If a United States citizen was determined to have joined a foreign terrorist group, that person could be legally murdered under orders given by President George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks.
In spite of an administration change in Washington, D.C., that allowance is still in effect, according to a late-breaking report in The Washington Post on Tuesday.
The report delves into an increasing American role in Yemen, spotlighting an effort to capture or kill Anwar al Awlaki, an American citizen who exchanged e-mails with alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan.
“After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests, military and intelligence officials said,” the Post reported. “The evidence has to meet a certain, defined threshold. The person, for instance, has to pose ‘a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests,’ said one former intelligence official.
“The Obama administration has adopted the same stance. If a U.S. citizen joins al-Qaeda, ‘it doesn’t really change anything from the standpoint of whether we can target them,’ said a senior administration official. ‘They are then part of the enemy.'”
“Awlaki has not been charged with any crimes under U.S. law,” ABC News noted.
ABC added that unnamed officials had expressed concern that chances to “take out” al Awlaki had been missed while authorities grappled with the legal ramifications of murdering a U.S. citizen.
U.S. involvement in Yemen is largely being directed by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), according to the Post. The command was perhaps best known as former Vice President Dick Cheney’s “executive assassination squad,” first revealed by veteran investigative reporter Seymour Hersh.
“Both the CIA and the JSOC maintain lists of individuals, called the ‘High Value Targets’ and ‘High Value Individuals,’ whom they seek to kill or capture,” the Post continued. “The JSOC list includes three Americans, including Aulaqi, whose name was added late last year.”
‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response
President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.
"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.
"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."
‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election
As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.
The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times
Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.
You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”