On targeted assassinations, what about due process?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco's leading newspaper)
Posted: October 11th, 2011
U.S. officials last week acknowledged that unmanned predator aircraft killed two U.S. citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, in Yemen. Yet, U.S. media outlets have chosen to refer to them as "American born" or "U.S.-born," as in "the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by U.S. armed drones." No concrete proof of their guilt has been furnished beyond what the government and multiple media outlets have reported. In the case of the al-Awlaki killing, U.S. officials said, "Al-Awlaki played a 'significant operational role' in plotting and inspiring attacks on the United States," as they justified the killing of an American citizen. In the post-9/11 world, such reporting garners little attention from the public. But those who believe in the rule of law find such mundane pronouncements frightening. The Sixth Amendment guarantees the accused the right to a public trial by an impartial jury, regardless of his or her ethnic background or previous alleged activities. Government-sanctioned assassinations of U.S. citizens without due process should be discussed rather than blindly accepted as a victory in the war on terror. The obvious follow-up question is: What about other U.S. citizens? Might they also be targeted for assassination without due process? The targeted killings of al-Awlaki and Khan should shock Americans reared on the rule of law, justice, liberty and freedom.
Note: State assassination of a citizen without due process would seem to be the ultimate attack on civil liberties. For lots more on such threats from reliable sources, click here.