al-Awlaki Dead

Anwar al-Awlaki just became the latest in what is becoming a pretty impressive tally for this Administration:

A missile fired from an American drone aircraft in Yemen on Friday killed Anwar al-Awlaki, the radical American-born cleric who was a leading figure in Al Qaeda’s affiliate there, according to an official in Washington.

Many of the details of the strike were unclear, but the official said that the drone fired a Hellfire missile and killed Mr. Awlaki, whom the United States had been hunting in Yemen for more than two years.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry confirmed Mr. Awlaki’s death, and both Yemeni and American officials hailed the strike as a significant success in the campaign to weaken Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group American officials believe to be the most dangerous Qaeda affiliate.

You can read the NYT for the details of al-Awlaki’s hideous career. And you can read the debate over whether the President had the authority to kill him in the usual quarters.

Comments are closed.

  1. Kimpost

    If targeting US citizens outside of combat indeed is fine abroad, then what would stop the government from eventually doing the same at home? And will the reasons always be as compelling as they appear to be this time?

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Greenwald is having a fit and deservedly so. I hate the “what if Bush did it” meme but fuck me with a pool cue, the left would be going fucking apeshit if Bush had done this. They’d be marching up and down Pennsylvania Ave calling him the Murderer in Chief.

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  3. Mississippi Yankee

    If you look at Anwar al-Awlaki’s picture a post title something like this seems appropriate
    (might need to be a Kathleen Turner/Micheal Douglas fan)

    “Jewel of the Nile does not escape 2nd assassination attempt”

    Toto the contrary troll is in fine form tonight too.

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  4. CzarChasm

    So how many countries are we dropping bombs in now? How many of those did Obama consult with Congress about before we went in? How many countries that we’re dropping bombs in now either were or are now hiding American citizens who could not have been killed but for the catch-all excuse of being hidden in a Middle Eastern country? How much intelligence could’ve been extracted from a live Al-Awlaki that might’ve contributed to ending the wars faster in Afghanistan and Iraq, the only two that I’m aware of Congress having authorized? Might the fact that Al-Awlaki likely had such information be the very reason we went into another country where Congress was not consulted beforehand? Will Al-Awlaki be buried at sea, “according to muslim custom?” Is there even a chance that Al-Awlaki had connections to the CIA that could be as much the reason for his assassination as his radicalism was? And finally, what do the words “due process” mean post-Awlaki? They definitely don’t mean the same thing they always have.

    I can’t tell you how dirty it makes me feel, but I gotta go with Kimpost on this one. Makes me feel almost as dirty to have to agree with Gary Johnson. A precedent was set that withstood every temptation over the last two centuries, the intentional public targeting of an American citizen by the government. Admittedly, there’s no telling how many times similar killings have happened in secret, but this is indeed a precedent if for no other reason than the public aspect of it.

    My heart doesn’t bleed for the bastard, that much is for sure. My heart bleeds for the rule of law, due process, the Constitution.

    CC

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  5. AlexInCT

    Go US Military!

    Props to Obama for allowing them to kill another asshole in dire need of being killed. On this Obama gets my full support.

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  6. AlexInCT

    I second Section8. And if an US president ever does that, I bet he will be a democrat. They have been dying to do just that, and history has shown us democrats only find stuff like this objectionable when the guy in the WH has a (R) next to his name.

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  7. AlexInCT

    If the guy they target to kill at home is a terrorist that’s killing innocent people in the name of Jihad, I will immediately put that president on my “vote for” list.

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  8. CzarChasm

    Not to quibble, but it was a CIA operation, not the US military that got Awlaki.

    And as precedents are wont to bring about, sooner or later it will be a citizen whom you identify with, instead of “another asshole in dire need of being killed.” If not in our lifetimes, eventually to be sure. It will be interesting to watch the characteristics that make an American citizen “another asshole in dire need of being killed” slide down that inevitable slippery slope, and at what point on that slope the people cheer-leading for this assassination start claiming their citizenship should have protected them from government-imposed violence absent any due process whatsoever.

