Tag Archives: assassination

FBI wouldn’t exclude extrajudicial killings in the US

United States Attorney General Eric Holder recently explained how the president can order the assassination of his own citizens abroad. But did his rationalization justify executions within the US? Apparently, the FBI wouldn’t exclude it.
Responding to a congressional inquiry this week on the rationale of assassinating Americans, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller affirmed that he himself isn’t too clear on the what Holder explained.
The attorney general addressed an audience at Northwestern University in Chicago this week with an explanation for US President Barack Obama’s killing of three American citizens overseas last year. Alleged terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki and two other US-born citizens were executed in a drone strike last year in Yemen, a kill that the White House has been reluctant to discuss in detail until just recently. Speaking from Northwestern this week, Holder insisted, however, that the details the president acted on were “sufficient under the Constitution for the United States to use lethal force against a US citizen abroad.”
Following up on Wednesday, US Congressman Tom Graves, a Republican from Georgia, asked the FBI’s Mueller if Holder’s qualifications for an ordered kill could be applied domestically.
“I have to go back. Uh, I’m not certain whether that was addressed or not,” responded an unsure Mueller.
Rep. Graves from there rephrased his inquiry, asking if, “from a historical perspective,” the federal government has “the ability to kill a US citizen on United States soil or just overseas.” Mueller once again suspended an explanation.
“I’m going to defer that to others in the Department of Justice,” responded the director.
When prompted by Fox News to extrapolate on Mueller’s deferral, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department defaulted to Holder’s earlier address, simply repeating the attorney general’s insistence that US citizens outside of the US are fair-game for an Executive Branch-ordered assassination. Under Holder’s explanation offered at Northwestern, however, it could be inferred that even those on American soil aren’t excluded. Congress wants to know if that is the case and with the feds unsure themselves, it might mean President Obama himself has to put in his two cents so Americans know if they are eligible for one of his personalized assassination orders too.


Mossad, CIA and Blackwater operate in Syria

A security operation in Homs reveals Mossad, CIA and Blackwater are involved in the military violence in this part of Syria, as over 700 Arab and Western gunmen and Israeli, American and European-made weapons were detained in Baba Amr district.
Syrian security forces got yet further proof of Western powers’ military involvement in Syria’s internal conflict, reports Al-Manar, a news agency, affiliated with Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based militant group and political party.
Around 700 gunmen were recently arrested in the former rebel stronghold of Babar Amr.
“The captured gunmen held Arab nationalities, including Gulf, Iraqi, and Lebanese. Among them were also Qatari intelligence agents and non-Arab fighters from Afghanistan, Turkey, and some European countries like France,” the agency quotes Syrian expert in strategic affairs Salim Harba as saying.
Harba also confirmed to the agency that “a coordination office was established in Qatar under American-Gulf sponsorship. The office includes American, French, and Gulf – specifically from Qatar and Saudi Arabia – intelligence agents, as well as CIA, Mossad, and Blackwater agents and members of the Syrian Transitional Council.”
The Syrian expert also added the security forces have also seized Israeli-, European- and American-made weapons.


Holder: U.S. Government May Kill American Citizens Without Trial

By CHARLIE SAVAGE
Published: March 5, 201

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. asserted on Monday that it is lawful for the government to kill American citizens if officials deem them to be operational leaders of Al Qaeda who are planning attacks on the United States and if capturing them alive is not feasible.

“Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a United States citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack,” Mr. Holder said in a speech at Northwestern University’s law school. “In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force.”

While Mr. Holder is not the first administration official to address the targeted killing of citizens — the Pentagon’s general counsel, Jeh Johnson, did so last month at Yale Law School, for example — it was notable for the nation’s top law enforcement official to declare that it is constitutional for the government to kill citizens without any judicial review under certain circumstances. Mr. Holder’s remarks about the targeted killing of United States citizens were a centerpiece of a speech describing legal principles behind the Obama administration’s counterterrorism policies.

“Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces,” Mr. Holder said. “This is simply not accurate. ‘Due process’ and ‘judicial process’ are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”


Obama issues new guidelines for indefinite detention and torture

Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb)

President Obama issued a policy directive on Tuesday that was quickly portrayed as a resolve to his right to detain US citizens without trial. In reality, the plan is a carefully crafted PR move that doesn’t strip his absolute power over Americans.
The presidential policy directive released by the White House this week comes nearly two months to the day after US President Barack Obama approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (NDAA FY12), a detrimental law to each and every American that has attracted criticism from all sides of the political system since passed. On December 31, 2011, the president inked the legislation allowing for the indefinite detention of alleged terrorists and the confinement of those accused under the jurisdiction of the US military without due process. In his latest offering from the Oval Office though, Obama is insisting that the United States requires more wiggle-room in how it goes about regulating the provision that puts suspects in the Pentagon’s custody.
[A .PDF COPY OF THE NDAA IS AVAILABLE HERE]
The signing could indeed bring a cease to the requirement of military detainment for alleged adversaries of America, a requirement that is authorized under Section 1022 of the act. It does not, however, squash the indefinite detention without trial provision of Section 1021, nor does it negate the fact that the US government has already allowed itself to approve a nasty legislation that denounces the civil liberties of every American and has marred the administration of a president who campaigned on upholding constitutional rights.
Only hours after the New Year’s Eve signing, American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero said, “President Obama’s action … is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”
The president is now responding, but the truth is his reply is much too little and almost, legally, too late.
In explaining his reasoning for issuing this week’s directive, Obama did not exactly denounce any provision of the NDAA, but instead insisted that the White House “must retain the flexibility to determine how to apply those tools to the unique facts and circumstances we face in confronting this diverse and evolving threat.” To do so, wrote the president, the United States government must go about handling Section 1022 of the NDAA in a different manner that would relieve the country from any added security threat.
Under Section 1022 as approved by Congress and authorized by the president, the US Armed Forces can hold and capture a wide range of applicants under military provision, including but not limited to “a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force” and anyone “to have participated in the course of planning of carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.”
In section ‘a,’ paragraph 3 of the provision, “Military Custody for Foreign Al-Qaeda Terrorists,” the president is allotted the power to pen a waiver for national security that would waive selected foreign parties from the military detainment allowance. Section ‘c,’ paragraph 1, gives Obama 60 days to detail procedures for implementing Section 1022 — this week’s policy directive comes exactly 59 days into the two-month window.
Under his latest addendum, the president argued that placing alleged terrorists into military custody “would undermine the national security interests of the United States, compromising our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals.”
“That system … must continue to be an unrestricted counterterrorism tool going forward,” added Obama.
As a compromise to the military detainment provision, the president is now insisting that alleged terrorists don’t necessarily have to be handed over to the Pentagon for prosecution or, as otherwise granted in the NDAA, indefinite detention without trial under the watch of the Armed Forces. Instead, wrote Obama, a captured alleged criminal should be subjected to the standard practices for federal law enforcement that agencies have acted on according to pre-NDAA operating procedures; until, of course, a handful of governmental high-ups authorize the transfer to a military prison. At that point, every word of the NDAA will once again be a-okay.

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Virginia votes to refuse NDAA

The outside of the "Camp Five" detention facility is seen at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. (Reuters / Mandel Ngan/Pool)

The outside of the “Camp Five” detention facility is seen at U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay. (Reuters / Mandel Ngan/Pool)

TAGS: PoliticsTerrorismLawUSA

 

Although Congress approved this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, lawmakers on another level continue to find faults with its nasty detainment provisions. Virginia is now the latest state to consider laws that nix some of the NDAA.

When US President Barack Obama signed his name to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, he authorized the US military to detain and torture anyone on Earth — Americans included — without charge. Opposition was widespread even before the commander-in-chief put pen to paper, but critics are continuing to condemn the legislation only two months after Obama approved it. So weary of the NDAA are lawmakers in Virginia, in fact, that a recent vote within the state’s House of Delegates led to the passing of a counter-act that will keep those detainment provisions out of VA.

