Kucinich bill aims to stop assassinations of U.S. citizens


 U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, introduced a bill last week that would prohibit U.S. forces from targeting and carrying out extrajudicial killings of U.S. citizens.

The bill, HR 6010, is in direct response to an order signed by President Obama recently allowing U.S. forces to target and assassinate U.S. citizens if they are suspected of working with terrorists groups.

The announcement of the measure comes on the heels of a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights challenging the government's legal authority to prohibit pro-bono lawyers from representing U.S. citizens on lists for targeted assassination without due process.

"The U.S. Constitution cannot be amended for convenience," Kucinich said in a statement. "The constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens must be protected. The U.S. government cannot act as judge, jury, and executioner."

Kucinich adds, "It was unacceptable when detainees at Guantanamo were held without due process, especially since many were later exonerated. It is unimaginable that the U.S. would then replace detainment with outright killing."

The bill states in part, "No one, including the president, may instruct a person acting within the scope of employment with the United States government or an agent acting on behalf of the United States government to engage in, or conspire to engage in, the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen."

Critics say individual citizens suspected of involvement with terrorists groups can be targeted for execution and assassinated at anytime, despite being far from any battlefield and wherever they may be.

They add intelligence operations have little transparency, accountability or oversight especially when it comes to the practice of execution style killings of U.S. citizens. Such actions violate international law and the Constitution of the U.S. and raise serious legal concerns.

In February, then Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair admitted that U.S. forces would execute American citizens believed to be associated with terrorists organizations, according to a report by The Raw Story website.

"We take direct action against terrorists in the intelligence community," Blair told the House Intelligence Committee. He added if "we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that."

President Obama fired Blair in May.

Kucinich, a Democrat, is one of the most progressive lawmakers in Congress. He has openly challenged the constitutionality of several so-called anti-terror laws including the PATRIOT Act, which was pushed through Congress after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Kucinich also opposed the invasion of Iraq and the expansion of the military battle in Afghanistan.

Kucinich says HR 6010 "will protect American's constitutional right to face their accusers in court."

"Congress has the responsibility to protect the rights of all U.S. citizens," he added. "We must reject the notion that protecting the constitutional rights of some citizens requires revoking the rights of other citizens."

The bill is cosponsored by Congressmen John Conyers, D-Mich., Bob Filner, D-Calif., Raul M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., Fortney Pete Stark, D-Calif., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

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  • This is a redundancy. Sad that we need a law to uphold what is already in the Constitution.

    Posted by Robert, 12/06/2010 9:40am (5 years ago)

  • I am all for the bill , the intent is to protect our armed forces in countrys that have put them in harms way . It is time for this government to protect our citizens and armed forces.

    Posted by Rudolph Gross, 08/25/2010 3:31pm (5 years ago)

  • For those who continue to blindlessly worship the President I ask; Is this the kind of "change" we voted for in 2008?

    While his election was historical in the fact he is the first African American to hold the positon of commander in chief, we must never think for one minute that the color of one's skin automatically makes him a true representative of the people! The color of one's skin will never take priority over one's class interests. Signing into law legislation that permits the murder of anyone suspected as being a threat to this nation is fascism pure and simple!

    Bravo Dennis Kucinich, once again you show that YOU are the only qualified person to be elected president!

    Posted by Pancho Valdez, 08/12/2010 1:21pm (6 years ago)

  • It is hard to believe that the left is the group that is promoting a bill to protect the lives and due process of American citizens FROM THEIR OWN GOVERNMENT. It used to be the conservatives that did this, but where are they now? Barry Goldwater would never have had a problem with supporting or authoring such a bill. Conservatives need to go to the mirror and take a good long look at themselves and ask themselves how they got to the debased place where they are dwelling now. In fact, all Americans need to do so. We are coming to represent the very dictatorships of the Communists that we saved the world from, except that the Communists at least paid lip service to the idea of Equal Rights.
    President Obama must now be looked at in a totally different light. We all expected a Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. replica, and what we got was a Geo. W. Bush replica. Terrorists ARE taking away our Constitutional rights, and they are using our government as their agents to do so.

    Posted by bong_jamesbong2001, 08/12/2010 1:09pm (6 years ago)

  • It is far better to light one single candle then sit a curse the darkness. Kucinich is a progessive who shows a path to liberation out of aggressive war and money for more and more pollution. Too bad he does't have a majority in those houses of congress, but the electoral colleges have been devised by the rich to keep the poor and working class out of elected government.

    It is clear that Kucinich represents that majority which the electoral colleges have disallowed. His progressive agenda is working class, and suits the majority of the people for these times. This exposes 'bourgeois democracy' as a dictate of the Rich against the majority of workers and poor people. The workers state serves the workers, and the bourgeois state serves the rich through monopolies, police, courts, judiciary and military, that controls the state of the bosses. Kucinich is a necessary measure of the class struggle of the times, and indicates which class will win.

    Posted by , 08/11/2010 1:39pm (6 years ago)

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