ACLU files suit against Obama, Petraeus on behalf of dead Al Qaeda terrorists

« Previous story
Next story »
ACLU files suit against Obama, Petraeus on behalf of dead Al Qaeda terrorists

Raise your hand if you think I am exaggerating with that title....ok, you can put them down now.

Civil rights groups have filed a lawsuit challenging the drone strike killings of three U.S. citizens in Yemen.

The  Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union  filed the lawsuit in federal court in Washington on Wednesday on behalf  of relatives of the victims. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, CIA  Director David Petraeus and other high officials are named as  defendants.

And just who are these poor victims?  Let's look at some quick bios:

Anwar al-Aulaqi: "senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda."  Email pals with Major Nidal Hassan before he shot up Ft Hood.  Was allegedly the guy behind the Christmas Underwear Bomber fiasco.

Samir Khan: Pakistani American editor and publisher of Inspire magazine, an English-language online magazine reported to be published by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.  Samir here used to live in his mom's basement in North Carolina and has been stirring up trouble for years, and my friends at "My Pet Jawa" have been tracking him the whole time.

Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi: Son of Anwar, he was killed after the other two in a targetted strike that is claimed to have killed other AQ operatives.

ACLU for their part put up pictures of a young Abdulrahman and had this to say:

In Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta (Al-Awlaki v. Panetta) the groups charge that the U.S. government’s killings of U.S. citizens Anwar Al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, and 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi in Yemen last year violated the Constitution’s fundamental guarantee against the deprivation of life without due process of law.

The killings were part of a broader program of “targeted killing” by the United States outside the context of armed conflict and based on vague legal standards, a closed executive process, and evidence never presented to the courts.

Since 2002, and routinely since 2009, the U.S. government has carried out deliberate and premeditated killings of suspected terrorists overseas.  In some cases, including that of Anwar Al-Aulaqi, the targets were placed on “kill lists” maintained by the CIA and the Pentagon.  According to news accounts, the targeted killing program has expanded to include “signature strikes” in which the government does not know the identity of individuals, but targets them based on “patterns” of behavior that have never been made public.  The New York Times recently reported that the government counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

Now, the last time I wrote about this subject it got 355 comments.  As I noted at the time I wrote that post, the whole situation made me uncomfortable, and I wasn't sure what to think.

If anyone is reading an inherent bias on my part in the preceding, I'd love to know what that bias is, because I honestly have no clue how I feel about this whole thing.  I feel uncomfortable with secret bodies not authorized by legislation authorizing things like killings.  On the other hand, Awlaki needed to be ventilated and good riddance to bad rubbish.  But, we should always think worst case scenario with these sorts of things.  Can you envision a scenario where a US Citizen is killed abroad with a drone attack, and he didn't have what was coming to him?  Probably we all can.  So, what safeguard is there?  That's where I get somewhat lost.

I still feel that way.  I'm not crying into my pillow at night that these horrible folks got vaporized, not even a little.  But I still don't know what the legal mechanism for this is.  I had rather hoped at the time that there would be some statement made about how these trials took place in a FISA Court, but I still haven't heard that being the case. 

You can see the picture above, that was the last article written for the Al Qaeda magazine by Samir.  That's apparently not the Samir that the ACLU and his parents want to remember.  From the court filing:

28. Plaintiff Sarah Khan is a U.S. citizen who has lived in the United States since 1992 with her husband and children. Her son, Samir, was born in 1985 and became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

29. Samir Khan attended elementary school in Queens, New York, and high school on Long Island, New York. After graduating from high school in 2003, he moved to North Carolina, where he attended a community college and worked part-time. He left for Yemen in October 2009.

30. Anonymous government officials have told reporters that Samir Khan was a propagandist” for AQAP. The government never publicly indicted him for any crime.

"Anonymous"?  That's his magazine up there.  If an "Anonymous" government official said that the bright ball in the sky is the sun, it doesn't make it not so.  Just head over to My Pet Jawa and hunt through their records for "InshallahShaheed" which was Samir's online name. 

This part of the lawsuit apparently had the opposite effect as it was intended, at least for me:

Senior government officials, including Defendant Panetta and President Barack Obama, have acknowledged the responsibility of the United States for killing Anwar Al-Aulaqi. On the same day the strike was carried out, DOD published a news article stating that “[a] U.S. airstrike . . . killed . . . Anwar [Al-Aulaqi] early this morning” and that he had been “high on the military-intelligence list of terrorist targets.”

