Even though the Obama administration continues to deny the existence of a policy for assassinating American citizens, NBC has made available what appear to be the secret policy papers on this issue–leaked to them by an anonymous source.
Reason is reporting, “(the document) says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.”
It’s very difficult to see how these “rules” justify the killing of 16 year old, American citizen, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. His only known “crime” was being the son of Anwar al-Awlaki. You may recall this chilling comment by the president’s press secretary,
Scroll down for the full leaked document.
ADAMSON: …It’s an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he’s underage. He’s a minor.
GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the ACLU states,
This is a chilling document…Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen… It recognizes some limits on the authority it sets out, but the limits are elastic and vaguely defined, and it’s easy to see how they could be manipulated.