Targeted Killings of American Citizens

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September 30, 2011: One of first times the United States ever killed an American citizen under its then nearly 10-year-old drone program. May 22, 2013: The first time the United States government publically acknowledged the killing. Was it right, or was it wrong, to wait exactly 600 days to admit the drone killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen? Did it violate the American ideals of due process, or was it necessary for the country’s self-preservation? More importantly, was it legal under national and international law? The only thing for sure is that those questions have impassioned the public in the last few years, casting a public eye on the normally untouchable sphere of foreign policy. The United States targeted killing program came into existence after the catastrophic September 11, 2001 attacks, which inspired the speedy passage of the Authorization for the Use of Military Force through the House and the Senate. The AUMF Congressional resolution authorizes the president “to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” The United States did not start using unmanned drones in targeted killings until November 2002, when President George W. Bush authorized a drone strike in Yemen. Targeted killings using drones greatly increased starting in 2009 under the Obama administration. The September 2011 drone strike killed not only Anwar Al-Awlaki, but also Samir Khan, a fellow American citiz... ... middle of paper ... ...66 to protect blacks and members of the Civil Rights Movement. The organization’s work has expanded to, most notably, opposition to illegal detention in Guantanamo Bay and the right to habeas corpus. Unlike the ACLU, the CCR publically names all of its donors in an annual report. In 2012, the CCR had $6.70 million of total revenue, including $5.90 million in grants and contributions, and $528,820 in court awards and attorney fees. The most generous contributor that year was the Bertha Foundation, a philanthropic organization that advances its social impact agenda through media, law, activism, and enterprise approaches; the foundation gave over $1 million to the CCR. The other most generous contributors included the Fidelity Charitable Gift Foundation, the Oak Foundation, and the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, which all donated more than $250,000 each.
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