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Extrajudicial Killing - Official US Policy

By Stephen Lendman


Since taking office, Obama headed America toward full-blown tyranny. He enforces Bush administration police state laws. He added more of his own. He governs like a tinpot despot.

 He targets free expression, dissent, whistleblowing, and other constitutional freedoms. He usurped diktat authority.

 He spurns civil protections, judicial fairness, and other fundamental rights. Abuse of power is institutionalized.

 By executive order, he authorized anyone indefinitely detained with or without charge on his say. He promised to close Guantanamo but keeps it open. He operates a secret global torture prison network.

 In January, Law Professor Jonathan Turley called America "no longer the land of the free," saying:

 "An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them."

 "If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will."

 Post-9/11, constitutional rights no longer apply. Diktat power replaced them. Bush took full advantage. So does Obama.

 He governs extrajudicially. He claims the right to order anyone incarcerated indefinitely or killed on his say. US citizens are included. No reasonable proof is needed. No one anywhere is safe.

 He ordered outspoken Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki killed. He was a US citizen. He threatened no one. He lived in Yemen. He opposed US imperial lawlessness. He committed no crime. He's dead for supporting right over wrong.

 Others like him are vulnerable. No one's safe anywhere. There's no place to hide. Rule of law protections don't apply. Murder, Inc. was elevate to a higher level. It's official policy. Summary judgment targets state enemies.

 Obama decides who lives or dies. He appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. He's got final kill list authority. Police states operate that way. America by far is the worst. It menaces humanity

 Democracy is a figure of speech. American never was beautiful and isn't now. Diktat power is policy.

 On February 5, The New York Times headlined "Memo Cites Legal Basis for Killing US Citizens in Al Qaeda," saying:

 Administration lawyers turned jurisprudence on its head. They call it lawful to kill US citizens if "an informed high-level (government) official" says they belong to Al Qaeda and pose "an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States."

 A Justice Department "white paper" inverted inviolable legal principles. It's titled "Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a US Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa'ida or An Associated Force."

 It's unsigned and undated. It's "the most detailed analysis yet to come into public view." It calls lawless killing without trial or evidence legal.

 Thresholds of evidence and just cause aren't discussed. Vague language substitutes. "Imminent" threats are highlighted. So is ill-defined "terrorism."

 Extrajudicial executive authority is usurped. Courts have no say. Nor does Congress.

 Twisted logic claims judicially enforcing "orders would require the court to supervise inherently predictive judgments by the president and his national security advisers as to when and how to use force against a member of an enemy force against which Congress has authorized the use of force."

 Last March, Attorney General Eric Holder made the case. He claimed America's lawful right to operate extrajudicially. He said Washington can kill US citizens affiliated with Al Qaeda if capture isn't possible.

 "Given the nature of how terrorists act and where they tend to hide, it may not always be feasible to capture a United States citizen terrorist who presents an imminent threat of violent attack," he said.

 "In that case, our government has the clear authority to defend the United States with lethal force."

 "Some have argued that the president is required to get permission from a federal court before taking action against a United States citizen who is a senior operational leader of Al Qaeda or associated forces."

 "This is simply not accurate. 'Due process' and 'judicial process' are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security. The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process."

 In other words, the UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, other inviolable international laws, constitutional rights, and US statute laws don't apply.

 With no evidence or justification whatever, Holder said "a small number of US citizens" plot attacks on America. Citizenship grants no immunity, he claims. They're fair game. They can be targeted and killed extrajudicially.

 Pentagon general counsel, Jeh Johnson, made the same case. He claims "(b)elligerents who also happen to be US citizens do not enjoy immunity where non-citizen belligerents are valid military objectives."

 "The legal point is important because, in fact, over the last 10 years Al Qaeda has not only become more decentralized, it has also, for the most part, migrated away from Afghanistan to other places where it can find safe haven."

 "Within the executive branch the views and opinions of the lawyers on the president’s national security team are debated and heavily scrutinized, and a legal review of the application of lethal force is the weightiest judgment a lawyer can make."

 "And, when these judgments start to become easy, it is time for me to return to private law practice."

 ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi addressed the white paper. She calls it a "profoundly disturbing document."

 "It’s hard to believe that it was produced in a democracy built on a system of checks and balances."

 "It summarizes in cold legal terms a stunning overreach of executive authority - the claimed power to declare Americans a threat and kill them far from a recognized battlefield and without any judicial involvement."

 ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer called the document "chilling." It manipulates legal standards. It turns them on their head. Doing so justifies the unjustifiable.

