Anwar Al-Awlaki Dead

Yemen says that US Citizen and Al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki is dead.

Awlaki is credited with inspiring or directing at least four plots on US soil in recent years – a shooting inside the Fort Hood military base, the failed Times Square bombing, the failed underwear bomber and a parcel bomb hidden inside a printer that also failed to explode while inside a passenger jet.

He is thought to have been the leader of the foreign operations unit inside the al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula group, which has in recent years taken centre stage in the global jihad campaign inspired by Osama bin Laden.






606 replies
  1. 1
    gordon schumway says:

    Hooray for extra-judicial killings of American citizens!

    What was in that 4th Amendment? The right to be killed by Nobel Peace drones!

  2. 2
    Bob says:

    This is unadulterated good news.

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    This is a headline at msnbc.com Bachmann blames Arab Spring on Obama’s ‘weakness’ I wonder what she’ll say about the latest drone attack killing al-Alwaki?

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    @gordon schumway: Personally, I think it was self-defense. I’m not a big supporter of terrorists that want to kill us though.

  5. 5
    Pococurante says:

    @gordon schumway: American citizenship, not just for breakfast anymore?

    The monster bragged about his exploits. There are more genuine abuses of our constitution going on right now. This guy getting his just reward is pretty low on the list of things that outrage me.

  6. 6
    mistermix says:

    @gordon schumway: I’m sympathetic to the view that he should have been arrested, extradited and made to stand trial, but I don’t think the Yemenis would be able, or would want, to do it. So we either let him continue to do us harm from his base in Yemen, or we put a force into Yemen to go get him. Which do you recommend?

  7. 7
    gordon schumway says:

    @JPL: If only someone had a process to test the claims of the executive! We could promise to make it a co-equal branch of government if only someone could invent such a process!

  8. 8
    Bob says:

    @JPL: She’ll say, “Blah blah blah,” then “some people” will repeat it. Our failed media experiment.

  9. 9
    gordon schumway says:

    @mistermix: Try him in absentia. If convicted, I’ll not protest his assassination.

  10. 10
    gordon schumway says:

    @Pococurante: Even if he did brag about his exploits, the 4th Amendment is not rendered inoperative by this. Extra-judicial killings of non-combatants are immoral and illegal under the US Constitution.

  11. 11
    Baud says:

    @gordon schumway: I don’t believe we ever try people in abstentia in the U.S.

  12. 12
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @gordon schumway: Once again, a flawed understanding of who the Constitution applies to, brought on by buying into the right wing meme. The Constitution restricts what the US government can and cannot do, not who they go after. It doesn’t matter if the person was American or not. Now, if you were calling for Obama’s impeachment after bin Laden was killed, than disregard my comment.

    As for al-Alwaki, ordering attacks on the US made him an enemy of the state, and the US had the right to deal with him. Yemen would not turn him over.

  13. 13
    danimal says:

    I know a lot of folks around here are going to be upset by this attack, but I’ll sleep better knowing that this monstrous person is no longer plotting to kill Americans. If he were hiding in the hills of New Mexico, I’d expect our government to arrest, indict and convict him, but he was in inaccessible Yemen, plotting to take out hundreds of Americans at a time in terror attacks. Dumb luck seems to have been the main reason he wasn’t more successful. I don’t really understand the outrage.

  14. 14
    Sacred Crow says:

    @gordon schumway:
    Wait a minute, Obama got that Nobel prize was for his work towards nuclear disarmament. They freakin’ nuked the guy!?!?!
    My god I know he was jerk and all, but that’s a bit overboard.

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @Bob: According to Gawker, her funds have run out so if she wants to continue raking in money, she’ll have to resign congress and join Fox TV.

  16. 16
    Ash Can says:

    So someone promoting terrorist attacks in the U.S. got blown up. Boo-fucking-hoo. The only problem with this is that it makes the guy a martyr to the true believers. But I guess there’s no avoiding that.

  17. 17
    lol says:

    @gordon schumway:

    He wasn’t a non-combatant.

  18. 18
    BGK says:

    Fox News was positiviely wetting itself over this this morning. The dimwits from “Fox and Fiends” even came on an hour early to hoot and shriek about it. No, I didn’t watch, but it’s unavoidable at the gym I use, given the mostly-galacially-old demographic at the time of day I go. I was too far away to read the captions, but watching Steve Douchey act out a drone strike was entertaining in a watching-a-dog-vomit kind of way.

  19. 19
    geg6 says:

    Jeebus. I don’t know what happy happy joy land you have to live in to lament the death and destruction of a traitor bent on killing his fellow citizens and who bragged about it endlessly.

    Fuck this asshole al-Awlaki. People like him make me wish I believed in god and heaven/hell just so I could savor the thought of him burning in hell. Sadly, I just have to be satisfied with the thought that he’s no longer able to plot your and my death anymore.

  20. 20
    gordon schumway says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): I do agree that extra-judicial killings of anyone, American or not, are immoral and against the US Constitution. I do believe that bin Laden should not have been killed if at all possible (and I have no opinion on whether it was possible or not).

    It’s just that killing an American takes it up a notch: the duty of the American government, first and foremost, is to protect American citizens.

  21. 21
    boss bitch says:

    I don’t care and I don’t care if he was a US citizen.

  22. 22
    James says:

    At least they bothered to manufacture evidence against Troy Davis. This just smacks of laziness.

    They promised me an efficient 24/7 terror state!

  23. 23
    gordon schumway says:

    @lol: Did he have a gun when he was killed? Was there combat when he was killed? He was a non-combatant. This was an assassination, not a battle.

  24. 24
    Dekster says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): “The Constitution restricts what the US government can and cannot do, not who they go after.” So by your logic “going after” someone is not “doing something”?

    Again: 4th amendment.

    You have no ground to stand on, here. None.

  25. 25
    Dekster says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): “The Constitution restricts what the US government can and cannot do, not who they go after.” So by your logic “going after” someone is not “doing something”?

    Again: 4th amendment.

    You have no ground to stand on, here. None.

  26. 26
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @gordon schumway: Fuck him of he can’t take a joke.

  27. 27
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    I want to know when the usual suspects start agitating for the impeachment trial of Abraham Lincoln for opening fire on American citizens.

  28. 28
    jon says:

    If we actually declared war on Al Qaeda, this would just be a normal part of war. Instead the House okayed warlike actions against Al Qaeda, though I don’t think it’s very difficult to say this guy was a military target.

    A very fucking legitimate military target.

    And the 4th Amendment says “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    I don’t see much of a case to be made against “probably cause” here. An arrest warrant was issued. He could have turned himself in. He chose not to. Boo freaking hoo.

  29. 29
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Glenn Greenwald should be a doozy today.

  30. 30
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dekster: After time expired, I realized I didn’t completely word that right. That should read: “The Constitution restricts what the US government can and cannot do, regardless of the nationality of the person involved.” Which is why, when they arrest foreigners on something, I get annoyed that somehow they think that they can lock them up for long periods without due process.

  31. 31
    James says:

    @Dekster:

    You mean the fifth. Not that any of them matter that much anymore.

  32. 32
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Heck, I can’t wait for John’s post on this.

  33. 33
    geg6 says:

    @gordon schumway:

    So I guess that Operation Anthropoid, a British operation that killed Heydrich, was morally wrong, too, since he was just riding along in his car and not shooting at anyone at the time and there were no battles happening at that time in that particular place.

    Jeebus.

  34. 34

    @gordon schumway:

    Try him in absentia. If convicted, I’ll not protest his assassination.

    You might have a point there. Public trial. Let us all see/hear the evidence.

  35. 35
    Strandedvandal says:

    We are at war, he’s the enemy. Fuck him. If you are defending him, fuck you too. Is there a limit to your kumbaya bullshit? This piece of crap BRAGGED about killing US Citizens.

  36. 36
    nancydarling says:

    No tears here. He needed killing.

  37. 37
    drkrick says:

    “The Constitution restricts what the US government can and cannot do, not who they go after.” So by your logic “going after” someone is not “doing something”?

    Again: 4th amendment.

    You have no ground to stand on, here. None..

    You miss the point, which is that Awlaki’s status as a US citizen doesn’t grant him any more protection under the Fourth Amendment that his colleagues in AQ or other self-declared violent enemies of the US.

    Edited for blockquote fail. Twice.

  38. 38
    drkrick says:

    @gordon schumway:

    Did he have a gun when he was killed? Was there combat when he was killed? He was a non-combatant. This was an assassination, not a battle.

    So if we find out some of the soldiers in a troop formation that has been bombed weren’t holding a weapon at the moment of detonation, it becomes a war crime?

    This guy met the fate he so urgently desired for others, either as martyrs or victims. If this strikes you as the most urgent injustice going on in the world today, I suggest you reassess your priorities.

  39. 39
    James says:

    @drkrick:

    A newer bolder definition of the word ‘inalienable’ for the 21st century.

  40. 40
    jwest says:

    No whining.

    We only killed the guy with a Hellfire missile. It’s not like we water boarded him.

  41. 41
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, if he is indeed dead, then he won’t be planning or putting in motion any additional murders, so there’s that.

  42. 42
    magurakurin says:

    @gordon schumway: I think the key word there is “non-combatant.” I look forward to your tortured attempts to justify that claim.

  43. 43
    Steve says:

    This is great news. I don’t believe that the freedom to plot attacks against the US is one of the freedoms that US citizens get to enjoy, regrettably.

    If I can blow off the freedom to refuse to buy health insurance and the freedom to buy incandescent light bulbs, I’m pretty sure I can blow this one off too.

  44. 44
    soonergrunt says:

    @gordon schumway: Hooray for misunderstanding the Constitution in such a way that benefits your own point of view!!!
    There’s that small issue of the right of the accused to confront his accuser.
    Without that, it’s just a bullshit show trial. Is that what you were after?

  45. 45
    soonergrunt says:

    @gordon schumway:

    Even if he did brag about his exploits, the 4th Amendment is not rendered inoperative by this. Extra-judicial killings of non-combatants are immoral and illegal under the US Constitution.

    But the targetting and destruction of enemy command and control elements is. Thanks for playing.

  46. 46
    Paul in KY says:

    @Baud: Various states do. Ira Einhorn was tried in absentia when he fled the country after murdering his lover.

    Later on that verdict was vacated, so France would extradite him over here.

  47. 47
    soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: That’s rich, coming from you.

  48. 48
    magurakurin says:

    @Paul in KY: That’s a really creepy story, too. I guess he had the body in his room for ages and eventually the people downstairs complained when this foul smelling black ooze began seeping out of the ceiling.

  49. 49
    Paul in KY says:

    I only hope there weren’t some non-combatants (kids, wives/concubines of fighters who are forced to travel with them) killed in the strike.

    As for him, good riddance, traitor.

  50. 50
    edwin says:

    Assassinations of American citizens with explicit denial of due process. What could possibly go wrong?

  51. 51
    Paul in KY says:

    @magurakurin: He was a piece of work. Supposedly never showered back in his hippy days. I hope he is doing badly there in prison.

  52. 52
    Johannes says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-: This. If you take the field against the US by joining a foreign force and, as here, are not in the US, I do not see how it’s a Fourth Amendment issue just because you have a high rank in the the foreign force. There may be a law of ware issue, but this ain’t an arrest for a violation of criminal law.

  53. 53
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Good by and good riddance. I hope there isn’t enough left to bury facing Mecca.

  54. 54
    geg6 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    WTF?

    Suddenly I’m an al Qaeda operative or something?

    You know, I thought you were a dick before. Now I know it.

  55. 55
    soonergrunt says:

    @Johannes: There’s no LLW/LAC issue here either. An enemy command and control element (perfectly legal target) was attacked by an airstrike (perfectly legal method) in a country which government allowed the strike.

  56. 56
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @magurakurin:

    He thinks it’s something you turn on and off. He wasn’t at combat at that moment, so he wasn’t a combatant.

    See? No? Then stuff your head up your ass like Gordo and it will all make sense. ;)

  57. 57
    soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: Not AQ, just an entitled, overly self-important jerk-ass.

  58. 58
    Dan says:

    @James: Substitute “Troy Davis” for “Anwar Al-Awlaki” in a lot of these comments and they’d be right at home on a Red State thread. He won’t be planning or putting in motion any additional murders, so there’s that!

  59. 59
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Glenn Greenwald should be a doozy today.

    yeah, I was thinking the same thing. As my father used to say, he’ll be happier than a pig in shit.

  60. 60
    sherparick says:

    I know that Glenn Greenwald and a significant number of people on our side of the tribal divide think Al-awlaki, and all of other members Al-Qaeda are simply suspected criminals and the only legitimate Government response is the traditional criminal proceeding (indictment, warrant for arrest, arrest, and then trial). First, this does not work to well when they are in a foreign territory outside lawful U.S. jurisdiction and the Government of the territory cannot assert control, such as the case of Yemen. Second, both Al-awlaki and the U.S. agreed that he was making “war” on the U.S. and American citizens whenever they may be. So this is where I break from Glenn. We are talking “de Jure Belli” versus “de Jure Pacem.” And under the laws of war, Al-awlaki was a fair a target regardless of his American citizenship, just as Osama bin-Laden, Admiral Yammamato, General A.P. Hill (also an American citizen), all killed by the American military). Perhaps a more similar case because of the gray ambiguities between soldier, terrorist, partisan, and guerrilla, Bloody Bill Anderson of Missouri were fair targets. (Anderson is particularly relevant example. A guerrilla, he was ambushed in late 1864 in Missouri, a state that never left the Union, and where, theoretically, the courts were still open.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Bill_Anderson#Death_controversy

  61. 61
    nancydarling says:

    @Dan: There were serious questions about Davis’ guilt. There were none about Al-Awlaki.

  62. 62
    rikryah says:

    another one bites the dust

  63. 63
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Dan: You know, they’re still printing Dick and Jane. Maybe that world is simple enough for you.

    If you substitute “Hitler” for all the places in the Bible where it say’s Jesus, he’ll look like a saint as well, but it doesn’t make him one.

  64. 64
    Alex S. says:

    Somehow I missed that this guy is important.

  65. 65
    eemom says:

    If Cole weighs in on this, we’re gonna have every troll in the blogiverse paying us a call.

  66. 66
    cathyx says:

    What is wrong with all of you. You should be against this, not because of the loss of Al Awlaki, but the loss of the rule of law. As an American Citizen, he is entitled to a trial for his crimes with the government proving his guilt and holding him accountable. But the government didn’t do that, they just killed him.
    And you are approving this and applauding it. Maybe if the government doesn’t like something you said, they could accuse you of being against the government and just kill you too. Everyone should get their day in court, not just the people you like.

  67. 67
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Dan:

    Personally, I think your saying this is an insult to the memory of Troy Davis.

  68. 68
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Alex S.: When left-oriented Obama critics use the line about Obama claiming the power to execute American citizens without due process… this is the guy they’re referring to.

  69. 69
    Greenjeans says:

    So much for the the 5th Amendment guarantee to due process of law. So much for the 1st Amendment guarantee to freedom of speech.

  70. 70
    nancydarling says:

    @cathyx: That’s a nice, tidy world you are living in. Too bad it only exists in your head.

  71. 71
    James says:

    @Dan:

    At least there’s cheering. I thought the Constitution would go out with a whimper. It’s a nice surprise.

