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It's official: The Obama Administration is assassinating U.S. citizens

Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual US-Yemeni citizen, is believed to have been killed at 9.55am on Friday morning at a site 90 miles (140 kilometres) east of Sana'a between the provinces of Marib and al-Jawf in what is believed to have been an air strike.

Witnesses say that Awlaqi was boarding a 2005 Toyota Hilux along with five other supporters when a US drone attack hit the vehicle. Acccording to a Associated Press report, the same team that directed the Osama bin Laden assassination was behind the strike.

The CIA and the US military have used drones to target al-Qaida officials in Yemen and had placed Awlaki near the top of a hit list. The US president, Barack Obama, authorised a request to target Awlaki in April last year, making him the first US citizen to be a legal target for assassination in the post-9/11 years.

I wouldn't call al-Awlaki a good guy, but that's not the point. The Obama Administration hasn't made clear the process by which a U.S. citizen can be deprived of his life via assassination. We don't know what safeguards are in place, or if any due process is involved. All we know is that the government decided he's a bad guy, and now he's dead.

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