The U.S. Government on Friday asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit over the killing of three American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen earlier this year: alleged al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula leader Anwar al-Awlaki, his son Abdulrahman, and alleged AQAP magazine editor Samir Khan.
The administration also threatened to invoke the State Secrets Privilege if the suit is not dismissed on other grounds. The privilege, which 2008 presidential candidate Barack Obama regularly blasted the Bush administration for invoking, allows the government to seek dismissal of a suit if it could expose national security secrets.
In the motion to dismiss, Justice Department lawyers argue that the necessity for the strikes and the viability of any alternatives is a question beyond the proper purview of the courts. Read More
Ohio Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich
Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich says President Barack Obama’s administration has refused to show Congress any documents detailing the legal justification for drone strikes overseas.
Kucinich is currently building bipartisan support for a resolution that would force the Obama administration to demonstrate the legality of the drone program.
The resolution is co-sponsored by Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul, New Jersey Democratic Rep. Rush Holt, Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash, Massachusetts Democratic Rep. James P. McGovern and California Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee.
“Thus far, the administration has refused to release the memo or any documents, despite multiple requests from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle,” Kucinich said in a statement on Friday. “Intelligence operations that have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight raise serious legal questions, particularly when such programs may constitute possible violations of international law or the Constitution of the United States.
Kucinich told The Daily Caller on Capitol Hill this week that Obama is bypassing Congress by authorizing drone strikes overseas.
“Regardless of your support of our drone program, Congress and the American people deserve to know which laws the United States is relying on to conduct this program, and how they are interpreted by the executive branch,” Kucinich said. Read More
Protesters outside of Hancock Air National Guard Base.
A local judge in upstate New York has signed an order of protection for a U.S. Air Force colonel that could make it a crime, punishable by up to seven years in prison, for anti-drone activists to continue their weekly peace vigil outside or near the gates of the Hancock Air National Guard base there.
How will they know if they’ve broken the rules of the order? Apparently, if one specific military officer at the base finds their protest or direct actions ‘irritating’ personally.
Specifically troubling to the activists is that Colonel Earl A Evans, a commander at the base who filed the request for the order, is someone the activists have not once targeted directly. Though the order ‘bans them specifically from approaching the home, school or workplace’ of Evans, none of the activists even seemed to know who he is.
“This is a new tactic to deny us our first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and to petition our government,” Elliot Adams, one of the seventeen activists listed in the order, said to The Guardian in an interview. Read More
Pakistan’s move to reopen its routes used for the transfer of supplies to the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan has triggered a fresh protest in city of Peshawar where demonstrators have rallied to urge the government to reverse its decision, Press TV reports.
The protesters also staged a sit-in protest on Monday and chanted anti-US and anti-government slogans.
WATCH VIDEO HERE.
They also strongly denounced the US assassination drone attacks in Pakistan that have killed thousands of innocent civilians.
“By resuming the supplies, the government has bypassed the unanimous resolution of the parliament that demanded the US to stop drone attacks. This decision has offended the whole nation,” Mushtaq Ahmad, one of the protest organizers, told Press TV.
Pakistan blocked the routes following US-led airstrikes on two checkpoints in the country’s northwest in November 2011 which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The reopening of the supply lines came after the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered “deepest regrets for the tragic incident” during a telephone conversation with her Pakistani counterpart Hina Rabbani Khar.
Pakistani protesters say they will stop the supplies by any means, even by force, if the government fails to reverse its decision.
They have also vowed to continue their protests until the termination of the assassination drone strikes.