Text: H.R.6010 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/30/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6010

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


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 30, 2010

Mr. Kucinich (for himself, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Filner, Mr. Grijalva, Mr. Stark, Mr. Ellison, and Mr. Jackson of Illinois) 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.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) On January 27, 2010, The Washington Post revealed that United States citizens have been included on lists maintained by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to be assassinated.

(2) The January 27 Washington Post article reported that the JSOC and CIA maintain lists of individuals deemed “High Value Targets” and “High Value Individuals”, whom they seek to kill or capture, that the lists currently include United States citizens, and that the President has authorized military operations with the express understanding that a United States citizen may be killed.

(3) 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 such lists, stating that “a decision to use lethal force against a U.S. citizen must get special permission” before the targeting of a United States citizen can be granted and that “being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives overseas if the individual is working with terrorists and planning to attack fellow Americans.”

(4) The Obama administration has publicly authorized the extrajudicial killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki, a United States citizen born in New Mexico who is accused of involvement in terrorist organizations abroad, the first confirmed United States citizen to be added to a CIA list of targets for capture or killing.

(5) According to an article published in The Nation in November 2009, the private security contractor Blackwater Worldwide, now Xe Services, is intimately involved with the targeted assassination programs run by the CIA and JSOC in Pakistan.

(6) Department of Defense Instruction 1100.22, issued on April 12, 2010, states that “security is inherently governmental” and that the “U.S. Government has exclusive responsibility for discretionary decisions concerning the appropriate, measured use of combat power, including the offensive use of destructive or deadly force on behalf of the United States”, particularly in operations that have virtually no transparency, accountability, or oversight.

(7) United States Attorney General Eric J. Holder 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”.

(8) 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”.

(9) 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”.

SEC. 2. Sense of Congress.

It is the sense of Congress that—

(1) due process of law is a fundamental principle in the United States Constitution, the United States has a commitment to the principles included in the Bill of Rights, and no United States citizen, regardless of location, can 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) this authority has been used by the Executive Branch to circumvent the role of Congress as a co-equal branch of Government, to justify holding prisoners indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, for mass domestic spying on United States citizens in violation of their most basic constitutional rights, and to use lethal force against United States citizens abroad who are believed to participate 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 extrajudicial force against a citizen of the United States that is outside of the internationally recognized battlefields of Iraq and 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.

SEC. 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 7 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.