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FACTDROP: Obama Administration Program that Assassinates U.S. Citizens Challenged in FOIA Lawsuit
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3/15/2012

Obama Administration Program that Assassinates U.S. Citizens Challenged in FOIA Lawsuit


Πηγή: Between The Lines
March 15 2012

Interview with Nathan Wessler, national security fellow with the ACLU’s National Security Project, conducted by Scott Harris



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As the U.S. military and intelligence agencies have increased their use of unmanned, weaponized drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists abroad, the Obama administration’s decision to assassinate U.S. citizens has provoked alarm and many questions from civil liberties advocates and the news media. On Sept. 30, 2011 the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command launched missiles from a drone over Yemen, killing alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico, and Samir Khan, also a U.S. citizen. Anwar al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman, a 16-year-old U.S. citizen born in Colorado, was killed two weeks later in another U.S. drone attack in Yemen.

In response to the killing of three American citizens by U.S. drones, the American Civil Liberties Union submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the CIA, Department of Defense, and Department of Justice seeking information about the targeted killing program. When the Obama administration refused to confirm or deny the existence of the program, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on Feb. 1, demanding that the government release legal memos, provide the evidentiary basis for the decision to kill the three U.S. citizens, including the process by which the administration adds Americans to secret government “kill lists.”

Although the government maintains that the targeted killing program is a national security secret that cannot be publicly acknowledged, many U.S. officials, including President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Attorney General Erid Holder have confirmed its existence in speeches and press interviews. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Nathan Wessler, national security fellow with the ACLU’s National Security Project, who explains why his group is challenging the legality of the government assassination program that appears to have no oversight or judicial review.

Find more information about the ACLU’s challenge to the government’s targeted killing program at www.aclu.org.

Related Links:
Interview Nathan Wessler, conducted by Scott Harris, Counterpoint, March 12, 2012 (24:14)
"On 'Targeted Killing' Speech, Eric Holder Strikes Out," The Atlantic, March 6, 2012
"ACLU Sues U.S. for Information on Targeted Killing Program,"ACLU.org, Feb. 1, 2012
"VIDEO: Presidential Power and the Targeted Killing Debate,"ACLU.org, March 12, 2012
"ACLU Comment on Eric Holder Speech on Targeted Killing Program,"ACLU.org, March 5, 2012
Amnesty International at www.amnesty.org
Center for Constitutional Rights at www.ccr-justice.org
National Lawyers Guild at www.nlg.org



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