    CC

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  9. Section8

    what do the words “due process” mean post-Awlaki? They definitely don’t mean the same thing they always have.

    There’s a difference between breaking the law of your own nation, and going to war with it and creating an allegiance with a foreign enemy, and conducting your war on foreign soil. Unfortunately give the fact that it’s not as conventional as a traditional war it’s very difficult to follow the set of standard scripts. Unfortunately the US is given no inches in what it can do in error. Obama’s aware of it, even though it was his leftist buddies who egged that on over the years, so now he’s just taking no prisoners, and good for him.

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  10. CzarChasm

    I understand what you’re saying Section8, and you’re absolutely right that going to war with your own country is a game-changer. However, the only “evidence” we have of said warring ways are video and audio tapes calling for others to act. We have no Awlaki fingerprints on any of the bombs he is said to have been involved with (underwear bomber, printer cartridges bombs, Times Square bomber). We have no pictures from surveillance tapes showing him involved in anything but incitement to violence. I don’t even recall seeing a picture of him with an AK, much less slicing some hog-tied defenseless American’s head off.

    The worst that can be said of what we know about him is that he was an effective propagandist for the enemy. I don’t see where what we know even comes close to him waging war against the US though. No matter how despicable, or even illegal, the speech may be, words by themselves never killed a soul, American or otherwise. Seems to me the old adage, “Sticks and stones…” applies here, except that his words could’ve landed him in prison for life on treason and/or any number of other charges that no one would’ve questioned had he been afforded the due process that the Constitution mandates.

    And I’m sorry Section8, but thinking that Obama has had some great epiphany about the realities of the world, or his duty to protect America, is just silly. He and his ilk are much more dangerous to the survival of America than Awlaki ever was.

    CC

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  11. AlexInCT

    Not to quibble, but it was a CIA operation, not the US military that got Awlaki.

    If the CIA now owns it’s own dornes, then it has a military capbility, doesn’t it? Maybe we need to revise Cliff Claven from that old show Cheer’s claim that we have 6 branches – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and the Postal Service – of the military to include 7 and add the CIA to it? :)

    And as precedents are wont to bring about, sooner or later it will be a citizen whom you identify with, instead of “another asshole in dire need of being killed.”

    And I will bet that it will be a demcorat that does it. Besides, Clinton already went over that line but didn’t have the luxury of a drone armed with missiles when he did. Instead he sent in the FBI.

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  12. CzarChasm
    And as precedents are wont to bring about, sooner or later it will be a citizen whom you identify with, instead of “another asshole in dire need of being killed.”

    And I will bet that it will be a demcorat that does it.

    Sorry, my position has nothing to do with partisan politics. It neither makes it better or worse to me that a Democrat hammered this particular chisel cut out of the Constitution.

    Besides, Clinton already went over that line but didn’t have the luxury of a drone armed with missiles when he did. Instead he sent in the FBI.

    Well, this is true. I’ll admit I hadn’t thought about Ruby Ridge or Waco in relation to this case. It’s a valid connection, though I do think going into a country that we aren’t in the midst of hostilities with, as well as the obviously purposeful killing of Awlaki, presents a significant distinction between this and those cases. While I will never excuse the FBI or ATF for what happened at either Ruby Ridge or Waco, in both instances the victims could have made decisions that would have prevented the loss of life, giving into ridiculous abuses of power though such decisions would have been. Awlaki had no such choice/chance. That said, you are definitely right that the government has perpetrated similar crimes against citizens before. I guess now that I think about it, from my perspective, that’s even more reason to condemn it. Otherwise, we’re just sliding down that slippery slope without even offering so much as vocal resistance. So it’s bitten us before, now we’re being shown it will bite us again. Not good.

    CC

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  13. Mississippi Yankee

    Didn’t Carter sign an Executive Order against CIA assignations? Or was it only for political assignations in foreign countries?

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  14. Thrill

    Ford signed an EO banning it, but each president has interpreted it differently. Reagan definitely targeted Ghadafi, a head of state, for instance.

