This Is Real: A Secret Government Panel Decides Which U.S. Citizens to Kill

It turns out that America does have death panels after all. They’re not the kind that will kill your grandma, though. Unless your grandma is a suspected terrorist.

Reuters reports:

American militants like Anwar al-Awlaki are placed on a kill or capture list by a secretive panel of senior government officials, which then informs the president of its decisions, according to officials.

There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House’s National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate 

Several officials said that when Awlaki became the first American put on the target list, Obama was not required personally to approve the targeting of a person. But one official said Obama would be notified of the principals’ decision. If he objected, the decision would be nullified, the official said.

We’re pretty sure this is going to make Glenn Greenwald’s head explode. Hold on. Yep:

Okay, sure, but if you don’t want to be murdered by the government, just don’t be a terrorist! It’s that easy. Although, now that we think about it, how can we be sure that this secret panel is only doling out lethal punishment to American citizens who truly deserve it? It would be great if there was some kind of system in which evidence could be presented and debated before an objective group of people tasked with deciding whether or not it was compelling. Oh well.

Secret panel can put Americans on “kill list’ [Reuters]
Execution by secret WH committee [Salon]

This Is Real: A Secret Government Panel Decides Which U.S. Citizens to Kill