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.”
Pope affirms Catholic Church’s duty to indigenous Amazonians hurt by climate change
The Catholic Church “hears the cry” of the Amazon and its peoples. That’s the message Pope Francis hopes to send at the Synod of the Amazon, a three-week meeting at the Vatican that ends Oct. 27.
Images from Rome show tribal leaders in traditional feather headdresses alongside Vatican officials in their regalia. They are gathered with hundreds of bishops, priests, religious sisters and missionaries to discuss the pastoral, cultural and ecological struggles of the Amazon.
This overdose-reversal medicine could reduce opioid deaths – so why don’t more people carry it?
That number could have been much lower had more people received naloxone, a medication that reverses opioid-related overdose.
Naloxone is safe, non-addictive and highly effective. And it does more than save lives: When used shortly after overdose, naloxone reduces the likelihood of long-term brain damage from diminished blood flow.
Anti-abortion activists take their fight to small-town East Texas
Blount Pharmacy, the lone drug store in this small town nestled deep in the forested Bible Belt of East Texas, doesn’t sell emergency contraception such as Plan B — that requires a 15-mile trip down a state highway to the CVS in Center. The nearest abortion clinic is 50 miles away and across the state line in Shreveport, La.
But that didn’t discourage the city council of Joaquin, population 900, from passing a sweeping ordinance in September to declare itself a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
The local order — of contested legality and enforceability — aims to outlaw abortion and Plan B if one day the U.S. Supreme Court makes it possible to do so. It declares certain abortion providers and their supporters “criminal organizations.” And it grants the family members of women who have abortions or use emergency contraception the ability to sue the provider for emotional distress.