Not licensed to kill

by Hemang Sharma


If anyone remembers Anwar Al-Awlaki , the U.S.-born Muslim cleric who is said to have inspired many Islamic militants, including Major Nidal Hasan  who shot fellow soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas. Well, the Central Intelligence Agency put Awlaki on a “Kill-list,” an assortment of names including many U.S. citizens that were given the full backing of the President Barack Obama and his administration to murder the people on the list, due to their alleged involvement in the War on Terror.


Well, the CIA took out Awlaki in a drone-strike that also killed his 16-year-old son , also an American by birth. The strike, and the CIA’s entire drone-program were under the command of a man who is in line to be the next director of CIA, John Brennan .


Am I the only one horrified about the fact that the most secret arm of the United States’ intelligence and defense agencies is authorized to kill American citizens it has no tangible proof of aiding terrorism?


Lets say I travel to Afghanistan or Pakistan with a few friends, and that raises a flag in the CIA’s chambers. I’d rather them detain and harass me at the airport and let me off with a couple of agents trailing me for the next few weeks, then just murdering me without a probable cause and a just trial.


The airport harassment is something I’ll have to live with instead of the CIA backing off because of lack of evidence against my involvement in terrorism. We’re innocent until proven guilty. Rights like that were lost when we stood by and let U.S. citizens get water boarded and detained without a trial. As much as Ron Paul would want us to, we can’t go back to a government that takes civil liberties very seriously, especially not if we stand by and do nothing.


A small group of senators are currently hassling the Obama administration to release full information on their criterion of assassinating American citizens abroad. White House Secretary Jay Carney  has said these strikes “are legal, ethical and wise.”


I’m sorry Mr. Carney, but they are not. Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution, which you and the man who work for claim to defend, does it state that you can kill an American without as much as a trail.


This is not a partisan issue and should enrage both liberal and conservatives. My liberal friends who seem to protest everything from income inequality to cruelty against animals should realize how morally and legally objectionable this is. My conservative friends, who claim that government can do no right should remind themselves that this is the worst and the most wrong the government can do.


John Brennan must not be allowed to preside over the CIA and there should be complete abstinence from slaughtering of Americans without due process.


Hemang Sharma

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