Hina Shamsi is director of the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project, which is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. counterterrorism policies and practices do not violate the Constitution or the United States obligations under international law. She is litigating the ACLUs lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the U.S. governments killing of three U.S. citizens in Yemen in 2011. She has litigated numerous cases relating to post-9/11 torture, unlawful detention, discrimination against racial and religious minorities, and the freedoms of speech and association. Shamsi teaches a Columbia Law School course on international human rights, and has monitored and reported on the military commissions at Guantánamo Bay. She previously directed Human Rights First's Law & Security Program, and also served as senior advisor to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions.
More About Hina Shamsi
By asserting the right to kill based on his authority alone, President Obama violates the constitutional principles he swore to uphold and undermines the security we all seek.
The public deserves a right to know what standards, evidence and criteria are used when the administration seeks to kill one of its own citizens, and the legal basis for that exercise of authority needs to be reviewed by the court because of the significant constitutional questions that are raised.
Why the Obama administrations drone assassinations are not just illegal in many cases, but are becoming increasingly risky for the U.S. itself.
A unique and extraordinary case is how a federal judge described our lawsuit, with the Center for Constitutional Rights, challenging the Obama administration's targeted killing policy.
The government must disclose its still-secret targeted killing memos so that the public can determine if the contain criteria as vague and elastic as its definitions of imminence and feasibility of capture.