Friday, September 30, 2011

Judge Roy Obama 

We can be thankful that Anwar al-Awlaki is having his first pork weenie roast in Hades, having been whacked like Sonny Corleone in the toll booth scene in Godfather I, and that the Obama administration continues to green light successful strikes against high-value terrorist targets. Amen to that.

The wrinkle in this strike is that the late Mr. al-Awlaki was an American citizen, as Michael Hirsh writes in the National Journal.
Still, the strike was the first that was known to be launched against an American (Awlaki had dual Yemeni-U.S. citizenship). The nature of Awlaki's death once again raised legal and moral issues about the evidence against him, whether he was given due process of law, and the constitutional basis of the administration's covert strike program.
So, we can infer that President Obama, who used to teach constitutional law, who campaigned on closing Gitmo and assuring U.S. voters that "we are better than that," with respect to all of the bad international things that the Bush administration did, gave an order to deny due process to an American citizen in the purest way possible -- by ending his life without a trial. (Or, did I miss something -- was he tried and convicted in abstentia?). Hence, the Judge Roy Bean reference.

In my view, President Obama did the right thing as President of the United States, even if such an action further alienates him from his base, just as he is trying to rally his base politically in the run up to the 2012 election. We shall see how much noise is made about this incident from certain segments of President Obama's party.


By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Fri Sep 30, 06:19:00 PM:

I would rather he'd been tried for treason - likely in abstentia - had his citizenship taken away, and then whack him. Not because I think this was an egregious execution of a possible innocent, but because I believe citizenship is enormous.  

By Anonymous sirius, at Fri Sep 30, 06:28:00 PM:

Whatever your citizen status, if you wage war against the US, don't be surprised if or when the US wages it right back.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 30, 07:09:00 PM:

I admit to being conflicted here, and I am very curious why exactly this administration (especially this administration, with all their talk about Bush violations of civil liberties) didn't do as AVI suggested above. I suppose you could argue, lamely, that he happened to be associating with known jihadis who the CIA finally got to kill. That would make him and Sami Khan (sounds like a song writer to me) "collateral damage" of sorts. If this is how the administration excuses this killing, it would be an out and out evasion were they to say anything like this since it ignores the fact that the government said publicly they were out and out targeting Awlaki, with the intention of killing, not capturing, him.

If they had even indicted the guy, forget about going to the trouble of trying him for treason, then I would feel better about this assassination. Glad he's gone, by the way.  

By Anonymous mgd, at Fri Sep 30, 07:17:00 PM:

AVI is spot on. This sets a precedent of the president being able to decide unilaterally who is a threat and needs to be eliminated. Having already been identified by this administration as a potential security threat, I'd rather presidents don't have grounds to believe they ice whomever they damn well please.

I don't regret the loss of this particular vile bastard, but there is absolutely no reason that the traitor wasn't tried, in absentia if necessary.

Like it or not, al-Awlaki was an American citizen, and it is unconstitutional to deprive citizens of due process.  

By Anonymous sirius, at Fri Sep 30, 07:42:00 PM:

John Dillinger was an American citizen, too.

I think when you make yourself Public Enemy No.1, then all bets are off.

Not to say that I too wouldn't have preferred this president be as punctilious in reality as he once portrayed himself to be.  

By Anonymous mgd, at Fri Sep 30, 07:55:00 PM:

They went to arrest Dillinger and try him--i.e., provide due process. He pulled a weapon and was shot. I think that's substantially different.

Anyway, good riddance...but I still don't like the precedent.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Fri Sep 30, 09:22:00 PM:

The precedent that US citizens which join al-Qaeda and materially aid them from abroad might be capped by the CIA? That's a wonderful precedent.

There wasn't all this tedious hand-wringing when Union armies burned Atlanta to the ground, or when US citizens who had joined up with the Axis were killed. Why now?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Fri Sep 30, 10:38:00 PM:

Thanks to Don Surber, I feel better. There is more to this story than in the original post, and it turns out Awlaki had justice (of a sort).

Awlaki's father, assisted by the ACLU, filed suit seeking to have the courts order the government not to hunt the son with the intent to kill. The father sought arrest instead. The suit was unsuccessful.

"From another lawyer, Kenneth Anderson: “When it became public that the Obama administration had put Al-Aulaqi on a target list, the ACLU filed suit on his behalf through his father; it made international law arguments that included the proposition that he was outside of the war zone and hence could only be sought through law enforcement methods, as well as domestic law arguments that this amounted to the execution of a citizen designated by the President without judicial process.  The suit was dismissed in December 2010 by Judge John Bates.”  

By Blogger W.LindsayWheeler, at Sat Oct 01, 09:12:00 AM:

Why when Muslims hate us; have a religion totally foreign to the concepts of America are they allowed to immigrate here? The first problem is why people from Yemen were allowed here in the first place? The 1965 Immigration Act, designed to water down and destroy the WASP majority for the sake of building diversity for globalist plans needs to be rescinded ASAP!

