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American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them


American Citizens Split On DOJ Memo Authorizing Government To Kill Them

NEWS IN BRIEF • Politics • ISSUE 49•06 • Feb 7, 2013

WASHINGTON—Following the release of a secret Department of Justice memo this week that outlines the administration’s legal justification for killing U.S. citizens, a new Pew Research Center poll has revealed that a majority of Americans are torn over whether they support the government’s right to kill them anywhere at any time without due process.

“On the one hand, I get it—it’s important for the government to be able to murder me and any of my friends or family members whenever they please for reputed national security reasons. But on the other hand, it would kind of be nice to stay alive and have, maybe, a trial, actual evidence—stuff like that,” said visibly conflicted 39-year-old Nashua, NH resident Rebecca Sawyer, who, like millions of other Americans, is split over whether secret federal agents should be allowed to target and assassinate her anywhere on U.S. soil.

“I wouldn’t mind if federal officials blew up other citizens and claimed it was in the name of my safety. But it’s just that when it comes to me, I guess I’d rather not be slaughtered by my own elected officials on charges that never have to be validated by any accountable authority. This is tough.”

While most Americans expressed conflicted feelings regarding the memo, the poll also found that 28 percent of citizens were unequivocally in favor of being obliterated at any point, for any reason, in a massive airstrike.

Florida Judge Approves Birth Certificate Listing Three Parents

Source: Reuters

Florida judge approves birth certificate listing three parents

MIAMI | Thu Feb 7, 2013 6:35pm EST

By Kevin Gray

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida judge has approved the adoption of a 22-month-old baby girl that will list three people as parents on her birth certificate -- a married lesbian couple and a gay man.

The decision ends a two-year paternity fight between the couple and a friend of the women who donated his sperm to father the child but later sought a larger role in the girl's life.

The ruling means the child's birth certificate will include a biological father and both women as parents in an unusual arrangement approved recently by a Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge.

The women, Maria Italiano, 43, and Cher Filippazzo, 38, had made several unsuccessful attempts to become parents using fertility clinics.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE91618L20130207

AP Source: Lawmakers to Get Cassified Drone Info

Source: Associated Press

AP source: Lawmakers to get classified drone info

Story Updated: Feb 6, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has directed the Justice Department to give Congress' intelligence committees access to classified information providing the legal rationale for drone strikes against American citizens working with al-Qaida abroad, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

Several lawmakers, led by Oregon's U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, have pressed the White House for more information on how decisions are made to target U.S. citizens abroad follow the release this week of an unclassified "white paper" that the Justice Department sent key lawmakers last year. The unclassified memo says it is legal for the government to kill U.S. citizens abroad if it believes they are senior al-Qaida leaders continually engaged in operations aimed at killing Americans.

The official said Obama made the decision to send lawmakers the classified rationale on Wednesday as part of his "commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters." Obama directed the Justice Department provide the Senate and House intelligence committees access to classified advice from its Office of Legal Counsel that the white paper is based on, the official said.

Legal opinions produced by Justice's legal counsel's office are interpretations of federal law that are binding on all executive branch agencies.

- snip -

Earlier Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was engaged in an internal process deliberation to determine how to balance the nation's security needs with its values. He said Obama was committed to providing more information to Congress, even as he refused to acknowledge whether the drone memo even existed.

Read more: http://www.katu.com/politics/AP-source-Lawmakers-to-get-classified-drone-info-190112431.html

Alabama Hostage Taker Jimmy Lee Dykes Died at Cops' Hands

Source: CBS News

Alabama hostage taker Jimmy Lee Dykes died at cops' hands

February 04, 2013

MIDLAND CITY, Ala. Authorities stormed an underground bunker in southeastern Alabama Monday, freeing a 5-year-old boy and shooting his captor to death after a week of fruitless negotiations that left authorities convinced the child was in imminent danger.

- snip -

CBS News correspondent John Miller told anchor Scott Pelley on the "CBS Evening News" Monday that law enforcement officers had killed Dykes.

Miller said authorities had been delivering items to Dykes during the standoff through Dykes' entrance to the bunker.

Miller said sources tell him authorities "created an opportunity (Monday), because he was getting more irrational -- he was handling the weapon, they say. (So) they created an opportunity to bring (Dykes) to that door to accept (a) delivery. Then they

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57567597/alabama-hostage-taker-jimmy-lee-dykes-died-at-cops-hands

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

Source: NBC News

EXCLUSIVE: Justice Department Memo Reveals Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

By Michael Isikoff
National Investigative Correspondent, NBC News

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” -- even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”

But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.

