Political assassination

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The topic of what constitutes political assassination is discussed at length by trialbriefs.com.

"The events of September 11 [2001] almost instantly gave rise to debate about what distinguishes a criminal act to be dealt with in the courtroom from an act of war on the battlefield. A similar discussion revolves around the question of when killing a perceived enemy of the United States is a political assassination, which is illegal, and when such a killing is allowed as part of a larger-scale war effort. To explore this distinction, it is first necessary to examine the United States’ policy toward political assassination, a policy which is usually addressed through two types of directives: executive orders promulgated by the president and legislation by Congress. However, in the aftermath of September 11, President Bush utilized an intelligence 'finding' authorizing the CIA and military to take 'lethal covert action' aimed at destroying Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network." [Emphasis added].