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"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."
ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer called the document "chilling." It manipulates legal standards. It turns them on their head. Doing so justifies the unjustifiable.
ACLU said extrajudicial killings occur "with virtually no oversight outside the executive branch, and essential details about the program remain secret, including what criteria are used to put people on CIA and military kill lists or how much evidence is required."
America kills illegally. Rule of law principles are spurned. Transparency and openness are gone. Accountability no longer applies. Diktat authority usurped it. Doing so is unconstitutional.
On February 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights responded to Washington's white paper.
CCR's senior attorney, Pardiss Kebriaei said:
"This white paper's claim of executive power is disturbing enough on its own, but it doesn't describe the vast majority of targeted killings being carried out by the U.S. government, which now number in the thousands."
"The government claims the authority to target a US citizen who is a 'senior operational leader of Al Qa'ida or an associated force,' but it doesn't provide an analysis that would explain, for example, the killing of our client's grandson, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al Aulaqi, nor does it describe the so-called signature strike killings of people whose identities are unknown but who fit some undisclosed profile."
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