Killing in the Name

Sometime in the near future– within months or perhaps weeks– the US government will murder an American citizen, probably in Yemen.

Anwar Awlaki, born in New Mexico, is suspected of terrorism related offenses. He has not been convicted nor even charged with any crime. In fact, he is described by the CIA as a “recruiter” for Al-Qaeda. One attempt has already been made on Awlaki’s life. In December 2009 Yemeni jets bombed an alleged Al-Qaeda “hideout” in Rafd. 30 people were killed, but it is believed Awlaki was either not present or survived. Since that time, Awlaki has been added to the CIA’s “kill or capture” list. The Obama administration, confronted with the illegality of  its program of killing people with whom the US is not at war responded recently:

“In this ongoing armed conflict, the United States has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks.”

Just so it’s clear: the US government reserves the right to kill anyone anywhere in the world, including its own citizens, if it suspects that person of terrorism-related activity.

(Above: a student project using images of war and Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name”. Caution: Zack de la Rocha has a potty mouth)

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