[contact-form-7 id="4940" title="Header form"]


Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta: ACLU Lawsuit Puts US Officials and Drones on Chopping Block

Written by on Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Drone news is inescapable. You can barely turn around without some incredible piece of drone-related news popping up all over the Internet. Sometimes the news is fascinating, sometimes it’s uplifting, and sometimes it’s depressing.

Today’s news, however, is decidedly bad.

Representatives of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in order to sue top officials in the US government. They argue that the government used a drone to illegally kill three US citizens in Yemen, violating the US Constitution and international human rights law. They have their sights set on the “targeted killing” program, which has resulted in the deaths estimated thousands of people since the program’s inception in 2002.

The case is a complete mess right out of the gate. The three American citizens who were killed weren’t exactly the type of people you’d want to invite over for a cocktail party. The first was cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who is allegedly a recuirter for Al-Quada and outspoken proponent of Muslim extremism. US authorities believe that he had contacts with the 9/11 hijackers, the underwear bomber, and other suicide bombers. The second person killed was Samir Khan, the editor of an Al-Quada-published magazine that was written in English. He ran a website preaching Muslim extremism out of his parents’ house in North Carolina. Al-Awlaki’s son, Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, was also killed two weeks later.

The ACLU argues that the US government had no right to kill these US citizens without charging them or putting them through due process. They wrote in the official suit, “The killings violated fundamental rights afforded to all U.S. citizens, including the right not to be deprived of life without due process of law.” They added, “Even in the context of an armed conflict, the law of war cabins the government’s authority to use lethal force and prohibits killing civilians who are not directly participating in hostilities.”

The ACLU is also fighting for the Middle Eastern civilians who otherwise have no voice in the world of American politics and the legal system. The ALCU pointed out the government’s apparent disregard for human life: ” On October 14, 2011, Defendants authorized and directed another drone strike in Yemen, this one approximately 200 miles away from the strike that had killed Anwar Al-Aulaqi and Samir Khan two weeks order diazepam online earlier. The October 14 strike killed at least seven people at an open-air restaurant, including two children. One of the children was 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, who was Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s son and also an American citizen.”

Who are these defendants, you wonder? They’re Secretary of Defense Leon C. Panetta, Four-Star Navy General William H. McRaven, Joint Special Operations Commander Joseph Votel, and and CIA Director David H. Petraeus. You can’t get much higher than that, unless the ACLU feels like adding President Obama to that list. Though, the ACLU wouldn’t be too far off the mark if they continued with that train of accusations. According to the New York Times, Obama personally confirms who gets added to the kill list.

It goes without saying that a legal case that brings down any of these officials would be completely game-changing for the world of US politics. You think Eric Holder getting in trouble over Fast and Furious is a big deal? That’s small potatoes compared to this.

Speaking of Holder, he’s arguing that the US has just as much right to make attacks in Yemen as they do in Afghanistan. He said that the government takes action with “the consent of the nation involved or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.”

Drones, as you might expect, are also on the chopping block. The ACLU is also trying to flex the muscles of the Freedom of Information Act to extract information about the government’s drone program. Any information they get through those efforts could go a long way towards helping the cause of this lawsuit. If successful, this lawsuit could dramatically change who’s in power, completely rewrite military engagement policies, and fundamentally alter US drone usage.

Of course, that all depends on the case being heard. A case like this is almost too big to fathom and too embarrassing to pursue. If this case starts making it way up through the courts, it will undoubtedly receive international press attention. There’s a good chance that the courts will throw the case out though. A case like this wouldn’t just rock the boat, it could punch a few holes in it.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ourhealthissues.com mentalhealthupdate.com massagemetro.com/shop/