  72. 72
    Strandedvandal says:

    @cathyx: What complete and total rubbish. Slippery slope fallacy anyone?

  73. 73
    cathyx says:

    @nancydarling: Not only are you sitting idly by watching the destruction of our constitution, but you are cheering it, like James said above. How very sad.

  74. 74
    eemom says:

    Yup. The ‘Zilla has busted out the gate like a racehorse, orgasmic with righteous indignation.

  75. 75
    Alex S. says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Hmm, thanks, I guess I don’t read enough Greenwald.

  76. 76
    Zagloba says:

    @nancydarling:@Dan: There were serious questions about Davis’ guilt. There were none about Al-Awlaki.

    Then you’ll have no difficulty producing evidence that he’s anything more than a radical cleric?

    The government has been saying “trust us, this dude’s a bad dude” this whole time, but hasn’t produced a shred of independent evidence that Awlaki’s operationally involved with any terrorist organization. None.

  77. 77
    soonergrunt says:

    @Alex S.: But you honestly didn’t need to even speculate in this case, either.

  78. 78
    soonergrunt says:

    @Zagloba: So all of those videos and audios hosted on AQ-affiliated and other Islamic extremist sites wherein he bragged repeatedly about his part in various operations to kill Americans, and specifically the printer toner plot, the Christmas airline (dumb-ass with a bomb up his ass) plot, the Fort Hood killing spree, and the idiot in Times Square with the car bomb–those don’t count in your opinion?

  79. 79
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: This kind of case reminds me of the debate over free speech surrounding the Klan march through Skokie, where the ACLU took the side of the Klan. I see the point, but I have a hard time convincing myself to invest energy in the claims of the wronged person. I just can’t get there. But that’s Greenwald’s lifeblood.

  80. 80
    eemom says:

    @cathyx:

    As an American Citizen, he is entitled to a trial for his crimes with the government proving his guilt and holding him accountable. But the government didn’t do that, they just killed him.

    The government “just kills” a lot of people all the time in al-Awlaki’s neck of the woods, without trials, and picks off quite a few who are innocent along the way.

    But this guy is the hill we’re gonna die on, because he was an AMERICAN CITIZEN.

    What pious, hypocritical horseshit.

  81. 81
    cathyx says:

    @soonergrunt: The fifth amendment guarantees your right to free speech. That’s not proof he did it.

  82. 82
    Sir Nose'D says:

    I really don’t like to rejoice in the violent death of another, but this is really good news. This guy was not just another red shirt in the Star Trek sense.

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @soonergrunt: I think it’s sensible to say that he _should_ have been tried. But the problem is (and this is obviously something you know well) how to apprehend him, and what risks the military or law enforcement should be prepared to take to do it.

  84. 84
    amk says:

    @eemom: I predicted it two threads below. gg can go suck an egg, a rotten one at that.

  85. 85
    cathyx says:

    @eemom: That was the hill that our founding fathers died on.

  86. 86
    magurakurin says:

    @cathyx: what part of “take the field in an enemy force” in the above comment didn’t you understand? Also, too the comment about Lincoln and the civil war. They were American citizens all those hundreds of thousands of Southern boys shot by Union soldiers.

  87. 87
    soonergrunt says:

    @cathyx: And how many FBI agents (not that they’d have the capability) would you have been willing to see killed or wounded trying to capture him? Or how many Soldiers and Marines? What should they have done if he didn’t surrender? How many people from his tribe should those forces have killed/wounded to get to him since the Yemeni government couldn’t get to him?
    If he had surrendered to the nearest embassy of either the US or another country, or even been operating on US soil, that would be one thing, but he was carrying out acts of war from within another country that wasn’t able or willing to do anything about it.

  88. 88
    nancydarling says:

    @soonergrunt:
    @eemom:

    Agreed. It would be “nice” to tie this up with a pretty bow, but sometimes the world doesn’t work that way. This is not a slippery slope to any where. The guy was a rabid dog. He’s dead. I’m not doing a happy dance, but I’m not lamenting the way he was killed. There are plenty of injustices all around us where I will spend my energy.

  89. 89
    magurakurin says:

    @soonergrunt: Yeah. I mean it isn’t the guy ever denied any of the government’s charges against him. Quite the opposite he openly and proudly boasted of his actions. This guy just isn’t the place to make a stand against government abuses. It just isn’t. If anyone wants to go die on this ideological hill they will die there alone.

  90. 90
    amk says:

    @Zagloba: you should try to learn how to use youtube.

  91. 91
    Cat Lady says:

    @magurakurin:

    If anyone wants to go die on this ideological hill they will die there alone with Greenwald.

    fixt.

  92. 92
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: You can probably come up with a ranked list of outcomes from best to worst, most morally acceptable to least morally acceptable. While “American citizen” is the apparent key phrase, my sense is that few people would be bothered by the American citizen being killed rather than tried if he was in the process of firing on American soldiers or Interpol or something. I think the sticking point is that he wasn’t engaged in aggressive violence at the time. And the logistical problem is what to do about a guy who isn’t engaging in aggressive violence at the time, but who would almost certainly turn any attempt at an arrest into aggressive violence. Should the military (or law enforcement, I guess) be forced to go through an assault-on-David Koresh kind of situation _first_, and only after being fired upon be allowed to escalate/retaliate? That’s where it gets very tricky.

  93. 93
    Donald G says:

    Short of standing up and actively saying “I repudiate and renounce my American citizenship”, it’s hard to see a more active repudiation and renunciation of one’s American citizenship than joining a foreign terrorist army, rising to an active command position within it, plotting, planning and authorizing strategic terrorist operations and otherwise actively making war against the United States of America.

    He’s a legitimate target of war, just as any hypothetical American-born German who moved back to Germany in the thirties and served in the Wehrmacht would’ve been during World War Two.

  94. 94
    soonergrunt says:

    @cathyx: That guarantee is only active in places where the US federal government has sovereignty.
    We have no sovereignty in that part of Yemen of which I am aware. Neither does the government of Yemen, come to that.

  95. 95
    magurakurin says:

    @cathyx: Last time I checked Benedict Arnold wasn’t really highly regarded among the “founding fathers.” This punk Al-Awlaki ain’t no Patrick Henry.

  96. 96
    celtidragonchick says:

    @geg6:

    So I guess that Operation Anthropoid, a British operation that killed Heydrich, was morally wrong, too, since he was just riding along in his car and not shooting at anyone at the time and there were no battles happening at that time in that particular place.

    Exactly. Enemy leadership cadre are always legitimate targets whether they are on an active battlefield or not. This has been long recognized under the laws of land warfare.

    I will not lose sleep over the death of this guy. Fuck him.

  97. 97
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @cathyx: Then again, the Founding Fathers presided over the killing of a hell of a lot of Indians.

  98. 98
    eemom says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I don’t see it the same as Skokie. That was about a principle very much worth fighting for, that many people don’t understand — that the right to free speech HAS to protect the most loathsome and despicable of speakers, or it’s worthless.

    This? As noted above, the only thing that makes this guy any different from the gazillion other al Quaeda no. 2’s the U.S purportedly has killed is that he’s an American citizen. I understand the constitutional argument, of course, but I just find it fucked up, on a profoundly moral level, that an American life is treated with a sanctity that others are not.

  99. 99
    Sandmann says:

    Poor, misunderstood Al-Awlaki.

    ~sniffle

  100. 100
    Marc says:

    This is wrong if you believe that it’s illegal to kill enemy soldiers in war. Since it isn’t, it isn’t. I think this is great news, and Greenwald is deluded.

  101. 101
    eemom says:

    @cathyx:

    omg. What a crock of shit.

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @magurakurin: They did try, then execute, Arnold’s co-conspirator Major Andre. I’m not sure if they would have authorized a mission to assassinate Arnold in Canada or the Caribbean.

  103. 103
    magurakurin says:

    @Donald G: And it isn’t a hypothetical situation

    American Free Corp

    It is believed that at least eight Americans serving in the German armed forces were killed during their service.

  104. 104
    burnspbesq says:

    @geg6:

    People like him make me wish I believed in god and heaven/hell just so I could savor the thought of him burning in hell.

    I have your back on that one.

    In a perfect world, we would have gone in and gotten him alive, brought him to trial for treason (this is the rare case where that charge could be make to stick), and if he were found guilty, we would have executed him. That wasn’t ever going to happen. Even if we could have gotten our hands on him, the betwetters in Congress would have taken away the jurisdiction of the District Court to try him, or done something even stupider.

    I’m a little bit sorry that we couldn’t deal with this guy the way we arguably should have. I am completely satisfied that we dealt with him.

  105. 105
    Donald G says:

    @cathyx:

    @soonergrunt: The fifth amendment guarantees your right to free speech. That’s not proof he did it.

    That’s the First Amendment that guarantees the right of free speech. The Fourth Amendment is to protect against unreasonable searches and seizures (and has been so weakened in the past thirty years as to be laughable). The Fifth Amendment is the one that is supposed to protect you from self-incrimination.

  106. 106
    eemom says:

    @soonergrunt:

    ah, I shall love you for saying that. Madly, passionately, forever.

  107. 107
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @eemom: Yeah, it’s not strictly parallel, but just on a personal level, I don’t believe in spending time defending the civil liberties of the Nazis or the Klan — not because they don’t _have_ them, but because, you know, life is short and other people’s claims for justice and redress easily trump theirs.

  108. 108
    vernon says:

    For a second I thought that his killing of citizens without due trial, along with extending Bush’s wars, tax cuts, and assaults on civil liberites, was making me disenchanted with Obama.

    Then I realized I was just racist.

  109. 109
    James says:

    @eemom:

    Same page, four items down.

  110. 110
    aisce says:

    i enjoyed more the detail that the cia killed the editor-in-chief of al qaeda’s webzine.

    also, too, that al qaeda has a webzine. named inspire. fantastic.

  111. 111
    soonergrunt says:

    @magurakurin: That’s only the Americans who joined that unit of the Waffen SS from the POW camps. Those men explicitly aided the enemy under the Articles of War, if not committed outright treason.
    There were hundreds if not thousands of US-born men who served in the Wehrmacht from the very beginning. Whether or not they specifically broke US law is much, much murkier.

  112. 112
    Zagloba says:

    @soonergrunt: I was not aware of those videos; also, my initial response to any responsibility-claiming for a terrorist action in the immediate hubbub after it occurs is to suspect attention-whoring rather than actual involvement.

    And didn’t we figure out that Times Square moran got all his material support from Pakistan? Again, I’m not saying Awlaki’s not a radical, I’m saying that in order to assassinate someone, even under Jus Belli, they need to be more than a public relations figure for the enemy.

  113. 113
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Did the U.S. government present evidence to a grand jury that al-Awlaki committed criminal acts?

    So, the evidence was presented to the U.S. media. How did the U.S. media do when the Bush administration implied Saddam Hussein as linked to the 9/11 attacks?

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    @Zagloba:

    What’s already known about the Fort Hood killings is enough to convict al-Awlaki as an accessory.

  115. 115
    Carl Nyberg says:

    The establishment wants the United States to be in a protracted war with Islam.

    The media is helping to sell the war against Islam.

    Who benefits from a protracted war against Islam?

  116. 116

    Jesus, can’t we be a both/and blog instead of this either/or bullshit? It’s possible to think Al-Awlaki was a monstrous slime who the world is better off without, and that killing an American citizen by executive order without due process is wrong. I’m not mourning this guy either but I’m sure not breaking out the foam finger.

    If you think bragging about your criminal exploits dissolves your right to trial, you don’t believe in the United States legal system.

  117. 117
    vernon says:

    @burnspbesq: Jeez, so it’s almost like we could have, I dunno, tried him!

  118. 118
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @burnspbesq: So why didn’t the U.S. government seek an indictment?

    Have you considered the possibility that the evidence is fraudulent?

    If it was fraudulent, do you think the U.S. media would detect the fraud?

    What makes you confident the government is not lying to justify what it wanted to do?

    Did the “evidence” emerge before or after the order to assassinate al-Awlaki?

  119. 119
    wilfred says:

    Great comments. They show why the left can hvae nothing whatsoever to do with what calls itself Democrats or liberals.

    Brilliant stuff. What about dousing the rabid dog American wog’s corpse with shit and have Obama drag it around the capitol building with his armored car?

  120. 120
    geg6 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Takes one to know one, I guess.

  121. 121
    magurakurin says:

    @soonergrunt: interesting. I remember seeing an example of such a soldier in the film/tv series “Band of Brothers.” The members of the company chat with him just before one of the lieutenants shoots him along with some other German prisoners.

  122. 122
    James says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Which brings us back to the fifth amendment.

    At least North Koreans get the pagentry of a show trial. If we’re gonna do this I think we deserve a lil’ theatre, farm it out to Judge Judy for all I care.

  123. 123
    burnspbesq says:

    @vernon:

    killing of citizens without due trial

    Wrong frame. Try “killing enemy leadership in a combat zone.” What was done here is clearly permissible under the AUMF, which is still in force. Whether that was an appropriate thing for Congress to do is something we can argue about all day, but that’s a separate and distinct argument.

  124. 124
    Yutsano says:

    @Zagloba:

    And didn’t we figure out that Times Square moran got all his material support from Pakistan?

    Pakistan has more resources and a nominal alliance with the US. Also most Al-Qaeda operatives worked with little consideration to national boundary. The fact that the material support comes from one country and the actual orders from another is not unusual.

  125. 125
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    If you think bragging about your criminal exploits dissolves your right to trial, you don’t believe in the United States legal system.

    The propaganda/bigotry has worked.

    When it comes to Muslims, a huge chunk of Americans don’t believe the protections in the Constitution should apply.

    Now, who benefits from peddling bigotry directed at Muslims?

  126. 126
    Zagloba says:

    @burnspbesq: What’s already known about the Fort Hood killings is enough to convict al-Awlaki as an accessory.

    Of what crime? Attacking an enemy military base in a time of war?

  127. 127
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    At least they bothered to manufacture evidence against Troy Davis. This just smacks of laziness.

    Yes, because killing a prisoner who is under your control is exactly the same thing as bombing an enemy camp where you know the person you’re seeking is.

  128. 128
    Carl Nyberg says:

    When did Congress make Yemen a combat zone?

  129. 129
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @James: Let’s stipulate that a trial would be better than no trial. So, how do you get him to trial, and if it turns ugly, how many additional lives are you willing to sacrifice in the process of making it happen? That’s where the tough choices are. It’s easy to say what should happen. How do you make it happen, and what do you do when you conclude that you can’t?

  130. 130
    nancydarling says:

    @Zagloba:

    Of what crime? Attacking an enemy military base in a time of war?

    Seriously?

  131. 131
    Zagloba says:

    @nancydarling: Seriously?

    Yes, that was a serious question. What crime is the mastermind behind Fort Hood guilty of (whether Awlaki or someone else) that the POTUS is not?

  132. 132
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Zagloba:
    I should have caught this too.

    Uniformed military personnel are legitimate targets, under the Geneva Convention and the law of armed conflict.

    If the United States claims that a state of war exists then it kinda forfeits the right to complain about al-Awlaki’s participation in the attack at Ft. Hood.