    The one thing that would smooth this al-Awlaki affair over with me is if the government had at least gotten an indictment against al-Awlaki and presented all the evidence against him to a jury. I mean, Clinton even got an indictment against bin Laden AND tried to hit him with cruise missiles. Why wasn’t this done for a US citizen?

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  15. Manwhore

    I don’t know about the slippery slope arguments, but I would add that most swat teams have snipers that cen kill citizens on command. Don’t know if it really applies, but it is a proven example of government killing citizens (in addition to Waco) whether for cause or not without trial. It could be they determined the threat level and pulled the trigger with some form of authority, perhaps even an executive order.

    In the swat example someone with authority would determine the threat level and issue to a sniper to pull the trigger as well. I think Ron Paul’s heart may be in the right place but we don’t really know exactly what facts were used to determine to wipe this guy out. I agree with cc that it doesn’t sit quite well, but I’m not really sorry for this guy (hopefully that doesn’t sound too repugnant).

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  16. Thrill

    The whole thing is extremely weird though. The GOP-controlled Congress put all sorts of rules in effect to restrain BUSH in 2006 with the Military Commissions Act. If an enemy combatant is captured under that law, there has to be finding by a tribunal that the terrorist/jihadi/etc is an “unlawful enemy combatant” and this is subject to appeal in federal court. For the purposes of the MCA, a US citizen absolutely cannot be deemed an unlawful enemy comabatant. With al-Awlaki, there was nothing.

    For all of the mistakes that were made with Padilla, he still got his day in court. The Obama Administration seems to have bypassed every single limitation that was put on its predecessor when it came to waging war on US citizens. Whether or not it’s a slippery slope, there’s no question that a line has been crossed here.

    It’s one thing to have the government able to declare you to be an unlawful enemy combatant “with the stroke of a pen” and lock you up forever as Lee used to say, but to just up and kill a guy who hasn’t been charged with a crime and wasn’t engaged in hostile action or even in a war zone at the time he was blown up? No Supreme Court ruling can bring you back to life.

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  17. Thrill

    The Waco comparison doesn’t even apply here though. The ATF was at least serving a lawful search warrant on Koresh’s compound when it turned into a shootout and a siege.

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  18. hist_ed

    Unprecedented? You guys have heard of the Civil War, right? If, say, a union sniper got a bead on Stonewall Jackson outside the battlefield, do you think it would have been an erosion of the Constitution to take the shot? Jesus, Sherman levelled entire cities that were just sitting their all peaceable like until his army showed up. Those attacks just must have violated someone’s rights. He probably should have got a warrant before attacking each one.

    How about an American working for Hitler’s propaganda ministry? Making regular broadcasts, recruiting others to HItler’s cause. Not a legitimate target? Do you think that FDR would have had any problem ordering their death if he could have managed it?

    in both instances the victims could have made decisions that would have prevented the loss of life, giving into ridiculous abuses of power though such decisions would have been. Awlaki had no such choice/chance.

    He could have chosen not to join and work for an organization that declared war on the United States. Once he joined up, he was a fair target.

    And all this talk of judicial review for military decisions in war time would have been seen as absurd prior to 1975 or so. You are trying to apply the constraints of criminal law on the war making powers granted to the President by the Constitution. They simply don’t apply.

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  19. hist_ed

    If memory serves the executive order was against the targeting of heads of state. The military gets around it by saying that we aren’t targeting in the political role, but are targeting “command and control” functions. All total bullshit. The executive order should be rescinded. Assassinating Sadaam Hussein and making a deal with his successor instead of invading Iraq would have saved us a whole heap of trouble.

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  20. Manwhore

    Or you just kill him.cc eludes to the danger himself andi agree. You might too. If a hellfire is the fate of a dissenter, terist, etc., we should all live in fear of this fate. It could be me.

    However, it just so happened to have been applied to someone I have no sympathy for. That makes it all the more difficult to defend. I hope we dont become the united states of assassinating Muslims.

