Relatives of three Americans killed in drone strikes in Yemen are suing top Pentagon and CIA officials, saying the killings were unconstitutional.
Cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan died in September. Awlaki’s son Abdulrahman, 16, died in October.
Relatives accuse Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, CIA Director David Petraeus and two military commanders of approving and directing the strikes. …
“The killings violated fundamental rights afforded to all US citizens, including the right not to be deprived of life without due process of law,” the legal complaint says.
The Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union say they are giving legal assistance to the plaintiffs.
“There is something terribly wrong when a 16-year-old American boy can be killed by his own government without any accountability or explanation,” said Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights.
A justice department spokesman told Reuters news agency the department had seen the complaint and was reviewing it. Correspondents say the case could face procedural hurdles before it is settled.
In March, US Attorney General Eric Holder defended the drone strike policy, saying the US “may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organisation with which the United States is at war – even if that individual happens to be a US citizen.”
The US government has not officially accepted responsibility for carrying out the strikes.
The Department of Justice, which is expected to represent the defendants, could contend that state secrets would be exposed as part of the evidence needed to argue the case.
Before the lethal strike took place, Awlaki’s father had tried to get a court injunction to stop US attempts to kill his son. The request was dismissed on the grounds that Mr Awlaki could not sue in place of his son.
Technology is too far ahead of morality. Will the killings creep closer and closer to home until the drones are killing anyone anywhere in the world at any time? Women, children, babies, politicians who oppose the agenda, no problem. After any drone murder, everyone killed was a “Top Al Quaeda Leader.” Speak out because you hate the drones? Bam! You’re dead. Whisper softly under your breath that perhaps the drones aren’t all that good for us? Bam! You’re dead. How long do you figure we have until we all live in drone hell?
I have no idea how accurate this is, but someone has a “map of drone bases” on google maps.