The Obama Administration let out a sort of trial balloon when they revealed recently that they are in the middle of discussions on the possibility of killing an American citizen in another drone strike.
The plan was poorly received, and has sparked another round of criticism of Obama’s claim to be able to execute American citizens without trial or evidence. Since then, the White House and others involved have clammed up.
Officials now insist the soon-to-be-victim’s name is “classified,” an effort to keep anyone from even theoretically being able to contest the killing in court before it happens. Rather, they have only given some vague “impressions” of the person, putatively al-Qaeda linked and called Abdullah al-Shami in reports.
Abdullah al-Shami was indeed the name of an “al-Qaeda leader,” but a Syrian-born one that the US confirmed was killed in an air strike in 2006. The refusal to identify him beyond that raises many questions, and they’re questions the administration simply refuses to answer.
Bizarrely, President Obama has managed to con most of the American public into believing that he can kill them whenever he feels like it with total impunity, and the excuse “he’s a really bad guy” seems as good as evidence to many. The fact that the victim is in Pakistan is actually the source of a secondary controversy, as Pakistan has demanded an end to US drone strikes against their territory, and likely won’t accept the excuse that he’s “a really bad guy.”