Monday, September 27, 2010

US invokes "state secrets" in defense of assassinating an American citizen

When senior Obama administration officials invoked the state secrets privilege Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit brought on behalf of U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, they declared in federal court that the case threatened to expose secret military and intelligence operations against al-Qaeda's overseas network.

In a 60-page filing, the government asked U.S. District Judge Robert Bates to dismiss a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups retained by Aulaqi's father seeking to block his Yemen-based son's placement on the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command capture-or-kill list of suspected terrorists.

The filing also asked the court to dismiss the case without debating the merits of any future actions potentially taken against Aulaqi on the grounds that targeting in wartime is a matter for presidents, and that Aulaqi's father did not have legal standing to bring the case.

Civil rights groups filed a suit last month to halt the targeting of Aulaqi, arguing that such an action outside a war zone and absent an imminent threat amounted to an extrajudicial execution order against a U.S. citizen.
Read the rest here.

"You have the right to die. If you do not invoke the right to die, we, the government may do it for you. You do not have the right to remain silent. You do not have the right to a lawyer or to a trial before a jury of your peers. Because we are the government, and we have determined that you are an enemy of the state. Trust us; would we ever lie to you or abuse our power?"

I don't ever recalling being as frightened about where we are going as a nation as I have become in the last year or so. God save the United States of America.


gdelassu said...

I do not really disagree with the substantive conclusion here, but why limit your term of fear to the "last year or so"? Our civil liberties have been damaged to an alarming degree for the last seven years. After all, Pres. Obama's justice dept. is not asserting anything that Pres. Bush's justice dept. did not assert.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

That's a fair point. And for the record I was highly critical of the Bush Administration. I don't remember them ordering the murder of American citizens though. Still you are correct. Bush started this trend towards unlimited executive authority and complete disregard for the rule of law.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

This is only an issue because al-Aulaqi can wield birthright citizenship as a shield. Does anybody seriously believe a cleric preaching Islamic jihad from Yemen has any actual and substantive attachment to America, its history and its peoples?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

So we now accord the United States government the right to assassinate American Citizens because we do not agree with the manner in which they gained their citizenship and reserve the right to ignore the Constitution at will?

The Republic is doomed.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

The Republic is doomed because it invades the world and invites the world, thus having to resort to fiscal and legal legedermain to keep the charade of 'nationhood' going. I do not disagree entirely with your points. Rather, what this underscores is that the US is entirely too free with 'citizenship.' This man is no more 'American' than you are 'Yemeni.' If you seriously think so, please explain why.

The Archer of the Forest said...

I am constantly amazed at the deafening silence by the Right Left, who by and large love Obama uncritically. If George W. Bush had issued an executive order like this, they'd be screaming social justice bloody murder.