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I did my usual snorting and scoffing when I heard about the ACLU’s latest lawsuit to enjoin the killing of terror suspects abroad. But is it possible that they’re on to something?
According to the complaint, the CIA and JSOC (Joint Special Operations Committee) maintain a “kill list” of individuals whom the US can kill anywhere, anytime. The list includes US citizens. The ACLU appears to concede that the US can kill its enemies in war zones, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. But what authorizes the government to summarily kill US citizens on suspicion that they’re plotting terror activity? Even if the targets are guilty of treason, the Constitution requires the testimony of two witnesses or a confession in open court.
The ACLU also objects to killing foreign nationals outside of war zones; however, that argument is much weaker. But US citizens? Like my fellow Ricocheterians over here, I have my qualms about the ease with which the government can now send a drone to do its dirty work.
[Ed.: link fixed at 7:47 am]
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