A recent meeting of lawmakers in the lower house of the Virginia General Assembly yielded an impressive 96-to-4 approval for HB 1160, a bill that will ban state officials from abiding by some elements of the NDAA. Should the act see similar support in the state’s Senate, Virginia will be spared from the detainment provisions that have garnered opposition against Congress and the Obama White House over the NDAA’s passing.

Under the Virginia law-in-waiting, state agents are forbidden from aiding “an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution or detention of any citizen pursuant to 50 U.S.C. § 1541 as provided by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.”

The Virginia bill would specifically see to it that Section 1021 of the NDAA is made illegal, which, per President Obama’s approval, legitimizes the detainment of any alleged terrorist, including Americans, that are believed to have committed a “belligerent act” or have supported “hostilities,”

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Hypnotized into an endless dirty war

America has decided it has the right to kill whoever it wants, whenever it wants.

pak01

If in the year 2000 the U.S. president had told the American people that the government would soon begin using robot planes to track people, including U.S. citizens, all over the world, and would reserve to itself the right to kill them without trial, it is safe to say there would have been an enormous uproar. But that is exactly what is happening today, and nobody cares. The majority of Americans, including those who were opposed to the war in Iraq, have no problems with their government killing at will, so long as the killing is done in the name of “national security.”

How did this happen? In retrospect, the war in Afghanistan was the prime culprit. That endless, Sisyphean war was the thin end of the wedge. In that murky, shifting struggle, it was normal for the U.S. to arrogate to itself the right to kill the Taliban wherever they were in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Once that precedent was established, it was an small step to killing bad guys in Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Libya. And so, by imperceptible steps we arrived at the place we are now, where 77 percent of liberals support President Obama’s vastly expanded killer drone campaign, where an American citizen can be remotely vaporized at the touch of a button and no one cares. The war on Afghanistan set the precedent that shaped the entire “war on terror” paradigm. The chimera of “safety from terrorism” led us by easy stages to begin waging dirty war across the globe — changing the definition of war, eroding moral and legal standards and greatly increasing the likelihood of ugly future consequences.

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Israeli envoys targeted in India and Georgia

Car explosion at embassy in New Delhi injures four, and grenade found on car in Tbilisi is defused.
Last Modified: 13 Feb 2012 20:07
Israeli diplomats have been targeted by car bombs in India and Georgia, leaving four injured and Israel’s foreign minister promising a response.Police in New Delhi said a bomb wrecked a car belonging to the Israeli embassy in the Indian capital carrying the wife of the Israeli defence attache as she was going to pick up her children from school on Monday.

She needed surgery to remove shrapnel but her life was not in danger, officials said.

“She was able to drag herself from the car and is now at the American hospital (in New Delhi), where two Israeli doctors are treating her,” an Israeli defence ministry spokesman said.

Three others suffered lesser injuries in the same blast.

Another Israeli embassy vehicle was targeted in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, where the car’s driver found a package attached to the undercarriage and police discovered and defused a grenade.

Iran accused

Binyamin Netanyahu, Israeli prime minister, blamed Iran for the attacks on the Israeli embassy staff.

“[Iran] is the biggest exporter of terror in the world,” Netanyahu told members of his rightwing Likud party.

The Israeli leader said there had been a number of attempts to harm Israelis and Jews in recent months, in places such as Thailand and Azerbaijan, in a series of attacks co-ordinated by Tehran and Lebanon’s Shia movement, Hezbollah.

“In all these incidents, those responsible were Iran and its protege Hezbollah,” he said.

Israel would continue to act “with a firm hand” to stamp out “international terror coming from Iran,” he said.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, told reporters in Jerusalem he knows “exactly who is responsible for the attack and who planned it”.

“We’re not going to take it lying down”

Al Jazeera’s Cal Perry, reporting from Jerusalem, said the attacks were “near simultaneous”.

“That is going to lend weight to those who will point the finger at a larger organisation, maybe even a country like Iran, maybe Hezbollah,” Perry said.

Iran rejected the accusations as “sheer lies”, the official IRNA news agency quoted the Islamic Republic’s ambassador to New Delhi as saying.

