US Can't Use 'Secret Evidence' to Kill a Citizen Administration must explain the 'legal basis' for this move By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 7, 2010 1:54 PM CDT 25 comments Comments A file photo of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. (AP Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen, File) (Newser) – News that the CIA has been given the green light to assassinate a US citizen has Spencer Ackerman filling out freedom-of-information requests to find out precisely why. We know that Anwar al-Awlaki is a New Mexico native who lives in Yemen and encourages attacks against Americans. The US cites "secret evidence" to say he's moved past the incitement phase into actual operations, but that's not enough to legally justify this extraordinary move, writes Ackerman at the Washington Independent. Al-Awlaki's citizenship "entitles him to due process of law should the government seek to deprive him of life, liberty or property," he writes. "The administration may very well be making the correct evaluation of the threat al-Awlaki poses. But if citizenship means anything, it means that a citizen can’t be killed because the government uses secret evidence to say he or she is an intolerable threat."