Posted by: mulrickillion | October 13, 2011

EDITORIAL: Justifying the Killing of an American

Editorial, Oct 11, 2011 —

The Obama administration apparently spent months considering the legal implications of targeting Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen who was killed in Yemen last month after being accused of being a terrorist organizer. It prepared a detailed and cautious memorandum to justify the decision — a refreshing change from the reckless legal thinking of the Bush administration, which rationalized torture, claimed unlimited presidential powers and drove the country’s fight against terrorists off the rails.

But the memo, as reported by Charlie Savage in The Times, is an insufficient foundation for a momentous decision by the government to kill one of its own citizens, no matter how dangerous a threat he was believed to be. For one thing, the administration has refused to make it public or even acknowledge its existence. It was described to Mr. Savage by anonymous officials, and the administration will not openly discuss even its most basic guidelines for choosing assassination targets.

The decision to kill Mr. Awlaki was made entirely within the executive branch. . . .

Justifying the Killing of an American – NYTimes.com

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