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U.S. Approval of Killing of Cleric Causes Unease (a U.S. Citizen)


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.

Muhammad ud-Deen/Associated Press

The C.I.A. has placed the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on a list for killing.

The notion that the government can, in effect, execute one of its own citizens far from a combat zone, with no judicial process and based on secret intelligence, makes some legal authorities deeply uneasy.

To eavesdrop on the terrorism suspect who was added to the target list, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is hiding in Yemen, intelligence agencies would have to get a court warrant. But designating him for death, as C.I.A. officials did early this year with the National Security Council’s approval, required no judicial review.


1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Sharon Secor
Entered on:

 "Terrorism SUSPECT" Let me repeat the essential word here -- suspect. Suspected, not convicted.

Think of the many slippery slope kind of laws we've watched. Let's take asset foreiture. Used to be just for those suspected of selling drugs. Or least, that was the offcial line. Now it has extended into multiple other areas.

Just how long before that governmental justification will be used to target terrorist suspects residing in the US?

How long before it will be used against suspected domestic terrorists? How long before those supporting the second amendment are deemed domestic terrorists? Or those that insist on believing in those documents that have increasingly become unpopular with the government -- The Bill of Rights and the Constitution?

We know that they've been doing these extra-judicial executions, a fancy term for murder, for years. So why, then, are they publically announcing this one? Could it be a message? A warning to those potential problem makers with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in their heads and in their hands?

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