Yeah, well good for them.  I feel a little better everytime I read it, because it means there are fewer folks out there trying to hurt my family, including my brothers and sisters that are still deployed to Afghanistan.

So, I still remain concerned about the way the law of this works, but I'm not losing sweat over these guys here.  What say you?

Posted in the burner | 152 comments
« Previous story
Next story »


* To comment without a Facebook account, please scroll to the bottom.


I totally agree with Mr. FORD.

ACLU is nothing but a pack of traitors with nothing to do except sue, sue, sue over people who have already forfeited their constitutional rights.

The ACLU needs to be disbanded or desolved as an orginization. It was designed to help the helpless and defend the people who had no other means of defence. If they would put there efforts to good use like going after the Mexican Government to reimburse the U.S. for all the money we have paid to Mexican citizens here in this country ILLEAGELLY, then that would be a cause worth fighting for not supporting Terriorist.... It is time we as Americans stood up and said "NO MORE HANDOUTS". Illeagel means illeagel,not here have some money and we will figure it out. GO HOME and come back properly.

And I don't see the ACLU suing Al Qaeda on behalf of the survivors of 9-11. So much for equal protection under the law. ACLU where are you.

I too will not lose any sleep over this assasinated group. (Trial or no trial...they were assasinated). But with the wording in the NADA, and for that matter, throughout the entire Patriot Act, there is way too much wiggle room for any law enforcement agency to act 1st, and go "OOPS"

We should offer one way tickets out of America for all their supporters. Why complain when you enjoy the luxury of toilet paper -

And guess what? The American Taxpayer - you and me - pays the ACLU to sue us.
Isn't it wonderful?

I have just looked through the ACLU foundation's Form 990 (tax return), and I couldn't see where it got any government money. It may, but I couldn't find it. This is the litigation organization. The ACLU itself is mainly a lobbying organization, and does little litigation so I didn't look at theirs.

Democrats did that to you.



If not then what did we fight for? There is little doubt that the three are Bad Guyz<tm>. They are also American citizens and have the right of trial. Obama violated the Constitution in killing them without judicial process. By doing so we handed Osama bin laden a victory, we've destroyed the very basis of our nation.

Assassinating American citizens is a very dangerous threshold to cross. Who's next? Who will the next president target? Will we assassinate drunk drivers? How about New York Bankers and Wall Street Tycoons who brought our nation to verge of bankruptcy?

This is the danger of extra-judicial murder. They may have needed killing but abandoning our system of checks and balances is an even greater danger for it corrupts our government.

People you are governed by the laws of the country you are in, not where you are from. When an American goes to Iraq and gets in the way of any type of attack it is their own blame. If you run with the wrong crowd and get killed, its your fault. The line the ACLU is trying to cross is to hold other counties to American laws and that is plain wrong. Your complaining about court and justice for these 3 but ONLY because they were American citizens? All of you siding with the ACLU are doing EXACTLY what your condeming the US Government for doing, your convicting Obama without a trial.

Nowhere in my USMC training do I remember that we are to check an enemy combatant's id. (PLEASE SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS BEFORE WE START SHOOTING AT ONE ANOTHER?) You must have an agenda against our president to say something as dumb as that bullsh*t that you stated.

Thank You, your exactly right an agenda against our President by a group of racists, radical individuals.

Using your theory, I would guess you would really honestly believe that AQ asked permission to wipe out the twin towers, right???? When someone declares themselves a terrorist by word or actions, the gloves have to come off. Just like the old saying "all is fair in love and war". In this case it was a love of war against the UNITED STATES. Not a healthy move.

My comment was injected in the incorrect spot. It is in reply to "Curlly" about his believe that terrorist have legal rights...

get a life Curly

I agree that we fought for those liberties guaranteed to our citizens. I also feel that in combat - and this is combat - those rules are suspended. These traitors were in effect enemy combatants and got what happens to those opposing us. We lost in Vietnam because our civilian leaders placed unworkable restrictions on our troops. Let the generals fight and when the peace comes let the civilians take over the administration of our civil liberties. As far as the ACLU is concerned their long history of championing our enemies is well documented. Yeah someone needs to protect the underdogs but there should be limits and the ACLU stomps all over those. I would hope that whatever trail is convened be one of a jury of twelve honorable citizens.

