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The Assassination Bureau Is Now Open for Business

Written by Gary North on February 6, 2012

 The Assassination Bureau was a late 1960s movie. Now it’s for real.


In an interview with CBS 60 Minutes‘ Scott Pelley, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed more about the secret process the Obama administration uses to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial. According to Panetta, the president himself approves the decision based on recommendations from top national security officials.

“[The] President of the United States obviously reviews these cases, reviews the legal justification, and in the end says, go or no go,” Panetta said.

“So it’s the requirement of the administration under the current legal understanding that the president has to make that declaration, not you?” Pelley asked. Panetta replied, “That is correct.”

The process by which national security officials determine whether or not American citizens suspected of terrorism can be killed remains opaque. The administration has leaked information about certain targets, but it has never released the legal justification for doing so, nor has it explained the system by which members of the National Security Council reportedly decide to put an American citizen on a so-called “kill list.” In October, Reuters’ Mark Hosenball wrote that the president doesn’t necessarily explicitly approve strikes—instead, the attacks go forward unless the president objects.

Panetta’s explanation of why he believes killing an American citizen without due process is legal wasn’t exactly comforting. Here’s the exchange:

PANETTA: Without getting into the specifics of the operation, if someone is a citizen of the United States, and is a terrorist who wants to attack our people and kill Americans, in my book that person is a terrorist. And the reality is that under our laws, that person is a terrorist. And we’re required under a process of law, to be able to justify, that despite the fact that person may be a citizen, he is first and foremost a terrorist who threatens our people, and for that reason, we can establish a legal basis on which we oughta go after that individual, just as we go after bin Laden, just as we go after other terrorists. Why? Because their goal is to kill our people, and for that reason we have to defend ourselves.

PELLEY: They’re not entitled to due process of law under the Constitution of the United States? They lose their citizenship if this administration decides they’re a terrorist?

PANETTA: If this person wanted to suddenly raise questions about whether or not they’re a terrorist, and they were to return to the United States, of course they would be entitled to due process. That’s something we provide any US citizen. And for that matter frankly any terrorist who is arrested; we provide due process to that individual as well. But if a terrorist is out there on the battlefield, and the terrorist is threatening this country, that person is an enemy combatant, and when an enemy combatant holds a gun at your head, you fire back.

Panetta’s explanation isn’t much more complex than “when we say someone is a terrorist, then we can kill them, because they’re a terrorist.” The entire point of due process, however, is to determine whether or not someone is actually guilty. The defense secretary’s metaphor—that you can fire back when someone “holds a gun to your head”—might justify killing an American citizen who is fighting on an actual battlefield, like Afghanistan. But it suggests violence as an appropriate response to an imminent threat, rather than the actual circumstances under which say, radical cleric and American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki appears to have been killed.


Now that the NDAA is the law of the land, the Assassination Bureau is legally a possibility. We will not know when it is a reality. People will just have fatal accidents.

Read more. It gets worse.

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31 thoughts on “The Assassination Bureau Is Now Open for Business

  1. Patriot Diva says:

    Well of course there are many domestic terrorists here in America. You know those people. They're usually returning veterans, Ron Paul supporters, couponers, and those with at least a week's worth of food stored. I'm surprised about a quarter of our citizens haven't already mysteriously disappeared.

  2. Hitlery said years ago in a speech that "We're not going to take away Americans' rights all at once. We're going to do it using the salami method: one slice at a time".

  3. If your Congressman or Senator voted FOR NDAA – Vote them OUT ! And tell them why. Every single one of them should be fired. Have you been to gradegov.com lately? Interesting reads …

  4. People are very slowly waking up to what is going on as evidenced by the catholic church being in uproar on the health care when they were the ones backing ovomit & they were for this socialized medicine till they found out what they would have to do so are people going to wake up in time to see we have pure EVIL in our government & they will do whatever they want & the laws do not apply to them. I fear that when people are fully aware it will be too late. God help us all

  5. It's still early.






  8. Guns are what freedom is derived from and held onto with. Not the ballot box. You connect the dots.

  9. Bill McCroskey says:

    I may have to quit wearing my Murray Rothbard enemy of the state t-shirt (plus the screen printed picture of Murray looks eerily like Barry Goldwater.) Boy ….talk about advertising a reason to be neutralized by the state (federal government.) The hubris of this administration just continues to amaze me more daily.

