Skip to comments.Confirmed: Obama Authorizes Assassination of U.S. Citizen
Posted on 04/07/2010 7:24:39 AM PDT by kristinn
In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration's "presidential assassination program," whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they're involved in Terrorism. At the time, The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile "hit lists" of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list. The following week, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the "right" to carry out such assassinations.
Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield. I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they're sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind. I won't repeat those arguments -- they're here and here -- but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.
Just consider how the NYT reports on Obama's assassination order and how it is justified:
The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . .
American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.
It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .
"The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words," said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. "Hes gotten involved in plots."
No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.
Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens -- and a death penalty imposed -- is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist. He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers -- cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted -- to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist. It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets (advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist "involved in plots." These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth. And the punishment is thus decreed: this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done. What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?
(Excerpt) Read more at Salon.com
You are talking apples and organes here. There is a huge difference between targeting an American citizen for assasination without due process and targeting someone like Osama Bin Laden. Surely you ‘get’ that distinction.
President Bush never went this far because he understood our rights under our constitution. Even though this guy may be a scumbag islamic terrorist and deserves the ‘death penalty’, he is entitled to a trial first. This is dangerous territory we are entering into and Zero is just getting warmed up. All he has to do now is ‘deem’ any American citizen a threat and target them for state sanctioned assasination.
Then he has the "right" to carry out assassinations on any of us.
Some of these are American convictions.
Then the following week (April 27th and 30th) are the surgeries.
The prayers, faith, encouragement, kindness and help shown me and my family has been a blessing from God and an inspiration. I cannot express how much they are helping me and my wife and kids. God bless all who help others and do so out of the goodness and compassion of their hearts.
I look forward, if it is God's will, to the time when I get past this and can be once again in a position to help others as myself and family are being helped now.
Even during the Whiskey Rebellion, Washington served the insurrectionists with papers to appear in court, and all the accused received a court trial, even those who were executed.
You don't lose your Constitutional rights with respect to the US government simply because you're overseas.
Didn’t this Administration recently condemn Israel for sending out a hit squad to do pretty much the same thing to a Palestinian terrorist in a hotel?
Not hardly. Awlaki knows things. He might have valuable information of attacks that have not yet taken place here.
We did not do THIS even for bin laden. Bin Laden was wanted dead or alive. There is NO such admonition here. There is something about this particular person that changes everything. We want to know what...and why.
Is that too hard to understand?
And if abu can do this, any merc with a black heart can be given the same instruction and it might be anyone this administraion considers an enemy. The track record of this administration and what it does to enemies, real or perceived, makes me very uncomfortable with this order.
abu has set off an intifada agaonst Israel in which people have been killed. He has no conscience. THAT is a problem whether you acknowledge it or not.
Khalid Sheik Mohammad’s head should be rotting on a pike somewhere in full view of the entire world. Yet abu has done everything in his power to save this worthless creature who, if tried in a civilian court, might someday breathe free. That doesn’t bother you?
WHAT changes with Awlaki? Something isn’t right here.
If the American citizen takes up arms against the United States, don’t they become a legitimate target?
Don’t know if this has already been posted, but it’s a must read...
“This particularly applies to Democrat National Chairman and ex-governor of Virginia, Tim Kaine. He has been burned by his ignorance in this area while serving as governor. His behavior in this endorsement of Dar al Hijrah could be considered dereliction by those willing to cut him a break. I think ex-Governor Tim “Judas” Kaine’s commissions are far worse than mere dereliciton.”
Possibly, but capturing and interrogating him would be far more useful. Then a quick trial, find him guilty/not guilty (I'm assuming he's really a bad guy, so guilty would be the verdict), take him out back and shoot him.
An American citizen shouldn't be targeted like this. This opens a HUGE can of worms; you can't expect such authority to be wielded justly by these people. It WILL be abused.
Neither is Anwar al-Awlaki.
Nuke Mecca after a fair trial.
It has already been announced multiple times that Adam Gadahn was probably killed by a Hellfire missile and no one here said anything about his right to a fair trial.
|Code Pink — where are you when we need you the most? < /sarc>
“and some wish to have GW and Bush added to the hit list.”
In other words, they want all Republicans/conservatives added.
Please recite the Second Amendment to yourself and ask that same question again. Do you realize what you are saying?
“The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them”
If his name were “John Smith” I might have more of a problem with it.
I’m not sure how to feel about myself now.