    The Israelis do this too. They justify IDF and Israeli misdeeds as being justified by that state of war. But when Palestinians capture an Israeli soldier, the Israelis completely flip out, far more than when civilians are targeted.

  133. 133
    burnspbesq says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    So why didn’t the U.S. government seek an indictment? See comment 102.

    Have you considered the possibility that the evidence is fraudulent? Yes. There is no basis for concluding that. There is no rational basis for even thinking it, unless you know something that the entire rest of the world doesn’t.

    If it was fraudulent, do you think the U.S. media would detect the fraud? Not their job.

    What makes you confident the government is not lying to justify what it wanted to do? The complete lack of evidence to support that theory (you certainly haven’t presented anything but prejudice and preconceived notions).

    Did the “evidence” emerge before or after the order to assassinate al-Awlaki? Irrelevant. And on your theory that a grand jury should have been convened, no evidence would emerge until trial. See Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 6(e). So neither you nor anyone else would get to nitpick the case in advance.

    I believe we’re done here. Feel free to come back when you have something useful to contribute.

  134. 134
    vernon says:

    @burnspbesq: “Wrong frame”? Seriously, who talks that way? This isn’t Madison Avenue, or a campaign bus.

  135. 135
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Your story has the makings of a great Rowan Atkinson comedy: an innocent Muslim cleric accidentally befriends the 9/11 hijackers and finds himself living in an al-Qaeda camp when he leaves the US days after 9/11. He gets a leadership position despite his many protests that he doesn’t even want to be there.

    Can you just imagine the hilarity that ensued when your al-Awlaki tried to explain that it was all a mistake and he wasn’t really one of them even though he’d lived with them for a decade?

  136. 136
    Steve says:

    @Zagloba: This is the best argument yet. He’s entitled to a civilian trial, because he’s a U.S. citizen. But the Fort Hood killings weren’t a crime, just part of a war. Except we can’t treat him as a wartime enemy, because he’s an American citizen…

  137. 137
    magurakurin says:

    @wilfred:

    the “left?” You mean like this guy

    A prolific diarist, Guevara nevertheless wrote vividly of his role as an executioner. In one passage he described the execution of Eutimio Guerra, a peasant and army guide. “I fired a .32calibre bullet into the right hemisphere of his brain which came out through his left temple,” was Guevara’s clinical description of the killing. “He moaned for a few moments, then died.”
    This was the first of many “traitors” to be subjected to what Guevara called “acts of justice”. There was seldom any trial. “I carried out a very summary inquiry and then the peasant Aristidio was executed,” he wrote about another killing. “It is not possible to tolerate even the suspicion of treason.”

    Shooting traitors on sight is time honored tradition among all political persuasions.

    As for displaying trophies, I seem to remember another prominent AQ member whose corpse we have not and probably will never see.

  138. 138
    Suffern ACE says:

    @gordon schumway:

    If convicted, I’ll not protest his assassination.

    You owe me a new keyboard for that. Yeah, a trial would calm you down. Sure it would. snicker. You’d just ignore any evidence that was presented that would indicate that he was quite a bit more than just a blogger and protest the violations of his first amendment rights.

  139. 139
    geg6 says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yeah, the stupid is strong among the Greenwaldian lackeys.

  140. 140
    burnspbesq says:

    @Zagloba:

    Of what crime? Attacking an enemy military base in a time of war?

    You’re joking, right? An active-duty officer killed unarmed members of his own service. See Uniform Code of Military Justice, Articles 118 and 119.

    Next time, do your own research.

  141. 141
    Steve says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    If the United States claims that a state of war exists then it kinda forfeits the right to complain about al-Awlaki’s participation in the attack at Ft. Hood.

    Et tu, Carl? If someone kills our soldiers during a war, we’re not allowed to shoot back?

  142. 142
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve:

    He’s entitled to a civilian trial, because he’s a U.S. citizen. But the Fort Hood killings weren’t a crime, just part of a war. Except we can’t treat him as a wartime enemy, because he’s an American citizen…

    Yep. Either the Fort Hood killings were murder, in which case al-Awlaki should have been indicted in a court of law and a warrant issued, or they were an act of war against an enemy military target, which would make al-Awlaki himself a legitimate military target.

    You can’t simultaneously claim that he was entitled to all of the rights of a US citizen accused of criminal acts and that he was legitimately carrying out military operations against the US.

    Either Fort Hood was mass murder and al-Awlaki should have been tried for it in criminal court, or it was an act of war, and killing him at the enemy camp was legitimate. Which is is, Carl?

  143. 143
    James says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I said it plain as can be, I want a show trial. Could care less if he’s there. If we’re gonna do away with the fifth when it suits the mood, I want the verdict sung out by a kickline.

    If the price of bread keeps going up, I want my fucking circus on basic cable.

  144. 144
    Marc says:

    @Steve:

    Well, it is useful proof that the Greenwald cultists have a worldview that can’t be contradicted by mere evidence.

  145. 145
    soonergrunt says:

    @geg6: The difference between you and me is that while you’re glad this guy and others like him is dead, and therefore you and yours are just a little safer, you hate the people who make that happen.
    You are the walking, breathing stereotype of the selfish, self-absorbed suburban white housewife. You think that whatever you do is the highest form of activism, and that others can’t possibly make it up to your high standards. You’re the type whose glad your neighborhood is safe, but shrieks and swears at the cop who pulls you over for speeding and tells your friends and acquaintances for years about how you thought you were going to get tazed when you got off with a warning.
    You’re proud of the work you claim to do for veterans at your job, and no doubt bask in the thanks you get, but you come on here and talk about them with nothing but contempt.
    You’re the worst kind of hypocrite there is. You’re the photo-negative of the chicken-hawk. It’s the same image, just reversed. You and people like you are the reason that vets like me tell young people to stay out of the military, because very damn few Americans are worth any exertion whatsoever, let alone fighting risking death for.
    Hope this helps.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I feel a little weird because I was actually asking yesterday why al-Awlaki hadn’t been killed yet if Obama was chomping at the bit to start assassinating US citizens.

    It’s not the first time that a weird coincidence like that has happened to me (as in accidentally predicting someone’s death), but it’s still freaky every time.

  147. 147
    Carl Nyberg says:

    So al-Awlaki lived in the United States after the 2001 attacks and had a high profile. He lived in the UK until 2004.

    He had all these connections to the 9/11 perpetrators, but he was not apprehended.

    Even though the United States government had the 9/11 plot deciphered within days of the attack.

    Is something about this story not making sense?

  148. 148
    burnspbesq says:

    @vernon:

    I was trying to be polite. Would you have preferred that I say “your way of thinking about this is completely bass-ackwards, douchebag?”

  149. 149
    Martin says:

    Shit, the comments here are American Exceptionalism at their worst.

    We really think that US citizenship provides protection if you renounce that citizenship, publicly declare to be a member of a organization that has declared war on the US, publicly declare to be a leader of that organization, initiate several attacks against the US that lead to the death of US soliders.

    Many exceedingly good benefits come from being a US citizen, but those benefits are not limitless.

  150. 150
    WeeBey says:

    EKIA, and good riddance.

  151. 151
    Paul in KY says:

    @burnspbesq: I guess he/she was talking about Al-Awlaki. As an enemy combatant (leaving his citizenship aside for a moment), it wouldn’t be a crime for him (Al-Awlaki) to either attack or incite an attack on our forces. That is what the enemy does. We, of course, can respond to eliminate the enemy’s threat.

  152. 152
    geg6 says:

    Apparently, they also got al-Awlaki’s own little Goebbels, Samir Khan.

    http://twitter.com/#!/AP/statu.....6301349889

    http://www.adl.org/main_Terrorism/samir_khan.htm

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  153. 153
    Marc says:

    @James:

    Killing people who are trying to kill you is a pretty basic concept. It’s very difficult to make this any sort of case unless you’re basically ruling out self-defence, or the ability to kill people in the course of a war. You get to comical levels of denial to pretend otherwise. Even tapes of the guy bragging about what he’s done don’t count – he could have been lying! It doesn’t matter that we can’t get to him, or that many people would have to die to serve a warrant on a man who won’t be captured alive!

    If Greenwald et al. aren’t able to recognize the difference between this case and others, don’t be surprised if even people on the left think they’re clueless. And this matters, because there are some other issues on which the civil liberties concerns are totally valid./ And kicking up a stink in a case where your argument is laughable ensures that no one will listen to you where they should.

  154. 154
    Trurl says:

    “Lesser evil”, you say.

  155. 155
    soonergrunt says:

    @Carl Nyberg: Ah, so killing him with an airstrike was legal, because he was engaged in acts of war against us.
    Thanks for clearing that up.

  156. 156
    slightly_peeved says:

    Not to upset anyone’s rhythm here, but as Cleek pointed out on the other thread, Anwar Al-Awlaki was tried in absentia by the Yemeni Government:

    Cleric says American ‘devils’ must die

    A quote from the article:

    Awlaki is being tried in absentia in Yemen for his alleged role in the kidnapping and murder of a French national. On Saturday, Judge Moshen Allwan ordered him “arrested by force, dead or alive” when he failed to appear.

    So whether or not killing him was legal because he was at war with the US is besides the point; killing him was legal under Yemeni law. And his U.S. citizenship doesn’t matter in that case, as he’s committed a crime against Yemen and is still within Yemen. Their jurisdiction, much as if Kissinger ever ends up in Belgium (through either accident or the intervention of a benevolent God) and ends up on trial for war crimes.

  157. 157
    D-Chance. says:

    I can only imagine the Liberal outrage if President Rick Perry had been in charge when this happened. But, as long as it’s Obama, then the only true lefty with a conscience and consistency seems to be Glenn Greenwald.

  158. 158
    geg6 says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Which just goes to show that know little to nothing about me. Vets can be assholes, just like anyone else. Thankfully, I don’t know many as assholish as you are.

  159. 159
    wilfred says:

    Here’s a thought experiment:

    Imagine that a modern day Jane Fonda decides to go sit in the turret seat of an anti-aircraft gun that is used to shoot down American pilots, say in Af or the Tribal Territories or Gaza.

    Trial or no trial? Summary execution, or not?

  160. 160
    nancydarling says:

    @soonergrunt: Bless you, soonergrunt. It affirms why I have a soft spot for soldiers. Every soldier knows, as do I, that you are stuck with the world you are born into, not the one you wish you had.

    Would that it were a neat and tidy place and let’s all work to make it more so, but sometimes reality beckons.

  161. 161
    Carl Nyberg says:

    If you aren’t suspicious of the government lying and the media helping to peddle the lies then you are a fool.

    This isn’t a “one time” situation where the government abrogates the rights of one person.

    It’s part of a process of dismantling protections individuals and citizens have under the Constitution.

    The rescinding of rights that go back to the Magna Carta is a far bigger threat to me than some Islamic cleric recruiting people to take up arms against the United States.

  162. 162
    Zagloba says:

    @Steve: @Zagloba: This is the best argument yet. He’s entitled to a civilian trial, because he’s a U.S. citizen. But the Fort Hood killings weren’t a crime, just part of a war. Except we can’t treat him as a wartime enemy, because he’s an American citizen…

    Try listening, you might learn something. If we’re in a war, then Fort Hood was a legitimate military operation. Of course, if Awlaki was operationally involved, then he’s guilty of treason (cf. US Constitution, Art. 3), a civilian crime which is to be tried in civilian court. And yeah, if he were to pop up on a battlefield somewhere, fire away. That’s the point: he was sitting thousands of miles away from any fighting.

  163. 163
    Marc says:

    @D-Chance.:

    Nope, I’d be happy having someone in his position killed regardless of the party of the president. I’d be surprised if a president Perry was competent enough to have it done, however.

  164. 164
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @D-Chance.: Greenwald might have a conscience, but for fuck’s sake, he’s not a “true lefty” or any kind of lefty. He cares a lot about civil liberties, but not a whit about social justice, and to call him a “lefty” evacuates from the good name of the left all history and content.

  165. 165
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne: “Either Fort Hood was mass murder and al-Awlaki should have been tried for it in criminal court, or it was an act of war, and killing him at the enemy camp was legitimate.”

    But of course neither are legitimate since al-Awlaki didn’t commit the Fort Hood murders.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @James: AFAIK for a “show trial,” the defendant has to be there, you know, on show. Maybe you mean a trial in absentia? I could be misusing the terminology myself; IANAL.

  167. 167
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wilfred:

    Does she stay there and help them plot attacks against US forces like al-Awlaki did? If so, then, yes, it would be legitimate to bomb the terrorist camp in the foreign country where she is living and working with them.

    If all she does is a photo op and then returns to the US, what makes you think the cases are in any way similar?

    (Edited for clarity)

  168. 168
    Marc says:

    Charlie Manson would have wanted to have some of the folks here on his jury.

  169. 169
    eemom says:

    @Martin:

    thank you. So far you’re the only one who seems to get what I was saying on that point.

    To me, there is something almost obscene — considering all the killing that we’ve done and continue to do over there — to treat this one man’s death as some kind of outrage, JUST BECAUSE he was an American citizen.

    I like the Constitution too, but not enough to elevate one human life over so many others, many of them actually innocent.

  170. 170
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @soonergrunt:
    The Geneva Convention does not negate the Constitution.

  171. 171
    geg6 says:

    @D-Chance.:

    If it was President Perry or the Grand Wizard of the KKK who ordered this air strike, I would still be fine with it. Traitors who seek to kill and destroy me, mine, and yours are always better out of the equation. As for Glenn Greenwald being a part of the left, I believe that has yet to be proven. Working for Cato and taking cash from Grover Norquist seems enough evidence for me to say no, he is not.

  172. 172
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zagloba:

    That’s the point: he was sitting thousands of miles away from any fighting.

    So was General Yamamoto. War crime?

  173. 173
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Since this whole charade began with the 9/11 attacks, who has been brought to trial (a real trial, no the kangaroo court in Iraq)?

    We could have captured ObL, but Obama ordered him killed.

    Everyone brought to trial is an exceedingly minor figure.

    Why is this?

  174. 174
    Cat Lady says:

    @eemom:

    If I was killed by a future al-Awlaki planned attack, I’m sure my family would comfort themselves that I died so that Greenwald’s principles would live.

  175. 175
    Steve says:

    @Zagloba: Let’s break down the logic some more. Fort Hood, the place where our combatants live and train, is a legitimate military target. Awlaki’s compound, the place where their combatants live and train, is not. Are you sure you’ve thought this through?

    The people who direct the enemy’s attacks are legitimate targets and can be killed whether or not you catch them on the “battlefield.” Heydrich is one well-known precedent. Yamamoto is another. No one seriously questions the propriety of their killings under the law of war.

  176. 176
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    But of course neither are legitimate since al-Awlaki didn’t commit the Fort Hood murders.

    Ah, so he had to personally pull the trigger? So much for running around calling George Bush a war criminal, then.

    Also, it’s weird that you’re so eager to absolve al-Awlaki for a crime that he himself claimed responsibility for:

    To the American people … Obama has promised that his administration will be one of transparency, but he has not fulfilled his promise. His administration tried to portray the operation of brother Nidal Hasan as an individual act of violence from an estranged individual. The administration practiced to control on the leak of information concerning the operation, in order to cushion the reaction of the American public.
    __
    Until this moment the administration is refusing to release the e-mails exchanged between myself and Nidal. And after the operation of our brother Umar Farouk, the initial comments coming from the administration were looking the same – another attempt at covering up the truth. But Al-Qaeda cut off Obama from deceiving the world again by issuing their statement claiming responsibility for the operation.

