August 2, 2022, New York – In response to the U.S. government’s extrajudicial killing of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
More than twenty years after 9/11 and nearly a year after President Biden withdrew troops from Afghanistan, his words accompanying the extrajudicial killing of al-Zawahiri were jarring, dissonant: “No matter how long it takes, no matter where you hide, if you are a threat to our people, the United States will find you and take you out,” he said, maintaining that “justice has been delivered.”
Two decades of endless and unbounded war and the mounting crises of these painful, cruel, and exhausting times – from Covid to climate change, from police killings of Black Americans to the attack on reproductive freedom – should have sparked reflection and reprioritization of public resources away from militarism and into communities.
The drone strike in a country where the United States is not at war, which rendered a balcony a battlefield, is more of the brutal same. The United States has abandoned Afghans, doing little to resolve the humanitarian emergency it helped to create, yet it claims the authority to duck back into the county to unleash an extrajudicial killing.
This was not justice. The “war on terror” has brought not a shred of justice, only suffering and destruction.
Justice requires reparations for the hundreds of thousands of people the U.S. government has killed and the millions it has displaced – nearly all of them Muslim – in the name of fighting “terror.” It requires a recalibration of national priorities and a commitment to accountability.
Justice has not been delivered by abandoning the rule of law once again.
The struggle for genuine justice continues.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.