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  21. CzarChasm

    A decision by Koresch and his group to submit to the warrant of which you speak, would’ve prevented loss of life. I and many, many others believe that warrant was bogus from the beginning. It was based on nothing more than one investigator’s assertion that legally-purchased parts for AR-15s could have been modified to convert the ARs into fully automatic M-16s. Not one scintilla of evidence existed prior to the warrant being issued that those types of modifications had been, or were being, performed. The issuance of such a warrant represents an abuse of power, so as I stated above, “….in both instances the victims could have made decisions that would have prevented the loss of life, giving into ridiculous abuses of power though such decisions would have been.” I think the Waco example, as stated, works just fine.

    CC

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  22. CzarChasm

    I believe that Lincoln was the most egregious violator of the Constitution in American history. Signing onto (ratifying) the contract that the Constitution was/is, was a wholly voluntary act by a confederation of sovereign states. Pulling out of that contract should’ve been a legally recognized voluntary act as well.

    That said, Stonewall Jackson was indisputably a military leader in a hot war. He was near the top of a command and control hierarchy. In the context of war, of course he would’ve been a “legitimate” target, if one considers the war in question to be legitimate and legal to begin with. Lincoln had to suspend habeas corpus, and eventually the Constitution itself, in order to prosecute The War of Northern Aggression, so of course, I do not consider that war to have been legal or legitimate.

    But even that critique of that war is not analogous to targeting a citizen in a foreign country with which we are not at war. The assertion of his command and control authority over Al Qaeda “troops” is tenuous at best. Yes, contacts between Awlaki and Hassan (the Ft. Hood shooter) can be proven. Can it be proven, however, that orders from Awlaki to Hassan were given and carried out? Absent some pretty strong evidence of such between Awlaki and any of the people he’s accused of commanding or controlling, all we have are assertions by the government that we must trust in the prudence and legalities of. Not me. Not even where it concerns a guy like Awlaki who I am glad is no longer drawing breaths on this Earth, but who I fear is just another victim in a long line of usurpations to the Constitution.

    He could have chosen not to join and work for an organization that declared war on the United States. Once he joined up, he was a fair target.

    I personally don’t put as much stock in “declaring” war on the US as I do in actions that tend to say the same thing. As such, I see little difference between Al Qaeda and the KKK, or the New Black Panther Party. Awlaki was a spewer of rhetoric, not a soldier, not a bomber. Members of the Hutaree Militia were more soldier-like than Awlaki ever was, and their rhetoric was every bit as threatening against the US government as Awlaki’s. Fair target for a drone attack on their compound or not? They’re still sitting in jail awaiting trial. How about we just warn the cops to get out of the building and leave ‘em locked up in there, and send a Hellfire through the roof from a couple of miles away, saving ourselves the trouble and expense of the trials? It is the trials, after all, that will prove (or fail to prove as the case may be) that their threats against the government rise to the level of sedition or treason or whatever illegal act they’re accused of. If we just had to go by the government’s word on such things before killing them or imprisoning them for the rest of their lives, none of you would sit still for it….I hope.

    The second that being deemed “anti-government” authorizes government-sponsored executions without a lick of due process, is the very second that the republic dies. Any other rationale is one supportive of complete and total tyranny.

    CC

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  23. Tool

    jail awaiting trial. How about we just warn the cops to get out of the building and leave ‘em locked up in there, and send a Hellfire through the roof from a couple of miles away, saving ourselves the trouble and expense of the trials? It is the trials, after all, that will prove (or fail to prove as the case may be) that their threats against the government rise to the level of sedition or treason or whatever illegal act they’re accused of. If we just had to go by the government’s word on such things before killing them or imprisoning them for the rest of their lives, none of you would sit still for it….I hope.

