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Entries in Charlie Savage (3)


US Feature: How the Obama Administration Killed 3 US Citizens in Yemen (New York Times)

See also EA Video Analysis: Drones, President Obama, and Rand Paul's Filibuster --- "More Macbeth Than Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

Abdulrahman al-AwlakiThe missile strike on Sept. 30, 2011, that killed Mr. Awlaki — a terrorist leader whose death lawyers in the Obama administration believed to be justifiable — also killed Mr. Khan, though officials had judged he was not a significant enough threat to warrant being specifically targeted. The next month, another drone strike mistakenly killed Mr. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, who had set off into the Yemeni desert in search of his father. Within just two weeks, the American government had killed three of its own citizens in Yemen. Only one had been killed on purpose.

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Libya: How Obama Overruled His Lawyers on Intervention (Savage)

President Obama rejected the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department when he decided that he had the legal authority to continue American military participation in the air war in Libya without Congressional authorization, according to officials familiar with internal administration deliberations.

Jeh C. Johnson, the Pentagon general counsel, and Caroline D. Krass, the acting head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, had told the White House that they believed that the United States military’s activities in the NATO-led air war amounted to “hostilities.” Under the War Powers Resolution, that would have required Mr. Obama to terminate or scale back the mission after May 20.

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War on Terror: 1st Trial of Guantanamo Detainee --- 1 Conviction, 279 Acquittals

In the first trial in criminal court of a Guantanamo Bay detainee, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was acquitted yesterday on 279 of 280 charges over the 1998 bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

This, however, was not the most extraordinary news of the day. Instead, it was the reaction --- aided by a compliant US media --- that the case highlights "whether civilian courts are appropriate for trying terrorists". In other words, rights can only be upheld and due process of law observed when the outcome of Guilty is pre-ordained.

Indeed, if the media wanted to stand up to those trying to use the outcome to ensure that Guantanamo Bay remains open indefinitely, it might put forth the primary reason why it was not possible to establish Ghailani's guilt: evidence obtained by torture was not allowed by the trial judge.

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