Rights groups sue Obama over targeted killings
Civil liberties groups have filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration over a plan they say illegally tries to kill U.S. citizens believed to be militants living abroad, like the anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nasser al-Awlaki, the father of the Muslim cleric, in which they argue it violates the Constitution and international law.
Authorities have tied the cleric to the failed Christmas Day bombing of a commercial jet, and to the Fort Hood shooter, where 13 people were killed last year. Charges have not yet been filed against al-Awlaki, who was born in the US, but left the country in 2001. It is believed he is in Yemen, where al Qaeda is continually growing.
“A program that authorizes killing U.S. citizens, without judicial oversight, due process or disclosed standards is unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American,” Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said in a statement.
The CIA was given the greenlight earlier to kill al-Awlaki by the National Security Council. The White House also issued a statement saying that any Americans who fight alongside terrorists are also legitimate targets. No one from the Obama Administration commented on the lawsuit, but they do have the right to try and defeat al Qaeda.
“The U.S. is careful to ensure that all its operations used to prosecute the armed conflict against those forces, including lethal operations, comply with all applicable laws, including the laws of war,” said Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
And the ACLU and other groups say that Americans accused of wrongdoing should be tried in court under the Constitution, and could be targeted for killing only if there were an imminent threat from a person and there were no other ways to stop it. They further argue, that those being targeted are far from any battlefield. They are asking a federal judge to issue an injunction against Obama, and forcing it to publicly reveal the criteria for determining who can be targeted.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 8:20 am and is filed under Crime & Punishment, General, In the News, Politics, Terrorism. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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