Second, John Brown was a terrorist and was captured and put on trial. What's different now?

The American Indians were terrorists. Wasn't Sitting Bull put in a prison?

Killing people thru Drones is absolutely unethical. In all the old Western movies, you announced yourself and gave a chance for the bad guy to give up. With Drones--one just kills. It is setting up a mechanical drive into killing. It is barbaric.

Because America is first without righteousness, it is turning more unrighteous and the killing of an American citizen by drones is an awful precedent.

Some Americans will rue the day when those very drones are turned on you. It is open warfare. While the Left has open access to the media, the conservatives are going to be labeled terrorists---and hunted down with robot drones. It's coming.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Oct 01, 09:21:00 AM:

The Federal Government killing Americans without due process? Well, what happened at Waco, Texas in 1993? Sure, David Koresh was served a warrant and resisted arrest, and his co-religionists assisted him, but did they have to kill all of them? Was that due process.
Our government has become Leviathan. Face it, the Republic we were taught about in school is long gone, and has been for several generations. Be glad that Obama hasn't had drones target John Boehner's house. Yet.
We have a thug for a President that had people in his Adminstration promote the illegal sale of over 2000 firearms to a Drug Cartel in Mexico for who knows what kind of idiotic logic, and people are worried about due process for some avowed traitor who hung out with other avowed enemies of the country and got waxed?  

By Anonymous Ignoramus, at Sat Oct 01, 11:28:00 AM:

War and constitutional liberties don't mix well.

e.g., When dealing with Japanese internment back in WWII, the Supreme Court created a new standard -- strict scrutiny -- to hold the government more accountable for violating constitutional civil liberties, but still kept Oakland-born Freddie Korematu's ass in jail for knowingly staying in California.

al-Awlaki effectively renounced his US citizenship long ago. He's not on US soil. Unlike many supposed terrorists we're fighting -- like the Taliban -- al-Awlaki was the real thing who got up every morning to plot how to kill Americans. Fuck him.

But we need to recognize that the Global War On Terror isn't your Daddy's War, and it's certainly not your Grand Daddy's. This should be especially true when it comes to decisions that implicate constitituional civil liberties.

When seem in proper light al-Awlaki is thankfully a rare bird, and his killing not much of a legal precedent.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Oct 01, 11:40:00 AM:

I am going to miss discussions like this when the new Republican president takes office. Left wingers and the commie media will scream long and loud about things like this. That's the only thing I'll miss when the Kenyan is voted out, the say-nothing, do-nothing silence of the media.  

By Anonymous sirius, at Sat Oct 01, 02:11:00 PM:

"...substantially different."

Yes, it is.

There's also another substantial difference. Dillinger wasn't directing an open declared war against the entire United States, nor devoted to killing as many of his fellow citizens as he possibly could.

It is tedious having to point out the obvious.  

By Blogger TOF, at Sat Oct 01, 02:28:00 PM:

Legal. Schmeagal. He and his pal were enemy combatants. You hunt them down and capture or kill them. Since snatching them out of Yemen was problematic, the next best choice presented itself -- finally.

Most people don't know about Lord Haw Haw and Axis Sally. Lord Haw Haw was caught, tried and hanged. Axis Sally got 10 to 30 years.  

By Anonymous mgd, at Sat Oct 01, 07:19:00 PM:

So I guess the constitution only applies sometimes. And Obama gets to be the one that decides whether or not it does.

You're really OK with that?  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Oct 02, 01:49:00 PM:

Law prof John Yoo wrote an explanation why the al-Awlaki killing is legal: http://ricochet.com/main-feed/Was-the-U.S.-s-Lethal-Attack-on-Al-Awlaki-Legal  

By Anonymous mgd, at Sun Oct 02, 10:49:00 PM:

I don't believe that Professor Yoo's cases are on point. The comments there, however, convinced me that this was in fact the killing of an enemy combatant and not an execution without a trial.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Oct 03, 12:34:00 PM:

Does this mean that Obama (Holder) can now take out Rush Limbaugh?
How about the guy who thinks Michelle is homely?  

By Blogger The Machiavellian, at Thu Oct 06, 12:51:00 AM:

This man never considered himself an American. He was an Arab, a Yemeni, and Muslim first.

His anchor baby status was just something he could exploit.

In the end though, he took up arms against the U.S. Was in fact, a soldier of a foreign army, and through his acts, killed Americans.

He was killed on the battlefield.

The only precedent that this sets is that if one takes up arms against the U.S., and is employed by a foreign power, you will probably die on the battlefield at the hands of the U.S.  

By Blogger ZZMike, at Sat Oct 08, 03:19:00 AM:

"The only precedent that this sets is that if one takes up arms against the U.S., and is employed by a foreign power, you will probably die on the battlefield at the hands of the U.S."

Sounds good to me. Refer to Benedict Arnold.  

Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?