Read more: http://openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/04/16843014-exclusive-justice-department-memo-reveals-legal-case-for-drone-strikes-on-americans

Strom Thurmond's Mixed-Race Daughter Dies at 87

Source: Associated Press

Strom Thurmond's mixed-race daughter dies at 87

By MEG KINNARD, Associated Press | February 4, 2013 | Updated: February 4, 2013

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Essie Mae Washington-Williams, the mixed-race daughter of one-time segregationist Sen. Strom Thurmond who kept her parentage secret for more than 70 years, has died. She was 87.

Vann Dozier of Leevy's Funeral Home in Columbia said Washington-Williams died Sunday. A cause of death was not given.

Washington-Williams was the daughter of Thurmond and his family's black maid. The identity of her famous father was rumored for decades in political circles and the black community. She later said she kept his secret because, "He trusted me, and I respected him."

Not until after Thurmond's death in 2003 at age 100 did Washington-Williams come forward and say her father was the white man who ran for president on a segregationist platform and served in the U.S. Senate for more than 47 years.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/Strom-Thurmond-s-mixed-race-daughter-dies-at-87-4249966.php

BREAKING: Hostage Situation Ends, 5-year-old Child is Safe, Kidnapper Dead, U.S. Official Says

Source: CBS News

@CBSNews: BREAKING NEWS: A U.S. official says Alabama hostage situation is over: kidnapped child is alive, kidnapper is dead http://t.co/s2drA6vF

Also: @BreakingNews: Reports of explosions near Midland City, Alabama, hostage scene - @abc3340, WJHG-TV

Alabama Standoff Update: Hostage situation ends, 5-year-old child is safe, kidnapper dead, U.S. official says

February 04, 2013

(CBS/AP) MIDLAND CITY, Ala. - A U.S. official tells CBS News that a nearly week-long hostage standoff in which a 5-year-old was being held captive in southeast Alabama has ended in the kidnapper's death. The child is said to be okay.

Authorities said 65-year-old Jimmy Dykes gunned down a school bus driver Tuesday and abducted a 5-year-old boy from the bus before taking him to an underground bunker on his rural property. The driver, 66-year-old Charles Poland Jr., was buried Sunday.

Dykes, a decorated Vietnam-era veteran described as a loner who railed against the government, lived up a dirt road just off the main road north to the state capital of Montgomery, about 80 miles away.

CBS radio affiliate WSB says reporters heard what may have been a concussion grenade before ambulance and fire vehicles went to and from Dykes' property about 4p.m. Eastern Time Monday.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/fullstory.rbml

Boy Scout Families Deliver Petition Urging End to Policy Banning Gays

Source: CBS News

Boy Scout families deliver petition urging end to policy banning gays

February 04, 2013

IRVING, Texas Scouts and their families have delivered a petition to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters urging an end to a policy banning gay scouts and leaders from the organization.

Jennifer Tyrrell was among the dozen people who delivered the petition. Tyrrell says she was forced out as leader of her son's Cub Scout pack because she's gay, and she doesn't want to see any other parents treated in the same way.

She says the policy is "archaic" and needs to change.

The families were waiting for a representative of Boy Scouts of America to come and accept their petition.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57567529/boy-scout-families-deliver-petition-urging-end-to-policy-banning-gays

U.S. to Sue Standard & Poor's Over Mortgage Bond Ratings

Source: Reuters

U.S. to sue S&P over mortgage bond ratings

Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:34pm EST

WASHINGTON, Feb 4 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department plans to sue Standard & Poor's over its ratings in 2007 of some mortgage bond deals, the ratings agency said on Monday.

The unit of McGraw-Hill Cos Inc said the lawsuit "would be entirely without factual or legal merit."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N0B49LR20130204

Milan Court Convicts 3 Americans in CIA Kidnapping

Source: Politico

Milan court convicts 3 Americans in CIA kidnapping


MILAN — A Milan appeals court on Friday vacated acquittals for a former CIA station chief and two other Americans, and instead convicted them in the 2003 abduction of an Egyptian terror suspect from a Milan street as part of the CIA's extraordinary rendition program.

The decision means that all 26 Americans tried in absentia for the abduction now have been found guilty.

The ongoing trials, which have dragged on for years, brought the first convictions anywhere in the world against CIA agents involved in a practice alleged to have led to torture. The case has been the source of diplomatic tensions, although three successive Italian leaders, including the technical government of Premier Mario Monti, have invoked state secrets, which has had the impact of limiting evidence in the successive trials and led to the acquittals of five Italians, including two spy chiefs.

- snip -

None of the Americans have ever been in Italian custody or have ever appeared in court, but they risk arrest if they travel to Europe. Only two have had any contact with their lawyers, both of whom expressly requested their own counsel late in the first trial phase, in the face of U.S. official silence on the case and citing special personal and legal circumstances. A number of the names listed on the official docket are believed to be aliases.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/02/milan-court-convicts-3-americans-in-cia-kidnapping-87090.html
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