Assassinations News StoriesExcerpts of Key Assassinations News Stories in Major Media
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Five decades after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot and long after official inquiries ended, thousands of pages of investigative documents remain withheld from public view. The contents of these files are partially known — and intriguing — and conspiracy buffs are not the only ones seeking to open them for a closer look. Some serious researchers believe the off-limits files could shed valuable new light on nagging mysteries of the assassination — including what U.S. intelligence agencies knew about accused assassin Lee Harvey Oswald before Nov. 22, 1963. It turns out that several hundred of the still-classified pages concern a deceased CIA agent, George Joannides, whose activities just before the assassination and, fascinatingly, during a government investigation years later, have tantalized researchers for years. "This is not about conspiracy, this is about transparency," said Jefferson Morley, a former Washington Post reporter and author embroiled in a decade-long lawsuit against the CIA, seeking release of the closed documents. "I think the CIA should obey the law. I don't think most people think that's a crazy idea." But so far, the Joannides files and thousands more pages primarily from the CIA remain off-limits at a National Archives center in College Park, Md. Anthony Summers, a British author whose sequel to his JFK book Not In Your Lifetime will be released this year, [said] "By withholding Joannides material, the agency continues to encourage the public to believe they're covering up something more sinister."
Note: For more on the strange secrecy around Joannides and his checkered past, see the New York Times article summarized here. For more on political assassinations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The murder of President Kennedy was a seminal event for me and for millions of Americans. It changed the course of history. It was a crushing blow to our country and to millions of people around the world. Today, ... profound doubts persist about how President Kennedy was killed and why. My film "JFK" was a metaphor for all those doubts, suspicions and unanswered questions. Now an extraordinary new book offers the best account I have read of this tragedy and its significance. That book is James Douglass's JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters. In his beautifully written and exhaustively researched treatment, Douglass lays out the "motive" for Kennedy's assassination. Simply, he traces a process of steady conversion by Kennedy from his origins as a traditional Cold Warrior to his determination to pull the world back from the edge of destruction. Many of these steps are well known, such as Kennedy's disillusionment with the CIA after the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion, and his refusal to follow the reckless recommendations of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis. But many of his steps remain unfamiliar: Kennedy's back-channel dialogue with Khrushchev and their shared pursuit of common ground; his secret opening to dialogue with Fidel Castro (ongoing the very week of his assassination); and his determination to pull out of Vietnam after his probable re-election in 1964. All of these steps caused him to be regarded as a virtual traitor by elements of the military-intelligence community. These were the forces that planned and carried out his assassination.
America's National Security Agency may hold crucial evidence about one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the Cold War — the cause of the 1961 plane crash which killed United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold, a commission of prominent jurists says. Widely considered the U.N.'s most effective chief, Hammarskjold died as he was attempting to bring peace to the newly independent Congo. It's long been rumored that his DC-6 plane was shot down, and an independent commission set up to evaluate new evidence surrounding his death on [September 9] recommended a fresh investigation — citing radio intercepts held by the NSA as the possible key to solving the case. Hammerskjold's aircraft went down on the night of Sept. 17, 1961, smashing into a forested area just short of Ndola Airport in modern-day Zambia. A host of hard-to-answer questions about the crash have led to a glut of conspiracy theories. Among them: Why did it take 15 hours to find the wreckage, just a few miles from the airport? Why did Hammarskjold's bodyguard, who survived the crash for a few days, say that the plane "blew up"? Why did witnesses report seeing sparks, flashes, or even another plane? Hammarskjold was flying into a war zone infested with mercenaries and riven by Cold War tension. Foreign multinationals coveted [Congo's] vast mineral wealth and the country was challenged by a Western-backed insurgency in Katanga, which hosted mining interests belonging to United States, Britain, and Belgium.
