Monday Feb 11, 201307:57 AM GMT
Sen. Rand Paul blasts Obama over drone attacks on US citizens
Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:54AM
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Sen. Rand Paul says there must be a review process before a president can authorize drone strikes on U.S. citizens.

 

“It’s very unseemly that a politician gets to decide the death of an American citizen," the Kentucky Republican said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union." "They should answer about this 16-year-old boy, al-Awlaki’s son, that was killed, not in collateral damage but in a separate strike. They never answered that. I think you should be tried for treason if you’re an American citizen, you go overseas and you take up arms. I’m probably for executing you but I want to hear the evidence.”

 

Paul said he won't vote to confirm John Brennan as CIA director until Brennan clarifies his answer about whether U.S. citizens can legally be killed by drone strikes within the United States.

 

“The president, a politician, Republican or Democrat, should never get to decide someone’s death by flipping through some flash cards and saying, ‘You want to kill him? Yeah, let’s go ahead and kill him,'" Paul said. Politico

FACTS & FIGURES

A confidential Justice Department memo concluded that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaeda or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S. NBC News

 

Al-Awaki's killing drew pronounced criticism from civil libertarian groups, who argued his constitutional rights to due process had been violated. In 2010, al-Awlaki's father — with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union — attempted to sue the United States government after his son was placed on the CIA's targeted kill list. The White House invoked state secrets privilege to have that case dismissed from courts. The Hill

 

 The lawsuit also sought to compel the government to disclose the guidelines under which a U.S. citizen would be put on a kill list. While the memo revealed does not outline the criteria under which a senior American official can declare a citizen to be an imminent threat, it does illuminate the process under which the Justice Department believes a lethal strike could be constitutionally justified. The Hill

 

Meanwhile, U.S. senators are reportedly considering an idea to create a secret “assassination court” on the model of the FISA courts that rubber-stamp wiretapping, only this court would be charged with deciding if “suspects” can be assassinated by U.S. drone strikes. Antiwar

 

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney earlier called the strikes "legal, ethical and wise," and said that they were constitutionally sound. Huffington Post

 

Carney told reporters that the Obama administration will not be releasing any more information about the controversial use of drones to kill American citizens. The Daily Caller

AGB/HJ

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