No One Can File Suit Against The Federal Government Of The United States Of America. Check Your Constitutional Law. If You Have Anyone Able To Interpet It Properly.

Sure you can.  You can sue the Gov't for any number of ways of relief.  We just had Obamacare, that was an action against the US.  We also Alvarez suing the United States.  How about the lawsuits against the US dealing with Agent Orange.  


Are you referring to Sovereign Immunity?  


For more info, you can look here:

Sure you can sue the US! There's the Federal Tort Claims Act, for one. Then there's the Administrative Procedures Act. 5 USC 552. You can sue Federal government employees as a Bivens Action, 28 U.S.C. 1331. . Generally, the Fed Govt has waived (given up) it's 'sovereign immunity' except for cash damages.

I too do not know the legal aspects of this but the way that I see it, anyone that declares a war on the United States and commits acts of terrorism against us, relinquishes ANY kind of protection under the law. They had declared themselves against any legality of the United States therefore they reject it. In the case of the ACLU, I believe that we should sue the ACLU for being a total and complete farce to humanity and to the United States of America. As far as I'm concerned, they should just start treating the ACLU and a bunch of nutcases and ignore them completely!

When these people declare they are traitors; then haven't they also denied their rights in the American system? And haven't we declared war on all terrorist,both foreign and domestic? They are the enemy,
They deserve what they have coming to them as enemies of our country. Traitors were put up against the wall and executed!

The ACLU should change their name to a more appropriate and more fitting moniker: NOCLU. I'm site glad I served my country so idiots like this can counter act the safety I tried to provide.

I cann't beleve what I just read, I have always thought the A C L U was strange even thought they might havre done some good at one time. I now know they are crazy to defend these men,as far as I am concerned they should be tried as war crimanals and taken out and shot or hung or wait I have an idea,maybe beheaded just like they do to us. GOD BLESS AMERICA

...all American citizen patriots, I plead guilty to the charge!
How might I say this; I'm proud that my country is not only capable of rooting-out the vermin that infests this planet, I support the eradication of all who hold ill-will toward this epitome of democracy - the United States of America. To al Queda and all like swine, I say, "You want jihad? You don't know what jihad can be until the full might of the USA comes to bear on your rancid ass!"

I believe domestic terrorists are worse than the any other kind. Pretend to be loyal to the US and send secrets along with hijacking aircraft and flying hundreds of innocent Americans into a building. Who the Hell can we she over that? I say love our country the rest of us fought to defend or show some balls and get the Hell out! The ACLU should pick and chose their battles a little better, they are looking a lot like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. GOD BLESS AMERICA! .

I cann't beleve what I just read, I have always thought the A C L U was strange even thought they might havre done some good at one time. I now know they are crazy to defend these men,as far as I am concerned they should be tried as war crimanals and taken out and shot or hung or wait I have an idea,maybe beheaded just like they do to us. GOD BLESS AMERICA

I agree with your comment but the key point is that they should be tried... the ACLU's point was they were citizens put on a kill list without a trial or due process.

The President swore an oath to protect and defend the nation. He, Petraeus, and many others fulfilled that oath. For the ACLU (with "American" in their name no less) to assert that those people violated the Constitution is an example of how far removed they are from what America is.

Obama has nothin to apologize for defending America. He might not be the second coming and can't create jobs singled handed but he makes the hard choices when it comes to national security. And I didn't vote for him because I thought he would be weak on national security!

Can I be rude and say I wish the government would target the ACLU. Not a lot of difference, you defend them, you associate with them you are them. No tears will be wasted, traitors used to be shot or hung. This is just the modern version of that. The government has a duty to protect the citizens of this country. It would seem all of the above failed to live up to their oaths they took to become citizens. Not a real loss to this country or the world. I could go on and on and I am sure the courts will see cause to move forward, but I am proud those bomb/ missiles were made in the USA!

