For the first time in history, an American president has officially ordered the assassination of a US citizen.|
President Barack Obama has approved the "targeted killing" of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric who is reported to be in hiding in Yemen. No substantial evidence has been brought to bear against Awlaki, 38, who is accused of terrorism, and he will be afforded no legal recourse against the death sentence.
Word of Obama's decision has been intentionally leaked by multiple intelligence officials to various media sources. Reuters and the Wall Street Journal published news articles on the story on Tuesday, and these were confirmed by stories in the Washington Post and New York Times on Wednesday.
The killing of citizens declared by the executive branch to be "terrorists" was first announced as state policy by Obama's director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, in February congressional hearings. "We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community," Blair said. "If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that."
Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico,
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