In 2011, two United States citizens were targeted and killed by a U.S. drone and the ACLU has wanted to know why. Now, a Kill Americans Memo makes it clear that the Obama administration does not have to justify targeted kills of the drones. The citizens killed were Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son.
NBC News received the memo which gives the president permission to order the death of any American citizens believed to be either "senior operating leaders" of al-Qaida or "an associated force," even if there is no indication they are a threat or planning anything against the United States. This opens an entire new can of worms in the fight against terror.
Recently, the new movie "Zero Dark Thirty" created a lot of controversy as it showed the U.S. kill team sent to kill Osama Bin Laden and the people who harbored him. Along the way, the movie also showed numerous ordered kill teams heading out to stop the terrorists working for the al-Qaida organizations. The people against the movie argued that it glorified torture, and in some cases murder.
The fact of the matter is that the al-Qaida organization ordered a mass execution of numerous American citizens on 9/11 and there has been fear ever since that another attack could happen at any minute. There is a lot of backlash against President Obama for this, but all administrations have acted in this manner, none more so than that of President George H.W. Bush.
When the American public needs protection, it is up to the President of the United States to make sure that happens. The Kill Americans Memo is chilling, but it is not something that is used to kill random people. This is an order meant to kill terrorists and people who have hurt the United States on behalf of the terrorists. It is scary, but it is necessary.
Photo by Paul Ridgeway.