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LICENSE TO KILL May 20, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
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Do American Presidents now have the license to kill? If so, one imagines that the US Constitution is effectively null and void, although this prerogative seems to have a court sanction.

James Bovard considers the case at The Christian Science Monitor:

As part of its war against violent extremism, the Obama administration now claims a right to kill Americans without a trial, without notice, and without any chance for targets to legally object. On May 6, the US government launched a drone attack to try to kill a US citizen in Yemen. The Obama administration alleges that Anwar al-Awlaki, an American born Muslim cleric, helped spark killings at Fort Hood, Texas, and an attempt to blow up a jetliner in 2009. Mr. Awlaki might be a four-star bad guy, but government press releases and background briefings have not previously been sufficient to justify capital punishment. The drone attack failed to terminate Awlaki, though two other people were killed.

The US government has admitted that it has added the names of other Americans to a list for targeted killing. The American Civil Liberties Union sued last year to compel the government “to disclose the legal standard it uses to place US citizens on government kill lists,” but was thwarted when the Obama administration claimed the entire program was a “state secret.” Last December, federal Judge John Bates dismissed the ACLU’s lawsuit because “there are circumstances in which the Executive’s unilateral decision to kill a US citizen overseas” is “judicially unreviewable.”

So it seems in effect the US Government, in the person of the Chief Executive, a public office and therefore it might be assumed accountable and liable to made transparent, has in effect become an elected tyranny. Let us hope that is not true, and if it is, that the people will be roused to take a decisive action against such a development.

One response is RootsAction, a potential grass roots movement, as described by David Swanson.

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