  177. 177
    Zagloba says:

    @Marc: Killing people who are trying to kill you is a pretty basic concept. It’s very difficult to make this any sort of case unless you’re basically ruling out self-defence, or the ability to kill people in the course of a war.

    Except that there’s a huge difference between A) an individual killing someone who is, right then, attacking them (perfectly OK by me); B) that same individual killing someone who, a couple of years ago, attacked them and hurt them and probably will again in the future (not OK in a society with police and a judiciary); C) a government killing someone who is, right then, attacking that government’s country, and with whom said government is at war (generally OK); and D) a government killing someone who it claims is somehow involved in the murky back-machinery of irregular warfare against that government’s country (not OK).

    Just like you don’t run a Treasury like a household budget, state-sanctioned force isn’t isomorphic to personal force.

  178. 178
    vernon says:

    @burnspbesq: Would definitely have preferred it. The second comment was equally substantive, yet thankfully lacked the bullshit-piled-6-feet-high aspect of (all) your other post(s).

  179. 179
    AxelFoley says:

    @Strandedvandal:

    We are at war, he’s the enemy. Fuck him. If you are defending him, fuck you too. Is there a limit to your kumbaya bullshit? This piece of crap BRAGGED about killing US Citizens.

    Thank you. Fuck gordon and James and anyone else who wants to cry about this. Sumbitch plotted against his “fellow” Americans.

    I bet you’d be singing a different tune if you found out this bastard plotted the bombing of a supermarket which killed your loved ones.

  180. 180
    slightly_peeved says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    How does the US constitution protect someone who has fled the US? In Yemen, Yemeni law would rule. And Yemeni law wanted him arrested, “dead or alive” to quote the judge.

    Barbaric? Yes. But if dude didn’t want to live within a barbaric justice system and live with the protections of the US constitution, he should have stayed in the US where said document is law.

  181. 181
    James says:

    @Marc:

    If the fifth amendment isn’t hard and fast, why give a fuck about the sixth? That’s my question.

  182. 182
    Zagloba says:

    @Mnemosyne: So was General Yamamoto. War crime?

    Yamamoto was flying a military-marked aircraft over positions in a theater of war. I don’t see where you’re going with this.

    AxelFoley: I bet you’d be singing a different tune if you found out this bastard plotted the bombing of a supermarket which killed your loved ones.

    You’d be wrong. I’d want him tried and sent to the Big House, just like I do now.

  183. 183
    handsmile says:

    The triumphalist response to this killing might be tempered a wee bit by considering its impact upon the incipient civil war in Yemen.

    Since the return last week of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia following a June assassination attempt, widespread public demonstrations and civilian killings have broken out. There are now pitched battles between army units and security forces loyal to Saleh and the powerful rival al-Ahmar family. Moreover, drone attacks on al-Qaeda figures have if anything proved counterproductive in mitigating civilian unrest and Qaeda recruitment in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    An enemy of the United States has been killed. Questions as to its legality, while important, seem subordinate to the issue of whether this method and its timing advance US interests in the region.

    One may find abundant information on the current situation in Yemen at Al-Jazeera, Informed Comment, and of course, the Guardian. That may be more rewarding than the habitual sport of thwacking the pinata of Glenn Greenwald.

  184. 184
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zagloba:

    D) a government killing someone who it claims is somehow admits to being involved in the murky back-machinery of irregular warfare against that government’s country

    Fixed that for you. If al-Awlaki was the totally innocent man that you claim, why was he running around the back country of Yemen claiming to be the #2 man for al-Qaeda? Was he mentally ill?

  185. 185
    Norwonk says:

    BJ’ers last week: “The execution of Troy Davis is an outrage!”

    BJ’ers this week: “Bah, trials, schmials! Who needs ’em?”

  186. 186
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne: Leaving aside the fact that Bush was Commander in Chief while al-Awlaki was just some guy, how can you deny that the call is for TRYING Bush for war crimes? Get it? Yet?

  187. 187
    wilfred says:

    @ Mnemosyne:

    Well that’s the point, isn’t it? How would you know what she was doing without a fucking trial, or any form of due process? You wouldn’t. You’d only know what the government told you.

    The comments here are a disgrace, frankly. And yes, there is no difference between most of you and Glenn Beck.

  188. 188
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zagloba:

    Yamamoto was flying a military-marked aircraft over positions in a theater of war.

    Al-Awlaki was living in an enemy camp in a combat zone. If he had been living in London or even Sana’a, you might have a point, but it’s pretty hard to argue that an al-Qaeda training camp is a civilian installation that should not be considered a military target.

  189. 189
    Zagloba says:

    @Steve: Let’s break down the logic some more. Fort Hood, the place where our combatants live and train, is a legitimate military target. Awlaki’s compound, the place where their combatants live and train, is not. Are you sure you’ve thought this through?

    Compound? Try “on the run”.

  190. 190
    Admiral_Komack says:

    U.S.-Born Qaeda Leader Killed in Yemen

    By LAURA KASINOF, MARK MAZZETTI and ALAN COWELL

    SANA, Yemen — 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 in this country, according to an official in Washington.

    Many 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.

    Yemen’s official news agency, Saba, reported that the attack also killed Samir Khan, an American citizen of Pakistani origin and the editor of Inspire, Al Qaeda’s English-language Internet magazine. Mr. Khan proclaimed in the magazine last year that he was “proud to be a traitor to America.”

    The missile strike appeared to be the first time in the United States-led war on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that an American citizen had been deliberately targeted and killed by American forces. It was also the second high-profile killing of an Al Qaeda leader in the past five months under the Obama administration, which ordered the American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last May.

    Both Yemeni and American officials called the strike 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.

    The Obama administration has escalated military and intelligence operations in Yemen, and the White House decision to make Mr. Awlaki a top priority to be hunted down and killed was controversial, given his American citizenship.

    Born in New Mexico to Yemeni parents, Mr. Awlaki, 40, began preaching in mosques while a college student in the United States. During that time, as a preacher in San Diego, he met two of the Sept. 11, 2001 attackers. He returned to Yemen in 2004 and his English-language sermons became ever more stridently anti-American.

    His Internet lectures and sermons were linked to more than a dozen terrorist investigations in the United States, Britain and Canada. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is accused of killing 13 people in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009, had exchanged e-mails with Mr. Awlaki before the shootings. Faisal Shahzad, who tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square in May 2010, cited Mr. Awlaki as an inspiration.

    A Defense Ministry statement said that a number of Mr. Awlaki’s bodyguards were also killed.

    A high-ranking Yemeni security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and al-Jawf provinces in northern Yemen — areas known for having a Qaeda presence and where there is very little central government control.

    A senior administration official in Washington said the killing of Mr. Awlaki was important because he had become Al Qaeda’s greatest English-language propagandist and one of its top operational planners.

    “First and foremost, we’ve been looking at his important operational role,” the official said. “To the extent he’s no longer playing that role it’s all to the good.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10.....=1&hp

    If Anwar al-Awlaki were so concerned about his Constitutional rights, he should have turned himself in, especially after realizing that his fellow traitors were being killed.

    He didn’t.

    FUCK HIM.

    Oh, and if President Obama said in an interview that he preferred plain M&M’s to peanut M&M’s, Glenn Greenwald would have a hissy fit.

    FUCK HIM, TOO.

  191. 191
    Suffern ACE says:

    @wilfred:

    What about dousing the rabid dog American wog’s corpse with shit and have Obama drag it around the capitol building with his armored car?

    Great stuff. Shows why the Democrats and the liberals can in the end have nothing to do with the left. Since we’re not actually demonstrating the blood lust in a symbolic form that helps you, why not just invent a symbolic situation that you can preach about. Reality isn’t worth discussing, so why not just do some thought experiments instead.

  192. 192
    Zagloba says:

    @Mnemosyne: Fixed that for you. If al-Awlaki was the totally innocent man that you claim, why was he running around the back country of Yemen claiming to be the #2 man for al-Qaeda? Was he mentally ill?

    You might want to be careful telling me what I claim and don’t claim. And what I claim is that I have no reason to trust the administration’s claims that this guy is such a terrible threat that we need to bypass the normal way of dealing with crime lords, which is “Send in the SWATs, shoot anyone who shoots at you, arrest everyone who doesn’t, and try them in open court“.

  193. 193
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wilfred:

    Well that’s the point, isn’t it? How would you know what she was doing without a fucking trial, or any form of due process? You wouldn’t. You’d only know what the government told you.

    So the government was lying when they said that al-Awlaki was in an al-Qaeda training camp when he was killed? Where was he, then?

  194. 194
    vernon says:

    @Norwonk: EXACTLY.

    To put it another way, I know that al-Awlaki was guilty of inciting Fort Hood just like the Italians know Amanda Knox killed her roommate. Italy should send a drone after her. Fuck this “trial” shit.

  195. 195
    Steve says:

    @Zagloba:

    Yamamoto was flying a military-marked aircraft over positions in a theater of war. I don’t see where you’re going with this.

    Heydrich was riding in an open car through the suburbs. I definitely see where you’re going by ignoring his case.

    But your argument basically has nothing to do with the fact that Awlaki was a U.S. citizen. You’re arguing that even if he was just some rank-and-file member of al-Qaeda, it wouldn’t be legitimate for us to target and kill him unless he comes onto a literal battlefield.

    That’s an argument I can’t really buy, and I think many of the other people who have a problem with Awlaki’s killing wouldn’t buy it either. Where your argument really goes off the rails is the claim that we can’t go to Yemen and kill off members of al-Qaeda, but if they come to Fort Hood and kill off our soldiers that’s perfectly legitimate. Is that really how you think “irregular warfare” works?

  196. 196
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Zagloba:

    How many crime lords in foreign countries have we arrested that way? I can’t think of any since Bush Sr. invaded Panama to arrest Noriega.

  197. 197
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Steve:

    I’m getting the distinct smell of a Troofer from some of our little friends here. Particularly Carl.

  198. 198
    drkrick says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    They did try, then execute, Arnold’s co-conspirator Major Andre. I’m not sure if they would have authorized a mission to assassinate Arnold in Canada or the Caribbean.

    On the other hand, the Constitution was a decade and change in the future when all this happened, so it doesn’t shed much light as a precedent.

  199. 199
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Damn.
    I do believe that is going to leave a mark.
    Well played, SIR.

  200. 200
    wilfred says:

    Oh, God.

    I don’t believe a goddamned thing that this government says about anything that happens in this part of the world. I stopped doing that the day they admitted there were no wmd in Iraq.

    Anybody who accepts anything from the government about anything that happens in this part of the world has surrendered any remaining capacity for critical thinking. I question everything.

    It’s as simple as that.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    To put it another way, I know that al-Awlaki was guilty of inciting Fort Hood just like the Italians know Amanda Knox killed her roommate.

    Amanda Knox put a public confession to the crime on her website just like al-Awlaki did? Or did you skip my reply to you at #174?

    (And while this has been great fun, I must head off to work now. Buh-bye.)

  202. 202
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Zagloba: I agree with you on what the best practices _should_ be. But in this case there seems to have been a very large concern that “sending in the SWATs” would result in a lot of SWATs getting killed. Is that not reasonable? I don’t have enough information to know the answer.

  203. 203
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne: “How many crime lords in foreign countries have we arrested that way? I can’t think of any since Bush Sr. invaded Panama to arrest Noriega.”

    And how many U.S. citizens anywhere have we targeted and killed in the present way, without due process, since the nation was founded?

  204. 204
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I suspect he wasn’t in a K-Mart, haggling over a blue-light special.

  205. 205
    Marc says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yea, the tinfoil hat is securely fastened there.

  206. 206
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    And how many U.S. citizens anywhere have we targeted and killed in this way, without due process, since ever?

    You mean leaving out the US citizens who joined the German military in WWII?

  207. 207
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @drkrick: Agreed, but I was just tossing into the mix anything that came to mind about who the founding generation would have been quite willing to kill.

  208. 208
    mikeyes says:

    This case was brought up in court, albeit in a collateral manner, when his father sued after it was discovered that Awlaki was placed on a kill list. Here is the finding (https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2010cv1469-31) which basically says that the father has no standing.

    Judge Bates did a pretty good job looking at the other issues, however, and it appears that he also concluded that the issue of assasination was unreviewable. In other words the President had the right to put Awlaki on the list.

  209. 209
    Marc says:

    @wilfred:

    So anyone who doesn’t buy into paranoid conspiracy theories is delusional. Got it.

    Remember, the colander IS NOT enough to KEEP OUT the orbital MIND CONTROL lasers. You Must havE a layer of TIN FOIL inside. OtherWISE they will GET in and WARP youR thoughts through the TINY HOLES.

  210. 210
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne: Right. And her confession, when you actually look into it, is a textbook example of the worthlessness of certain “confessions”—a tidbit that came to light during her TRIAL.

    But whatever. Corpse, confession, I read it in the papers, send the drones after her, right?

  211. 211
    Zagloba says:

    @Steve: Heydrich was riding in an open car through the suburbs. I definitely see where you’re going by ignoring his case.

    I don’t like his assassination, though there is one significant difference, which is that the government which ordered his assassination was at war with the government of the place he was assassinated, whereas we’re on decent terms with Yemen.

    @Steve: But your argument basically has nothing to do with the fact that Awlaki was a U.S. citizen. You’re arguing that even if he was just some rank-and-file member of al-Qaeda, it wouldn’t be legitimate for us to target and kill him unless he comes onto a literal battlefield.

    Yes, his citizenship is only at issue in that he is allegedly guilty of treason, where someone from elsewhere would not be.

    If he were a “uniformed” member of al-Qaida — if al-Qaida were a coherent organization in the first place — then he’d be a legitimate target when he’s on base or on combat mission. But neither of those is the case.

    My real position is that elevating terrorism to the law of war is both a tactical and strategic mistake. Treat them like common criminals. Don’t use diplomatic weight to get Yemen to allow you to drone them, use diplomatic weight to get Yemen to try them in open court.

    Anyway, I have to run, got undergraduates to terrorize.

  212. 212
    soonergrunt says:

    @Carl Nyberg: And the Constitution is not a suicide pact.

  213. 213
    nancydarling says:

    @wilfred:

    I don’t believe a goddamned thing that this government says about anything that happens in this part of the world. I stopped doing that the day they admitted there were no wmd in Iraq.

    Are you saying you really believed there were wmd’s before we went into Iraq?

  214. 214
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne: “You mean leaving out the US citizens who joined the German military in WWII?”

    The assertion, or even suggestion, that Yemen in 2011 is a battlefield like WWII Europe upon which al-Awlaki was a soldier in combat is a stretch even for you guys. Nevertheless if there was actually an extended, heavily propagandized, years-in-the-planning targeted killing of a treasonous American soldier that you know of, go ahead and share it with us.

  215. 215
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    Right. And her confession, when you actually look into it, is a textbook example of the worthlessness of certain “confessions”—-a tidbit that came to light during her TRIAL.

