The More Things Change . . .

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on September 25, 2010

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Alternatively titled “Meet the New Boss. Same as the Old Boss.”

The White House on Saturday invoked the state secrets privilege to toss a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups against an assassination plan against terrorists that would also target a U.S. citizen.

Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged al-Qaeda regional commander born in New Mexico and reportedly hiding in Yemen, has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the attempt by a Nigerian man to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day. The cleric, author of “44 Ways to Support Jihad,” also reportedly inspired the Times Square car bombing attempt in May, and placed a fatwa on Seattle Weekly cartoonist Molly Norris for suggesting a controversial “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day”.

He’s said to be on a U.S. list that approves death or capture of key terrorist suspects. The 39-year-old’s placement on the list in April made him the first U.S. citizen to land on the CIA targeted kill list.

Al-Awlaki’s father enlisted the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the program in court and declare the targeted killings unconstitutional.

The lawsuit also aimed to block the assassination green light against al-Awlaki, and compel the U.S. government to disclose the guidelines for putting a U.S. citizen on such a list.

Now, you see why so many Obama supporters are not motivated to go to the polls this coming November. And why so many appear to have lost faith.

More on this issue from Jack Goldsmith. I should note that I agree with the Obama Administration’s legal stance on this issue. But let it be noted that this was precisely the kind of thing then-Senator Obama pledged that he would never do if he were elected President.

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