Note: For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Newly declassified documents obtained [by] Judicial Watch, are raising questions over the U.S. government's handling of Anwar al-Awlaki, and whether it [recruited] the radical American cleric as an intelligence source in 2002. Director Robert Mueller did not dismiss the possibility. "I am not personally familiar with any effort to recruit Anwar al-Awlaki as an asset -- that does not mean to say there was not an effort at some level of the Bureau (FBI) or another agency to do so," Mueller said. Fox's ongoing reporting ... shows that in 2002 he was released from custody at JFK international airport -- despite an active warrant for his arrest -- with the okay of FBI Agent Wade Ammerman. Within days of his re-entry, al-Awlaki showed up in Ammerman's counter-terrorism investigation in Virginia into Ali al-Timimi, who is now serving a life sentence on non-terrorism charges. None of the information about al-Awlaki's release from federal custody at JFK, a sudden decision by the Justice Department in October 2002 to rescind an arrest warrant for the cleric, nor the cleric's connection to Ammerman was provided to the defense during Timimi’s 2005 trial. Documents ... show the FBI Director was more deeply involved in the post-9/11 handling of al-Awlaki than previously known. One memo from Mueller to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft on Oct. 3, 2002 -- seven days before the cleric re-entered the U.S. and was detained at JFK -- is marked "Secret" and titled "Anwar Aulaqi: IT-UBL/AL-QAEDA." "Why would al-Awlaki get the attention of the FBI Director? Why would a warrant for his arrest be pulled when he's trying to reenter the country?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Note: Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and was a US citizen, died in a U.S. drone attack in Yemen nearly two years ago, the first American targeted for death by the CIA, by its own admission. With the confirmation that he had been an intelligence asset for the US government as early as 2002, his assassination takes on new significance. For more on the murky background of Al-Awlaki, click here and here.
Gunmen shot to death the Pakistani government’s top prosecutor ... in a case that accuses former military ruler Pervez Musharraf of involvement in the 2007 assassination of ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, police said. The gunmen opened fire on Chaudhry Zulfikar’s car as he was leaving his home. The assailants escaped. Chaudhry Zulfikar was involved in a number of high-profile cases. Zulfikar’s slaying was a rare episode of violence in the capital, which has so far seen none of the bombings or other attacks launched by the Taliban against secular politicians. Musharraf, who ruled Pakistan for nine years before going into self-exile in 2008, returned in March in an ultimately futile bid to run for prime minister. He has been under house arrest for more than two weeks, facing allegations in various cases linked to his tenure. In the case unfolding in Rawalpindi, prosecutors allege that Musharraf was culpable for Bhutto’s murder for not providing her with enough security. He has denied the allegations. Bhutto’s son, Bilawal, who now leads the Pakistan People’s Party, has alleged that Musharraf was behind it. Proceedings in the case have been bogged down for years, and resumed only recently with Musharraf’s return. Speculation was rife ... that Zulfikar was killed to disrupt that case.
Note: It is interesting to note that only weeks before her death in 2007, Benazir Bhutto said in a BBC interview that Osama bin Laden had already been killed. To read quotes from this BBC interview, click here. For a CNN article revealing the Bhutto was planning to give US lawmakers a report on vote rigging on the day she was assassinated, click here. Could it be that the prosecutor in the article above was killed because he knew too much?
The National Archives is refusing to release 1,171 classified CIA documents related to the assassination [of President John F. Kennedy] in time for the [50th] anniversary as it had promised. In 2010, deputy archivist Michael Kurtz announced that the secret records would be declassified by November 22, 2013. But the National Archives has since [retracted] that promise in a letter to Jim Lesar of the Assassination Archives and Research Center, who requested the release. [This] frustrates Lesar, whose nonprofit is devoted to collecting and disseminating information about political assassinations. "In 1992, Congress unanimously passed legislation that was designed to get all of the JFK assassination-related records released," he said. "There was supposed to be only a very few records whose release could be postponed for periods of time including up until the year 2017, but basically everything was supposed to be released well before then." Of course, the CIA and National Archives won't say exactly what is contained in the documents, not even the number of pages. "The National Archives does not have a page count, but it appears that there are at least several thousand pages that are still being withheld, and they appear to be on some very important subjects." The CIA and National Archives' intransigence certainly doesn't help deflate the bubble of speculation about what really happened at the Grassy Knoll. It's been 49 years. Most of the people involved are dead. What's to hide, unless the government is shown in an embarrassing or criminal light?
Note: See our excellent information center filled with reliable verifiable information on the John Kennedy assassination at this link. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the John Kennedy assassination, click here.
