Anwar al-Awlaki killing justified by administration
On Monday, United States Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said the U.S. can kill an American citizen living abroad who poses a terrorist threat if he or she meets a three-step legal test.
The administration gave its legal justification for killing Anwar al-Awlaki, the man who allegedly inspired several terrorist plots, namely the Fort Hood massacre and the Christmas Day Underwear Bomber. Al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who also spent time studying at San Diego State, was killed in Yemen last September by an unmanned drone attack.
Now, Holder has come out with a legal justification for why the attack was carried out, in spite of not having a trial and evidence brought to court.
He stated killing a U.S. citizen is legal when the government has decided after “careful review” that three qualifications have been met: the citizen poses a threat against the U.S., capturing the citizen is not feasible and his or her act is consistent with the laws of war.
Recently, there have been lawsuits filed against the Obama administration to force the release of the legal justification contained in a secret Department of Justice memo. The Associated Press also filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the memo, which was subsequently turned down.
Hina Shamsi of the American Civil Liberties Union was quoted by the Huffington Post as saying that “Few things are as dangerous to American liberty as the proposition that the government should be able to kill citizens anywhere in the world on the basis of legal standards and evidence that are never submitted to a court.”
University of Notre Dame international law expert Mary Ellen She also stated in the article the memo should be released to gain more insight about the administration’s position. O’Connell said these memos sound “highly reminiscent of the torture memos written during the Bush administration.”
Wall Street recap
Stocks fell Monday morning as the Dow Jones industrial average fell 14 points to 12,962, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell to 1,364 and the Nasdaq fell to 2,950. Stocks continued their fall into Tuesday with the Dow down 164 points to 12,798, the Nasdaq down 42 points at 2,907 and the S&P 500 down 18 points at 1,346.
Data compiled from the Monday close and the Tuesday open on Wall Street.
–Compiled by Staff Writer Chet Galloway