    Because a confession made under police pressure while in police custody in a foreign country is exactly the same thing as freely putting a confession on your website while not in custody at all. Gotcha.

    But whatever. Corpse, confession, I read it in the papers, send the drones after her, right?

    Well, gosh, as long as all confessions are exactly the same and posting confessions on your website while walking the streets as a free man is exactly the same thing as signing a confession under police pressure, and since an American citizen in custody in an Italian prison is in exactly the same position as an American citizen voluntarily working for a criminal terrorist organization, then we may as well send in the drones, amirite?

    (Now I really do have to go. Good thing both of my bosses are out of the office today.)

  216. 216
    ChrisNYC says:

    BJers three days ago: Pepper spray cop = Greatest brute and thug EVER.

    BJers today: Fanatic who plans and incites killing and who refuses to be subject to legal process = Pitiful victim and martyr.

    Thing in common: Addiction to outrage.

  217. 217
    Pliny says:

    There is something seriously wrong with anyone who doesn’t have a problem with the President of the United states unilaterally ordering the death of a citizen with absolutely zero due process. And I thought people defending Obama’s drone strikes on children in rural Pakistan were fucking demented.

  218. 218
    Suffern ACE says:

    @vernon: I’m sure equating someone killing (allegedly) a roomate in Italy with someone who identifies people willing to kill for a cause and puts them in touch with people who will train them to build a bomb or two makes sense, if you try real hard. But wouldn’t the case be made stronger if you just started comparing everything to Michael Jackson’s medical treatment or jaywalking? I mean, we all jaywalk from time to time. Isn’t what al-Alawaki does similiar to jaywalking?

  219. 219
    NedPointsman says:

    Obama murders his own people.

  220. 220
    drkrick says:

    @Marc:

    Remember, the colander IS NOT enough to KEEP OUT the orbital MIND CONTROL lasers. You Must havE a layer of TIN FOIL inside. OtherWISE they will GET in and WARP youR thoughts through the TINY HOLES.

    And HIGH QUALITY tin foil, too. None of that store brand crap.

  221. 221
    wilfred says:

    Yeah, I did. I mean, I accepted the argument. At the time, I said that if it wasn’t true, I ‘d never set foot in the US again, and except for a few unavoidable necessities, I kept true to that promise.

    I’m out here 3 years doing my penance for believing in certain things. Ask Cole, he does the same.

    Penance does not include applauding the summary execution of an American citizen. That’s Imperial proscription of undesirables.

    Today, Bahraini doctors were sentenced to prison for treating the wounded during the protests in Pearl Square. Oh, they said it was for harboring weapons. Who do you belive and why?

    Who do you question, and why?

  222. 222
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @vernon: No it isn’t a stretch. He not only declared, but coordinated attacks against the US. Sounds like battle conditions to me.

    @Pliny: Actually, it’s called weighing the different consequences. Something I have to do all the time. And, as others have pointed out, there was not zero due process. There was, in fact, among other things, his announcing that he was attacking the US.

  223. 223
    flukebucket says:

    One thing about our current Commander In Chief is that he certainly strikes at the head. He does not fuck around.

  224. 224
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Pliny:

    There is something seriously wrong with anyone who doesn’t have a problem with the President of the United states unilaterally ordering the death of a citizen with absolutely zero due process.

    Presidents of the United States have been unilaterally ordering the deaths of people all around the world, without due process, since the First Barbary War. Why should the fact that this death involved a citizen make it worse than any of those others? If Obama is History’s Greatest Monster for killing one citizen without due process, what are your thoughts on Lincoln?

  225. 225
    Carl Nyberg says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    I’m skeptical that “al Qaeda”, a group headed by Osama bin Laden, comprised of Arab and Afghan jihadists, living in caves in Afghanistan conducted the 9/11 attacks without assistance from state intelligence services or corporations who maintain military and intelligence capacities.

    Which attack was more complicated to plan and execute? The Mumbai attacks or the 9/11 attacks?

    If al Qaeda needed help from Pakistan’s ISI to conduct the Mumbai attacks, does it seem likely al Qaeda needed help to conduct the 9/11 attacks?

    Who had a motive to help al Qaeda?

  226. 226
    Cat Lady says:

    @NedPointsman:

    Wow. Just, wow. That Greenwald kool-aid is the shizzle.

  227. 227
    gordon schumway says:

    @soonergrunt: My quick reading on trials in absentia tells me that they’re essentially banned by precedent in the US.

    But, if the accused voluntarily refuses his right to confront his accusers (by hiding in Yemen, for example), then I have no problem with trial in absentia.

  228. 228
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    I’m skeptical that “al Qaeda”, a group headed by Osama bin Laden, comprised of Arab and Afghan jihadists, living in caves in Afghanistan conducted the 9/11 attacks without assistance from state intelligence services or corporations who maintain military and intelligence capacities.

    Hey, throw in some unsourced evidence of WMD and you’ve got a case to invade The Country of Your Choice!

  229. 229
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @NedPointsman: Humans?

  230. 230
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Oh go shove your pity party right up your fucking ass. Soldiers are so put upon in this country, right? The level of rhetorical worship slavered upon anything even remotely related to soldiers is a big part of the reason why this country is drowning in defense related spending and choking to death. Fact: more cops than I find even remotely acceptable ARE abusive pieces of shit. And fuck you and your “keeping you safe” bullshit. We live in a fucking society, of which everyone is an important piece. Your garbage man picks up your trash, the teacher teaches your fucking kids, and the nurse treats your illnesses. You’re not a special snowflake, b/c you’re “keeping us safe” which is fucking laugable on its face. How many other countries are careening around the world creating danger? Somehow, countries like Costa Rica aren’t set upon by dark forces, despite the fact that they have NO military. In fact, most of the world doesn’t have their army mucking about everywhere and they magically seem to be pretty “safe”. So fuck off with your entitled “I’m a soldier, look at me I’m the bestest” fucking dogshit. You’ll get precisely as much thanks from me as I would give my third grade teacher or the garbage man. And on topic: fuck Al-Awlaki, but this is not going to make a shit’s bit of difference.

  231. 231
    The Dangerman says:

    200+ posts about another turd getting dispatched? I just hope that someone flushed twice. Good fucking riddance.

    People that are complaining he was an American Citizen and deserved the right to trial have really got to pull there head out of their collective asses.

  232. 232
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @fasteddie9318: Heck no, just add supressing the citizens with socialized medical care.

  233. 233
    Pliny says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I could post some quotes from founding fathers, maybe an amendment to the Constitution or two, but why bother? Nobel Peace Prize Winner Barack Obama was judge and jury, the CIA was executioner, and you have no problem with that.

  234. 234
    soonergrunt says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: awful lot of energy expended on a rant for someone who can’t be bothered. Almost as much energy as you expended missing the fucking point, but that’s your mental weakness.

  235. 235
    Carl Nyberg says:

    At the end of the Cold War, it would have made sense to shrink the U.S. military industry by large amounts.

    But we didn’t.

    The Military-Industrial Complex looked around and did it’s best to find a new enemy. The enemy the MIC thought it could most successfully peddle was Islam.

    Anti-Muslim sentiment had been ramping up since the end of the Cold War, something Israeli propagandists and Zionists (Christian and Jewish) were happy to participate in.

    Remember Eisenhower warned the MIC would even influence our houses of worship.

    While the simmering stuff with Iraq in the 90s was good, it wasn’t the stuff of world war against Islam.

    But the 9/11 attacks delivered exactly what the MIC wanted and needed to justify increased military spending.

    Just coincidence?

  236. 236
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @NedPointsman: Dude, you aren’t shitting. I was in DC a couple of weeks ago and that motherfucker came at me with a goddamn knife! I couldn’t believe it! I’m all, “Wow, Mr. President, what an hon-” and he just goes “DIE SCUMBAG” and lunges for me with this gigantic fucking knife! I only got away from him because he set up Biden in an alley to ambush me, but that putz tackled Obama instead of me.

  237. 237
    Cat Lady says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    So, LIHOP or MIHOP, just to be clear?

  238. 238
    nancydarling says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: You might make a distinction between the “soldier” and the top brass/military industrial complex. I do.

  239. 239
    Pliny says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    Really, your argument is “lots of Presidents murder people with no due process, no big deal”?

  240. 240
    ericblair says:

    @Zagloba:

    If he were a “uniformed” member of al-Qaida—if al-Qaida were a coherent organization in the first place—then he’d be a legitimate target when he’s on base or on combat mission. But neither of those is the case.

    Yes, he is a legitimate target:
    “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.” – AUMF

    If you have issues with the scope of the AUMF and want to push Congress to reconsider it, I think that’s a great idea. But this strike was not illegal.

  241. 241
    MBunge says:

    @Marc: “And this matters, because there are some other issues on which the civil liberties concerns are totally valid./ And kicking up a stink in a case where your argument is laughable ensures that no one will listen to you where they should.”

    This.

    Mike

  242. 242
    Joey Maloney says:

    That word “war” keeps popping up. Where’s the “declaration of” part? We’re not at war just because we’re blowing shit up, or people are shooting at us. There are specific legal steps, described in the Constitution, that create a state of war, steps that to my knowledge have never been followed.

  243. 243
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @soonergrunt:

    Herp derp. Haven’t heard that one before. I think the only person that missed the fucking point was yourself. Go back and reread your entitled little pity party, about the worst kind of hypocrites who don’t appreciate the great work of “grunts” like you.

  244. 244
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Pliny: Did I say it was “no big deal”? Let’s check…why, no, I didn’t! That’s odd. I’m sure you wouldn’t try to put words in my mouth, so I must have typed something that isn’t visible to the naked eye. I hate when I do that. But, to answer your question in visible (hopefully! fingers crossed!) print, I actually do think it’s a pretty big deal, every time, so I’m just wondering why this one instance has people so charged up.

  245. 245
    Carl Nyberg says:

    Now that al-Awlaki is dead, does his father have standing?

  246. 246
    handsmile says:

    Bad News for Everyone, I guess:

    For the many libertarians and libertarian-curious who congregate here: Ron Paul has criticized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.

    “Al-Awlaki was born here, he’s an American citizen, he was never tried or charged for any crime….To start assassinating American citizens without charges, we should think very seriously about this.”

    For me: war criminal Donald Rumsfeld, in an interview with David Frost, now praises the journalism of al-Jazeera, citing its coverage of the Middle East.

    (Both stories now appear at TPM)

  247. 247
    The Dangerman says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    That word “war” keeps popping up. Where’s the “declaration of” part?

    Who gives a shit? Think of Al-Awlaki as an American hostage taker that took over a high school gym; the authorities come, say come out with your hands up, he doesn’t, and takes aim on one or more students. Luckily, there is a SWAT sniper with a clear shot that takes the hostage taker out.

    Don’t see no violation of that American’s Rights; he was a danger and he got blown away without any trial. Tell me how Al-Alwlaki is different.

  248. 248
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @nancydarling:

    Of course I do. But soldiers are not a special part of our society. Everyone makes this country work, and when it comes right down to it, the military is mostly just going around cleaning up the messes they create. I see soldiers as by and large very well meaning and gullible youngsters. They were sold a bill of goods (suspiciously like what Soondergrunt sells) about how they are “keeping America safe” and so forth. When in reality, the history of military intervention in this country is positively shameful. I wouldn’t join the military b/c I’m smart enough to realize that I would be a cog in the machinery directed by that top brass that would have me, in all likelihood, contributing to the death of people who don’t deserve it, and making the country LESS safe.

    But that is a hard and real truth that nobody wants to confront, so we break out our flag pins and pretend that every soldier is a national treasure (yippee more defense spending or you hate them). Meanwhile, we call teachers lazy fucks and cut their benefits. These things are related and intentional, and I’m frankly sick of vets like soonergrunt pretending like they’re not the most slavishly praised and defended group in any society in any country in the world.

  249. 249
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Admiral_Komack:

    Yemen’s official news agency, Saba, reported that the attack also killed Samir Khan, an American citizen of Pakistani origin and the editor of Inspire, Al Qaeda’s English-language Internet magazine. Mr. Khan proclaimed in the magazine last year that he was “proud to be a traitor to America.”

    Wow, two Americans were killed and the whiners are focused on one?

    Now they can have twice the outrage! Hurry up folks, get angry about the killing of the guy who said that he was “proud to be a traitor to America”.

    Glenzilla has probably fainted from the ragegasm.

  250. 250
    Martin says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Where’s the “declaration of” part?

    Al-Qaeda: May 26, 1998 news conference where Bin Laden declared war against the US.

    US: Sept 11, 2001 AUMF signed authorizing military force against 9/11 perpetrators.

    Now, Bin Laden took credit for 9/11. You can argue that Al-Qaeda wasn’t really
    behind 9/11 and all previous and subsequent attacks, but barring that, the circle appears to be squared.

  251. 251
    wilfred says:

    Some of this shit is just amazing. We have a hx of Alexander Hamilton defending Tory collaborators in post-Revolution NYC. We have John Adams defending British soldiers in pre-Revolution Boston.

    Goddamn.

    But about George Wright? He was in the news recently. Convicted murderer, member of a terrorist organization, etc., etc., etc.

    No summary execution there, eh? Of course, there must be protocols, and law, and check-boxes and all that other stuff to decide who gets dumped and who lives, right?

  252. 252
    Pliny says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    I don’t recall calling Obama History’s Greatest Monster either, so I guess we’re even?

    I do get “riled up” at drone strikes and all the other extrajudicial killings being done in my name, although when I point out that it’s the Good Democrat Barack Obama ordering them, woo boy.

  253. 253
    Steve says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: So now we’re not just killing Americans with no due process, we’re killing American journalists!

    Maybe someday we’ll look back on these violations of civil liberties the same way we look back today on the internment of Japanese-Americans and other shameful episode. I’m betting not, though.

  254. 254
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Carl Nyberg:

    I’m skeptical that “al Qaeda”, a group headed by Osama bin Laden, comprised of Arab and Afghan jihadists, living in caves in Afghanistan conducted the 9/11 attacks without assistance from state intelligence services or corporations who maintain military and intelligence capacities.

    As fasteddie just pointed out, you’ve just legitimized the invasion of Iraq — after all, a bunch of dudes living in caves couldn’t possibly hijack airplanes, so there must have been someone else behind it!

    Which attack was more complicated to plan and execute? The Mumbai attacks or the 9/11 attacks?

    The Mumbai attacks. By far. For 9/11, you only needed about a dozen guys with easily concealed (and not yet banned) weapons to hijack the planes. Taking flight lessons is completely legal. Since no one outside of Hollywood had thought to use the planes themselves as weapons up until that point, they had the cooperation of the passengers and crew until word got out that they were flying the planes into buildings and the passengers on the last plane rebelled. Add in the total incompetence of the Bush administration in keeping people on the terrorist watch list out of the country and you get 9/11.

    For Mumbai, you needed to coordinate events on the ground, you had to get hold of automatic weapons and smuggle them into the country, you had to smuggle the actual attackers into the country … it was more complicated than 9/11 by an order of magnitude.

  255. 255
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Pliny: OK, that’s something. Does it bother you that presidents other than Obama have done the same thing, or is it just when he does it?

  256. 256
    Pliny says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Because he wasn’t in a high school holding hostages and did not have a gun pointed at anyone? I really can’t believe you think the comparison makes any sense.

