Friday, February 8, 2013

License to Kill

On Monday night, NBC News made public a 16-page document that outlines the Barack Obama administration claims it has legal authority to assassinate US citizens overseas even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the United States of America – if “an informed, high-level official” of the government decided that the target posed “an imminent threat”.

It adopts an elastic definition of an “imminent” threat, saying it is not necessary for a specific attack to be in process when a target is found if the target is generally engaged in terrorist activities aimed at the United States. And it asserts that courts should not play a role in reviewing or restraining such decisions.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, called the paper “a profoundly disturbing document,” and said: “It’s hard to believe that it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances. It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority – the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement.”

Isn’t this a frightening prospect because American citizens may not even know they have been targeted or why? And can we trust anyone in a position of power? It's one thing when Americans are killed because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time (collateral damage). It's something else when we seek them out specifically for murder. This is really a license to kill!

On Wednesday, some of us in SUBS celebrated Madeline Tan’s birthday at Pasta Zanmai in Sunway Pyramid:

1 comment:

Victor Ong said...

Frightening, but in reality we don't know the half of the clandestine activities undertaken by various world governments in the name of anti-terrorism!
- Ann Marie Moohan-Sidhu's comment on Facebook