Former U.S. Attorney Alberto Gonzales last week backed the view earlier articulated by the Obama administration that under “extraordinary circumstances” the president has legitimate constitutional authority to kill Americans on U.S. soil without due process.
Speaking with TNReport.com Thursday, Gonzales indicated that in instances where an emergency threat is perceived, the commander-in-chief’s authority to take out Americans extends not just to the so-called combatants themselves, but to innocent Americans who might find themselves in the crossfire.
Gonzales noted that during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the order was issued to attack unauthorized aircraft in American airspace.
“Remember after 9/11 what happened: President Bush immediately gave the order for the military to shoot down commercial aircraft if necessary, within U.S. territory,” said Gonzales, who was at the Tennessee Capitol March 8 promoting state initiatives to combat sex trafficking.“We had U.S. military stationed at airports, we had military stationed in subways, train stations — again, to use force to protect Americans. We had (combat air patrols), we had military jets flying over Washington, and New York state — again within the territory of the United States to protect Americans. So, under extraordinary circumstances, I believe that the president in response to an immediate threat, and in the case of self-defense, the president has a great deal of authority to act to protect this nation, because no other branch of government can do that.”