The Guardian | Ed Pilkington: There has been no shortage of US attempts to remove foreign adversaries through highly dubious legal or ethical means
The US government is no stranger to the dark arts of political assassinations. Over the decades it has deployed elaborate techniques against its foes, from dispatching a chemist armed with lethal poison to try to take out Congo’s Patrice Lumumba in the 1960s to planting poison pills (equally unsuccessfully) in the Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s food.
But the killing of Gen Qassem Suleimani, the leader of Iran’s elite military Quds force, was in a class all its own. Its uniqueness lay not so much in its method – what difference does it make to the victim if they are eviscerated by aerial drone like Suleimani, or executed following a CIA-backed coup, as was Iraq’s ruler in 1963, Abdul Karim Kassem? – but in the brazenness of its execution and the apparently total disregard for either legal niceties or human consequences.
“The US simply isn’t in the practice of assassinating senior state officials out in the open like this,” said Charles Lister, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington.
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