The assassination memo

The email below is from Shahid Buttar, a CREDO activist in Washington, D.C., who is the executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. Shahid started a petition on CREDO Mobilize, where activists can launch their own campaigns for progressive change. Will you help Shahid pressure Senate Democrats to reject the confirmation of "assassination memo" nominee David Barron to the federal bench by signing his petition and sharing it with your friends and family?

CREDO Mobilize
Sign the petition: Keep "assassination memo" nominee David Barron off the federal bench.

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Dear 5849376,

Killing American citizens on the basis of mere suspicion, without due process — including charge, trial, and the presentation of evidence before a neutral judge — is the ultimate example of unconstitutional executive abuse of power. Yet David Barron, President Obama's nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, wrote multiple Justice Department memos presenting a legal justification for the executive branch to do exactly that.

The Senate must reject President Obama's appointment of David Barron for a lifetime term on federal court. That's why I started my own campaign on, which allows activists to start their own petitions. My petition, which is to the U.S. Senate, says the following:

I urge you to oppose David Barron's confirmation to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Assassinating Americans citizens without charge, trial, and the presentation of evidence is unconstitutional — and advancing a legal justification for the executive branch to do so renders Mr. Barron unfit for the federal judiciary.

Tell the Senate: Keep "assassination memo" nominee David Barron off the federal bench.

Barron's analysis supported the extra-judicial assassination of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a CIA drone strike in Yemen in 2011. While al-Awlaki was publicly outspoken about his criticism of the U.S., and his support for violent extremism, the appropriate forum to examine those concerns would be a trial for treason, not secret assassination without judicial review.

During the Bush Administration, President Obama spoke eloquently on the Senate floor about the vital importance of due process – even for accused terrorists. While President Obama and many others in his administration have changed their tune since entering office, I and many other Americans continue to believe in the U.S. Constitution and the due process it guarantees.

Killing Americans who have neither been charged with, nor convicted of, a crime represents a dramatic departure from the rule of law as understood for centuries. The U.S. Constitution does not allow our executive branch to presume the roles of judge, jury and executioner.

Sign the petition: The author of the "assassination memo" shouldn't be a federal judge.

Despite a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit initiated by the American Civil Liberties Union and New York Times, and repeated calls for transparency from the American people and a bipartisan group of senators, the Obama administration has refused to release Mr. Barron's legal reasoning to the public.

The administration's further refusal to release Mr. Barron's legal memos and opinions amounts to a disturbing and un-American "trust us" policy. No American —and certainly not any senator —should trust any president to unilaterally decide which American citizens to kill, when and why.

Whether or not you trust President Obama and his advisers to make that type of decision, imagine a future President Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin having the power to kill Americans at will. We can't allow that to happen.

Will you join me and add your name to my petition urging the U.S. Senate to reject David Barron's confirmation for a lifetime term on the First Circuit Court of Appeals?

Thank you for your support.

Shahid Buttar

Sign the petition ►

CREDO Mobilize helps activists like you make progressive change and fight regressive policies by creating online petitions. Click here to start a petition today.

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