In February, the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, told a congressional panel that there were certain counterterrorism cases that could involve
In February, the director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, told a congressional panel that there were certain counterterrorism cases that could involve killing an American citizen. That, he cautioned, required a special process through the National Security Council — for safeguards.
Anwar al-Awlaki is an American citizen, born in New Mexico, and now residing in Yemen, where he repeatedly issues exhortations to murder his fellow Americans. Any court would find him guilty of incitement. He has nebulous connections to al-Qaeda. What a court would say about those connections is uncertain, but courts have tended to give the government the benefit of the doubt in terrorism cases since at least 9/11. But al-Awlaki’s American citizenship entitles him to due process of law should the government seek to deprive him of life, liberty or property. When I asked Karen Greenberg of NYU’s Center on Law and Security whether al-Awlaki could be lawfully assassinated last month, she scoffed, “They can’t do this with al-Awlaki. He is an American citizen, born in New Mexico. They can’t take away his citizenship.”
The Obama administration begs to differ, according to Reuters, The Washington Post and The New York Times. Anonymous administration officials cite secret evidence to say that al-Awlaki’s connections to al-Qaeda affiliates have passed from the incitement phase into the operations phase, and so the CIA has marked him for death. Nowhere in those pieces does the Obama administration explain the legal basis for revoking al-Awlaki’s most basic constitutional right. As I wrote in my piece last month, not even John Yoo made a claim that radical while serving under the Bush administration:
In June 2002, John Yoo, then a lawyer for the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, assessed that U.S. citizenship was no obstacle to the government detaining a suspected terrorist and providing him with a trial before a military commission. “[T]he President’s authority to detain an enemy combatant is not diminished by a claim, or even a showing, of American citizenship,” Yoo wrote. But even Yoo did not consider the more radical claim of stripping American citizenship from a suspected terrorist for the purpose of legally killing him; and President Obama formally annulled Yoo’s memorandum in an executive order within days of taking office.
The administration may very well be making the correct evaluation of the threat al-Awlaki poses. But if citizenship means anything, it means that a citizen can’t be killed because the government uses secret evidence to say he or she is an intolerable threat. Al-Awlaki is certainly exploiting his American citizenship. But CIA spokesman Paul Gimigliano told the Post’s Greg Miller, “This agency conducts its counterterrorism operations in strict accord with the law.” We at least have the right to know the legal basis the Obama administration reached to order the extra-judicial killing of an American citizen, and so I’ll be spending my morning filling out FOIAs.
Rep. Patrick McHenry: Please, Conservatives, Fill Out Your Census Forms!
The conservative congressman from North Carolina, a constant critic of the census -- one of the people who sounded the alarm about politicization when the
Rep. Paulsen allies with medical device industry to relax FDA oversight
Source: Flickr; Republicanconference (www.flickr.com/photos/republicanconference) On the heels of the Minnesota Independent story last week about U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen’s cozy financial relationship with the medical device industry, the New York Times reported Tuesday that some health professionals are alarmed by Paulsen’s push to relax Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversight
Rep. Parker Griffith (R-Ala.)
One of the most conservative Democrats in the House -- a freshman who said he couldn’t support Nancy Pelosi again -- is going to switch over to the GOP. Josh
Rep. Paulsen touts balanced budget constitutional amendment
In a post for the conservative blog True North , U.S. Rep
Rep. Paulsen, Karl Rove the latest to get ‘glittered’
Rep. Erik Paulsen and former Bush staffer Karl Rove were both showered with glitter at the Midwest Leadership Conference Friday
Rep. Paul Ryan to deliver SOTU response
Chairman of the House Budget Committee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will deliver the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday, according to Mike Allen
Rep. Perlmutter criticizes House measure that would eliminate 800K federal jobs
Congressman Ed Perlmutter today issued a scathing statement criticizing the House of Representatives for passing a spending bill that could put nearly a million federal employees out of work. The Colorado delegation voted strictly on party lines, with all four Republicans voting in favor of the bill and the three Democrats voting in opposition. Perlmutter’s statement: “My number one priority is to get people back to work because that’s the best thing we can do to pay our debt and move forward toward economic stability
Rep. Perlmutter to hold constituent meet-up in grocery store
Colorado Congressman Ed Perlmutter will hold a Government in the Grocery constituent meet-up this evening from 5-7 at the Safeway at 38th and Wadsworth in Wheat Ridge. The address is 3900 Wadsworth. The meeting, where Perlmutter typically sits at a folding table and talks to whomever shows up, is free and open to the public
Rep. Peace, ACLU seek investigation of soldier’s allegations of racial discrimination in Afghanistan
Both Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM) and the American Civil Liberties Union agree: There needs to be an investigation into Spc.
School of Hock
A growing number of college grads are defaulting on their student loans as the economy worsens.