Last October, the US used drone technology to kill a 16-year-old US citizen named Abdulrahman. He was the son of Anwar Al-Aulaqi, also a US citizen, whose name was on a “kill list” of people with links to the “war on terror” approved for assassination by President Obama. Just weeks before his son’s death, the elder Al-Aulaqi was also killed by a US drone.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) have now filed a lawsuit, Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, confronting the targeted killing of three US citizens.
These three are far from the only people who have been killed in drone attacks. In Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control, Medea Benjamin (co-founder of CODEPINK and a longtime friend of MADRE) documents the impunity with which hundreds of innocent people have been killed and justified as collateral damage. What’s more, she unveils and denounces the chilling reality that the rush to embrace this technology has created: targets are identified and executed without any trial or legal process.
The protections embodied in the US Constitution are meant to guard citizens against “the deprivation of life without due process of law.” International law also upholds the right to life and protects against extrajudicial killings.
None of these protections stopped the US from assassinating the three people named in the lawsuit.
In 2010, following reports of Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s placement on the government “kill list,” Anwar Al-Aulaqi’s father and Abdulrahman’s grandfather, Dr. Nasser Al-Aulaqi, filed suit against President Barack Obama, then CIA Director Leon Panetta and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, “challenging their decision to authorize the targeted killing of his son.” The court dismissed his suit, saying that he did not have the legal standing to challenge the targeting of son. His son and grandson would be killed the next year.
Click here to read more about the lawsuit initiated by the CCR and the ACLU.
Click here to join in an action led by CODEPINK, and send Obama a message: ground the drones and kill the “kill list.”