“Any terrorist attack is condemned (by Iran) and we strongly reject the untrue comments by an Israeli official,” Mehdi Nabizadeh was quoted as saying by IRNA.

“These accusations are untrue and sheer lies, like previous times.”


ACLU sues Obama administration over assassination secrecy

 

BY GLENN GREENWALD THURSDAY, FEB 2, 2012 1:57 AM PST
Barack Obama

President Barack Obama walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)  (Credit: AP)

The ACLU yesterday filed a lawsuit against various agencies of the Obama administration — the Justice and Defense Departments and the CIA — over their refusal to disclose any information about the assassination of American citizens. In October, the ACLU filed a FOIA request demanding disclosure of the most basic information about the CIA’s killing of 3 American citizens in Yemen: Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan, killed by missiles fired by a U.S. drone in September, and Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, killed by another drone attack two weeks later.

The ACLU’s FOIA request sought merely to learn the legal and factual basis for these killings — meaning: tell us what legal theories you’ve adopted to secretly target U.S. citizens for execution, and what factual basis did you have to launch these specific strikes? The DOJ and CIA responded not only by refusing to provide any of this information, but refused even to confirm if any of the requested documents exist; in other words, as the ACLU put it yesterday, “these agencies are saying the targeted killing program is so secret that they can’t even acknowledge that it exists.” That refusal is what prompted yesterday’s lawsuit (in December, the New York Times also sued the Obama administration after it failed to produce DOJ legal memoranda “justifying” the assassination program in response to a FOIA request from reporters Charlie Savage and Scott Shane, but the ACLU’s lawsuit seeks disclosure of both the legal and factual bases for these executions).

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US troops ‘told to lie’ about Iraqi killings

US soldier says his commander killed five Iraqi civilians in Haditha in 2005 and asked him to lie about it.
Al-Jazeera Last Modified: 12 Jan 2012 07:23
Sergeant Frank Wuterich (R) allegedly told marine to blame Iraqi soldiers for his ‘revenge’ killing of Iraqi civilians [AFP]

A US soldier has told a military jury in California how his commander killed five Iraqi civilians in the western al-Anbar province in 2005 and then asked him to lie about it.

I saw Sergeant Wuterich approach the bodies, he shot at them.

- Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz

At a trial stemming from one of the Iraq war’s most controversial episodes, Sergeant Sanick Dela Cruz testified on Wednesday, the third day of Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich’s court martial.

Wuterich was Dela Cruz’s squad leader, who Dela Cruz said gunned down the Iraqis after they pulled up in a car near the scene of a bombing in which a US marine had died.

In all, 24 Iraqi civilians including women and children were killed in the revenge attacks – 19 in several houses along with the five men who pulled up in a car in the town of Haditha on November 19, 2005.

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Israeli Source: Assassination of Iranian Nuclear Scientist Joint Mossad-MEK Operation

Friday 13 January 2012
by: Richard Silverstein, Tikum Olam | Truth-Out Report

An Iranian news agency reports that a fourth Iranian nuclear scientist has been assassinated along with his driver.  Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan was a professor specializing in petroleum engineering at a technical university and director of  Natanz’s uranium enrichment facility.  Mehr news agency said he was “deputy director of the commercial department of the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.”  He was killed by a bomb attached to the side of his car by two men on a motorcycle.  A confidential source who is a former Israeli cabinet minister and senior IDF officer, confirms today’s murder was the work of the Mossad and MEK, as have been a number of previous operations I’ve reported here.

The killing took place near a Teheran university.  The method recalls another series of assassinations that occurred of Fereidoun Abbassi Davani (who was seriously wounded) and his colleague Majid Shahriari (who was killed).  Today’s killing occurred two years to the day after the assassination of another scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi.

Reuters also adds this:

An [Iranian ] official [said]…”The bomb was a magnetic one and the same as the ones previously used for the assassination of the scientists, and is the work of the Zionists (Israelis)” Fars quoted Deputy Governor Safarali Baratloo as saying.

Witnesses told Reuters they saw two people on the motorbike stick the bomb to the car.

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