Ken Klukowski: ACLU Files Lawsuit to Stop President From Killing Terrorist Cleric


ACRU Staff


September 8, 2010

ACRU Senior Legal Analyst Ken Klukowski wrote this column appearing September 7, 2010, on

The ACLU is at it again.

On August 30, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in D.C. President Obama has authorized U.S. forces to kill on sight Anwar Al-Aulaqi. He’s the U.S.-born radical imam who supposedly lives in Yemen right now, calling for terrorist attacks on American citizens and who’s implicated in the Fort Hood massacre and other terrorist attacks.

The ACLU argues that Al-Aulaqi is an American citizen, and as such the government cannot kill him without arrest, trial, and a conviction by a jury, unless Al-Aulaqi is personally involved at the very moment of U.S. attack in using deadly force against other Americans. In other words, the ACLU says that we can’t stop this wartime enemy (and traitor, for that matter) unless we arrest him, cuff him, bring him back here, and give him a lawyer paid for by you the taxpayer. (Doubtless the ACLU will provide a few lawyers to defend him.)

Ironically, the ACLU complaint states, “The right to life is the most fundamental of all rights.” While I agree wholehardedly, it’s amazing that they can say that with a straight face, given that the ACLU is a hardcore supporter of abortion-on-demand.

So let me get this straight: A terrorist leader overseas cannot be killed by the U.S. government without a full-blown trial, but we must fight for the right to allow the destruction of over a million innocent babies every year in this country. Am I missing something?

This case has been assigned to Judge John D. Bates, a Bush 43 appointee who seems to get a lot of these cases. (Cases are usually assigned by random lottery, and there aren’t many judges on the D.C. District.) So Judge Bates is getting a lot of experience in studying federal power in the context of overseas operations in the War on Terror, and will preside over this latest ACLU outrage.

Will update as this case moves forward.



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