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  Print view: Lawsuit Challenges Obama Administration's Targeted Assassination Policy
IMMORAL POLICY:

Lawsuit Challenges Obama Administration's Targeted Assassination Policy

by Stephen Lendman
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
An earlier article addressed the issue, "Targeted Assassinations: Challenging US Policy."
On behalf of his father, Dr. Nasser al-Aulaqi, CCR and ACLU filed suit against Barack Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, challenging their right to kill his son, in violation of US and international law.

In February, then Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair acknowledged it saying CIA operatives and Special Forces death squads have been authorized to kill US citizens abroad, suspected of terrorist involvement.

Disapproval came from an unlikely source, Hollywood tough guy Chuck Norris in an article titled, "Obama's US Assassination Program? 'A Shortlist of US Citizens Specfically Targeted for Killing?' " saying:

It's true, an "abandonment of our Constitution....based on nothing more than" suspicion of terrorist involvement. "That's right. No arrest. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet," bomb or slit throat, Washington's new approach along with torture as official policy - justice, American-style under Republicans and Democrats, Obama even more extreme than Bush, the rule of law defunct and defiled, the "land of the free" disgraced, the entire world unsafe.

Enough to arouse the ire of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and ACLU, on August 30, filing a federal lawsuit (Al-Aulaqi v. Obama) challenging America's right to kill US citizens abroad in cold blood "far away from any armed conflict and without charge, trial or judicial process," the way the Obama administration interprets US and international law.

Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki is a US citizen living in Yemen, targeted for opposing US belligerency, not alleged or committed crimes, putting all Americans at risk globally if outspoken against Washington's imperial extremism, including its permanent war agenda endangering planetary life and civil homeland society.

CCR and ACLU are rightfully outraged, filing a successful August 3 suit against the US Treasury and Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for violating Separation of Powers and First Amendment protection of "the right of non-profit lawyers and legal organizations to give pro bono legal representation to any US citizen," guaranteed also under the Fifth Amendment. Still at issue is enjoining the assassination of all Americans abroad, including al-Awlaki.

On August 30, on behalf of his father, Dr. Nasser al-Aulaqi, CCR and ACLU filed suit against Barack Obama, CIA Director Leon Panetta, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, challenging their right to kill his son, in violation of US and international law.

In early July, Dr. Aulaqi retained CCR and ACLU for his son, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner calling him a "specially designated global terrorist" on July 16, putting him on a hit list to be assassinated. He's currently in Yemen, "without charge, trial or any form of due process."

After him, who's next abroad or at home, maybe writers expressing outraged criticism, media hosts doing it on air, and speakers justifiably denouncing the rule of law's trashing. Under America's new standard, they're now potential "terrorists," making everyone, everywhere unsafe because of rampaging government policy, recklessly out-of-control, unhinged, without morals, ethics, or even knowledge or interest in the difference between right and wrong.

CCR and ACLU state:

"Under international human rights law, lethal force may be used in peacetime only when there is an imminent threat of deadly attack and when lethal force is a last resort" to stop it. In contrast, "A program in which names are added to a list through a secret bureaucratic process and remain there for months....goes beyond" a last resort justification as well as recognized US and international law.

"Moreover, targeting individuals for killing who are suspected of crimes (not proved) without oversight, due process or disclosed standards....also poses the risk" of erroneously targeting innocent people.

Post-9/11, thousands of them, men and some women like Aafia Siddiqui, have been wrongfully designated terrorists, then imprisoned and brutally tortured, discovery later revealing their innocence in court, in some cases too late to matter, their emotional and physical well-being so systematically destroyed, no amount of therapy can restore them.

Obama plans to speed up judgements under a ready, fire, aim policy, murdering US citizens for their justifiable outrage, showing how low American justice has sunk, hitting rock bottom under a president who promised change - in fact, delivering it, a different kind than imagined by too many Walter Lippmann once called "the bewildered herd," out of touch and supportive. Why others have to spread enlightenment before it's too late to matter.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on August 31, 2010.
 

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