Tuesday, August 31, 2010

White House sued for 'targeted killings'

US President Barack Obama

Source: Press TV

The United States government faces legal action for ordering the assassination of American citizens, whom it accuses of terrorist links.

On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed the lawsuit, protesting the death warrants including the one, signed by the country's President Barack Obama, against Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born cleric, who is identified by the White House as an al-Qaeda leader, Reuters reported.

Al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico and spent years in Virginia, before moving to Yemen, where he is said to be currently staying.

The US recently accused him of being tied to a young Nigerian whom, Washington insisted, had been trained by alleged al-Qaeda militants in Yemen and unsuccessfully tried to bomb a US-bound plane on the Christmas Day. US authorities have also said al-Awlaki is linked to a US army major who killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas last year.

Washington has authorized the Central Intelligence Agency, better known as CIA, to assassinate the cleric.

"A program that authorizes killing US citizens, without judicial oversight, due process or disclosed standards is unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American," Anthony Romero, executive director of the ACLU, said in a statement.

In taking the action, the bodies represented Nasser al-Awlaki, the cleric's father.

Citing the alleged militant presence, the US air force is said to have conducted several attacks on the Yemeni soil, reportedly leaving dozens of civilians dead.

In July, the clergyman reportedly painted a glum future for the Obama's efforts to establish a military foothold in Yemen.

"If George W. Bush is remembered as being the president who got America stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq, it's looking like Obama wants to be remembered as the president who got America stuck in Yemen," AP quoted him as saying in an audio message according.

US Rep. Dennis Kucinich has also presented a bill prohibiting the extrajudicial killings of Americans suspected of working with terrorist groups in direct response to the White House's order.

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