by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Aug 5, 2010
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today announced that he has introduced H.R. 6010, which prohibits targeted killings of U.S. citizens. The announcement comes on the heels of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights challenging the government’s legal authority to prohibit pro-bono lawyers from representing U.S. citizens on lists for targeted assassination without due process.
“The U.S. Constitution cannot be amended for convenience. The constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens must be protected. The U.S. government cannot act as judge, jury, and executioner. It was unacceptable when detainees at Guantanamo were held without due process, especially since many were later exonerated. It is unimaginable that the U.S. would then replace detainment with outright killing,” said Kucinich.
It has been reported that the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) maintain lists of individuals they can target for execution simply for being suspected of involvement in terrorism, in subversion of their most basic constitutional rights and due process of law. These individuals can be targeted for killing at anytime, despite being far from any battlefield, wherever they may be.
“This bill will protect American’s constitutional right to face their accusers in court,” added Kucinich.
Intelligence operations that have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight, such as the practice of targeted killings of U.S. citizens absent constitutionally protected due process rights, raise serious legal questions, particularly when the outcomes of such programs constitute possible violations of international law and violations of the Constitution of the United States.
“Congress has the responsibility to protect the rights of all U.S. citizens. We must reject the notion that protecting the constitutional rights of some citizens requires revoking the rights of other citizens,” added Kucinich.
Kucinich’s bill is cosponsored by Congressmen John Conyers (D-MI), Bob Filner (D-CA), Raul M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL), Fortney Pete Stark (D-CA), and Keith Ellison (D-MN).