Awlaki Killing Ends Obama Campaign Promises for Openness in Government

By:  Thomas R. Eddlem
10/04/2011
       
Awlaki Killing Ends Obama Campaign Promises for Openness in Government

President Obama took office in January 2009 with grand promises of "creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government," but with the Anwar al-Awlaki killing and an administration assassination program for American citizens, the Obama administration has taken government secrecy to new depths.

U.S. citizen and alleged al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen September 30, but the Obama administration has decided to keep his assassination program secret. Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic magazine summarized the situation as follows:

[T]he actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It's secret. Classified. Information that the public isn't permitted to read, mull over, or challenge.... Obama hasn't just set a new precedent about killing Americans without due process. He has done so in a way that deliberately shields from public view the precise nature of the important precedent he has set.

President Obama took office in January 2009 with grand promises of "creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government," but with the Anwar al-Awlaki killing and an administration assassination program for American citizens, the Obama administration has taken government secrecy to new depths.

U.S. citizen and alleged al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike in Yemen September 30, but the Obama administration has decided to keep his assassination program secret. Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic magazine summarized the situation as follows:

[T]he actual legal reasoning the Department of Justice used to authorize the strike? It's secret. Classified. Information that the public isn't permitted to read, mull over, or challenge.... Obama hasn't just set a new precedent about killing Americans without due process. He has done so in a way that deliberately shields from public view the precise nature of the important precedent he has set.

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