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Thread: Anwar al-Aulaqi is first US citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Anwar al-Aulaqi is first US citizen on list of those CIA is allowed to kill

    A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

    Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

    Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.

    "He's in everybody's sights," said the U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the topic's sensitivity.
    CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano said: "This agency conducts its counterterrorism operations in strict accord with the law."

    The decision to add Aulaqi to the CIA target list reflects the view among agency analysts that a man previously regarded mainly as a militant preacher has taken on an expanded role in al-Qaeda's Yemen-based offshoot.

    "He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," said a second U.S. official. "He's working actively to kill Americans, so it's both lawful and sensible to try to stop him."

    The official stressed that there are "careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens."

    Aulaqi corresponded by e-mail with Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 12 soldiers and one civilian at Fort Hood, Tex., last year. Aulaqi is not believed to have helped plan the attack, although he praised Hasan in an online posting for carrying it out.

    Concern grew about the cleric's role after he was linked to the Nigerian accused of attempting to bomb a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day by detonating an explosive device he had smuggled in his underwear. Aulaqi acknowledged teaching and corresponding with the Nigerian but denied ordering the attack.

    The CIA is known to have carried out at least one Predator strike in Yemen. A U.S. citizen, Kamal Derwish, was among six alleged al-Qaeda operatives killed in that 2002 operation but was not the target.


    washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines



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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Confirmed: Obama authorizes assasination of US citizen

    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. "He’s 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?

    Just to get a sense for how extreme this behavior is, consider -- as the NYT reported -- that not even George Bush targeted American citizens for this type of extra-judicial killing (though a 2002 drone attack in Yemen did result in the death of an American citizen). Even more strikingly, Antonin Scalia, in the 2004 case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, wrote an Opinion (joined by Justice Stevens) arguing that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. Government merely to imprison (let alone kill) American citizens as "enemy combatants"; instead, they argued, the Constitution required that Americans be charged with crimes (such as treason) and be given a trial before being punished. The full Hamdi Court held that at least some due process was required before Americans could be imprisoned as "enemy combatants." Yet now, Barack Obama is claiming the right not merely to imprison, but to assassinate far from any battlefield, American citizens with no due process of any kind. Even GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra, when questioning Adm. Blair, recognized the severe dangers raised by this asserted power.

    And what about all the progressives who screamed for years about the Bush administration's tyrannical treatment of Jose Padilla? Bush merely imprisoned Padilla for years without a trial. If that's a vicious, tyrannical assault on the Constitution -- and it was -- what should they be saying about the Nobel Peace Prize winner's assassination of American citizens without any due process?
    All of this underscores the principal point made in this excellent new article by Eli Lake, who compellingly and comprehensively documents what readers here well know: that while Obama's "speeches and some of his administration’s policy rollouts have emphasized a break from the Bush era," the reality is that the administration has retained and, in some cases, built upon the core Bush/Cheney approach to civil liberties and Terrorism. As Al Gore asked in his superb 2006 speech protesting Bush's "War on the Constitution":

    Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?

    If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?

    If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?
    Notice the power that was missing from Gore's indictment of Bush radicalism: the power to kill American citizens. Add that to the litany -- as Obama has now done -- and consider how much more compelling Gore's accusatory questions become.

    UPDATE: When Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination, the Constitutional Law Scholar answered a questionnaire about executive power distributed by The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage, and this was one of his answers:

    5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

    [Obama]: No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.
    So back then, Obama said the President lacks the power merely to detain U.S. citizens without charges. Now, as President, he claims the power to assassinate them without charges. Could even his hardest-core loyalists try to reconcile that with a straight face? As Spencer Ackerman documents today, not even John Yoo claimed that the President possessed the power Obama is claiming here.


    Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com



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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    and due process goes out the window.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    So now we're issuing fatwas?

    He wipes his ass with the Constitution. Just like our last President.

    Some great comments at Salon:

    As I recall Cheney had loosed a hit squad to roam the globe. This would appear to be business as usual in the Empire.
    Where's the outrage?

    Yes, the progressives will sit around and wonder what happened to the rule of law, when the champion who they put into office is creating rights for himself out of thin air to act like Caligula, but how about the phony tea party movement? Here we have some proven conduct by the executive branch which actually lives down to the level of the fake Hitler placards they have been carting around, and I'll wager that none of them give a fig about it. Wonder why?

    Such a flexible document, that constitution. It flexes every 4 or eight years.
    I sometimes wonder if McCain would have been better for USA-if McCain continued, to the letter, the torture policies of Bush/Cheney

    1) it wouldn't be as bad as Obama, who (resting on his Liberal bona fides) *expanded* many of them,

    moreover

    2) Liberals wouldn't give him a quarter. There would be none of the sycophantic hero-worship that currently allows Obama to operate beneath a veil of denial. Liberals would have been on McCain like "white on rice".
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; April 7th, 2010 at 09:52 AM.



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    Elite Member chartreuse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    and due process goes out the window.
    i know, right?

    there would be SO much more outrage about this if a rebub president had done it.
    white, black, puerto rican/everybody just a freakin'/good times were rollin'.


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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    They've probably all done it.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default Updates on Greenwald's Piece

    UPDATE II: If you're going to go into the comment section -- or anywhere else -- and argue that this is all justified because Awlaki is an Evil, Violent, Murdering Terrorist Trying to Kill Americans, you should say how you know that. Generally, guilt is determined by having a trial where the evidence is presented and the accused has an opportunity to defend himself -- not by putting blind authoritarian faith in the unchecked accusations of government leaders, even if it happens to be Barack Obama. That's especially true given how many times accusations of Terrorism by the U.S. Government have proven to be false.

