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Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen

Quantum Windbag

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May 9, 2010
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Very interesting read. It seems they considered almost every question about whether it would be legal to kill al Awlaki. The only thing they did not wrry about is if there was any evidence proving he was guilty.

The secret document provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war, according to people familiar with the analysis. The memo, however, was narrowly drawn to the specifics of Mr. AwlakiÂ’s case and did not establish a broad new legal doctrine to permit the targeted killing of any Americans believed to pose a terrorist threat.
The Obama administration has refused to acknowledge or discuss its role in the drone strike that killed Mr. Awlaki last month and that technically remains a covert operation. The government has also resisted growing calls that it provide a detailed public explanation of why officials deemed it lawful to kill an American citizen, setting a precedent that scholars, rights activists and others say has raised concerns about the rule of law and civil liberties.
But the document that laid out the administration’s justification — a roughly 50-page memorandum by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, completed around June 2010 — was described on the condition of anonymity by people who have read it.
The legal analysis, in essence, concluded that Mr. Awlaki could be legally killed, if it was not feasible to capture him, because intelligence agencies said he was taking part in the war between the United States and Al Qaeda and posed a significant threat to Americans, as well as because Yemeni authorities were unable or unwilling to stop him.



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Jun 9, 2011
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Hillbilly Hollywood, Tenn
Interesting that Yemen can afford to allow us to bomb their country repeatedly to remove Al Queada, but cant actively been seen cooperating with America to arrest, detain, or kill any operatives.

That's real friendship and cooperation.. Just like Pakistan. It's OK to allow covert ops there as long as the leadership can deny any knowledge of the operations.

Q.W. -- Like I said before.. Time for Congress to review the "blank check" it gave the Prez back in 2001. BEFORE we take out a high level cleric or wedding party by mistake. Kinda like the Sudan aspirin factory we ended up paying for under Clinton..

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