According to the Miami Herald, three families of U.S. citizens that were killed by U.S. drones in Yemen filed for a wrongful death lawsuit against U.S. Government officials. These families are filing their suit specifically against Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and three other senior officials hoping to expose Obama administrations secretive programs that were striking victims from planes overseas. The victims that were killed were alleged al-Qaida propagandists, and the family’s claim that they were targeted for killing, and that their deaths were wrongfully conducted.
Samir Khan was a resident of North Carolina before he moved to Yemen, he and two others, Al-Awalaki and his son, were killed on September 30, 2011 by U.S. drone missiles aimed directly at their vehicle. Reports show that a similar drone event occurred only weeks later that resulted in the deaths of seven victims surrounding the area. The families state that their claims for wrongful death are not because they support what their family members participated in or for what they believed, but they do hold that they were citizens of the United States and did not deserve to die by the Presidents order, claiming it violates their Constitutional Rights. The suit is fighting that the Constitutional human right forbids was the use of lethal force except in an immediate threat.
While the military currently refuses to comment on the matter, Obama in his speech last year on the topic acknowledged that these men encouraged the killings of human beings, and it is also believed that one of the men encouraged jihad members in their mission. Obama explains that Al-Awalaki was placed on the CIA wanted list to kill or capture immediately because of his crimes. Reports believe that this may have been the first American assassination that was approved by the President to have ever occurred. Samir Khan’s Muslim community in the states also reports that they tried to discourage his radical beliefs, perhaps because of their disagreements, he soon moved to Yemen. In his many radical Muslim blogs, he claimed to be a proud traitor of his American country. Further details on this case are yet to be released.
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