Whoa John, what you are suggesting is to give the Feds' an excuse to 'take out' anyone they see fit. Not a good plan. You and I could be next. Better to do it constituitionally. If someone questions if we are lawful, that's ok. BUT, if they themselves are providing 'comfort to an enemy' then we should come down on that group with full force. As we should have done with Hanoi Jane, and the rest of the creeps who hide under our freedoms and laws. lf a link could be obtained between the ACLU and any of the 911 hijackers, then a monetary law suit should be filed for compensation to the people who died, the cost of the facilities, fire fighters, cops and the whole nine yards. This bankrupting suit would put an end to traitorus groups.
Korean Vet.

If yo try to go the way of courts by the time it gets to court i wonder how many these people would be instrmental in killing

I would suggest we make the drones a little larger and strap ACLU members to them so they can see first had how it works and if they survive they can give us a full accounting.

As far as I'm concerned, the ACLU is a terrorist organization.

Where has the ACLU been the last decade? Do they not comprehend that we are at war with terrorist's who want all Americans dead! Of course no one in the Government at any level should authorize the killing of anyone on a whim. But we are talking about hard core terrorist fanatics here! The fact they were Americans makes it easier to justify in my book. I am a disabled veteran of the "Global War on Terror" in Afghanistan and the way I see it, we should start watching the ACLU for supporting and sympathizing with known terrorist's!

I applaud the government for taking out the terrorists. When people get upset about the protection of our country and military, they should lose their rights. Let them go and do what our military does. That kind will not protect this country, but are the first to make a scene when something does not go their way. All of us need to be alert and protect our country by what ever means it takes. All of us!!
I think of the attacks against Pearl Harbor, the pentagon, world's trade center and all of the bombings of innocent people. Those that do that are cowards and should not have any benefits from our great country.

I'm on the side of anybody the ACLU choses to sue. As far as I'm concerned, being a retired Navy Chief and a retired Deputy Sheriff, the ACLU stands for the "American Communist Liberation Union" or in other words totally against the fundamentals of the United States and totally stretching and twisting the Bill of Rights and Consitution in general for a totally liberal view point that this country can not survive with.

What part of war do not these righteous, liberals not understand? Regardless of citizenship, when you are at war you take out the enemy. There is no doubt those in question were the enemy. You cannot attack the United States during war and think that because you hold a citizeship it means you need to have a trial before we eliminate you as a threat. If a Japanese pilot flying over pearl harbor had U.S. Citizenship, would that mean we could not take him out because he had to go to trial? If we knew the day before that the terrorist driving the truck into the Marine Compound in Beriut was a U.S. Citizen would that have meant we could not take him out but instead offer him a trial? Mr. Surmudgeon and other civil libertarians need to live in the real world and recongize we are at war. To call removing the scum of the earth an "assasination" is far too respecting. You don't assasinate the enemy, don't murder the enemy,....... you KILL the enemy........before they kill you. God Bless America

Treason is punishable by death.
The law is on the books.
IMO it sickens me for this to be made more than it is.
They are lucky it was a drone and not a Marine.


What a bunch of traitors and kooks. Look at any issue in which they are involved and they are always on the side that is not American. Take away all of their Govt funding!

It is very disturbing to me that an American citizen feels compelled to become an anti government terrorist. However, when that person commits anti American acts at the orders of an other government or organization has he not allied himself with that power against American. Is that the act of a loyal American. Remember, the Founding Fathers did not go to England to low up King George.

Absolutely, also the individual has renounced their citizenship. Reread our pledge of allegiance to the republic of the United States. Since the 1970's the United States has had a zero tolerance for terrorism and terrorists. So why would the court system be in violation of the will of the people. Congress exists for the will of the people.

How about some Drone Strikes on the ACLU. They're American terrorists. Better yet, open season on the ACLU would be nice. No limit of course.

If this were the 1940's... menbers of the congress and white house would have all members of the ACLU in prision a long time ago. But, we have a different generation of people now.

ACLU....Jihad with a law degree

The ACLU, in my opinion, is nothing more than a modern day communist party determined to stir up trouble whenever and where ever they can. Move their headquarters to the middle east. FOREVER!

In this screwed time in our history the ACLU just might win. We have enough bleeding hearted idiots in the country that would support them. The last presidential election proves that.

I think under the Patriot Act the ACLU should be consider a terroris organization for working with known terrorist and the entire organizations assests should be frozen while it is investigated.


Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Have a tip for us? A link that should appear here? Contact us.
News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.