A Policy of Cold-Blooded Murder  by Nicolas J S Davies

President Obama has halted the macabre parade of hooded, shackled suspects in orange jump-suits stumbling off American planes into the tropical sunshine at Guantanamo. But he has not done so by restoring the rule of law. Instead, he has replaced Bush’s policy of kidnapping, torture and indefinite detention with a global campaign to kill terrorism suspects in cold blood.

U.S. officials have been formally prohibited from ordering assassinations since 1976 under President Ford’s executive order 11905. But just as Bush’s lawyers claimed that torture was not torture, Obama’s lawyers claim that assassination is not assassination but a new form of self-defense.

As John Bellinger, the Bush administration’s State Department Legal Adviser, explained to the Washington Post in June 2010, most of the people the Obama administration is targeting had nothing to do with September 11th, so there is no basis in U.S. law for these operations.