  257. 257
    Paul in KY says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: Not as big a chance of dying while employed as a teacher.

  258. 258
    Pliny says:

    @fasteddie9318:

    It bothers me a lot, but since I cannot go back in time and suggest to Andrew Jackson that I’m not happy with his ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, I’ll stick with criticizing the current President, and any who follow him and continue murdering, no matter what fucking letter of the alphabet is next to their name.

  259. 259
    James says:

    @wilfred:

    Extrajudicial killings of black terrorists for votes went out of vogue in the eighties. They used to kill them with airstrikes too.

  260. 260
    Mnemosyne says:

    @wilfred:

    Wait, you mean that when the US found a fugitive living in a country that, unlike Yemen, has an extradition treaty with the US, we actually arrested him and had him extradited rather than just assassinating him?

    And here I thought you guys were telling me that Obama was having US citizens assassinated all over the world rather than go to the trouble of prosecuting them. I am disappointed, I have to say. It’s almost like al-Awlaki was a special case or something.

  261. 261
    Pliny says:

    @Paul in KY:

    There’s a difference between putting your life on the line defending against an invasion and putting your life on the line as part of the invading force. If another country started marching troops into the US and kidnapping or killing my friends, family, and fellow citizens, I would sign up with the Army or anyone else willing to fight back. Much like the “terrorists” we keep killing in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen.

  262. 262
    Steve says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think the problem with Yemen isn’t the lack of an extradition treaty, I think it’s the fact that they didn’t have any way to nab the guy in the remote area where al-Qaeda hangs out. I’m pretty sure the government of Yemen was cooperative with us, but this was a question of their physical limitations.

  263. 263
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Steve:

    They can go ahead and defend the ‘proud traitors’ to our country, they’re all theirs.

    Edited… :)

  264. 264
    The Dangerman says:

    @Pliny:

    Because he wasn’t in a high school holding hostages and did not have a gun pointed at anyone?

    Apparently, you missed my point; I’m not surprised. Was the hostage taker arrested? Nope. Did the hostage taker have a trial? Nope.

    You are right; this terrorist did not have a gun. He, instead, was sending bombs on airplanes. Now, how is sending bombs on airplanes not a threat?

  265. 265
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well since someone above wanted to equate al-Alwaki with Jane Fonda upthread, why not equate hime with Roman Polanski now. Where are the drone strikes against France?

  266. 266
    Gustopher says:

    One success and three failures, and all pretty modest attempts. I’m glad the guy is dead, but I hope al Quaeda doesn’t promote someone actually competent to fill his role.

  267. 267
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Paul in KY:

    And? I’m sorry those young men bought Soonergrunt’s line of bullshit about keeping us safe. But whose job is ACTUALLY more important for our society? Until this country confronts that the military is just chasing our own tail and tallying body counts, this country is fucked. Color me pessimistic. As near as I can tell we’ve fought precisely two wars “to keep us safe” in the history of this country. Even I would’ve joined for those ones. But the soldier myth is powerful and intentional. Until we start balancing the level of respect given to other members of our society and tell the truth about what the REAL duties and consequences are of joining the military are, then we’ll continue to decline into shit. And just personally, it irks me to no end to see soldiers play that fucking hero worship card relentlessly. His name’s fucking soonergrunt (look at me, I’m wholesome middle American Army guy) and he chides the rest of us for not appreciating what he had to do so we could sleep at night. Like Nicholson’s fucking speech in A Few Good Men. He probably is the same kind of douche that would wear his fatigues to the bar to try to get laid. To imply that “entitled housewives” don’t appreciate soldiers enough in this country is goddamn absurd, preposterous horseshit.

  268. 268
    El Tiburon says:

    @Pococurante:

    The monster bragged about his exploits. There are more genuine abuses of our constitution going on right now. This guy getting his just reward is pretty low on the list of things that outrage me

    Exhibit Fucking-A of the idiotic mentality of so many Americans. You are no better than the right-wing. Check that: you are fucking worse. You and your kind (I’m assuming you claim to be left of center) are going to sink this fucking country.

  269. 269
    Pliny says:

    @The Dangerman:

    What bombs? What airplanes?

    Are you confusing him with the other US citizens who actually command airplanes with bombs and actually use them to kill thousands of people?

  270. 270
    El Tiburon says:

    @nancydarling:

    No tears here. He needed killing.

    Exhibit Fucking-B of the idiotic mentality of so many Americans.

    You don’t know fuck about this guy – and even if you did – you now take the word of our government (you know, the same government that said Iraq had WMD and was in cahoots with Al Queada) that this American citizen can be murdered in cold blood just on their word alone?

    Seriously, where is the outrage? Where is ABL on this?

  271. 271
    wilfred says:

    This is from the NYT Lady Macbeth article:

    “To eavesdrop on the terrorism suspect who was added to the target list, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is hiding in Yemen, intelligence agencies would have to get a court warrant. But designating him for death, as C.I.A. officials did early this year with the National Security Council’s approval, required no judicial review.

    “Congress has protected Awlaki’s cellphone calls,” said Vicki Divoll, a former C.I.A. lawyer who now teaches at the United States Naval Academy. “But it has not provided any protections for his life. That makes no sense.”

    You see, if you designate him for death, you don’t need judicial review.

    Perfect. I feel safer already.

  272. 272
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Fun fact: the US does not have an extradition treaty with France, which is why Polanski settled there. But since France does have a functioning justice system and Polanski is easily accessible since he lives in Paris and not out in the deserts of Yemen, I’m pretty confident that Obama isn’t planning to call in the drones anytime soon.

  273. 273
    El Tiburon says:

    @Steve:

    This is great news. I don’t believe that the freedom to plot attacks against the US is one of the freedoms that US citizens get to enjoy, regrettably

    Exhibit Fucking-C of the idiotic mentality of so many Americans.

    “Awesome! Go get ’em you guys! Kill the fucker!!!”
    You sound like the audience member at a Republican debate.

    To recap: we can now torture, put someone in a cage forever, and now kill – all on the word of one person.

    Go USA! We fucking rock!

  274. 274
    socratic_me says:

    I, for one, cannot wait until we start killing off everyone who “inspired” acts of domestic terrorism in the last 20 years.

  275. 275
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    you now take the word of our government (you know, the same government that said Iraq had WMD and was in cahoots with Al Queada) that this American citizen can be murdered in cold blood just on their word alone?

    Actually, I’m taking al-Awlaki’s word for it, since he’s the one who’s been running around taking credit for various attacks, including Fort Hood. But I guess that if the government agrees with al-Awlaki that he planned the attacks, that automatically means he’s totally innocent because, like, they’re the government, you know? Even if he admits to the attacks, it doesn’t matter, because, like, the government said it, too.

  276. 276
    MBunge says:

    It certainly is useful to be reminded every so often that the problem with the Tea Party isn’t that they’re wrong, but that they’re fanatics and that fanaticism isn’t the exclusive province of conservatives.

    Mike

  277. 277
    El Tiburon says:

    @Paul in KY:
    I only hope there weren’t some non-combatants (kids,

    wives/concubines of fighters who are forced to travel with them) killed in the strike.

    As for him, good riddance, traitor.

    Exhibit Fucking-C…

    But hey, you know, if we gots to kill some women and children (as long as they is mooslim) then no biggie.

    Oh, hey Paul in KY – how do YOU know he is a traitor? Did you hear it on CNN or FOX or MSNBC or read it in the Post or the Times or from President Obama? Wow. Moron.

  278. 278
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Pliny: Oh for crying out loud. Do you even have a clue about who al Alawki was and why the fuck he was placed on the kill or capture list? If, of course, we ignore all that, then yes, let’s just arrest all the generals.

  279. 279
    El Tiburon says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Good by and good riddance. I hope there isn’t enough left to bury facing Mecca.

    Exhibit D.

    Who would you like to have killed next? Do you hope they have a live video feed or do you prefer a big-budget movie instead? Perhaps you can also use it to masturbate to as well.

  280. 280
    clever screen name says:

    Al-Alwaki will go down as a martyr for the cause of civil liberties and constitutional rights. Obama now has innocent blood on his hands, and is fast becoming a tyrant just like Cheney was.

  281. 281
    El Tiburon says:

    @nancydarling:

    There were serious questions about Davis’ guilt. There were none about Al-Awlaki.

    Exhibit E.

    How the fuck do you know? Are you the jury? What did the jury have to say about Al-Awlaki? Could you link to it?

  282. 282
    Pliny says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He admitted to going to Fort Hood, putting on his Nidal Hasan disguise, and shooting up the place?

    Someone better tell the Army they have the wrong guy in custody.

  283. 283
    El Tiburon says:

    @rikryah:

    another one bites the dust

    Exhibit F.

    Only 3 billion more Muslims to go then we are home free!

  284. 284
    clever screen name says:

    You bloodthirsty warmongering maniacs make me sick. This man could have been completely innocent. This is the very definition of tyranny.

  285. 285
    Emma says:

    @El Tiburon: Ah. Not one to get into the pissing contest, but he declared himself a traitor when he boasted of attacking the United States. You might want to argue that he was not convicted in a court of law, but he definitely convicted himself out of his own mouth.

  286. 286
    clever screen name says:

    Al-Awaki is now a martyr for the cause of civil and constitutional rights. You all are a bunch of bloodthirsty warmongering maniacs make me sick. This man could have been completely innocent. This is the very definition of tyranny.

    OCEANA ‘TIS FOR THEE! Sheep.

  287. 287
    Paul in KY says:

    @Pliny: The troops (99.9% of them, anyway) have no control over the circumstances of their deployment.

    Someone with a bit better facility with words put it this way:

    ‘Theirs is not to reason why
    Theirs is but to do and die’

  288. 288
    El Tiburon says:

    @Sir Nose’D: @Sir Nose’D:

    I really don’t like to rejoice in the violent death of another, but this is really good news. This guy was not just another red shirt in the Star Trek sense.

    Exhibit E.

    Because it’s all really just entertainment, after all. One big video game + reality TV show.

    I hope it’s someone good we get to kill on next week’s episode!!

  289. 289
    The Dangerman says:

    @Pliny:

    What bombs? What airplanes?

    I miss your point. Are you referring to the UPS plane and bomb traced to this guy? Are you referring to the underwear bomber traced to this guy?

    How about the Fort Hood shooter traced to this guy?

    Now, which one of these events, given there is videotape of this fucker bragging about them, doesn’t qualify as a threat?

  290. 290
    Pliny says:

    @Emma:

    So if I grab a megaphone and start yelling that I am a traitor to the United States and that I think people should attack the United States, Barack Obama can then order a drone strike to kill me and whoever else is nearby? Or do I have to grow a beard first?

  291. 291
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Pliny:

    Here, I’ll re-quote him to you since it looks like you skipped over #174 the first time:

    To the American people … Obama has promised that his administration will be one of transparency, but he has not fulfilled his promise. His administration tried to portray the operation of brother Nidal Hasan as an individual act of violence from an estranged individual. The administration practiced to control on the leak of information concerning the operation, in order to cushion the reaction of the American public.
    __
    Until this moment the administration is refusing to release the e-mails exchanged between myself and Nidal. And after the operation of our brother Umar Farouk, the initial comments coming from the administration were looking the same – another attempt at covering up the truth. But Al-Qaeda cut off Obama from deceiving the world again by issuing their statement claiming responsibility for the operation.

    But, hey, everyone knows that it only counts as a crime if you actually do the killing yourself, which is why it’s totally legal to hire a hit man to kill someone. After all, if you didn’t pull the trigger personally, then you get off scot free!

  292. 292
    Paul in KY says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: Glad to know you wouldn’t have helped to rid the world of Nazism. My father did and I’m very, very proud of him.

  293. 293
    Samara Morgan says:

    /shrug

    Paki spychief Pasha gave up OBL’s geo-loc to get the US to dial down the droning until after Zardari got re-elected…it was destablilizing the Pak government.
    Saleh gave up Al-Awlaki to get cover to come back to Yemen and brutalize his people some more.
    There’s a price for everything.

    Islamic terrorism is an EGT reflex to western interventionism.
    It wont stop until America quits trying to impose/install/implant free-market missionary “democracy” on muslims.

  294. 294
    El Tiburon says:

    @celtidragonchick:

    I will not lose sleep over the death of this guy. Fuck him.

    Exhibit F.

    Because I am Billy Bob Bad Ass and nobody fucks with me. Just try it motherfucker. I will pilot a drone from a thousand miles away to drop a bomb on you and your children. HAHA! I am the FUCKING MAN! I am so fucking bad and brave. Who wants to go to Chili’s for some babyback ribs?

  295. 295
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    You have two Exhibit E’s. You should probably write these things down to keep track of them.

    ETA: And now you have two Exhibit F’s. Maybe you should just number them since you have trouble keeping track of the letters.

  296. 296
    WeeBey says:

    @Pliny:

    Declare war on the United States and find out.

  297. 297
    El Tiburon says:

    @eemom:

    This? As noted above, the only thing that makes this guy any different from the gazillion other al Quaeda no. 2’s the U.S purportedly has killed is that he’s an American citizen. I understand the constitutional argument, of course, but I just find it fucked up, on a profoundly moral level, that an American life is treated with a sanctity that others are not.

    Exhibit G.

    Because, you see, Al Queda = roaches. All of them. Drones and bombs = Raid Roach Killer. Someone has to be that foot and that foot is us.

  298. 298
    El Tiburon says:

    @Sandmann:

    Poor, misunderstood Al-Awlaki.

    ~sniffle

    Exhibit H.

    See – I haz make a funny. LOL Cats!

  299. 299
    Suffern ACE says:

    @socratic_me: Yes. All he was a doing was all words and stuff and if somebody heard those words and did something, well shucks. He was all, like, “Will no one rid me of these troublesome Americans” and the middle class schucks who read those words on their own suddenly knew how to make bombs and put them in their underwear…well I guess because they are muslim middle class men, they were born with the bomb-building knowledge, or something.

  300. 300
    Paul in KY says:

    @El Tiburon: Don’t give a shit what you think in this context, El Tiburon.

    I am convinced he was an operational member of Al Qaida (from his own comments) and due to the AUMF, the current President has the operational ability to order a military operation to permanently remove him. His citizenship has nothing to do with it, although it could be argued that he had explicitly renounced his American citizenship. I just considered him a traitor.

  301. 301
    El Tiburon says:

    @Marc:

    This is wrong if you believe that it’s illegal to kill enemy soldiers in war. Since it isn’t, it isn’t. I think this is great news, and Greenwald is deluded.

    Exhibit I:

    Oh yeah! The Great Everlasting Gobstopper War started by old Willie Wonkabush! The war that we get to name who the enemies are whenever and however we like. Almost a longer run than MASH!

  302. 302
    Steve says:

    @El Tiburon:

    To recap: we can now torture, put someone in a cage forever, and now kill – all on the word of one person.

    No, actually, I’m pretty confident that this attack would never have happened without the cooperation of a great many civilian and military personnel who agreed that Awlaki was a legitimate military target. I hardly think this means the President suddenly has the power to set hit squads on his political enemies. Heck, the other day General Shelton was griping because the White House had the audacity to suggest he insert a line into some Congressional testimony – but no, I’m sure if Obama ordered a drone attack on Rick Perry the military would just fall in line!

