U.S. citizens killed by drones: American families suit
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From the Desk of Barry Sommer at Islam Today Oregon: Families of jihadists killed in drone strikes sue feds for civil rights violations
The families of three U.S. citizens killed in drone strikes in Yemen last year, including militant cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, filed a lawsuit Wednesday that accuses top CIA and U.S. military officials of violating the constitutional rights of those killed.
The lawsuit, which was prepared in part by the American Civil Liberties Union, represents the most direct legal challenge yet to the Obama administration’s decision to kill U.S. citizens in counter-terrorism operations without open due process measures or scrutiny from courts.
“These killings rely on vague legal standards, a closed executive process, and evidence never presented to the courts,” the suit alleges.
The suit stems from two drone strikes that took place over a six-week stretch last fall.
The first, in September, killed Awlaki as well as alleged al-Qaeda propagandist Samir Khan.
The second strike, in October, killed Awlaki’s 16-year-old son. All three were born in the United States.
The defendants named in the suit include Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and CIA Director David H. Petraeus, as well as two of the top officers in the U.S. military special operations ranks: U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joseph Votel.
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