Criticism over the sudden CIA-led drone strike in Yemen that killed two American citizens last week has promoted questions over which authorities can approve such secretive assassinations.
Now a report reveals that a top-secret panel of high-up officials sent their suggestion all the way to President Obama.
According to a report released today by Reuters, the deaths of al-Qaeda linked militants Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan stemmed after their names made it to a “capture or kill list” that was put together by a secret panel of top government brass. That clandestine collective, however, does not keep a record of their neither rulings, nor do laws exist that establish its operation procedure or existence whatsoever.
The secrecy behind the sneak attack and lack of transparency is causing critics from across the board to question what many are calling extrajudicial killings. Both al-Awlaki and Khan were American citizens that were never formally charged with a crime or brought to trial. It was alleged ties with al-Qaeda and connections to the September 11 terrorist attacks that put their names on the list.
Does this mean that the US government can kill anyone it perceives as a threat without bringing them to trial? So far, yes.