The colorful GOP consultant Roger Stone is out with The Man Who Killed Kennedy. Roger Stone has had a long and colorful career in the darker undersides of Republican politics, from working on Richard Nixon’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President, to helping bring down New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. Stone lays the half-century-old murder at the feet of Kennedy’s vice president, who Stone claims “had John F. Kennedy murdered and then as president used those powers to cover up the murder. Johnson is facing jail, ruin, and the end of his political career. He is a very desperate man. Johnson knows that he is about to be indicted. He knows that Life magazine is going to publish an exposé regarding his relationship with Bobby Baker [a Johnson protégé accused of bribery]. After Kennedy’s death, Life magazine spikes the story. Johnson knows that [John F.] Kennedy has told a number of people, before leaving Washington, that he will dump Johnson and take Terry Sanford, then the governor of North Carolina, for vice president. He’s got a set of hearings coming up about his relationship to Billie Sol Estes [a Johnson ally later jailed for fraud].” Nixon, Stone says, had a long relationship with Jack Ruby, dating back to the time Nixon served on the House Un-American Activities Committee. There, Stone says, Ruby acted as an informant at Johnson’s request. Stone is vague when asked to lay out exactly how Johnson was able to organize a team of assassins in Dallas for Nov. 22, 1963, but said the Dallas police force and the Secret Service were complicit.
Note: For a powerful episode of the History Channel's "Men Who Killed Kennedy" presenting undeniable evidence Johnson was involved with JFK's assassination, click here.
This much we can stipulate: President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963, struck by two bullets — one in the head, one in the neck — while riding in an open-topped limo through Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with killing him, and a presidential commission headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren found that Oswald acted alone. That conclusion hasn't passed muster with the public. A 2003 ABC News poll found that 70% of Americans believe Kennedy's death was the result of a broader plot. The trajectory of the bullets, some say, didn't square with Oswald's perch on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Others suggest a second gunman — perhaps on the grassy knoll of Dealey Plaza — participated in the shooting. Others believe in an even broader conspiracy. Was Kennedy killed by CIA agents acting either out of anger over the Bay of Pigs or at the behest of Vice President Lyndon Johnson? By KGB operatives? Mobsters mad at Kennedy's brother for initiating the prosecution of organized crime rings? Speculation over one of history's most famous political assassinations is such a popular parlor game that most people have taken the rumors to heart: just 32% of those polled by ABC believe Oswald carried out the killing on his own.
Note: For an abundance of reliable facts and information suggesting a major conspiracy in the John F. Kennedy assassination, click here. For two powerful History Channel videos providing powerful evidence of direct government involvement in the Kennedy assassination, click here and here.
The president has a clandestine network targeting a 'kill list' justified by secret laws. How is that different than a death squad? The film Dirty Wars, which premiered at Sundance ... tracks the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a network of highly-trained, completely unaccountable US assassins, armed with ever-expanding "kill lists". [Narrator Jeremy] Scahill and [director Rick] Rowley track this new model of US warfare that strikes at civilians and insurgents alike – in 70 countries. They interview former JSOC assassins, who are shell-shocked at how the "kill lists" they are given keep expanding, even as they eliminate more and more people. Our conventional forces are subject to international laws of war: they are accountable for crimes in courts martial; and they run according to a clear chain of command. As much as the US military may fall short of these standards at times, it is a model of lawfulness compared with JSOC, which has far greater scope to undertake the commission of extra-legal operations – and unimaginable crimes. JSOC morphs the secretive, unaccountable mercenary model of private military contracting, which Scahill identified in Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army, into a hybrid with the firepower and intelligence backup of our full state resources. JSOC operates outside the traditional chain of command; it reports directly to the president of the United States. What does it means for the president to have an unaccountable paramilitary force, which can assassinate anyone anywhere in the world?
