Obama Administration Approves Killing Americans Abroad

by Noel Brinkerhoff
http://www.allgov.com/Top_Stories/ViewNews/Obama_Administration_Approves_Killing_Americans_Abroad_100205
Friday, February 05, 2010
Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives overseas if the individual is working with terrorists and planning to attack fellow Americans. This policy was acknowledged by Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair while testifying on Wednesday before the House Intelligence Committee.   Blair tried to reassure lawmakers that the government would be careful before making the decision to kill Americans. “I just don’t want Americans who are watching this to think that we are careless about endangering—in fact, we’re not careless about endangering American lives as we try to carry out the policies to protect most of the country,” Blair said   One of the Americans most likely to be targeted is U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi, now living in Yemen. Born in New Mexico, al-Aulaki earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering at Colorado State University and an M.A. in Education Leadership at San Diego State University. He has has been linked to the Fort Hood shooter, Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan, and to Abdul Farouk Umar Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of attempting to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane on Christmas Day.   Apparently the U.S. did try to kill al-Aulaki in an air strike in Yemen the day before Abdulmutallab’s attempted plane bombing, but it would appear that he is still alive. -Noel Brinkerhoff   Intelligence Chief Acknowledges U.S. May Target Americans Involved in Terrorism (by Ellen Nakashima, Washington Post) US May Kill American Extremists Abroad (Agence France-Presse) Imam Says Fort Hood Killer Asked about Killing GIs a Year Ago.

Intelligence can target Americans *OFFICIAL*

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61251Z20100203

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In unusually frank comments, the top U.S. intelligence official acknowledged on Wednesday that spy agencies can target for killing Americans who are involved in terrorism.

“We take direct action against terrorists, in the intelligence community,” Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, said.

“If … we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that,” he told the House (of Representatives) intelligence committee.

Blair did not mention where the permission came from.

The Washington Post reported last week that President Barack Obama approved a December 24 strike against a compound in Yemen where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was believed to be meeting with regional al Qaeda leaders.

He was not the focus of the strike and was not killed, but is now on a list of targets, the newspaper said. The American advisers in Yemen do not participate in raids but help plan missions and provide weapons, the newspaper report said.

The CIA and the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command maintains lists of individuals they seek to kill or capture, and both lists included at least three Americans, The Washington Post said.

The comment on American targets in a public setting is highly unusual from a current intelligence official and even the congressman asking the questions was caught by surprise.

In making such decisions, “whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us, whether that American is a threat to other Americans, those are the factors involved,” Blair said.

“We don’t target people for free speech. We target them for taking action that threatens Americans,” he said.

“I’m actually a little bit surprised you went this far in open session,” Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra said.

Blair replied: “The reason I went this far in open session is I just don’t want other Americans who are watching to think that we are careless about endangering — in fact we’re not careless about endangering lives at all — but we especially are not careless about endangering American lives as we try to carry out the policies to protect most of the country.”

(Editing by Cynthia Osterman and David Storey)