    A little perspective here. The vast majority of the BJ commentors are staunchly opposed to waterboarding and other forms of torture, whether it’s Bush or Obama or anyone else giving the order. The vast majority thought it was wrong to hold Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant without trial. The vast majority think Guantanamo is shameful and want to see it closed as soon as possible. The vast majority thought KSM should have been given a civilian trial in New York.

    Not all of these are popular positions with the American public. Some of them are rather unpopular. But even among this crowd here at BJ, even among these commentors who appreciate civil rights and due process, the prevailing sentiment is that the killing of Awlaki was just fine and maybe even a thing to be happy about.

    Now, I’m not saying this necessarily makes us right and you wrong, but here is the message: don’t kid yourself that you are automatically the most thoughtful guy in the room.

  303. 303
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Paul in KY:

    we’ve fought precisely two wars “to keep us safe” in the history of this country. Even I would’ve joined for those ones.

    Please read before commenting.

  304. 304
    El Tiburon says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’m a little bit sorry that we couldn’t deal with this guy the way we arguably should have. I am completely satisfied that we dealt with him.

    Exhibit J.

    Sometimes you have to deal with the Constitution you make up as you go along – not the one you have. It’s such a poopy poopy shame but hey, SMiley Faces all around! How about some yogurt girlfriend?

  305. 305
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    You’re unhinged. That comment wasn’t saying any of that.

  306. 306
    The Dangerman says:

    @Pliny:

    So if I grab a megaphone and start yelling that I am a traitor to the United States and that I think people should attack the United States…

    Post some threats to the U.S. on the Internet directly linked to actual events like attempted bombings, shootings, etc; please don’t forget to leave an address so people can find you easily enough. Thank you.

  307. 307
    El Tiburon says:

    @aisce:

    enjoyed more the detail that the cia killed the editor-in-chief of al qaeda’s webzine.

    also, too, that al qaeda has a webzine. named inspire. fantastic.

    Exhibit K.

    Fantastic job Biff. A webzine? Oh my how funny. Those barbarians are so damn rascally and cute sometimes. Yes, chardonnay and fondue at 7:30. Lovely. Fantastic.

  308. 308

    @Donald G: This.

    To all the people harping on the “He was an American citizen” angle, can you point to where in the Bill of Rights it says that non-citizens are not entitled to Due Process also?

  309. 309
    Paul in KY says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: My fault for not reading more thouroughly.

  310. 310
    socratic_me says:

    @Suffern ACE: Don’t know why you are getting all snotty with me Suffern. I am just reading the notice and recognizing that while evidence of plotting attacks might justify this response (assuming that it was proved and not just stated and taken at face value), including in his condemnation that he has “inspired” or directed up to four attacks sure does suggest that there is some weak sauce in his conviction justification for his assassination.

  311. 311
    Steve says:

    @El Tiburon: Have you read their webzine? I have. They just put out a special 10th anniversary issue to commemorate “the greatest special operation of all time.” Yep, they killed 3000 innocent people, and they celebrate and gloat about it to this day, but just remember, if we try to kill them before they carry out further attacks then we’re the real barbarians and should be deeply ashamed. Remember that.

  312. 312
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Also, don’t forget to publish your e-mail correspondence between yourself and a guy who killed 13 people showing that you helped him plan the attack.

    Of course, in pliny’s world, there’s nothing illegal about helping someone plan a crime, so clearly al-Awlaki did nothing wrong.

  313. 313
    WeeBey says:

    Can we kill him again, yet?

  314. 314
    El Tiburon says:

    @Paul in KY:

    I am convinced

    Oh, well then, nevermind. I take it all back. As long as YOU were CONVINCED.

    “There can be NO DOUBT Iraq has weapons of mass destruction….”Paul in Ky. Woops. I mean Vice President Dick Cheney.

    Judge: Members of this jury, you have seen no evidence and heard no testimony except for hearsay, how do you find the defendant?
    Jury: Your honor, we are CONVINCED he is guilty. Please kill him dead.
    Judge: You got it!

  315. 315
    Pliny says:

    @gocart mozart:

    But you see, the entire world is a battlefield and terrorists don’t wear uniforms, therefore the CIA’s flying robots can rain death down upon whomever the President chooses (and anyone else unlucky enough to be nearby), because AUMF.

  316. 316
    El Tiburon says:

    @Steve:

    Have you read their webzine? I have. They just put out a special 10th anniversary issue to commemorate “the greatest special operation of all time.”

    well fuck me running. Again, I did not know this. In that case we should declare a new war on webzines and go kill a bunch more motherfuckers. Especially people who insist on using the phrase, “webzine”

  317. 317
    Paul in KY says:

    @El Tiburon: Glad it’s all settled then. Hope you have a nice weekend.

  318. 318
    Paula says:

    What I remember from THE LINKED ARTICLES (not the post itself) in GG’s orginal articles on Anwar Al-Awlaki is that he had been on 3 different federal agencies wanted lists and that the “Obama targets US citizens” accusation came from the fact that the CIA needed Obama’s signature to add him to a fourth.

    Was Anwar Al-Awlaki targeted before Fort Hood as an “enemy combatant”?

  319. 319
    Pliny says:

    @Steve:

    How many of “them” do we have to kill to get even for the 3000? Do they all have to be AQ, or just say they are? Do innocent people we kill “collateral damage” count against that number? This revenge thing sure is complicated.

  320. 320
    amused says:

    C’mon, guys, a couple more posts and ET’s gonna pop an aneurysm! You can do it!

  321. 321
    Samara Morgan says:

    have been the leader of the foreign operations unit

    no, he was recruiting director.
    And Saleh kept him on ice for just this ocasion, just like the Pakis kept OBL close to hand so they could cash him in.
    Congress passed a sort of umbrella law after 911 that gives legal cover for invading/occupying A-stan, Iraq, killing OBL and Imam Awlaki, repeatedly killing Al-Q number 3, and droning suspicious wedding parties and prayer services.

    its totally legal..

  322. 322
    Emma says:

    @Pliny: Sigh. The worst spectacle in the world is someone doubling down on stupid.

    No. That would just get you tossed into a mental institution by your horrified family after the FBI/CIA/DoJ and other alphabet agencies destroyed your credit and your reputation. HOWEVER, if you first ran away to another country, then during your “look at me, ye mighty, and despair” speech you also gave details of actual terrorist events, there might be some repercussions.

  323. 323
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Here’s the problem. You’re tilting hard (fucking rididculously hard, as in “get some meds” hard) at windmills right now. I know you don’t want to believe it, but there are very legitimate reasons for killing this guy. But really, that’s beside the point. You seem to think that this is the precedent that will lead to the downfall of our country, with the President sending out hit squads for whatever dissidents he wants.

    That feverish, delusional scenario does not rely on this event in order to take place. If that comes to pass, it will not be b/c we killed Al-Awlaki. It will be b/c we are utterly fucked as a country in so many other diverse ways. Slippery slopes are generally piss poor arguments for anything, and particularly so in this case. Generally, they’re just a symptom of righteous indignation about something else.

  324. 324
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    President Obama is an extra-judicial murderer and a yellow-bellied coward, as are all of his top advisers in government and here at balloon-juice.com, as well as everyone in the U.S. military. He is not taking care that the laws are being faithfully executed – only that his citizens are, and anyone else he’s afraid of, or doesn’t particularly like, or gets in his way, or displeases his sponsors in Wall Street or the MIC, or….??? Take your pick, because you’ll never know – it’s a State Secret, of course – and that’s how you’ve persuaded yourself for the past three years that democracy and the Constitution are supposed to work. You people are truly depraved.
    .
    .

  325. 325
    Mnemosyne says:

    You know, I can understand the people like Zagloba arguing that this was the wrong approach and we should have tried harder to arrest him. If we can put Timothy McVeigh on trial, we could put al-Awlaki on trial (if we had been able to arrest him, which is where that particular carousel starts spinning).

    I really don’t get the people who are totally invested in the idea that al-Awlaki was innocent — so invested, in fact, that they ignore the man’s own words so they can continue to insist that he was just an innocent victim of the US’s overreach.

  326. 326
    Samara Morgan says:

    Look ‘slines.
    The American house of cards is crumbling.
    Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist. He can count coup on OBL and Awlaki for the election…..but only because the Arab Spring is going to take out the Mubaraks and Salehs and Zardaris….and even the Prince Bandars and King Abdullahs in the end.

  327. 327
    geg6 says:

    @Admiral_Komack:

    No marks here. He’s an ass, always was. Told him long ago. As I said, neither he nor you know me. If you did, you’d know how ridiculous his caricature of who he thinks I am is.

    And now back to ignoring him.

  328. 328
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Eh. 1/10. Needs more crazy straw men and fantasy conversations. You’re going to need to try harder with all of El Tiburon’s work on display.

  329. 329
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: its not illegal.
    Congress passed a law after 911 on preemptive defense.

  330. 330
    Emma says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s the one that’s killing me. I would much rather, much, much rather that he had been brought to court, because what seems to be happening here is exactly what I expected. He’s become a martyr. An innocent martyr, to some.

    A man who boasted of his attempts to kill his fellow Americans.

  331. 331
    Paul in KY says:

    @Samara Morgan: That’s the ‘AUMF’ I was talking about. I didn’t agree with the wording, it’s so broad that Al Qaida would have to be on the moon before there was a legal debate over whether or not the President was justified in nuking their moon base.

    But they passed it.

  332. 332

    @Carl Nyberg:
    Interesting. I think he does.

  333. 333
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The whole ‘due process’ and ‘fair trial’ thing has this wicked caveat about ‘innocence’. The whole system kinda goes to shit if you leave that part out.

    It’s got fuck all to do with the man himself.

  334. 334
    geg6 says:

    @Zagloba:

    I don’t like his assassination

    This is in reference to Heydrich’s assassination.

    And this is why I cannot take these assholes crying over al Awlaki seriously.

  335. 335
    OzoneR says:

    @Zagloba:

    Then you’ll have no difficulty producing evidence that he’s anything more than a radical cleric?

    who was captured, on video, talking about killing Americans and was tried and convicted by a court in Yemen, where he is also a citizen.

    yeesh

  336. 336
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I still don’t get why the “American citizen” part goes back and forth between being the single most important aspect of the story and just a detail. How much worse is it to kill a US-born Awlaki with a drone-fired missile than it would be to kill an Egypt-born Awlaki with a drone-fired missile? Are we arguing about drones, or about citizenship, or about human rights?

  337. 337
    El Tiburon says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    I know you don’t want to believe it, but there are very legitimate reasons for killing this guy.

    Look, you don’t know what the fuck I believe and don’t believe so shut your piehole. I don’t have an opinion one way or another on his perceived guilt or innocence. I am just astounded by all the glib and joyful comments on this blog about his death. Or did your keen insight not clue you on that?

    that feverish, delusional scenario does not rely on this event in order to take place. If that comes to pass, it will not be b/c we killed Al-Awlaki. It will be b/c we are utterly fucked as a country in so many other diverse ways.

    Geez, you really are dense. This has nothing to do with Al-Alwaki. This has EVERYTHING to do with the lack of outrage at our President, YET AGAIN, expanding his powers.

    As Greenwald updated: I hope all of you sick fucks remember this when President Perry or Romney does the same thing. I hope all of you come back here to cheer him on.

    Oh, and I am also amazed at the complete idiocy of so many of you believing what you are told to believe by the President and the media. It is truly astounding how stupid and gullible so many of you really are.

    Look, I have no idea on his guilt or innocence. But neither do any of you. NONE Of you know a goddamn thing about his guilt or innocence except what you have been commanded to believe by your masters.

    Fuck.

    You seem to think that this is the precedent that will lead to the downfall of our country, with the President sending out hit squads for whatever dissidents he wants.

    Wrong again. I’ll try again just for you: I am amazed at all of the people here who are just fine and dandy with a President Not Named Bush killing an American on his word alone. Where is the fucking outrage?

  338. 338
    OzoneR says:

    @Zagloba:

    use diplomatic weight to get Yemen to try them in open court.

    ummmmm

    Awlaki is being tried in absentia in Yemen for his alleged role in the kidnapping and murder of a French national. On Saturday, Judge Moshen Allwan ordered him “arrested by force, dead or alive” when he failed to appear.

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/Wo.....289245343/

  339. 339
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    The whole ‘due process’ and ‘fair trial’ thing has this wicked caveat about ‘innocence’. The whole system kinda goes to shit if you leave that part out.

    And that’s why OJ Simpson was completely accepted back into society after his trial — after all, being found not guilty meant that he was clearly innocent of the crimes, right?

    You’re mixing up “innocent until proven guilty” within the legal system with actual innocence. Since the West Memphis Three had to plead guilty to lesser charges in order to get off Death Row for a crime they clearly didn’t commit, does that mean that they’re now factually guilty and really did commit the crime?

  340. 340
    WeeBey says:

    Here’s my new rule:
    If the only people pissed off about something are Ron Paul and Glenn Greenwald — and the insane people here — you just had a good day.

  341. 341
    OzoneR says:

    @El Tiburon: :

    I am amazed at all of the people here who are just fine and dandy with a President Not Named Bush killing an American on his word alone. Where is the fucking outrage?

    The outrage is against you and Greenwald for repeatedly lying about this whole case to make it seem like this guy was some innocent farmer toiling in the fields of his Yemeni farms singing “Dominique” before he was brutally slaughtered.

    He wasn’t. He was openly anti-American, openly called for Muslims to kill Americans, unapologetic about his connections to 9/11 terrorists and put ON TRIAL and convicted in Yemen, where he is also a citizen.

  342. 342
    geg6 says:

    @Steve:

    So now we’re not just killing Americans with no due process, we’re killing American journalists!

    Jesus fucking Christ. How about we send you off to Yemen? I’ll be happy to order the drone stike.

  343. 343
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Look, I have no idea on his guilt or innocence. But neither do any of you. NONE Of you know a goddamn thing about his guilt or innocence except what you have been commanded to believe by your masters the man himself said he had done in multiple public statements.

    Fix’d. You do realize that there are copious statements from al-Awaki taking credit for various attacks, right? Apparently your argument is that if the government says, “Yes, it’s true, he did the things he says he did,” that proves that he’s totally innocent of all wrongdoing.

  344. 344
    OzoneR says:

    @James:

    The whole ‘due process’ and ‘fair trial’ thing has this wicked caveat about ‘innocence’.

    HE…WAS…PUT…ON…TRIAL…AND…CONVICTED…IN…YEMEN…WHERE…HE…IS…A…CITIZEN.

  345. 345
    Mnemosyne says:

    @geg6:

    I think Steve was being sarcastic. Hard to tell, I know, with El Tib spewing all over the thread.

  346. 346
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    Eh. 1/10. Needs more crazy straw men and fantasy conversations. You’re going to need to try harder with all of El Tiburon’s work on display.

    Eh. 0/10. Needs more hennish cluck-clucking and supercilious pffting.
    .
    .

  347. 347

    I’m pretty sure that everyone the U.S. has “executed” in the GWOT was denied Due Process in a court of law. Why no concern for the foreign born body guards “assassinated” today? If we kill them, do they not also bleed.

