Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Someone sent this to me:
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
DOJ Memo Defends Cheney Shooting
Frankly, I don’t understand all the fuss about Vice President Cheney’s shooting of Harry Whittington. This unsigned Department of Justice Memorandum, which was slipped under my door this morning, explains it all:
* * * * *
Under the unitary executive theory of Article II, the President of the United States, as Commander-in-Chief, has inherent authority to shoot anyone he likes, and he may surely delegate that authority to his second in command, the Vice President of the United States. Indeed, to the extent that federal law or state tort law is to the contrary, we must read all such laws in harmony with the inherent powers of the President as head of the unitary executive in order to avoid any potential constitutional conflict. As the President himself noted in his recent signing statement to the McCain Amendment, laws that purport to limit the President’s authority to use force in time of war must be construed "in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the president to supervise the unitary executive branch and as commander in chief."
The Executive’s ability to identify enemy combatants and apprehend or, if necessary, shoot them on the field of battle is fully recognized under the laws of war. There is no doubt that it is fully within the President’s powers under the laws of war to identify enemy combatants and apprehend, or if necessary, shoot them in order to prevent them from returning to the battlefield where they may do harm to the interests of the United States. In this case, it is undisputed that Harry Whittington (if that is his *real* name) was carrying arms in close proximity to the Vice President of the United States, and, moreover, in the very same state as the President’s Crawford, Texas, residence.
It was therefore completely within the Vice-President’s discretion to determine that the said Whittington was an enemy combatant who posed a threat, whether real, potential, imagined or fictitious, to the national security of the United States. Media accounts do not reveal what Harry Whittington’s name was before he changed it; it is entirely possible, however, that his real name is Ari Al-Whittington and that he is an Al Qaeda operative, or is associated with groups who are associated with Al Qaeda, or is associated with groups who are associated with groups who are associated with Al Qaeda. And so on.
The objection that Al-Whittington was found on American soil is completely without merit. We are dealing with questions of war, not the criminal or civil process. What so-called "civil libertarians" still don’t understand is that 9-11 changed everything. Thousands of people died in the World Trade Center *on American soil.* Discovering Al Qaeda operatives on American soil, or those that executive suspects, whether reasonably or unreasonably, to be Al Qaeda operatives, does not bestow upon such "persons" the "right" to call upon the criminal justice system, much less the civil tort system. We note, moreover, that the President’s constitutional obligation in Article II, section 3, to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed" fully supports these conclusions. If the President is constitutionally authorized to execute "laws," a fortiori he is clearly authorized to execute "persons" by shooting them at his discretion.
Nor is the fact that Al-Whittington is a 78 year old businessman who has made substantial contributions to the Republican Party a reason to doubt the Vice-President’s plenary determination that Al-Whittington may have links to Al Qaeda, or links to links to links to Al Qaeda. After all, if Al Qaeda wished to infiltrate the Executive branch it would be entirely logical to plant operatives posing as Republican businessmen who gave money to Republican causes because everyone kn,25,182471.058,1,29019,126.96.36.199
182528,182471,182471,2006-02-15 19:11:59,RE: Cheney shoots lawyer(insert joke here)”