    Sorry Czar Chasm this is just silly. For one thing Al-Awaki was in Yemen not America, so all of the blubbering about extradition and proper legal procedures is absurd. How exactly are American authorities supposed to extradite a terrorist in a nation currently imploding with civil violence? Had Al-Awaki been located inside of Germany or England he would certainly have been arrested and extradited, not blown apart by a large missile. Also, if America was killing Al-Awaki for an crime committed 10 years ago, then I would have serious qualms. This killing was not retribution for terrorist actions, it was violent force applied to stop a terrorist from committing further terrorist acts. Your example with Hutaree isn’t exactly comparable, because they were arrested before they could start any serious terrorist actions.
    Now, if the Hutaree militia had been prancing around killing policemen and fomenting revolution throughout the northern United States they probably would have been shot and killed by a swat team as soon as law enforcement closed in around them. This is what happened to extremists like Gordon Kohl. If someone is committing a crime you stop them, preferably with minimal use of force. However, if they are committing a crime (in Al-Awaki’s case treason) in a relatively hostile third world nation, without a cohesive government, then the rules of engagement change drastically.

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  24. hist_ed

    I believe that Lincoln was the most egregious violator of the Constitution in American history. Signing onto (ratifying) the contract that the Constitution was/is, was a wholly voluntary act by a confederation of sovereign states. Pulling out of that contract should’ve been a legally recognized voluntary act as well.

    Interesting argument which does nothing to rebut my assertion that the killing of this jihadi asswipe was not unprecendented. (I know I am going to regret this question, but can you please point to the provision of the Constitution that says states can withdraw from the union?).

    You also did not respond to my meanderings about Sherman. Should Sherman have consulted a court whenever a non-combatant civilian crossed his path?

    But even that critique of that war is not analogous to targeting a citizen in a foreign country with which we are not at war.

    We killed our enemies in neutral countries during World War Two. Hell we even invaded neutral countries and killed their soldiers and civilians.

    I personally don’t put as much stock in “declaring” war on the US as I do in actions that tend to say the same thing.

    I assume that you are familiar with Al Qeada’s actions over the past few years that have confimed that they consider themselves to be at war with the US.

    How about we just warn the cops to get out of the building and leave ‘em locked up in there, and send a Hellfire through the roof from a couple of miles away, saving ourselves the trouble and expense of the trials?

    If we had Al-Awlaki in a prison cell, then we wouldn’t have had to drop a bomb on his head. We don’t tend to execute prisoners, just those activily supporting a war against us.

    So, if those groups you are talking about were activiely making war on the US and US Congress had authorized military action against them, yeah, it would be up to the president’s discretion to decide how to act against them. That is always how war has worked in this country.

    Forget all that, though, if you’d like. Please tell me your solution. If a US citizen is aiding the enemy in war time, how do we determine if they are able to be targeted? Lets say there were ten US citizens working with Al-Qaeda worldwide. One was just a cook, making sandwiches for the Jihadis. One was a sniper shooting at Marines. The rest fall in between those two extremes. Where is the line between legitimate target is CC world? More importantly how do we make that determination?

    Now what happens if there are a thousand US citizens working for our enemies? Ten Thousand?

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  25. CzarChasm

    (I know I am going to regret this question, but can you please point to the provision of the Constitution that says states can withdraw from the union?).

    I don’t know why you should regret it, but I do think the implication of the question is a much weaker argument than the implication I mean to impart by asking you in turn to show where the Constitution says states can’t withdraw from the Union? I mean, we’re both asking rather stupid questions, as in this instance, we both know the answer is not found within the Constitution. However, the reason I say your implication is weaker is that joining the Union was voluntary. I infer from your question that voluntarily entering into a contract immediately precludes any other method of dissolving said contract than violence. In other words, a voluntary signing of a contract turns into a perpetually involuntary, forced state of compliance. I find that notion rather ridiculous. Surely there would have been economic considerations that would have tied the two separate countries together through lawsuits and treaties and what have you, but that’s the price of breaking any contract. Dying or having every potential for your property to provide you and your people sustenance destroyed for months to come isn’t. I think my position of it being legal to voluntarily dissolve a contract, with all of the potential for economic penalties and consequences that might bring on, is a much stronger presumption simply by virtue of the voluntary nature of entry into the same contract, than just the rather shallow analysis of, “Well, where does it say that in the Constitution?” YMMV.

    You also did not respond to my meanderings about Sherman. Should Sherman have consulted a court whenever a non-combatant civilian crossed his path?

