Well, after all that's happened, I'm thinking of getting an assault weapon -- or, preferably a missile or my own drone -- for protection against the government I helped to elect.
Marc Ambinder questions that government's wisdom and even its bona fides.
The memo says that if the person presents an imminent threat to the homeland, then his due-process rights must be weighed against the obligation of the executive to protect the homeland. It asserts that the procedures it lays out do constitute a form of due process, (although, significantly, not judicial due process — all of this takes place within the executive branch).
It notes that the Supreme Court has as recently as 2006 acknowledged that the U.S. can use force against U.S. citizens engaged in armed combat against the U.S. And it doesn't matter if the person is planning to attack the U.S. from somewhere other than the place where an official war has been declared, so long as the country is determined to be a gathering place for al Qaeda and associated forces. Consent of the home nation? First, the administration will try to obtain it. If the home nation won't deal with the direct threat to U.S. interests, it reserves the right to act alone. Ok, but how does the executive branch determine whether a threat is imminent? Turns out it "does not require clear evidence" because the nature of terrorism and the asymmetries of information make it difficult to ever acquire such evidence. A "broader concept of imminence" is required.
So here's what that means: Even if the person is not actively planning terrorist attacks against the U.S., because of the nature of terrorist attacks in general, merely his membership in an organization that is planning those attacks meets the requisite definition of imminence.
So, basically, imminence does not mean imminent. ...Marc Ambinder, The Week
And "Constitution" don't mean shee-ut.
Oh, wait. Maybe we're talking about that other government. Michael Isikoff found the document and it had "no classification markings on it, which tells me that it is a distillation from a larger, probably classified document prepared by the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice..."
Maybe it dates back to the Cheney administration?