On July 17, Nasser al-Awlaki told the story of the killing of his son and grandson, both US citizens, on the orders of their own government in an Op-Ed in the New York Times. His son was Anwar al-Awlaki, and his grandson was Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. Mr. Al-Awlaki, the founder of Ibb University and former president of Sana University, served as Yemen's minister of agriculture and fisheries from 1988 to 1990.
In this powerful piece, Nasser explains how a missile killed his grandson, the boy's teenage cousin, and at least five other civilians in 2011, while the boys were eating dinner in southern Yemen. "I learned that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdrulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died," Mr. Al-Awlaki said. "My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that."
In US District Court, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union challenge the US government's attempt to avoid accountability about its kill program. Mr. Al-Awlaki's case, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, was heard in court in Washington, DC on July 19.
Watch the video below, titled "An American Teenager Killed, A Grandfather Seeks Accountability," produced by the ACLU in which Mr. Al-Awlaki tells his story in his own words:
Nation Institute fellow Jeremy Scahill covers this story extensively in his book Dirty Wars. The book, as well as the documentary film of the same name, follows Scahill into the heart of America's covert wars, from Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia, and beyond. What begins as an investigation into a US night raid gone terribly wrong in a remote corner of Afghanistan quickly transforms into a high-stakes global investigation into one of the most secretive and powerful military units in American history. With a strong cinematic style, the film unfolds like an action movie wrapped around a complex detective story. As Scahill digs deeper into the activities of the most secret and elite fighting force in US history, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), he is forced to confront painful truths about the consequences of a war without end that extends through Republican and Democratic administrations.
Watch Jeremy Scahill and Nasser al-Awlaki on Democracy Now:
Click here to learn more about the lawsuit seeking accountability for the killing of 3 Americans in US drone strikes.
Click here to sign and circulate CCR's letter to the White House demanding an end to unlawful killings carried out by the US government using drones or other weapons.