Note: For more on JSOC, click here.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is convinced that a lone gunman wasn’t solely responsible for the assassination of his uncle, President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy and his sister, Rory, spoke about their family [on January 11] while being interviewed in front of an audience ... in Dallas. The event comes as a year of observances begins for the 50th anniversary of the president’s death. Their uncle was killed on Nov. 22, 1963, while riding in a motorcade through Dallas. Five years later, their father was assassinated in a Los Angeles hotel while celebrating his win in the California Democratic presidential primary. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said his father spent a year trying to come to grips with his brother’s death, reading the work of Greek philosophers, Catholic scholars, Henry David Thoreau, poets and others “trying to figure out ... the existential implications of why a just God would allow injustice to happen of the magnitude he was seeing.” He said his father thought the Warren Commission, which concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president, was a “shoddy piece of craftsmanship.” He said that he, too, questioned the report. “The evidence at this point I think is very, very convincing that it was not a lone gunman,” he said, but he didn’t say what he believed may have happened. He said his father had investigators do research into the assassination and found that phone records of Oswald and nightclub owner Jack Ruby, who killed Oswald two days after the president’s assassination, “were like an inventory” of mafia leaders the government had been investigating. He said his father, later elected U.S. senator in New York, was “fairly convinced” that others were involved.
Note: The History Channel produced a nine-part series tellingly titled "The Men Who Killed Kennedy." For a five-minute clip of this excellent piece, click here. For the powerful final episode with incredible evidence implicating a US president and others, click here. For other deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on the JFK, RFK and other political assassinations, click here.
The prime minister says a public inquiry into the state's involvement in the assassination of solicitor Pat Finucane would not produce a fuller picture "of what happened and what went wrong" than the review he commissioned from Sir Desmond de Silva QC. But by publishing on Thursday the review containing hundreds of secret and confidential documents, Mr Cameron seems unwittingly to have strengthened the campaign by the Finucane family and others for a public inquiry. The scale of collusion is quite shocking: · 85% of intelligence that the [Ulster Defence Association] used to target people for murder originated from army and police sources · 270 separate instances of security force leaks to the UDA between January 1987 and September 1989 · Agents working for MI5, [Royal Ulster Constabulary] Special Branch and Military Intelligence were participating in criminality, presumably including murder. · Neither a proper legal framework nor even guidelines to control the criminality of what are known as these "participating agents". · The Northern Ireland Office was "not overly enthusiastic" about attempts by senior RUC and MI5 officers to introduce guidelines "despite representations at the highest levels." · This issue was also considered extensively at cabinet level and ministers were clearly aware that the agents were being run without guidelines. The director general of the MI5 raised it with the Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1988. All this was a "wilful and abject failure by successive Governments" to run agents lawfully.
Note: Patrick Finucane (1949 – 12 February 1989) was a Belfast solicitor killed by UDA loyalist paramilitaries. Two public investigations concluded that elements of the British security forces colluded in Finucane's murder and there have been high-profile calls for a public inquiry. A review, led by Desmond Lorenz de Silva, released a report in December 2012 acknowledging that the case entailed "a wilful and abject failure by successive Governments"; however, Finucane's family called the De Silva report a "sham."
Gaeton Fonzi was one of the most relentless investigators on the House Select Committee on Assassinations in the late 1970s, remembered by former colleagues with [awe at] his pursuit of the full story behind the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Mr. Fonzi was also the staff member most publicly dismayed by the committee’s final report, which concluded in 1979 that the president “was probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy.” Of course it was a conspiracy, said Mr. Fonzi, a journalist recruited mainly on the strength of scathing magazine critiques he had written about the Warren Commission and its conclusion that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in killing the president in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. But who were the conspirators? What was their motive? How could the committee close its doors without the answers? Mr. Fonzi ... nailed those questions to the committee’s locked doors, figuratively, in a long article he wrote the next year for Washingtonian magazine and in a 1993 book, The Last Investigation. In both, he chronicled the near-blanket refusal of government intelligence agencies, especially the C.I.A., to provide the committee with documents it requested. And he accused committee leaders of folding under pressure — from Congressional budget hawks, political advisers and the intelligence agencies themselves — just as promising new leads were emerging. “Is it unrealistic to desire, for something as important as the assassination of a president, an investigation unbound by political, financial or time restrictions?” he asked.
Note: For the government report stating that Kennedy's assassination was like the result of a conspiracy and other revealing reports from reliable major media sources on political assassinations, click here.
