H.R. 6357 (112th): To prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens, and for other purposes.

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Aug 03, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6357

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 3, 2012

(for himself and Mr. Grijalva) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Select Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select), and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary and Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens, and for other purposes.

1.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

Admiral Dennis C. Blair, then the Director of National Intelligence, in testimony before the House Select Committee on Intelligence on February 3, 2010, confirmed the policy of including United States citizens on lists of people to be assassinated maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), stating that a decision to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen must get special permission..

(2)

The Obama administration publicly acknowledged that it authorized the targeting of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a United States citizen born in New Mexico who was accused of involvement in terrorist organizations abroad, the first confirmed United States citizen to be added to the CIA list of targets for capture or killing.

(3)

Anwar Al-Awlaqi and Samir Khan, 2 United States citizens, were killed, without due process, by a United States drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.

(4)

Abdul-Rahman Al-Awlaqi, a 16-year-old United States citizen was killed, without due process, by a United States drone strike in Yemen on October 14, 2011.

(5)

United States Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., recognized that the Department of Justice has successfully prosecuted many terrorism defendants in Federal courts, stating on Friday, November 13, 2009, that for over two hundred years, our nation has relied on a faithful adherence to the rule of law to bring criminals to justice . . . Once again we will ask our legal system to rise to that challenge, and I am confident it will answer the call with fairness and justice..

(6)

The decision to use lethal force against United States citizens abroad occurs absent congressional oversight, a constitutionally guaranteed judicial process, or publicly disclosed standards for inclusion on the United States Government’s high-value targets or high-value individuals list.

(7)

Executive Order 12333 (46 Fed. Reg. 59941; relating to United States intelligence activities), issued by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, stated, No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination..

(8)

Executive Order 11905 (41 Fed. Reg. 7703; relating to United States foreign intelligence activities), issued by President Gerald Ford in 1976, stated, No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination..

2.

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1)

due process of law is a fundamental right of the United States Constitution, the United States has a commitment to uphold and defend the rights included in the Bill of Rights, and no United States citizen, regardless of location, should be deprived of life, liberty, property, without due process of law, as stated in article XIV of the Constitution;

(2)

the participation in, or planning of activities, by the United States Government that result in the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen undermines the rule of law and the moral standing of the United States in the world;

(3)

the United States and other responsible nations have a vital interest in upholding the rule of law;

(4)

the authority granted to the President in the Authorization for Use of Military Force (50 U.S.C. 1541 note), following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, is not limitless;

(5)

the authority provided by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force has been used by the executive branch to circumvent the role of Congress as a coequal branch of Government, to justify holding prisoners indefinitely without due process at Guantanamo Bay, for mass domestic spying on United States citizens in violation of their most basic constitutional rights, and using lethal force against United States citizens abroad who are suspected of participating in terrorist activities absent judicial review;

(6)

the notion that the constitutional rights of one citizen can be revoked to protect the constitutional rights of other citizens should be rejected;

(7)

the use of lethal force against a citizen of the United States that is outside of the internationally recognized battlefield of Afghanistan constitutes a violation of the law of armed conflict; and

(8)

it is in the best interest of the United States to respect the rule of law and set the example for upholding the principles of international and domestic law.

3.

Prohibition on the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens

(a)

Prohibition

No one, including the President, may instruct a person acting within the scope of employment with the United States Government or an agent acting on behalf of the United States Government to engage in, or conspire to engage in, the extrajudicial killing of a United States citizen.

(b)

Report on United States citizens on targeted assassination lists

Not later than 15 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a report on the identity of each United States citizen that is on the list of the Joint Special Operations Command or the Central Intelligence Agency as high-value individuals or high-value targets.

(c)

Assurances to Congress

Not later than 7 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall submit to the congressional intelligence committees a written assurance that no United States citizens are being added to the list of the Joint Special Operations Command or the Central Intelligence Agency as high-value individuals or high-value targets.

(d)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Congressional intelligence committees

The term congressional intelligence committees means—

(A)

the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives; and

(B)

the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate.

(2)

Extrajudicial killing

The term extrajudicial killing

(A)

means a premeditated and intentional use of lethal force against a United States citizen; and

(B)

does not include—

(i)

the use of lethal force against a United States citizen after a trial and finding of guilt for such citizen by an appropriate tribunal consistent with due process of law;

(ii)

the use of lethal force against a United States citizen who is directly participating in hostilities in a zone of active armed conflict and the United States is a party to such conflict; and

(iii)

the use of lethal force against a United States citizen that is authorized for law enforcement personnel under certain circumstances, including self-defense, defense of others, and enabling the release of hostages.