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.”
Disney heiress who went undercover to Disneyland ‘livid’ at conditions and pay
Heiress Abigail Disney went to one of her family's resorts to see conditions for workers herself and was disgusted by what she saw.
In comments to Yahoo News podcast "Through Her Eyes," Disney described how she went to Disneyland in California undercover and found that workers at the resort were treated poorly—and underpaid.
"Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, 'I don't know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people's garbage,'" said Disney.
Ex-Peru president wanted for corruption arrested in the US
Former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo was arrested in the United States Tuesday to face extradition to his home country on corruption charges, authorities in the South American nation said.
The 73-year-old is suspected of involvement in the sprawling Odebrecht scandal in which the construction giant paid hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes throughout the continent to secure huge public works contracts.
The Peruvian attorney general's office announced on Twitter that Toledo "was arrested this morning for extradition, in the United States."
Toledo has been formally charged with receiving a $20 million payment from Odebrecht to grant it the tender to build the Interoceanic Highway that links Peru with Brazil.
Comic-Con mines past for future hits on 50th edition
A smorgasbord of sequels, prequels and reunions from "Terminator" to "Game of Thrones" awaits thousands of misty-eyed comic book geeks and sci-fi nerds descending on San Diego this week for the world's largest celebration of pop culture fandom.
The 50th edition of Comic-Con International will see 135,000 cosplayers, bloggers, movie executives and humble fans pile into a sweaty convention center for glimpses of their heroes, in town to promote the next mega-hit films, TV shows and comic books.
This anniversary edition promises to be more nostalgia-laden than most -- among those expected to appear are Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton, who will soon reunite on screen for the first time since 1991's "Terminator 2" for Paramount's killer cyborg sequel "Dark Fate."