If there was a second gunman in Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's assassination, who was it? Lawyers for convicted assassin Sirhan Sirhan claim their client did not fire any of the gunshots that struck the presidential candidate in 1968. And in their latest federal court filing, they also rule out another man some have considered a suspect -- a private security guard named Thane Eugene Cesar, who was escorting Kennedy at the time he was shot. Attorneys William Pepper and Laurie Dusek insist someone other than their client, Sirhan, fatally shot Kennedy. They now say the real killer was not Cesar, a part-time uniformed officer long suspected by some conspiracy theorists of playing a sinister role in the senator's murder. Pepper and Dusek made the claim in papers submitted to a U.S. District Court in Los Angeles late last month. Pepper and Dusek are trying to win Sirhan immediate freedom or a new trial based on what they call "formidable evidence" of his innocence and "horrendous violations" of his rights. The New York attorneys argue that two guns were fired in the assassination, that Sirhan's revolver was not the gun that shot Kennedy and that Sirhan was not responsible for his actions at the Ambassador. Instead, the defense lawyers insist conspirators programmed Sirhan through hypnosis to fire shots as a diversion for the real assassin in Kennedy's murder.
Note: To watch a CNN video clip of this news, click here. For powerful, verifiable evidence that the CIA was creating Manchurian Candidates who would assassinate people without even realizing what they were doing, click here.
Michael Connell, the Bush IT expert who has been directly implicated in the rigging of George Bush's 2000 and 2004 elections, was killed last night when his single engine plane crashed three miles short of the Akron airport. Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a non-profit that has been investigating Mr. Connell's activities for the past two years, can now reveal that a person close to Mr. Connell has recently been discussing with a VR investigator how he can tell all about his work for George Bush. Mr. Connell told a close associate that he was afraid that George Bush and Dick Cheney would "throw [him] under the bus." A tipster close to the McCain campaign disclosed to VR in July that Mr. Connell's life was in jeopardy and that Karl Rove had threatened him and his wife, Heather. VR's attorney, Cliff Arnebeck, notified the United States Attorney General, Ohio law enforcement and the federal court about these threats and insisted that Mr. Connell be placed in protective custody. VR also told a close associate of Mr. Connell's not to fly his plane because of another tip that the plane could be sabotaged. Mr. Connell, a very experienced pilot, has had to abandon at least two flights in the past two months because of suspicious problems with his plane. On December 18, 2008, Mr. Connell flew to a small airport outside of Washington DC to meet some people. It was on his return flight the next day that he crashed.
Note: WantToKnow.info supporter Dr. Josh Mitteldorf downloaded this essay from the New York Times website the day it was published, but then was surprised to find it removed the very next day. You can find the article as it originally appeared at this link. For an excellent OpEdNews article by Dr. Mitteldorf on this most strange death and why it matters, click here. And for the deposition of Stephen Spoonamore, a Republican insider and computer consultant who came out as whistleblower on this matter, click here.
In the turbulent hours following President John F. Kennedy's assassination, many were uncertain about what to do, but medical examiner Earl Rose knew one thing: The shooting happened in Dallas, and it was his job to do an autopsy on anyone slain in the city. Rose stood in a doorway at the hospital where Kennedy's body was taken on Nov. 22, 1963, in a vain attempt to block Kennedy's aides as they removed his coffin. The Secret Service and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy prevailed, and the president's body was flown to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where an autopsy was done by pathologists James Humes and Thornton Boswell. Their findings have been used to support an array of conspiracy theories about Kennedy's death. Rose, who died [on May 1] at age 85, ... told The Associated Press in 2003 that he and his staff should have done the exam. "We had the routine in place to do it ... it was important for the chain of evidence to remain intact," Rose said. "That didn't happen when the body was taken to Bethesda." Rose conducted Oswald's autopsy, as well as those for Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Oswald two days after Kennedy was shot, and J.D Tippit, a police officer believed to have been killed by Oswald shortly after the assassination.
Note: For highly illuminating investigations from reliable sources into major political assassinations, click here.
