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The Shooting of Ibragim Todashev- Is the Lawlessness of Obama's Drone Policy Coming Home Coming Home?

The Shooting of Ibragim Todashev- Is the Lawlessness of Obama's Drone Policy Coming Home Coming Home?

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Published by Michael Drew Prior
The F.B.I. killed Ibragim Todashev. U.S. agencies have commissioned hundreds of extrajudicial executions just since Obama took office. We are executioners.
The F.B.I. killed Ibragim Todashev. U.S. agencies have commissioned hundreds of extrajudicial executions just since Obama took office. We are executioners.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Michael Drew Prior on Jun 06, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/02/2013

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The Shooting Of IbragimTodashev: Is The Lawlessness of Obama's Drone Policy ComingHome?
This from Information Clearing House--Once a state gets used to abusing the rights of foreigners indistant lands, it's almost inevitable it will import the habit
By George Monbiot
---------------------- Did the FBI executeIbragim Todashev? Heappears to have been shot seven times while being interviewedat home in Orlando, Florida, about his connection to one of theBoston bombing suspects. Among the shots was the assassin'shallmark: a bullet to the back of the head. What kind of aninterview was it?An irregular one. There was no lawyer present.It was notrecorded. By the time Todashev was shot, he had apparently been interrogated by three agents for five hours. And then? Whoknows? First, we were told,he lunged at them with a knife. Howhe acquired it, five hours into a police interview, was notexplained. How he posed such a threat while recovering from aknee operation also remains perplexing.
 
At first he drew the knife while being interviewed. Thenheacquired it during a break from the interview.Then it ceased to  be a knifeand became a sword, then a pipe, then a metal pole,then a broomstick, then a table, then a chair. In one account allthe agents were in the room at the time of the attack; in another,all but one had mysteriously departed, leaving the remainingofficer to face his assailant alone.If – and itremains a big if – this was an extrajudicial execution,it was one of hundreds commissioned by US agencies sinceBarack Obama first took office. The difference in this case isthat it took place on American soil. Elsewhere, suspects are bumped off without even the right to the lawyerless interviewIbragim Todashev was given.In his speech two days af ter Todashev was killed, President Obama maintained that "our commitment to constitutional principles has weathered every war ". But he failed to explainwhich constitutional principles permit him to authorise thekilling of people in nations with which the US is not at war.When his attorney general, Eric Holder, tried to do so last year,he got himself into a terrible mess, ending with the extraordinaryclaim that"'due process' and 'judicial process' are not one andthe same… the constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process". So what isdue processif it doesn't involve the courts?Whatever the president says it is?Er, yes. In the same speech Obama admitted for the first timethat four American citizens have been killed by US drone strikesin other countries. In the next sentence, he said: "I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and k ill
 
any US citizen – with a drone, or a shotgun – without due process." This suggests he believes that the legal rights of those four people had been respected before they were killed.Given that they might not even have known that they wereaccused of the alleged crimes for which they were executed, thatthey had no opportunities to contest the charges, let alone begranted judge or jury, this suggests that the former law professor's interpretation of constitutional rights is somewhatelastic. If Obama and his nameless advisers say someone is aterrorist, he stands convicted and can be put to death.Left hanging in his speech is the implication that non-UScitizens may be killedwithout even the pretence of due process.Themany hundreds killed by drone strikes(who, civilian or  combatant, retrospectively become terrorists by virtue of having been killed in a US anti-terrorism operation) are afforded norightseven in principle. As the process of decision-making remains secret, as the USgovernment refuses even to acknowledge – let alone todocument or investigate – the killing by its drones of peoplewho patently had nothing to do with terrorism or any other known crime, miscarriages of justice are not just a risk emergingfrom the deployment of the president's kill list. They are aninevitable outcome. Under the Obama doctrine, innocent until proved guilty has mutated to innocent until proved dead.The president made his rejection of habeas corpus and hisassumption of a godlike capacity for judgment explicit later inthe speech, while discussing another matter. How, he wondered,

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