 ACLU said extrajudicial killings occur "with virtually no oversight outside the executive branch, and essential details about the program remain secret, including what criteria are used to put people on CIA and military kill lists or how much evidence is required."

 America kills illegally. Rule of law principles are spurned. Transparency and openness are gone. Accountability no longer applies. Diktat authority usurped it. Doing so is unconstitutional.

 On February 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights responded to Washington's white paper.

 CCR's senior attorney, Pardiss Kebriaei said:

 "This white paper’s claim of executive power is disturbing enough on its own, but it doesn’t describe the vast majority of targeted killings being carried out by the U.S. government, which now number in the thousands."

 "The government claims the authority to target a US citizen who is a 'senior operational leader of Al Qa’ida or an associated force,' but it doesn’t provide an analysis that would explain, for example, the killing of our client’s grandson, 16-year-old Abdulrahman Al Aulaqi, nor does it describe the so-called signature strike killings of people whose identities are unknown but who fit some undisclosed profile."

 “One of the most dangerous aspects of the white paper is the claim that 'there exists no appropriate judicial forum to evaluate these constitutional considerations' either before or after a killing."

 CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren added:

 "The parallels to the Bush administration torture memos are chilling. Those were unchecked legal justifications drawn up to justify torture; these are unchecked justifications drawn up to justify extrajudicial killing."

 "President Obama released the Bush torture memos to be transparent; he must release his own legal memos and not just a Cliffs Notes version for public consumption, particularly when scores of civilian lives are at stake."

 "Despite this attempt to appear transparent, the program remains opaque. This will rightly raise many questions for John Brennan."

 He was deeply involved in Bush administration rogue policies. He a key architect of Obama's targeted killing program.

 CCR filed suit (Al Aulaqi v. Panetta). It demands accountability "in a court of law."

 On February 5, a New York Times editorial headlined "To Kill an American," saying:

 Obama "utterly rejects the idea that Congress or the courts have any right to review (extrajudicial killings) in advance, or even after the fact."

 Twisted logic defines administration policy. It exceeds the worst of George Bush. It includes a menu of lawless practices.

 Congress hasn't officially seen the white paper. White House officials won't acknowledge administration authority to kill Awlaki. They provided no evidence justifying it.

 "According to the white paper," said The Times, "Constitution and the Congressional authorization for the use of force after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, gave" Obama unchecked powers.

 Definitions aren't forthcoming. Vagueness substitutes for specifics. Due process and judicial fairness don't apply. Geopolitical priorities alone matter.

 The Times quoted Center for National Security Studies director Kate Martin calling the white paper "a confusing blend of self-defense and law of war concepts and doesn't clearly explain whether there is a different standard for killing a senior Al Qaeda leader depending on whether he is a citizen."

 "Its due process is especially weak."

 Congress needs to act. At stake are fundamental issues. They include balance of power and rule of law principles. They no longer apply. They need to be reasserted.

 Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

 His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

 Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Obama’s Cyber Warriors & Preparing For Collapse

6 February 2013; The following information was provided to me by my DHS contact on two different occasions. Information from my first contact was previously published in two parts. I was asked to withhold the final portion of the information that was provided to me at that time until after the inauguration. The following resumes where part II left off. At the request of this source and for the sake of continuity, the following combines the information withheld and the information from our most recent contact on 4 February 2013.

DH: Do I have your permission to record this conversation?

RB: Please do.

DH: We’ve spoken at different times since the information you gave me was published. You have since given me additional information on top of the information you asked me to withhold until after the inauguration. First, what was the reason for asking me to wait to publish the remainder of our discussion until after the inauguration?

RB: This bunch, top level DHS brass, is clamping down on leaks. One way they are finding leakers is to put out false information specific to certain individuals. They can trace the information directly to the leaker due to the nature and specificity of the information. It was part self-preservation, part vetting one of my closest and most important contacts. It was a test to assure that I am not being used for disinformation purposes or being targeted as a leaker. It was something I felt I had to do, and I’m glad I did. I feel more comfortable now about my sources.

DH: So, if I understand you correctly, your sources “passed” whatever test you were performing?

RB: Yes.

DH: And you still have access to information, I mean, whistleblower type information?

RB: I know what you mean, so I guess that’s one way to put it. Okay.

DH: For continuity and to refresh your memory, I’m going to play the remainder of our recorded interview from our contact last month.

[At this point, we listened to the dialogue previously recorded. After the recording concluded, this DHS source suggested that we combine new information with the previously recorded information to avoid unnecessary repetition. It was agreed and the recorder was turned back on with his consent].