    Really? A non-combatant civilian? No, he shouldn’t have consulted a court, he should’ve just gone about his business, whatever that was. Do you mean to imply that he should’ve shot and killed every non-combatant civilian that crossed his path? Your question confuses me in the context of discussing the Awlaki killing.

    We killed our enemies in neutral countries during World War Two. Hell we even invaded neutral countries and killed their soldiers and civilians.

    Are you commenting solely on the precedent aspect of those facts, or are you saying that was the right thing to do, or are you saying that, even if you think it was wrong and/or illegal, we’ve already crossed that line and therefore anything goes from here on out? I’m not trying to be a smart-ass. I really don’t understand the point of this.

    I assume that you are familiar with Al Qeada’s actions over the past few years that have confimed that they consider themselves to be at war with the US.

    Sure I am. I assume that you are familiar with the authorization to use force in Afghanistan and Iraq by the UN and US Congress as a response to those actions over the past few years? Has any entity with any authority to do so, other than the Executive Branch of the United States government, even hinted at a willingness to authorize force in Yemen? Libya? Pakistan? I know I’m forgetting at least one other country where we’ve bombed lately.

    Aside from the problems I see with no authorization to go into every country it pops into the pea-brain of the POS POTUS we are stuck with right now, and taking your question above to its logical conclusion, why don’t we just kill all the Al Qaeda members that cross our soldiers’ or remote-controlled drones’ paths?

    So, if those groups you are talking about were activiely making war on the US and US Congress had authorized military action against them, yeah, it would be up to the president’s discretion to decide how to act against them. That is always how war has worked in this country.

    No, that’s nothing like war has “always” worked in this country. It’s only worked that way against American citizens one time, and the usurper who conducted it that way had to suspend the Constitution to do it. Then he had to force the citizens of his “free” Union to rejoin it against their will.

    Please tell me your solution. If a US citizen is aiding the enemy in war time, how do we determine if they are able to be targeted?

    Well, first, let’s ask the whole question….How do we determine if they are able to be targeted for death in a foreign country that we are ostensibly allied with, and for which no permission is reported to have been sought or given by them for the attack? Your question leaves a lot of facts and significant circumstances out of the equation. Even including some of them though, I pretty much stop at the “targeting for death” of an American citizen by the American government though. It is my contention that due process demands of us that more than just the word of a renegade president who is busy governing by fiat in almost every other aspect of life in this country be needed before we accept his public assertions as the last and only valid word on the subject. That, my friend, is how it has always been done in this country.

    Lets say there were ten US citizens working with Al-Qaeda worldwide. One was just a cook, making sandwiches for the Jihadis.

    Was the cook making sandwiches on the battlefield, or far behind the lines just knockin’ out Sloppy Jihadi Joes? It makes a difference, you know.

    One was a sniper shooting at Marines.

    Ah, as opposed to Awlaki who, for all we know, all he ever did was shoot off his mouth on audio and video tapes? A sniper on a hot battlefield, American citizen or otherwise, is obviously a legitimate target. A master of propaganda driving down a road in a country that we aren’t really even in a cold war with, not so much. I’d have to taste-test the Jihadi chow before I could make that determination about the cook though. ;-)~ Sorry, a guy’s gotta take his laughs where he finds ‘em.

    The rest fall in between those two extremes. Where is the line between legitimate target is CC world? More importantly how do we make that determination?

    HA! CC world? That’s funny. But anyway, let’s really get down to brass tacks here. What makes a given jihadist a high-value target? Is it the fact that they know how to pull a trigger? Is it that they’re willing to blow themselves up and as many infidels as possible with them? Is it the fact that they speak English well and make video and audio tapes intended to recruit and radicalize American and British Muslims? See, with your 10 jihadis of various job-descriptions, these are the only things that seem to be a reason to go after them at all. I, however, do not consider cooks or snipers, or anyone within that range of job-descriptions, to be “high-value targets.” If Awlaki was a high-value target, he was so because of the intelligence he could provide. Same with bin Laden. Same with Ayman al-Zawahiri, but likely if Obama gets a bead on him, he’ll be crispy-crittered too, and all the intelligence he can provide now as a live high value target, will be lost forever, as his brain turns to a fine, pink mist and dissipates into nothingness when the Hellfire gets shot up his ass. Throwing away valuable intelligence that could potentially save both our troops and our fellow citizens doesn’t make a lick of sense to me under any circumstances, whether the target is American or not. Welcome to CC’s world! LOL

    Now what happens if there are a thousand US citizens working for our enemies? Ten Thousand?