  10. Please note, nationality has nothing to do with being an active terrorist or enemy combatant. When you place yourself into those categories, you voluntarily place yourself into the position of being an active target to be eliminated before you do harm .

    Enemy combatants in uniform, are treated by the Geneva Accords, enemy combatants who are not in uniform are spies, sabatorss and terrorists and can be shot on the spot.> International rules of engagement

  11. Kevlar Linc says:

    I am glad that you pointed out the benefit to government that this policy possesses, J.B. This identical policy was very successfully employed by the Third Reich during 1937-45 through the operations of the Abwehr and the Gestapo.

  12. modernminuteman says:

    according to panetta's description of a terrorist then obama should have used a drone on bill ayers who helped kill americans with bombs in the 70's. where are all the human rights activists now that called bush a murderer?

  13. So why in the heck has the Fort Hood killer gotten off so light?!

  14. He isn't off the hook yet. His trial was suspended until June.

  15. How right you are, Steve.

  16. Oshitma does not have the power or authority to authorize murder, any more than he can walk down the street killing people at random. We DO have Constitutional protections in this country, and a system of justice in place (allegedly). The President can NOT authorize the killing of anyone. He would become an Accessory to Murder if he did that. Now, yes, if the American in question were a real terrorist, caught in the act of planting the bomb and lighting the fuse, then I don't know of anyone who would dispute that the person was a very real and present danger, and should be stopped. But to even contemplate for a second that the President might authorize the MURDER of military veterans, Republicans, Tea Party members, 'domestic terrorists," etc., is something straight from Josef Stalin's playbook! Idi Amin, perhaps. At any rate, WHERE are the LOUD voices putting a stop to this nonsense? WHY hasn't there been a public outcry to overturn the Patriot Act, NDAA, and for that matter, just about every gun control law in this country, which only makes us helpless to defend ourselves? We are at the crumbling edge here, folks. Our country is rapidly becoming Russia 1941.
    "The only real power comes out of a long rifle." -Joseph Stalin

  17. A resolution was passed by our US Congress after the Viet Nam War that the US would no longer commit Assassinations around the Globe having been found out that we orcastraited the Assassination of the then South Viet Nam President at the beginning of that war…..Maybe our Congressmen/women need to go back and look at that declaration that they signed…..At that time they were talking about foreign persons for elimination…..Now they are talking about ourselves….If we were to go back to the days of George Washington the King of England could have declared them all to be Terrorist just like Penetta has said of American Patriots…..Just because we vote doesn't mean in Panetta's mind that we are not Terrorist…..What a sick A-Hole Panetta and our President turned out to be!

  18. Like Keysian economics, it looks good on paper, but in reality is garbage. You're supporting the government to kill someone based on either heresay or if THEY decide you've done one too many searches in a site they don't approve of. This administration has on different occasions listed veterans, people that have more than seven days worth of food stored in their homes possible terrorists, that would allow the Obama army to kick in ANYONE'S door and haul us off to the FEMA camps for either reprogramming or just out and out shoot us since the environmentalists want the population of the US reduced by at least a third…

  19. In the 1920's and 30's Lenin and Stalin had their "Hit Squads", led by KGB head Bhira running around the Soviet Union killing dissidents and 'Alleged' terrorists or rounding them up and shipping them to Siberia . Of course these guys were Obama's idols being the Communist he actually is . Those doubting this need only to take note of his words . "Whats so wrong with being a Communist?" or his actions , turning America into a bigger welfare state , ignoring illegal immigrants flooding our systems with more medical needs than we can support , taking jobs from Americans , endorsing the OWS mobs who are demanding Wall Street give them their share of what they never worked for . This is not something a leader or president of a nation does unless he is devout Communist himself trying to redistribute the wealth as he secures his power and leads us to dictatorship . Wake up America , we ALL may just be the next target

