President Obama is mulling options in a case allegedly involving a phantom American terrorist operating form an unidentified country overseas.
U.S. officials say guidelines issued by the White House tie Obama’s hands despite the supposed threat posed by the terrorist living in a country that refuses to allow drone strikes against targets singled out by the Pentagon. The strikes were previously carried out by the CIA.
The unnamed American terrorist is described as an “al-Qaeda facilitator” responsible for attacks against American citizens abroad. According to U.S. officials the terrorist plans to engage in attacks with improvised explosive devices. The officials said the suspect is well guarded in a remote location and any attempt by the U.S. military to capture or kill him would be risky and more politically precarious than a drone strike.
The Justice Department is currently working with the Obama administration to make a case for attacking the unidentified American. A memo released by the Justice Department claims the government “has the right to kill US citizens if they pose an imminent threat.”
The government’s drone policy is unconstitutional. The Fifth Amendment states that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process.” Accordingly, the federal government, under no circumstances, can deny any person’s individual rights without due process of law.
The dubious legal procedure that will likely be used in a targeted killing of the unnamed individual will undoubtedly resemble the one used to kill American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. The attack in Yemen in 2011 also reportedly killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, Anwar’s sixteen year old son. Obama was “surprised and upset and wanted an explanation,” according to journalist Jeremy Scahill. Despite Obama’s alleged response, the government’s drone policy continued.
In December a U.S. drone strike killed fifteen people in Yemen who were on t heir way to a wedding. “An air strike missed its target and hit a wedding car convoy, ten people were killed immediately and another five who were injured died after being admitted to the hospital,” a security official said.
A number of nations, including Brazil, China and Venezuela, condemned the drones strikes at the United Nations last October. A delegation from the United States told a plenary meeting of the general assembly Obama has taken steps to introduce new standard and explain the international rationale for drone strikes. Drones are used primarily by the United States, the UK and Israel in military operations.
Amnesty International and other groups claim the strikes are war crimes. “Amnesty International has serious concerns that this attack violated the prohibition of the arbitrary deprivation of life and may constitute war crimes or extrajudicial executions,” a report issued by the group said. It called for those responsible to stand trial.
The new threat announced on Monday comes less than a week after Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, said Americans are in danger as a result of a reported limit on drone strikes.
“The President’s May 2013 policy changes for U.S. targeted strikes are an utter and complete failure and they leave Americans’ lives at risk,” Rogers said last week. “It’s been a very, very effective tool in disrupting the leadership of al Qaeda. I would be cautious about trying to shift around key assets in the government.”
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