by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Feb 5, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) yesterday wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder following news reports that Americans have been included on targeted assassination lists maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). The reports indicate that the President has authorized military operations with the express understanding that Americans might be killed under this policy. In the letter, Kucinich requests the legal basis for revoking the constitutional rights of any American citizens.
“Due process of law is a fundamental principle in our Constitutional structure. Even the most superficial reading of Article XIV makes it clear that extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens by the U.S. government or its agents are by definition outside the law,” wrote Kucinich.
“The government has the right and the obligation to protect the citizens of this country. However, I reject the notion that we can accomplish this goal only by violating international law and trampling on the Constitution. Protecting the constitutional rights of some citizens should not require revoking the constitutional rights of other citizens,” said Kucinich in the letter.
Read the full letter here [pdf].
Government killing Americans abroad, okay?
February 05, 2010
Dennis Blair, US director of National Intelligence, said this week its okay for the US to kill Americans abroad if they engage in terrorist activities. Blair’s comments come on the heels of reports that Barack Obama had embraced predecessor George W. Bush’s policy of authorizing the killing of US citizens involved in terrorist activities overseas.
US Government Gives Itself “License To Kill” – Permits Killing US Citizens
February 05, 2010
The US Government has given itself a “license to kill”. Permitting it’s intelligence industry to engage in targeting killings of American citizens abroad who are considered to be “terrorists” or “militants”, and engaged in activity that “threatens the national security of the United States”. Full report by Press TV’s Washington Correspondent, Jihan Hafiz. Recorded February 05, 2010 at 1530GMT.
Intelligence Official Acknowledges Policy Allowing Targeted Killings Of Americans
American Civil Liberties Union
February 4, 2010
ACLU Says More Information Needed On Policy That Grants President Power To Target Americans Abroad
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: 212 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair acknowledged in a congressional hearing on Wednesday that the U.S. may, with executive approval, deliberately target and kill U.S. citizens who are suspected of being involved in terrorism. The American Civil Liberties Union expressed serious concern about the lack of public information about the policy and the potential for abuse of unchecked executive power.
The following can be attributed to Ben Wizner, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project:
“It is alarming to hear that the Obama administration is asserting that the president can authorize the assassination of Americans abroad, even if they are far from any battlefield and may have never taken up arms against the U.S., but have only been deemed to constitute an unspecified ‘threat.’ This is the most recent consequence of a troublingly overbroad interpretation of Congress’s 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force. This sweeping interpretation envisions a war that knows no borders or definable time limits and targets an enemy that the government has refused to define in public. This policy is particularly troubling since it targets U.S. citizens, who retain their constitutional right to due process even when abroad.”
The following can be attributed to Jonathan Manes, legal fellow with the ACLU National Security Project:
“The American people have a right to know more about a policy that grants the president the unilateral authority to approve the killing of U.S. citizens. It is essential that more information be made available about who can be targeted for killing, who makes these decisions and on the basis of how much evidence, and whether lethal force can be used if arrest or capture are possible or have not been attempted. While there is little doubt that a U.S. citizen fighting for an enemy army could lawfully be killed on the battlefield in the course of fighting, this policy goes far beyond the ordinary parameters of battlefield combat. It appears to allow for the deliberate targeted killing of American citizens far away from any active hostilities, as long as the executive branch determines unilaterally that they meet a secret definition of who the enemy is.”