Sep 30 2011

Looks Like Obama May Have Finally Assassinated An American Citizen

Published by at 8:38 am under Bin Laden/GWOT,Ft Hood Massacre

Did an American president just assassinate a US Citizen without any due process, without any court case or verdict of guilty?

While the death of a blood thirsty Islamo Fascist is on par with the death of a blood thirsty Nazi who slaughtered innocent Jews in a concentration camp, the fact is Nazi mass murderers still received due process – even during the war.

Not so for American citizen, turned rabid Islamist cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki:

The US-born radical Islamist cleric and suspected al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed in Yemen, the country’s defence ministry reported.

Unnamed US administration officials confirmed the reports.

Awlaki, of Yemeni descent, has been on the run in Yemen since December 2007.

The US had named him a “specially designated global terrorist” for his alleged role in a number of attacks and US President Barack Obama is said to have personally ordered his killing.

al–Awlaki was a key player in the Ft. Hood Massacre, 9-11 and other failed attacks in the US. But what we never got with this thug was a trial and a guilty verdict.  And that is where this administration went way beyond the rule of law – especially when compared to the reserve shown by President Bush, the other post 9-11 president.

President Bush learned that stupid bureaucrat rules (not laws, just rules) had drifted so far towards clear cut easy (which means bureaucrats don’t have to make hard calls, they have simpleton check-off lists to cover their arses) that legitimate threats identified and tracked from outside this country could not be followed when terrorists entered into this country. When Bush discovered this to be true, he did something about it.

It was not the fantasized snooping paranoid liberals moaned about for years while Congresses and Courts passed and authorized Bush’s changes. What Bush said was if anyone was detected communicating with KNOWN terrorists, then law enforcement could be alerted and assess the risk of that person. It was under court review and monitoring, and only 2-3 people in Justice had the authority to allow it to happen. They also had to show just cause in the FISA court as well.

Obama and Holder decided this was too much, and put back a lot of those barriers when they came to office – which is why we ended with The Ft Hood massacre and nearly successful Christmas Day Bomber.

But now contrast the left’s over reaction to making sure people in contact with known and monitored terrorists are assessed for their risk to America and Americans, and this assassination of a US Citizen who – as far as we know – was never tried in a court of law. The same court of law this administration wants to bring GITMO detainees to for their day in court. Apparently al-Awlaki’s constitutional rights were unceremoniously removed by this president.

I will never shed a tear for al-Awlaki, but I will note that this may be (and hopefully is) the first time a US President has suspended the constitution and assassinated a US Citizen who was still presumed innocent. And that disturbs me. Even under Bush’s surveillance changes, he himself could never order the suspension of rights. And all the way through the burden of proof was on the administration, and the end result of surveillance was court, not a pine box.

We are on a deadly and steep slippery slope.

Update: The rare instance where AJStrata and uber-liberal Glenn Greewald agree.

24 responses so far

24 Responses to “Looks Like Obama May Have Finally Assassinated An American Citizen”

  1. aerawls says:

    What difference does it make if Alwaki was a citizen? This falls under the law of war. Immediately after 9/11, we declared war on al Qaeda and Alwaki was an al Qaeda leader. Why shouldn’t we try to kill him as we would try to kill any other al Qaeda soldier? Just because he was a general does not mean he was not a soldier.

    If he wants to surrender, then we may have an obligation to accept his surrender (if we can believe he isn’t boobytrapped). But under the laws of war, it is perfectly acceptable to try to kill any member of the enemy who is not trying to surrender.

    Habeas corpus? I would say that a declaration of war IS a suspension of habeas corpus for the designated enemy. After all, habeas does not just apply to American citizens. It applies to anyone on American soil or under America’s power. Yet if a declared enemy invades, we fight to kill them, regardless of whether habeus has been explicitly suspended. We don’t try to arrest them just because the fight happens to take place on our ground. Thus habeus IS implicitly suspended in these cases, and it is logical that it should always be seen as implicitly suspended for those against whom war has been declared.

  2. han_solo says:

    >declaration of war

    Never happened. Hence the problem with your argument.

    This guy did deserve due process according to our laws. He should have been the first person found guilty of treason since WWII and shot by a firing squad, but he DID deserve to be treated as a citizen. And I believe that Obama DID commit an impeachable offense.

  3. aerawls says:

    Doing a little searching, I realize how absurd current precedent on habeas is, and how much it is necessary to understand a declaration of war as implying a suspension of habeas corpus for those who are declared the enemy:

    In Boumediene v. Bush, The Court held that a Congressional suspension of habeas corpus requires an explicit suspension of the writ and that merely stripping the federal courts of jurisdiction does not actually suspend the writ. The Court also stated that the detainees lacked proper procedural safeguards to ensure they obtained fair trials and the ability to ascertain the nature of the charges against them.

    This case was brought by an Algerian enemy combatant, captured on a foreign battlefield, and he was considered to have habeas rights.

    Well, habeas rights are violated by any extra-judicial killing that is not in self-defense. This interpretation implies that our soldiers, in the conduct of a declared war, are not allowed to engage in offensive operations to kill the enemy. They can only wait until the enemy attacks, then defend themselves (as has actually been the ROE across substantial parts of the Afghan war).

    Prisoners of war never had habeus rights before. They never had any right to access to civilian courts. This is insane, and the proof of it is in the implications if it were actually carried to its logical implication, which is that war-fighting itself would become a violation of the Constitution.

  4. Layman says:

    Interesting discussions, although mostly an academic arguement. al–Awlaki was a scum-bag who proudly proclaimed he was a traitor and I think he deserved to die. It would be nice to believe that the Justice Dept provided the DoD and CIA with rock solid legal reasoning that provided a legal/moral basis for the action.

    What I find truly troubling is that this Administration has “classified” its legal rationale for pursuing an extrajudicial killing. It says it has such rationale and that it is clear and precise – but can’t be shared with the citizens of this country. WHY?

    What possible harm can be caused by advancing a solid legal argument that says,” In this set of clearly defined circumstances, under these given conditions, kill or capture orders carried out on the battlefield in a foreign country are legal and just.” ????

    It makes me wonder if they have a solid legal brief/argument.