DH: Just to be clear, let me hit this again. The main reason you asked me to wait to publish your previous statements had more to do with you, your sources and well, your own self preservation than the content of our discussion.

RB: I guess you could say that. But the information is still valid and becomes even more important when combined with the latest information I have for you.

DH: Okay, we can get on with it, then.

RB: First of all, two days after the inauguration, at exactly 7:00 a.m. on January 23, something called “the Cyber-Warriors for Obama Project” was activated. I heard about this the week after the election, but only saw a hardcopy draft in late December. From what I was told, I believe this is a project that is being paid for through funds from Obama’s political corporation, the 501(c)4 Organizing for Obama, I believe it’s called. I can’t be sure, but that’s what I was told.

At that time, I was shown a white, three-ring binder with Obama’s circular campaign logo imprinted on the outside of the binder with the name “Cyber-Warriors for Obama” printed in blue across the top. Inside were the names and e-mail addresses of 3,575 “cyber assets,” or “warriors,” listed in alphabetical order under about a dozen or so “team leaders.” From a separate sheet I was shown, most of these “assets” are being paid just over minimum wage, but as I understand it, they work from home and have no overhead. I believe there are about two dozen supervisors who make substantially more.

Now I only had the binder for a minute, and could not take it from the room I was in, so this is strictly from memory.

It was tabbed, and one section with the word “targets” had a list of religious web sites, web sites I recognized as Christian. Another section was a listing of conservative Internet sites. There was another tab with the label “problem sites” that seemed quite extensive. I looked at that section, and it was broken down further into “birther” sites, “pro-gun” sites, “anti-abortion” sites, just to name a few.

There was also a section of the usual news sites, like CNN, ABC, you know. Numerous e-mail addresses were conspicuous under each news organization, which also included Fox… [unintelligible]. I figured you were going to ask.

The first page of the binder had bullet points labeled “objectives” and instructions for the cyber-assets. There was also a very detailed non-disclosure agreement with the word “DRAFT” typed in big, light grey letters across the body of the two-page agreement. The agreement and the instructions were typed on white paper with a warning, printed in red on each page, that the document was not to be copied or disseminated.

DH: Where did you see this? I mean, was it at DHS?

RB: Yes, and that’s as much as I can say on the location.

DH: What’s the magic behind the number 3,575?

RB: I asked the person showing me [the binder] that question. Supposedly, it has to do with their budget, or the project funding.

DH: Go on.

RB: The instructions seemed very specific. Infiltrate web forums, collect screen names, avatars, and posters’ tag lines, and attempt to resolve these to their actual identities. I read one paragraph that listed circumstances when the “asset” was only to monitor but do not disrupt without authorization. There was another section titled “Divert, Disrupt and Destroy,” listing “how to’s” in certain cases.

There was also a section on maintaining a social media presence, and another on the most effective use of Twitter.

Lastly, there was a “reference section,” which included statistics, specific language to use to marginalize different posters, and effective methods to discredit people while maintaining a sense of legitimacy.

It was surreal, to say the least.

Oh, one more thing that’s important. As I said, these “kids,” or young people I believe, are known collectively as “Cyber-Warriors for Obama.” The subheading was “And the truth shall set you free.” Truth? Really? They were hired on their hacking abilities, or more precisely on their abilities to make postings through proxy servers and effectively use alternate identities and multiple e-mail addresses. Their purpose is to spread disinformation, not truth.

There were also motivational statements on various pages, including one that referred to Obama as the “Pharaoh of the Internet,” which I thought was an odd characterization.

But what’s important is that suddenly, through the use of Internet aliases, multiple e-mail addresses, and screen names, a project that employs 3,575 people will have the appearance and effectiveness of maybe 10,000 or more different people.

DH: Do you know if these “team members” have their own copies of the binder you saw?

RB: No. I was told that these people were hired through the campaign offices located throughout the country, and that training meetings were held at various locations. The binders were for instructional purposes, not to hand out. Although I think the people have, or were given, a list of web sites.

I don’t know any more on the actual mechanics of the project.

DH: During our previous contact, you said that we should listen to Obama’s comments about the economy, I mean during the inaugural speech. What’s so significant about that?

RB: Well, this is perhaps the most important issue people need to understand. There will be, and was, talk of a recovery and a stronger economy, but it’s all propaganda. As you heard me say in the recording you just played, the complete inaugural address will be a “Baghdad Bob” moment, and it was. Many economists will use false figures and statistics to deceive the American people. People must not downplay the importance of the economic aspect of this address. The sudden collapse of the U.S. dollar (however it actually plays out) and everything that goes with it (such as social chaos and riots) will be one part of a plan that was set in motion a long time ago.

