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
Makes Bush’s waterboarding look like childs play.
“The point is being made that an American citizen is being targeted for assassination (i.e., complete denial of all Constitutional rights) away from the battlefield solely on assertions without the barest of judicial proceedings.”
While the ROE instruct our troops to read enemies on and off the battlefield their rights. While Khalid Sheik Mo lives like a king at Gitmo and abu wobbles forth and back on whether he sould be tried in a Military court or a civilian court after he had already pled guilty.
abu stopped that trial PERSONALLY while it was already underway.
While he refused to allow Navy Seals to shoot freaking pirates who were holding Americans hostage.
WHAT is the difference in abu’s mind between this guy and THOSE guys? There has to be something more to the story.
I find it strange in the max that the “Christmas bomber,” (who was mirandized almost instantaneously,) was allowed to proceed as far as he did. We KNOW abu was briefed on this guy as far back as November, but still he made it all the way to Detroit, and only by the grace of G-d was the death and destruction his mission would have accomplished unsuccessful.
Hassan’s mission was successful...yet abu refused to call it a terrorist act.
WHAT does Al Awlaki know...and when did he know it?
This thing reeks of CYA.
The knees are jerking big-time on this thread but I cannot fault this decision. Awlaki needs to go.
And the precedent is set....
Should have read the thread further before I posted. This thing is absolutely rank with a personal coverup. There is no other explanation for it.
You didn't complain then, did you!?
"So quit complaining about Rush meeting his maker before he did more harm to the regime!" (the FCC might say in a press release somewhere down the road.)
Kill them with socialism - the same way Lenin killed 20 million of his own citizens/subjects.
C’mon guys... if this article appeared during the previous administration we’d be in full support mode. If this American is fully cooperating and participating in terrorist activities, he should be targeted... no matter who the current President is.
Awlaki needs to say right out loud what he knows. He has already given hints in a couple of his audios that he knows more than he has said. this guy has connections here. Powerful ones. Many of the SAME connections abu bama has. He knows too much to be taken alive.
They don't need the fairness doctrine anymore. They can simply declare Rush a terrorist and have him shot on sight.
Is a trial “in absentia” even possible today?
I would think it would be easily challenged.
A lawyer would be appointed to the defendant but that lawyer would not have access to his client.
I agree... if you willingly participate in terrorist activities you should be targeted by our armed forces, no matter your nationality.
I doubt there would be much opposition if Bush were President. We’d be raving against those left-wing lunatics who work at the NY Times, Washington Post, Salon, etc...
You are not wrapped too tight.
Yeah man, the pits of hell aren’t deep enough for Lon’s cold, soulless heart.
All the people here who normally want to nuke Mecca (even if some Americans are among the casualties) seem to be suddenly getting religion about due process.
word games is all it is