    Umm….Is the answer, “Kill them all?” I have no idea why it matters how many there are. If they’re on a battlefield or in the midst of setting off a bomb, sure, kill ‘em. If they’re driving down the road or hangin’ out on their couch watching Wheel of Fortune, and they can be captured, capture ‘em, pump ‘em for all the intelligence they’re worth, try ‘em and jail ‘em if you have the evidence to convict ‘em.

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see my position as being particularly hard to understand or controversial at all. I’m not a bleeding heart by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t care about Awlaki the person, I’m glad he’s dead, but I don’t like the way, or where, he got killed. Nor do I like that all of Obama’s “successes” in the War On Terror have come from killing people with highly valuable intelligence information oozing out of every pore of their bodies. The fact that Awlaki was an American citizen does complicate things a bit for me, but I’d feel the same way even if he wasn’t a citizen if all I considered was the intelligence value he could’ve provided. That’s it.

    CC

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  26. Hal_10000 *

    Stonewall Jackson would have been on a battlefield. A soldier in time of war; fine. I don’t recall anyone objecting to killing Yamamoto during World War 2.

    But in this case, we have to take the goverment’s word on things. And they’ve made frequent accusations (Richard Jewell, Weng Ho Lee, two different guys in that anthrax attacks) that have not been borne out.

    Frankly, our government has not earned this level of trust. I’ll repeat what I said before: If his guilt is obvious, why not establish it in some legal process?

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  27. hist_ed

    Frankly, our government has not earned this level of trust. I’ll repeat what I said before: If his guilt is obvious, why not establish it in some legal process?

    What legal process? What would it look like? Who would argue what before whom?

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  28. hist_ed

    I don’t know why you should regret it,

    Simply because it gets us away from the main arguement. Happy to bang away at it if you like, but let’s concentrate on the gist of this thread for now.

    Do you mean to imply that he should’ve shot and killed every non-combatant civilian that crossed his path? Your question confuses me in the context of discussing the Awlaki killing.

    No no, sorry if I wan’t clear. I wasn’t endorsing Sherman’s tactics. I was simply arguing against those who call this killing unprecendented. The US military has killed US citizens before in previous wars.

    Sure I am. I assume that you are familiar with the authorization to use force in Afghanistan and Iraq by the UN and US Congress as a response to those actions over the past few years? Has any entity with any authority to do so, other than the Executive Branch of the United States government, even hinted at a willingness to authorize force in Yemen? Libya? Pakistan? I know I’m forgetting at least one other country where we’ve bombed lately.

    Yes, I am familiar with that document. Apparently more familiar than you. But I admit you are right, it does not mention Yemen. You know what other country it doesn’t mention? Afghanistan. In fact, it doesn’t contain any geographical limits at all. Its operative clause says:

    That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    “Organizations” means Al Qaeda, right? Al Awalki was a member no matter what his job description.

    Aside from the problems I see with no authorization to go into every country it pops into the pea-brain of the POS POTUS we are stuck with right now,

    Again, read the use of force law. It contains no geographical limits. While you may have a problem with that, your protests do not change the law.

    and taking your question above to its logical conclusion, why don’t we just kill all the Al Qaeda members that cross our soldiers’ or remote-controlled drones’ paths?

    Sounds good to me. Do you really have a problem with killing the enemy in war time? That would end the war a lot more rapidly that trying to submit such decisions to some sort of trbunal every time someone’s panties got twisted about targeting decisions.

    How do we determine if they are able to be targeted for death in a foreign country that we are ostensibly allied with, and for which no permission is reported to have been sought or given by them for the attack?

