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on due process

So, a Senator asks John Brennan (in his confirmation hearing for CIA director) whether the President can order the killing of a U.S. citizen without going to any "body" outside the Executive Branch. Brennan answers, basically, "The judicial tradition in this country is that we hold trials to determine whether someone is guilty or innocent of a past crime…. What we're talking about here is taking action to stop a future attack and save American lives."

In other words, if you want to kill someone for something he's done, you have to go through the courts, get an indictment, file specific charges, present evidence at a trial, etc. If you want to kill someone for something he hasn't done yet, you can go ahead with no evidence, oversight, or consultation at all.

Another Senator asked where the boundaries of this Presidential authority are, and whether the American people should be told about them. Brennan answered that he was strongly in favor of transparency and telling the American people where those boundaries are. He was, however, careful not to actually tell the Senators or the American people anything about where those boundaries are.