    UPDATE III: Congratulations, Barack Obama: you're now to the Right of National Review on issues of executive power and due process, as Kevin Williamson objects: "Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. . . . Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. " But Andy McCarthy -- who is about the most crazed Far Right extremist on such matters as it gets, literally -- is as pleased as can be with what Obama is doing (or, as Gawker puts it, "Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos").

    Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Whoever wrote "The Manchurian Candidate" should sue Barack Obama for plagiarism.

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    Bronze Member MissFit's Avatar
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    Default US says it has legal authority to kill American-born Anwar al-Awlaki

    US says it has legal authority to kill American-born Anwar al-Awlaki

    An ACLU lawsuit is challenging the legality of including Anwar al-Awlaki on a secret 'kill list.' The US says killing the cleric, an Al Qaeda member, would safeguard national security.

    Anwar al- Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites Monday. Al- Awlaki, the US-born radical Yemeni cleric linked to previous attacks on the U.S., called for Muslims around world to kill Americans in the new video message. The US Justice Department argued on Monday that the US government has the legal authority to target and kill al- Awlaki.
    (SITE Intelligence Group/AP)

    By Warren Richey, Staff writer
    posted November 8, 2010 at 9:01 pm EST

    Washington —
    Responding to a lawsuit challenging the legality of including an American citizen on a secret government “kill list,” a Justice Department lawyer argued in federal court on Monday that the US government has the legal authority to target and kill a US-born Islamic cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen.

    Douglas Letter, the Justice Department’s terrorism litigation counsel, while stressing that he was neither confirming nor denying the existence of such a list, told US District Judge John Bates that Congress in the wake of the 9/11 attacks had authorized the executive branch to use all “necessary and appropriate” force against Al Qaeda and associated groups.
    He said the Obama administration has determined that the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki would be legal and justified to safeguard US national security.

    RELATED: Top 5 attacks linked to Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki

    “If we use lethal force we do so consistent with the law,” Mr. Letter said.
    His arguments were part of a government effort to win dismissal of the lawsuit, which is being argued by the American Civil Liberties Union. ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer told the judge that the administration’s plan would violate constitutional protections and international law.

    “What the government is doing is imposing the death penalty without trial,” Mr. Jaffer said.

    “The consequence of accepting the government’s argument is that the president will have the unreviewable authority to order the assassination of any citizen of the United States” without judicial review, he said. “It is a question that the president alone will decide.”

    Alarmed at that broad assertion, Judge Bates invited Letter back up to the podium to respond.
    “It is ridiculous to say our argument leads to the conclusion that the president can assassinate who he wants,” Letter said.

    He said the administration’s efforts are aimed “against somebody who is formally and officially designated as a global terrorist, who is attempting to carry out operations continually in order to kill Americans.”

    Mr. Awlaki is a leader of the Yemen-based group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which claimed responsibility for the makeshift bombs recently discovered in air cargo bound for the US.

    On Monday, he was quoted in a video displayed on militant websites urging Muslims to take up arms against Americans.

    “Don’t consult with anybody in killing the Americans,” he said in the video. “Fighting the devil does not require a fatwa, nor consultation, nor prayers seeking divine guidance. They are the party of Satan and fighting them is the obligation of the time,” he said.

    Awlaki is said to have played a role in preparing Umar Abdulmutallab, the Christmas bomber, for his aborted effort to down a jetliner near Detroit in 2009.
    The ACLU lawsuit was filed by Awlaki’s father, Nasser, on behalf of his son, whose whereabouts are unknown. He is said to have gone into hiding in January and is believed to be in a remote section of eastern Yemen.

    The lawsuit does not seek to prevent the government from carrying out targeted killings. Instead, the ACLU is asking Judge Bates to examine the government’s criteria for placing Awlaki on the alleged kill list.

    To justify lethal action, the ACLU suit says, the government must be able to demonstrate that the targeted killing is necessary to prevent a direct and imminent threat to public safety. In addition, the suit says, the government must be able to show there are no non-lethal options available to neutralize a threat from Awlaki.

    The government is asking Bates to throw the lawsuit out, arguing that Awlaki’s father does not have legal standing to bring the challenge. Letter said if Awlaki wanted to challenge the US government’s alleged “kill list” he could turn himself in to the authorities and litigate the issue himself.

    Letter warned the judge that if he allowed the suit to move forward he would be placing the judiciary in the position of having to second-guess real-time decisions made by the president and his military and intelligence advisors.

    Judge Bates said federal judges are already engaged in a similar enterprise, examining whether Guantanamo detainees are being held in accord with the law. In addition he said the government must obtain judicial approval before it can engage in electronic surveillance of US citizens overseas.

    Jaffer said the lawsuit doesn’t seek to impose judicial review of real-time decisions of the president. “We are not asking for the court to get involved at all,” he said. “Just to set general limits.”

    In contrast, Jaffer said, the government’s position is to exclude judicial oversight from the process. “They are not just arguing that the court has no role to play now,” he said. “They are arguing that he courts have no role to play, period.”

    Judge Bates peppered the lawyers during the two-hour hearing with pointed questions exploring the full range of both sides’ arguments. He said he would work quickly to issue a decision, but set no deadline.

    US says it has legal authority to kill American-born Anwar al-Awlaki - CSMonitor.com


    ==================================================

    President Obama talked to some Muslim youth today about jihad, he neglected to mention however that he wants this jihadi dead or alive. Sounds like Bush to me.

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