As a federal court prepares to rule on a challenge to Sirhan Sirhan's conviction in the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, a long overlooked witness to the murder is telling her story: She heard two guns firing during the 1968 shooting and authorities altered her account of the crime. Nina Rhodes-Hughes wants the world to know that, despite what history says, Sirhan was not the only gunman firing shots when Kennedy was murdered a few feet away from her at a Los Angeles hotel. "What has to come out is that there was another shooter to my right," Rhodes-Hughes said in an exclusive interview with CNN. "The truth has got to be told. No more cover-ups." The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles is set to rule on a request by the 68-year-old Sirhan that he be released, retried or granted a hearing on new evidence, including Rhodes-Hughes' firsthand account. Prosecutors under the [CA] attorney general are contending that Rhodes-Hughes heard no more than eight gunshots during the assassination. Sirhan's lawyers are challenging those assertions. In a response also filed in federal court in Los Angeles, the defense team led by New York attorney William Pepper contends that the FBI misrepresented Rhodes-Hughes' eyewitness account and that she actually had heard a total of 12 to 14 shots fired.
Note: For key reports from major media sources on hidden facts about the assassinations of political leaders, click here.
Last week we learned from Reuters that fellow countrymen labeled "militants" by the Obama administration are now unilaterally placed on a "kill list" by "a secretive panel of senior government officials. "This is a real-life death panel inside the highest governmental office in the land -- and, according to Reuters, it acts without "any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate." This neo-Star Chamber is wholly unprecedented in its willful violations of the U.S. Constitution's due-process provisions -- and our Congress' refusal to even question it is utterly detestable. However, it reminds us that government death panels in general are anything but rare; they are all around us, making blood-curdling decisions to kill people all the time. For example, at the state level, the death panel commonly called the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles recently opted to execute Troy Davis, despite compelling evidence calling his conviction into question. Likewise ... the death panel known as the U.S. House Agriculture Appropriations Committee [is] considering cuts to food stamps at a time when Louisiana State University researchers report that between 2,000 and 3,000 elderly Americans are already dying of malnutrition every year.
Note: For key reports on government corruption from major media sources, click here.
Republican presidential contender Ron Paul on [October 5] suggested that the United States could assassinate journalists the same way it targeted Americans with ties to al-Qaida. The Texas congressman again criticized President Barack Obama for approving last week's drone strikes in Yemen against a U.S. citizen who was tracked and executed based on secret intelligence. [Another American citizen] also died in the bombing. Escalating his criticism, Paul told a National Press Club luncheon that if citizens do not protest the deaths, the country will start adding reporters to its list of threats that must be taken out. "Can you imagine being put on a list because you're a threat? What's going to happen when they come to the media? What if the media becomes a threat? ... This is the way this works. It's incrementalism," Paul said. Paul, making his second run for the Republican presidential nomination, has built a die-hard following among the GOP's libertarian wing and has worked to court anti-war conservatives.
Note: For key reports on government corruption from major media sources, click here.
American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials. There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate. The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki ... to the target list. He was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen late last month. The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration of President Barack Obama's toughness toward militants who threaten the United States. But the process that led to Awlaki's killing has drawn fierce criticism from both the political left and right. Obama, who ran for president denouncing predecessor George W. Bush's expansive use of executive power in his "war on terrorism," is being attacked in some quarters for using similar tactics. They include secret legal justifications and undisclosed intelligence assessments. Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder. Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki.
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.
Is it legal for the federal government to kill a U.S. citizen overseas, someone who has never been charged or convicted of a crime? Civil liberties groups are condemning the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, but many legal scholars say it is justified. No U.S. court has ever weighed in on the question, because judges consider these sorts of issues exclusively matters for the president. Anwar al-Awlaki's father, Nasser, with the help of the ACLU, sued President Barack Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and CIA Director Leon Panetta a year ago, when it became clear that the U.S. was targeting the younger al-Awlaki. But U.S. District Judge John Bates threw the case out, ruling that federal courts were in no position to evaluate whether someone was a terrorist whose activities threatened national security and against whom the use of deadly force could be justified. The ACLU lawyer who handled the case, Jameel Jaffer, said Friday that the U.S. program that targeted al-Awlaki was a violation of both U.S. and international law. "The government's authority to use lethal force against its own citizens should be limited to circumstances in which the threat to life is concrete, specific and imminent. It is a mistake to invest the president, any president, with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country," Jaffer said.
Note: For lots more from reliable sources on the illegal prosecution of the "Global War on Terror", click here.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.