An intelligence leak to the Associated Press has indicated that the Obama Administration is considering a targeted drone strike on a U.S. citizen living abroad. If this takes place, it would mark the 5th American targeted for summary execution by the U.S. government.
The U.S. official spoke on conditions of anonymity because of the weight of the allegations. While the AP was privy to details such as the name of the target and the country where he resides, they have agreed to withhold this information because revealing details “could interrupt ongoing counterterror operations.”
The Justice Department has reportedly not built a case on the target, meaning that the CIA can’t kill him just yet unless the President authorizes the death warrant.
The further dilemma is presented due to the fact that the unnamed country is one that maintains its sovereignty and does not welcome wanton drone attacks from foreign superpowers.
Apparently, Obama’s great dilemma is whether to target the individual openly with a drone, clandestinely through the CIA assassin program, or call off the mission in lieu of potential political fallout, according to the whistleblower.
The four previous Americans that have been blown up by drones (to our knowledge) without due process were:
- Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who dined at the Pentagon and then supposedly became an al Qaeda mastermind. A secret U.S. panel decided he should be targeted for termination after allegedly writing emails to terrorists. He was not accused of direct violence and nothing was ever proven to the American public. He was killed in 2011 by a Hellfire missile fired from a drone in Yemen.
- Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen who was an editor for Inspire magazine and allegedly published writings that the U.S. government did not approve of. He was droned to death in the presence of al-Awlaki.
- Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was born in Denver and accused of nothing. He was killed 2 weeks after his father in a separate drone strike in Yemen.
- Jude Kenan Mohommed, a U.S.-born citizen who was accused of owning weapons and planning an overseas car-bombing. He was secretly droned in Pakistan in 2011, a fact that was not publicly revealed until 2 years later.
At this point, it has been established that the 5th Amendment guarantee of due process does not apply when the executing a suspect may “prevent or stop attacks.” Now, the proverbial gateway has been opened for future executions for any unscrupulous reason. Without any public trial, without any evidence presented to the public, without any form of legal defense, and without any guarantee of truth in the matter, the federal government can simply claim that the people it kills were “threats” and the public will accept that they were saved from an attack.
What could go wrong?
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