'U.S. Mulls Legality of Killing American al Qaeda "Turncoat"'Submitted by Jiminy Cricket on Tue, 01/26/2010 - 08:20
By MATTHEW COLE, RICHARD ESPOSITO and BRIAN ROSS
Jan. 25, 2010
"White House lawyers are mulling the legality of proposed attempts to kill an American citizen, Anwar al Awlaki, who is believed to be part of the leadership of the al Qaeda group in Yemen behind a series of terror strikes, according to two people briefed by U.S. intelligence officials.
One of the people briefed said opportunities to "take out" Awlaki "may have been missed" because of the legal questions surrounding a lethal attack which would specifically target an American citizen.
A spokesperson said the White House declined to comment.
While Awlaki has not been charged with any crimes under U.S. law, intelligence officials say recent intelligence reports and electronic intercepts show he played an important role in recruiting the accused "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Awlaki also carried on extensive e-mail communication with the accused Fort Hood shooter, Major Nidal Hasan, prior to the attack that killed 12 soldiers and one civilian.
According to the people who were briefed on the issue, American officials fear the possibility of criminal prosecution without approval in advance from the White House for a targeted strike against Awlaki..."
Continue reading at: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/anwar-awlaki-us-mulls-legality...
- The White House is openly being acknowledged as a source of authority for the carrying out of assassinations. (Not that the idea of them authorizing assassinations comes as any big surprise, but I find the openness and nonchalance with which it is being indicated in mainstream news kind of surreal.)
- A connection is being made between this Anwar al Awlaki fellow and the 'underwear bomber' AND the accused Fort Hood shooter.
- Awlaki is an American citizen who has not even been charged with any crimes under U.S. law, yet a death penalty of assassination is being sought for him.
With those things in mind, I can't help but wonder...
Since bin Laden may be losing his effect in getting people to eagerly accept the continuation/expansion of the so-called War on Terror, are we being given a new boogeyman in Awlaki?
Even more, is this being used to garner public support for a precedent that will untie the hands of the U.S. gov't and allow them to start freely ~taking out~ American citizens without having to deal with due process?