DH: And you are getting this from your current intelligence sources? Frankly, I’m not sure I completely understand the connection between DHS and what’s going on with the economy. Seems like it should be separate.

RB: What’s not to understand? The economic devastation that will take place is an attack, a planned attack on the U.S. Just look at it that way. This “regime” already knows the outcome, which is the debasement of our national currency. Like I said, it’s been in the works most recently since the 1990s. A collapse does not happen without a lot of pain - people losing everything in their retirement accounts, savings and so on. Don’t you think that will cause one hell of a national security problem? And who is running our national or domestic security? DHS.

Oh, and one of the reasons I wanted to include more recent information into our discussion relates to something you did last month, after our talk. I know you said you did not want to source your own work, but there was one important radio program you did that caused a very angry response inside DHS.

DH: How so?

RB: You had a financial insider on your program who went by some letter, like the first or last letter of his name.

DH: Yes, that was “V” who is a source for Steve Quayle. We did a program at the beginning of January, I think ­ I’d have to look. [Edited to add that the actual program was 11 January 2013.]

RB: Yeah, that was it. If you ask your network, I think you’ll find a request was made for the transcript of that program by
DHS. The information given by that source was protected, or confidential, especially regarding the actions of big bankers here in the U.S. and the foreign markets. These international bankers are playing a big role in killing the U.S., and although they’re bold, they still don’t want certain things disclosed before their time.

DH: But that information had nothing to do with national security. I mean, how would this relate to DHS?

RB: Now you’re giving me a headache [laughter]. Let me spell it out for you, and this is the crux of everything. We have Obama (or whatever his real name is) in the Oval Office. You’ve said it before, that America is a “captured operation.” Well, it is, and every top level operative at DHS and Justice knows it. They have his dossier.

Think about Obama’s mother working in microfinance with Timothy Geithner’s father. What are the odds? And that’s just one “coincidence.”

A lot of people won’t get this until it’s too late, or maybe never get it. But take a good look at Obama and the people who surround him. Look at the 2008 economic crisis under Bush. Look at the run up to where we’re at today. The orchestrated boom of the 1990's. The GLB Act signed into law under Clinton that changed the complexion of our domestic economy. Look at the people who are still around, the architects of this. It’s a big lie! It’s all been rigged, and the insiders know this! Look at the continuity of agenda since “Bush senior.”

Now listen to what I am telling you. This is a continuing operation that involves many of the same people on both sides of the aisle in Washington. This is one of the reasons why no one wants to talk about Obama’s past. He is the product of a continuing intelligence operation, put in power to oversee the dismantling of the U.S., with the economy being the lynchpin of our destruction. Obama, Jarrett, and the Clintons are in constant contact with all high level operatives inside the DHS. Perhaps not directly in all cases but through their contacts. They are working together to see to it that the U.S. economy is brought down, robbing the people of their wealth and then blaming partisan politics for the crash.

For the first time in recent history, you’re going to see people hungry and out in the streets. Those unprepared or those thinking this is all [expletive deleted]. Desperate and begging for food. Think Katrina, but on a national scale. That’s what is being planned for Americans, and few people are willing to see what’s happening, or willing to believe it. Now here’s where DHS, my sources and information comes in.

Everybody is looking at the gun “problem” in America. Fights over the Second Amendment. State laws that go against the Constitution. Blame it on Sandy Hook or Colorado. Tell people we need to be disarmed because it’s for the children. It’s all [expletive deleted]. Most people know it’s all [expletive deleted], but that’s where their rational assessment stops. Why do you think the people in power want to - no ­ need to disarm the public? It’s because they are planning an economic collapse, and an armed and informed populace is a danger to their plan.DH: Wait, wouldn’t it make sense to let the guns stay in the hands of the people and have the people shoot it out among themselves? Wouldn’t this fit in with their desire for chaos, and make it easier for Martial Law to be implemented? RB: In a way, but you’re still not thinking big enough. The way this is being planned includes that scenario, but they are very afraid that once total chaos breaks out, they will become the targets. So to a point you’re right, but then a crackdown must take place.DH: But the elected ones are well protected.

RB: Yeah, but you are not thinking like them. There are several scenarios or models they have commissioned. They exist in printed form and have been given to Obama and Jarrett specifically. It’s war gaming with the American people. That caused some mid-level military people with a conscience to ask what the hell is going on, and some even refused to take part in these exercises. By the way, Napolitano is the go-to person for these models.

