The Assassination Bureau is an unfinished short story begun by Jack London over a century ago. He could not figure out an ending for it. It is now becoming an official aspect of American government. I can see what ending is planned by the government.
The notion that the White House can target Americans for summary execution by merely claiming that they are associated with terrorism is chilling given the fact that Americans who engage in political activism or even banal behaviors have been characterized as potential terrorists by U.S. authorities.
The White House has asserted the right to carry out state-sponsored assassination anywhere in the world without having to provide any evidence or go through any legal process. The administration merely has to state that the target is a terrorist and it doesn’t matter whether they are an American citizen or not, as we saw in the case of American-born Anwar al-Awlaki and his son, who were both killed last year.
In December, Obama administration lawyers reaffirmed their backing for state sponsored assassination, claiming that “U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets” and do not have the right to any legal protection against being marked for summary execution.
During a CBS 60 Minutes interview in January, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta revealed that Obama himself personally approves the policy to kill American citizens suspected of terrorism without trial on a case by case basis.
“So it’s the requirement of the administration under the current legal understanding that the president has to make that declaration, not you?” Panetta was asked, to which he replied, “That is correct.”
This is being done in full public view. This is public policy. There are no organized protests. It’s business as usual.
The Attorney General of the United States has publicly defended this policy. He did so at the Law School of Northwestern University.
Judge Andrew Napolitano has warned us of what the implications are. Few people care.
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