The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a strongly-worded letter to President Barack Obama, asking him to end an alleged program that allows 'targeted killings' of terror suspects outside of war zones.
In the letter (PDF), the civil liberties group argues that the alleged program -- which, according to news reports, is now targeting at least one US citizen -- is unlawful and unconstitutional, and could set a dangerous precedent leading to foreign governments killing people on US soil.
"The program that you have reportedly authorized appears to envision the use of lethal force not just on the battlefield in Iraq, Afghanistan, or even the Pakistani border regions, but anywhere in the world, including against individuals who may not constitute lawful targets," ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero stated in the letter.
"The entire world is not a war zone, and wartime tactics that may be permitted on the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be deployed anywhere in the world where a terrorism suspect happens to be located."
Romero's letter came the same day as a House foreign affairs subcommittee convened to probe the legal issues surrounding the use of targeted killings. It also comes in the wake of a series of news reports suggesting the US's use of targeted killings has expanded significantly in recent months.
In February, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair announced that the United States may target its own citizens abroad for death if it believes they are associated with terrorist groups.
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