Wednesday, October 05, 2011
The Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan assassinations (3)The Presidential-ordered assassination of American citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen, neither of them so much as indicted for actual crimes, is a further serious corruption of the US Constitutional system. The Executive Branch has neither the legal nor Constitutional authority to target individual Americans for assassinations, within or outside the borders of the country. The idea that the President can order a hit on anyone he pleases, including an American citizen, goes to the heart of the rule of law, just as does the torture policy initiated by the Cheney-Bush Administration.
Michael Ratner, the president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, writes on The Extrajudicial Drone Murder of US Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki Alternet 10/02/2011:
The claim, after the fact, by President Obama that Awlaki "operationally directed efforts" to attack the United States was never presented to a court before he was placed on the "kill" list and is untested. Even if President Obama's claim has some validity, unless Awlaki's alleged terrorists actions were imminent and unless deadly force employed as a last resort, this killing constitutes murder.Daphne Evitar back last December noted the problematic nature of the federal court decision that blocked a challenge by Awlaki's father to the assassination order in Al-Awlaki Decision Leaves Key Questions Unanswered Human Rights First 12/07/2011:
"How is it that judicial approval is required when the United States decides to target a U.S. citizen overseas for electronic surveillance, but ... judicial scrutiny is prohibited when the United States decides to target a U.S. citizen overseas for death?"Neither the torture crimes nor the assassination policy are going away. There has to be a real accounting for both. And an end to both.
Tags: anwar al-awlaki, assassination, targeted assassination, samir khan
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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