOR SELLING

OUT HAN SOLO TO BOBA FETT.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BUT HE HAS DONE ONE GOOD THING.

HE SIGNED OFF ON THE DRONE

STRIKE THAT KILLED JIHADI CLERIC

AND AMERICAN CITIZEN ANWAR

AL-AWLAKI IN YEMEN.

NOW HOLDER'S GOTTEN A LOT OF

CRITICISM FOR THE LEGAL

JUSTIFICATION HE GAVE FOR

KILLING AN AMERICAN CITIZEN.

NONE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BUT THIS IS THE SUBJECT OF

TONIGHT'S WORD: DO OR DIE

WHEN THEY TOOK OUT AL AWLAKI

LAST YEAR, THE OBAMA JUSTICE

DEPARTMENT WROTE A MEMO

EXPLAINING WHY THIS ACTION WAS

LEGAL, BUT THEN KEPT THE MEMO

SECRET.

WHY?

DOES KILLING AMERICAN CITIZENS

SOMEHOW REQUIRE ELEVEN HERBS AND

SPICES?

[ LAUGHTER ]

THE COLONEL WAS IN THE MILITARY.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BUT YESTERDAY THE ATTORNEY

GENERAL EXPLAINED WHY IT'S

PERFECTLY LEGAL TO EXECUTE A

CITIZEN WITHOUT TRIAL.

>> THE SUPREME COURT HAS MADE

CLEAR THAT THE DUE PROCESS

CLAUSE DOES NOT IMPOSE

ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL REQUIREMENTS.

DUE PROCESS AND JUDICIAL

PROCESS ARE NOT ONE AND THE

SAME, PARTICULARLY, WHEN IT

COMES TO NATIONAL SECURITY.

THE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES DUE

PROCESS.

IT DOES NOT GUARANTEE JUDICIAL

PROCESS.

>> Stephen: EXACTLY. DUE PROCESS

DOES NOT MEAN JUDICIAL PROCESS.

THE FOUNDERS WEREN'T PICKY.

I MEAN TRIAL BY JURY, TRIAL BY

FIRE, ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS --

WHO CARES?

DUE PROCESS JUST MEANS THERE'S A

PROCESS THAT YOU DO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

FOLKS, FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND,

THE CURRENT PROCESS IS

APPARENTLY: FIRST, THE

PRESIDENT MEETS WITH HIS

ADVISERS AND DECIDES WHO HE CAN

KILL. THEN, HE KILLS THEM.

[ LAUGHTER ]

THE PRESIDENT HAS HAD THESE

POWERS EVER SINCE CONGRESS

PASSED THE "AUTHORIZATION FOR

THE USE OF FORCE" BILL, AFTER

LONG AND CAREFUL CONSIDERATION

THREE DAYS AFTER 9/11.

[ LAUGHTER ]

JIM?

>> IN RESPONSE TO THE ATTACKS

PERPETRATED -- AND THE

CONTINUING THREAT POSED -- - BY

AL QAEDA, THE TALIBAN, AND

ASSOCIATED FORCES, CONGRESS HAS

AUTHORIZED THE PRESIDENT TO USE

ALL NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE

FORCE AGAINST THOSE GROUPS.

BECAUSE THE UNITED STATES IS IN

AN ARMED CONFLICT, WE ARE

AUTHORIZED TO TAKE ACTION

AGAINST ENEMY BELLIGERENTS UNDER

INTERNATIONAL LAW.

>> Stephen: YES.

IT'S PERFECTLY LEGAL TO BLOW UP

AL AWALAKI BECAUSE WE ARE IN A

DECLARED ARMED CONFLICT WITH

YEMEN.

[ LAUGHTER ]

PAKISTAN?

[ LAUGHTER ]

AFGHANISTAN?

[ LAUGHTER ]

I KNOW IT'S A STAN.

I MEAN, WE'VE GOT TROOPS IN

ENEMY TERRITORY.

TERROR!

WE'RE AT "WAR WITH TERROR!"

[ LAUGHTER ]

THEREFORE, THE PRESIDENT CAN

BLOW UP ANY AMERICAN CITIZEN HE

CHOOSES UNTIL WE WIN THE WAR BY

DEFEATING THE IDEA OF BEING

AFRAID.

YOU KNOW, AS LONG AS WE'RE

CALLING SOMETHING A WAR MAKES

THE PRESIDENT JUDGE, JURY, AND

EXECUTIONER, WHY DON'T WE LET

HIM CALL IN DRONE STRIKES IN THE

WAR ON DRUGS?

[ LAUGHTER ]

HOW ABOUT THE WAR ON POVERTY?

LET'S THROW THE HOMELESS INTO

GITMO.

[ LAUGHTER ]

AND I CERTAINLY HOPE THE

PRESIDENT WILL USE HIS NEWLY

EXPLAINED AUTHORITY TO CARPET

BOMB THE CUPCAKE WARS.

[ LAUGHTER ]

AND FOR THOSE WHO STILL WHINE

THAT ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS MUST

RECEIVE "JUDICIAL PROCESS,"

BEFORE THEY'RE EXECUTED, LET'S

MEET THEM HALFWAY AND PUT

JUDGE'S ROBES ON OUR MISSILES.

[ LAUGHTER ]

BECAUSE IF WE'RE GOING TO WIN

OUR NEVER-ENDING WAR AGAINST

TERROR, THERE ARE BOUND TO BE

CASUALTIES, AND ONE JUST HAPPENS

TO BE THE CONSTITUTION.

AND THAT'S THE WORD.

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