CCR Attys Who Represented Al Aulaqi Father in Challenge to CIA JSOC Kill List Denounce Strike

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 May 7, 2011, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement in response to yesterday’s reports of an attempt by the U.S. to kill Anwar Al-Aulaqi by drone strike in Yemen:

We are deeply concerned about reports of resumed strikes in Yemen aimed at U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulaqi, whose addition to secret kill lists maintained by the CIA and the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) based on secret criteria was announced last year.
The use of lethal force against Al-Aulaqi in Yemen, a country against which the United States is not at war, is illegal under the U.S. Constitution and international law in all but the narrowest circumstances – as a last resort to protect against a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury. U.S. officials are obliged to comply with these standards. 
Notwithstanding the government’s allegations against Al-Aulaqi, he has never been given any form of process that would be due a U.S. citizen or any individual before execution by the state. The executive’s policy of targeting suspects based only on its own say-so also poses the real risk that the government, which has clearly made mistakes, as the past decade has shown, will target the wrong people.
It is shameful that at a time when the people of Yemen and the Middle East are struggling for the rule of law, human rights and democracy, and protesting against violence by their governments, the U.S. is resuming strikes for which there is no transparency or accountability, and only escalating violence.
 On August 30, 2010, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU filed suit on behalf of Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s father, Nasser Al-Aulaqi, against President Obama, CIA Director Panetta, and Defense Secretary Gates, challenging their decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son as a violation of the Constitution and international law. In December 2010, the district court dismissed the suit on grounds that Nasser Al-Aulaqi did not have legal standing to challenge the targeting of his son, and that the case raised "political questions" not subject to court review. The court never ruled on the merits of the case, and indeed, noted that it raised “stark and perplexing questions.” 

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Last modified 

May 7, 2011