    We don’t deterine that. The US military, under its commander in chief, determines that. As has always been done. (if you think otherwise, please provide a single historical example of another branch of government determining war time targeting decisions).

    It is my contention that due process demands of us that more than just the word of a renegade president who is busy governing by fiat in almost every other aspect of life in this country be needed before we accept his public assertions as the last and only valid word on the subject.

    Again, please tell me specifically what process you think should be substituted for the decisions of the commander in chief? Forget my hypotheticals; let’s deal with Al_awlaki. What process should have determined if he was a legitimate target?

    And the the powers granted to the President under the Constitution change when people are unhappy about the president? Or just when you are?

    Throwing away valuable intelligence that could potentially save both our troops and our fellow citizens doesn’t make a lick of sense to me under any circumstances

    I agree that the current administration policies of killing enemies rather than interrogating them is likely an error. But again, under the US Constitution, who should make this determination? A popular vote? The judicial system? Congress?

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  29. CzarChasm

    hist_ed, concerning Awlaki specifically, the targeting started about a year ago when the administration marked him for death. If any of this seemed like a spontaneous action that we somehow just stumbled over his location and it was now or never to make a strike on him, I wouldn’t have a particular problem with it. But this controversy has been going on for around a year. That bugs me.

    That said, you make valid points. I’ll have to chew on it a bit before I answer your questions directly, but you are making me think. Thanks for the reasoned reply.

    CC

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  30. HARLEY

    Al_awlaki, was a US citizen by birth, in a foreign nation aiding a active group that has and was planning attacks on Americans. Though i do not believe that he was directly involved with any actions. That in my opinion should have warranted him being arrested, or at least captured by our forces, rather than summerly executed by a CIA operation.
    Questions:
    IT it is accepted that Al_awlaki was a terrorists and added and abetter such action, does them mean that the attack at Ft. Hood by hussan, can be called a terrorist act and not a act of per-tramatic -stress-disorder. a attack by a radical Muslim terrorist?
    How were American citizens who fought for Germany in WW1 and WW2 treated when discovered?

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  31. hist_ed

    That in my opinion should have warranted him being arrested, or at least captured by our forces, rather than summerly executed by a CIA operation.

    And what if such a capture is not possible? Do we just let him go to do whatever he wants?

    The phrase “execution” is inaccurate. An execution is a legal procedure that ocurrs after a trial. He was targeted as an act of war. The is not splitting hairs as goes to the heart of the leftist critique of the war on terror-that we should be using the civilian court system to deal with a war.

    IT it is accepted that Al_awlaki was a terrorists and added and abetter such action, does them mean that the attack at Ft. Hood by hussan, can be called a terrorist act and not a act of per-tramatic -stress-disorder. a attack by a radical Muslim terrorist?

    Only idiots and the overly PC (but I repeat myself) call that attack anything but a terrorist act.

    How were American citizens who fought for Germany in WW1 and WW2 treated when discovered?

    If I remember correctly, a couple of dual US/German citizens were executed for treason after fighting with the German army. I can’t even remember if it was after WW1 or WW2. During World War Two a US/German citizen was caught in the US with some Germans agents. He was tried before a military commision and given the chair-he had no chance of appeal, no recourse to the civilian court system and the sentence was carried out in a matter of weeks.

    Alas, these examples are not analogous to Al-Awlaki for obvious reasons.

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  32. hist_ed

    targeting started about a year ago when the administration marked him for death.

    I certainly hope that the military takes a long term view when targeting our enemies.

    My Three points about this topic are:
    Number one, this situation in not unprecedented (and my reaction is conditioned from years of the overuse of the that word by Bush critics about how we have fought-the only unprecedented thing about the current war is the way its opponents have tried to hamper the executive’s direction in fighting it).

    Number two: As soon as someone joins Al Qeada they are joining an enemy organization that we are at war with. This makes them a legitimate target no matter who they are.

    Number Three: The executive has always (in US history) had almost unlimited discretion in how a war is fought. The legislature can withhold funding or possibly repeal a war declaration. The alternative is simply unworkable. The civilian court system has no business getting involved in war making at all.

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