Dear CCR Supporter,
Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights and
the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court,
Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta. The suit sues senior CIA and military officials, and
argues that the killings of three American citizens by their own government in
drone strikes in Yemen last year violate the U.S. Constitution and international
law. On September 30, 2011, U.S. drone strikes killed Anwar Al-Aulaqi, who had
been placed on government “kill lists” over a year before, along with Samir
Khan. Two weeks later, on October 14, U.S. drone strikes killed Anwar
Al-Aulaqi’s son, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, as he was eating dinner with
his teenage cousin at an open-air restaurant.
Our suit seeks accountability for those killed. It seeks some modicum of
justice for Abdulrahman, the boy whose family could not give a proper burial
because he was blown to pieces by a U.S. missile, and who the United States
never alleged committed any harm. Our suit seeks to ensure that there are no
more Abdulrahmans in the future, that no more individuals are needlessly killed
in dangerously expanding covert U.S. wars that must end.
Our suit also
challenges the government’s claimed power to target and kill individuals,
including U.S. citizens, without due process and far from any field of armed
conflict. It challenges the Executive Branch’s unconstitutional and dangerous
assumption of the role of judge, jury and executioner.
Under the Obama
administration, U.S. targeted killings have escalated and expanded. Strikes have
been carried out in Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Thousands of people have been killed, including many hundreds of civilians. A
single strike in Yemen on December 17, 2009, killed 41 civilians, including 21
children, and led to popular protest. In Pakistan alone, the Obama
administration has already reportedly launched six times as many strikes as the
Bush administration, in fewer years in office.
Please support our work by
writing the White House and demanding that President Obama end unlawful
For more information, visit CCR’s
Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta case page, along with the page for our earlier,
related case, Al-Aulaqi
v. Obama. Watch
our video about 16-year-old Abdulrahman. Tune in to NPR’s All Things
Considered today at 4-6PM EST to listen to an interview with CCR’s Senior
Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei about the