Anyway, there is a fear that their own people won’t be loyal to them when everything begins to implode. You’ve been seeing purges lately. Remember what Jarrett supposedly said about being “hell to pay” after the re-election? That process has started.

DH: Those who have been “purged” ­ why haven’t we seen anyone speak out about what’s going on?

RB: They’ve been threatened. Some were not worth even being threatened and became “examples.”

DH: Like who?

RB: Oh c’mon, look at the recent mysterious deaths. Pick one.

DH: Okay, but wouldn’t they be safer by speaking out, by telling everything they know? Some ordinary people might call them cowards. Why not just go public [interrupted/over talk]

RB: Yeah, how’d that work out so far? And go public to who? CNN? They are in real danger, and so are their families. Anyone close to them. Even if one or two would go public, how do you think that would work out for them? I’ll tell you how. They would make [Senator] McCarthy look like an American hero, which he was, but that’s… They’ve made it so that no one will be able to make any real difference to their agenda. They know that.

DH: So no one is going to say anything ­ ever?

RB: That’s not what I said. Some will talk when the time is right. Some have “insurance policies” that will be used at the right time, when they will make the most difference.

DH: I feel like we’re getting off point. So, what is being planned?

RB: The DHS will oversee the domestic crackdown that will happen when the perfect storm bears down on us. And the perfect storm is the economy, meaning the U.S. dollar collapse and hyperinflation, racial or class riots sparked by a high-profile incident, and another mass causality event involving guns. Watch for these three things to happen all at once, or in close succession.

The polarization caused by these events will be sufficient to cause a second civil war.

DH: When? How soon will all of this happen?

RB: I don’t have a crystal ball, but I have seen various reports referencing unprecedented “drills” to take place in later March and April. I’ll mention this because I know a lot of people on the inside at DHS have seen this. A document called “Operation Thunderdome.” It’s maybe 50 or 60 pages, I’m not certain. It describes an economic collapse in the U.S., followed by an attack on the government by “a made-up patriotic group.” It combines gun owners, Constitutionalists, and even Christians into an enemy group that pulls off an attack in Washington.

But don’t fall into the trap of trying to pick the time of these events. Their plans are flexible, but their objectives are carved in stone.

DH: Sounds like a Reichstag type event - sometime.

RB: Exactly. Maybe not just one. They have plans and back-up plans and back-ups for the back-ups. And in spite of the warnings, and history, enough people will be outraged and side with the government. This brings me to my final point. What do you think all of the prepositioning of paramilitary assets, caches of ammunition, and the opening of non-descript buildings owned or leased by the federal government are for?

It’s for you and people like you. It’s for those who are turned in by their neighbors, friends, co-workers, and others who are hungry, broke and broken. What we are about to experience will be like it was during the Civil War, only worse. People will be outgunned, surveillance will be everywhere, and it will be much more difficult to hide and fight back. Not impossible, but more difficult.

DH: So you’re painting a picture of a Mad Max scenario, hence the reference to Thunderdome?

RB: Believe it or not, part of the model, or at least one of them, includes the depiction of a somewhat “normal” society, at least after the initial “hostilities.” People will be controlled by the national government, centralized ­ in order to escape the chaos. Think of it this way. You want food and medical care? You will not be able to own a gun, period. The current federal legislation is all window dressing ­ a distraction. No one expects anything meaningful to pass. It won’t have to. States, yes, but those states are lining up for federal money. The elected leaders are of the same ideology as Obama, but aside from those, we’ll see many people turning in their weapons for food, shelter, medical care, and false guarantees of safety. That’s what the new normal will look like.

As I said, you’ve got to think bigger ­ much bigger. The lies are bigger than most people can imagine. The people at the top are laughing at us. Think about that. They are laughing at us because it’s right in front of our noses. And you know, the bigger the lie…

DH: Yes, the more people will fall for it.

RB: Right. I think we’re done here for now. I’ve given you as much information as I know, as I have seen. Watch the economy ­ the indicators. Watch for a false flag. We are being baited. Let people pooh-pooh this information, seek information through FOI requests. Not gonna happen. We’re talking about an operation so black and so big, and one that has to be done in the next few years, under Obama.

This is something that is international in scope. The plan is international, and is dedicated to the dismantling or destruction of America. It’s happening right in front of us, but too few can actually see it.

DH: I’m sure you, well… We’ll be accused of scaring people without citable evidence.

RB: People need to wake up. Believe me or don’t. It’s their choice.

DH: Wait, one more thing. What should we be looking for next?

RB: Look around. You’re seeing it. We’ll talk again. Please shut off the recorder.
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