  20. Kevlar Linc says:

    Wyatt, you do well to mention the Soviets. Josef Stalin appointed fellow-Georgian, Lavrenti Beria to head the secret police, then named NKVD (KGB evolved from this monstrosity after the Great War). Beria continued to hold this power until his boss, Stalin died in the early fifties – I no longer remember the exact date – during this period, Beria was the most feared man in USSR. Beria was favored by Stalin to succeed him, but Politburo was too afraid of Beria and managed to have him "eliminated". The point is that during the period that the Abwehr and Gestapo reigned in the Third Reich, Stalin and Beria killed more citizens of the USSR than the Germans managed to do. American citizens would do well to take this into account when they are electing politicians that take their freedoms from them, piece, by piece.

  21. He is an Obamabot Muslim, don;t expect anything but soft action against him, thanks to ole barry!!

  22. TheEngineer says:

    He’s different you know! That was a workplace violence episode.
    Uh huh…

  23. When you have a bunch of criminals running things, you end up with unjust laws! People have been fed BS from our govt for years on end. There are those in power who love nothing more than money and power. If we had real leaders that believed in our Constitution and Rule of Law and what our Founding Fathers handed down to us, do you think there would be this much evil and turmoil in the world? It seems evident to me that modern-day terrorism is just way too convenient an excuse to take away American's freedoms.

    The CIA created modern-day terrorism. Don't ask me to explain it here, just do your own research like I have. The CIA is also involved in drug running. The evil our own govt is involved in would just make your head spin, and you'd think I'm a lunatic. But, I can assure you, if we did have honest, caring, intelligent, freedom-loving leaders, our world would not be a place of constant wars, drug running, societal downfalls, terrorism, money-laundering, a MSM that supports 100% the criminals in charge, and the evil these people do just continues on and on and on. They care nothing about you or your family. They are the masters of manipulation. I'm sorry, but this world is one giant mess, and the evil, out of control govts around the world have reached the point now that the only thing that's going to save us is the return of our Lord. "As in the days of Noah, so will the coming of the son of man be." Take heed. Petitions, elections, complaining to your representatives in Congress and your President, will do you absolutely no good whatsoever. The infrastructure has been laid and is in place. The clandestine ideas they have for you and me have been planned in secret places, in darkness, away from the prying eyes of the public. The wickendness of these people has reached the very heavens themselves. God is a witness to all their cunning and secret plans. These evildoers can play us and manipulate us, but they can't fool God. There will be a day of reckoniing and I believe that time will be very soon.

  24. Jon Enigma says:

    There is a big, big with all this and it has to do with definitions of words. That’s something the progressives are real good at and that’s changing the meaning of words to fit their agenda. A word like ‘terrorist’ has or should have a common sense meaning to us………. well who knows what a progressive will define it as or change it daily if necessary. After all, anyone who objects to anything the government proposes or actually does is right now considered a ‘potential’ terrorist and is put on the ‘Watch List’. This is way to much discretionary authority to put in the hands of a bureaucrat or politician, president or not. Hell, we don’t even know his real name for sure.

  25. Very soon, they will kill you just because they can and want to do so.

  26. God helps those who help themselves. We must rely on ourselves and not on God to save this country.

  27. Obama belongs in a federal prison
    wearing an orange jumpsuit.

    This is change I can believe in…

  28. mr bad example says:

    i sent 3 letters to my congresswoman about obama, his lawlessness and ineligibility to serve as president, all i got back from her was psychobabble on non-related issues, you are spot on!

  29. This is similar to what the English did regarding the American patriots just before the revolution in the 1700s. This is expected from tyrants who fear the people. THE FEAR TACTIC….

  30. Of course, any citizen standing up for their self, against the government, the government perception is…terrorist. BUT, by the same token can the citizen say the government is treasonous? The government is loaded with communists allowed to run amok, yet they'are not considered, classified as a terrorist? They are trying to take down our country!!! They are the terrorists.

  31. Gene Terenzio Sr. says:

    This is what the bible describes as those who wont accept the mark of the beast,
    They will be put to death by the Antichrist.
    Revelation 13:15-18