  348. 348

    @Carl Nyberg:

    Haven’t you ever found it odd that Eisenhower’s warning about the MIC came as he was leaving office? Seems to me that he might have been more effective saying something about it while he was in the White House.

  349. 349
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    He is not taking care that the laws are being faithfully executed – only that his citizens are, and anyone else he’s afraid of, or doesn’t particularly like, or gets in his way, or displeases his sponsors in Wall Street or the MIC, or….???

    Must be a pretty long list, that assassination list. Do you have any evidence for that, or are you relying on “state secrets” yourself to create one to scare the old people and children who hang out here.

  350. 350
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m saying he never got a trial, that’s all. Everything I said directly relates to the lack of a trial and the violation of due process. The presumption of innocence part comes before the trial and last I checked was supposed to be sacrosanct.

    OJ and the WM3 have fuck all to do with this. Stay on topic.

  351. 351
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @OzoneR:

    HE…WAS…PUT…ON…TRIAL…AND…CONVICTED…IN…YEMEN…WHERE…HE…IS…A…CITIZEN.

    Oh, so the Yemeni government killed him. Good point – why didn’tcha say so earlier? Seems weird that the U.S. lets other countries kill our citizens so blithely.
    .
    .

  352. 352
    OzoneR says:

    @James:

    I’m saying he never got a trial, that’s all

    and you’re wrong.

  353. 353
    Pliny says:

    @OzoneR:

    Are they holding trials-in-absentia for all of the other Yemeni citizens being killed by their own government every day?

  354. 354
    Paul in KY says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Yeah, I think he said it 12 days before he left office. I guess it is good that he did say something, though.

  355. 355
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Paul in KY: yes. So there are no grounds for the emoprogs to scream ILLEGAL! UNCONSTITUTIONAL!
    it was perfectly legal.

  356. 356
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Suffern ACE:

    Must be a pretty long list, that assassination list.

    I have no idea what the list is like – it’s a State Secret. I object to that. I have no idea what this fellow did – it’s a State Secret. I object to that too. What I do have an idea about is that this murder was extra-judicial and not in the “heat of battle” on a “battlefield” during a “war” – which I strongly object to.
    .
    .

  357. 357
    James says:

    @OzoneR:

    The Yemeni people didn’t carry out the hit. Last time I checked, this was an executive order.

    Can you twats make it through a sentence without conflating two irrelevant subjects?

  358. 358
    OzoneR says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Seems weird that the U.S. lets other countries kill our citizens so blithely.

    we don’t, Yemen does.

  359. 359
    soonergrunt says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered: Considering how hard you’re working to be a dumbshit here, I don’t know why I’m bothering with you, but here goes:
    I don’t mind not being appreciated, you stupid shit. It’s the actively despised part I well, despise.
    It’s just like cops who have more respect for the street dealers they deal with than the aforementioned entitled rich white people who want their neighborhoods to be kept safe, but don’t want cop cars driving around, or cops living in their neighborhood, or dog forbid enforcing the actual laws there too, which usually gets some response of “why aren’t you out busting the real crooks” (which usually means “the niggers” by the way) when he’s pulled her over for speeding or caught her son spraying graffiti on the side of the neighbor’s house.
    I have more respect for the Taliban than people like Geg6 or you. They may be a bunch of misanthropic brutes who want to kill everybody they can’t force back into the dark ages, but at least they believe something and are willing to fight for it themselves.

  360. 360
    WeeBey says:

    @James:

    Two trials and an act of Congress, but, hey, who’s counting?

  361. 361
    OzoneR says:

    @James:

    The Yemeni people didn’t carry out the hit. Last time I checked, this was an executive order.

    The Yemeni judge ordered him brought to court dead or alive. The Yemeni government supported the strike. Case closed, QED.

  362. 362
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    The presumption of innocence part comes before the trial and last I checked was supposed to be sacrosanct.

    The presumption of innocence is inside of the court of law during the trial. If a bank robber is shot and killed in the course of robbing a bank, the cops aren’t put on trial for murder even though that robber would have had a full presumption of innocence for his own trial. The law does not assume that a guy standing at the teller window with a mask and a gun had legitimate business there and therefore the cops had no right to shoot him.

  363. 363
    Pliny says:

    I’m not sure which thing Orwell would be more surprised about predicting: the ever-increasing secret powers of the government to do anything to anyone for any reason, or the sheer volume of jingoistic cheerleaders who jump to defend it.

  364. 364
    OzoneR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If a bank robber is shot and killed in the course of robbing a bank, the cops aren’t put on trial for murder even though that robber would have had a full presumption of innocence for his own trial.

    many on the left would probably support putting the cops on trial.

  365. 365
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I’m glad some of you never have to make a decision to go to war. How would you ever authorize killing the enemy without a trial for each of them?

    He declared himself an enemy of the US, directed attacks against the US, refused to turn himself over to the US in accordance with the arrest warrent issued, and made it so that the Yemeni government could not turn him over. Eventually, someone like that just has to be stopped.

  366. 366
    Steve says:

    @geg6: Bahahaha! Obvious snark is obvious.

  367. 367
    Paula says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Well, that’s kind of where the American gov’t is toeing all sorts of lines. It’s “drones”, so we’re not in-country and therefore not violating someone’s sovereignty. Al-Awlaki is a US citizen, but one who has openly threatened the United States beyond what we would call treason but hasn’t been formally charged by a US court of law. We have declared a borderless, stateless “war on terror” which means that groups like AQ get different kinds of statuses — from “state citizens who deserve rights under Geneva” to stateless “enemy combatants” who don’t.

    Any empire’s War on Terror is a boondoggle of epic proportions. It would have been better if we had declared 9/11 a War Crime and had these people turned in to the Hague. It would have been better if we had never gone into Afghanistan, let alone Iraq. The thing that is missed with a lot of this hand-wringing over the legality of killing the likes of OBL and this guy is that the cake was baked a long time ago. And I get the feeling that more than a few “liberals” who agonize about the GWOT and extrajudicial killing now were supportive of going into Afghanistan in the first place.

  368. 368
    Can't Be Bothered says:

    @El Tiburon:

    That whoosh-boom sound you hear is the point flying past you… at supersonic speeds. Hey guys, apparently even though this guy lived and worked with AQ and repeatedly said he helped and wanted to help kill Americans in the future, we know NOTHING about him. The President likes pulling names out of a hat to kill, b/c… well b/c… warrgarbbbleee. I’m American, he’s American.. it could be me next. The end is nigh. We cannot possibly discern between this and other cases. If President Romney kills Michael Moore, it will be because of this and we will remember this day in blog history and find our hands tied to protest. We will all cheer and the blood will be on our hands!!1!!!1!!

  369. 369

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    Oh, so the Yemeni government killed him. Good point – why didn’tcha say so earlier? Seems weird that the U.S. lets other countries kill our citizens so blithely.

    Just how far does our constitution protections reach? Does the First Amendment protect the right of free speech for an American citizen in China? To a Chinese citizen in China?

    This all boils down to the practical reach of the Constitution. Had the US attempted and failed to legally extradite Al-Awlaki from Yemen through diplomatic channels, this would have been an illegal act. It’s the fact that Al-Awlaki had removed himself to a place where the Yemeni government couldn’t even get to him to extradite him that made this legal even if Al-Awlaki hadn’t been part of AQ C&C.

  370. 370
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Pliny: I suspect Orwell, like our founding fathers, would be rather annoyed at being reduced to a two dimensional characture to justify a simplified view of the world.

  371. 371
    fasteddie9318 says:

    How many of the people who are so upset over Awlaki, and I don’t like the way this went down either, were similarly upset over the execution of Tray Davis, which was almost certainly based on flimsier evidence and involved an American citizen who was not self-admittedly engaged in treason?

  372. 372
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yea… totally irrelevant. A bank robbery has fuck all to do with this. So does a verdict that came out after the hit order got signed.

    Just one fucking sentence where you stay on topic… is that too much to ask?

  373. 373
    OzoneR says:

    @James: No, they’re completely relevant. The bank robber analogy is a good analogy. Cops very often kill fugitives before taking them in if they can’t get to them to arrest them. It happens all the time.

    And you cannot say he didn’t get due process, even if the hit order was signed before the trial. He was tried and convicted in the meantime.

  374. 374
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    Yea… totally irrelevant.

    How is it totally irrelevant? You’re insisting that “innocent until proven guilty” is completely sacrosanct and I’m pointing out that, no, there are cases where it isn’t.

    I’m guessing that you think “on topic” means “not disagree with you.”

  375. 375
    Cheap Jim says:

    @Paul in KY: “…and due to the AUMF, the current President has the operational ability to order a military operation to permanently remove him.”

    And do you think that’s a good idea? Because it seems all the president has to do is take a dislike to someone and he can have him killed. I don’t care who the president is; we’re on our second who can do that now. I’m not saying it’s likely, either, but unlikely things do happen sometimes. And dead’s dead.

  376. 376
    geg6 says:

    @Steve:

    Yeah, sorry. Didn’t notice the snark because I hadn’t read the last 50 or so comments.

    In that case, LOL. I’m with you. I’m amazed at the all the people here actually defending doing nothing to stop al-Awlaki and Khan and even saying that they have a problem with the Brits assassinating Heydrich.

    These people are too stupid and naive to still be alive.

  377. 377
    Cheap Jim says:

    @geg6:
    I don’t know. Why not ask someone from Lidice?

  378. 378
    WeeBey says:

    @Cheap Jim:

    The AUMF might well be too broad.

    However, even if you reined it in a great deal, this fuckstain would still fit under it, correct?

  379. 379
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cheap Jim:

    Because it seems all the president has to do is take a dislike to someone and he can have him killed.

    Really? You can look at all of the evidence, all of the public statements that al-Awlaki made about his own actions, all of the indictments and warrants both in the US and in Yemen, and your conclusion is, “Well, I guess the president can just kill anyone he doesn’t like”?

  380. 380
    James says:

    @OzoneR:

    Verdicts that come before the trial. Totally fair. Wow… we are deep into the wingnut kill’em all catergory at this point.

    If Al-Awlaki had been killed in a military operation trying to ‘apprehend him’, you’d be relevant. I’m not even asking them to be sincere just in the realm of lawful.

  381. 381
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: fucking critical thinking…how does it work?

  382. 382
    FlipYrWhig says:

    OK, so let’s say Greenwald et al are totally right, and this was a horrendous thing to do. So stipulated. What would have been the right thing to do? Something more like the Abbotabad operation?

  383. 383
    Paul in KY says:

    @Cheap Jim: Didn’t like the wording. Way too vague & open ended for me.

  384. 384
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paula: Yes, I agree with a lot of what you just said — I had written, but then deleted, a post that was suggesting that there’s a kind of Guantanamo logic at play here, where the territory is nebulously defined, the laws are all hazy and in question (perhaps deliberately so), and no one can quite figure out how well the norms apply.

  385. 385
    virag says:

    as soon as you see the fools and hateful little villains on fox news with a boehner over this murder, even the dimmest amongst you should be to see that something was horribly wrong with it. reading these comments is like a glimpse into the future with millions of americans happy to inform on their neighbors and gleefully bolster the police state because those neighbors might be bad guys or maybe just because their dog shit outside its own yard.

  386. 386
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): look guy.
    Salah gave the US Awlakis geoloc, just like Zardari gave the US OBL’s geoloc, for the EXACT SAME REASON.
    Because no one expects the Arab Spring.
    And after the Arab Spring, the American Fall.

  387. 387
    Cheap Jim says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    No, no, not this Aulaki guy.
    But if the president can order people killed on his say-so, without a trial, the potential to kill someone just because he doesn’t like that person’s face is out there.

  388. 388
    James says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Not horrendous, just unlawful.

    Get an indictment, which shouldn’t be hard given the circumstantial evidence. Find out where he is, get an extradition order then put assets in place that at least have the potential to apprehend him. Waste the fucker if it’s a huge threat to their safety.

    No need for an extrajudicial kill order. That’s the fucked up part. That’s the road we should have never gone down.

  389. 389
    Cheap Jim says:

    @Paul in KY:
    We’re essentially in agreement, then. Too much vague power without any oversight. That’s all I’m saying.

  390. 390
    Samara Morgan says:

    @virag: nah, its like Julian predicts.
    The US will become a police state on its way to NLS collapse via paranoia induction.

  391. 391

    @James:

    Verdicts that come before the trial. Totally fair. Wow… we are deep into the wingnut kill’em all catergory at this point.
    If Al-Awlaki had been killed in a military operation trying to ‘apprehend him’, you’d be relevant. I’m not even asking them to be sincere just in the realm of lawful.

    Al-Awlaki had an out- he could have surrendered, and then made his case in court. He didn’t do that. He fled to a place where no sovereign government could safely arrest him. He fled beyond the reach of constitutional protection, and he did so on purpose.

  392. 392
    Emma says:

    @virag: You know, those persecution fantasies? Save them for someone who hasn’t lived through them, you dimwit. If you don’t see any difference between killing a man who HAS BEEN TRIED in a country where he’s a citizen and found guilty and boasted of planning the killing of Americans, and some schmuck whose dog peed in somebody’s yard and the big bad owner threw him to the terrible wolves of the states you’re not safe to be out in the streets.

    Sometimes I think what a number of you need is a few years in a Soviet work town in Siberia so you get to learn what being persecuted really means.

  393. 393
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag: Where is the part about “neighbors” coming from?

  394. 394
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): dude…..Saleh ALWAYS knew where Awlaki was.
    Just like the Pak government always knew where OBL was.
    The Arab Spring just forced both of them to cash in their chip.

    :)

  395. 395
    Paul in KY says:

    @virag: Due to Fox News being what they are, I’ll be surprised if they end up being as gleeful as you believe.

  396. 396
    Paula says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    There’s a lot of cheap shotting going on, Glenn Greenwald being the primary arbiter of people’s ideas and feelings about this subject.

    So, Al-Awlaki’s (and Osama Bin Laden’s) death could be an event to focus anti-war and/or civil liberties and/or human rights activism on getting states to start making concrete definitions about all this globalized anti-terror business. But based on the conversation in here I don’t see it, because individuals themselves don’t understand the arbitrariness of the lines being drawn. People talk like there are self-evident rights and wrongs and are mostly “reacting” to individual cases rather than seeking a kind of intellectually consistent framework for activism.

    [edited for clarity]

  397. 397
    Jenny says:

    @JPL:

    Bachmann blames Arab Spring on Obama’s ‘weakness’

    Wait a minute, I thought the Arab Spring was a good thing. I remember when Mubark fell, the Bush people tried to take credit, citing Bush’s 2nd Inaugural address.

  398. 398
    Paul in KY says:

    @Samara Morgan: Anytime I read this: ‘Because no one expects the Arab Spring’, I think ‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!’ & then I giggle.

    Great Monty Python sketch, google it sometime.

  399. 399
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Emma: sry emma, it was legal because of the AUMF. Salah gave up his geoloc just like the Paks gave up OBL….because of the Arab Spring. As long as Imam Awlaki was in Yemen and Saleh was in power, he could extort terror-fightin’ monies from America. Same same Zardari.
    Until the rebels booted Saleh and burned him, and the droning started destabilizing Zardaris gov’t.

    They just cashed in their chips.

  400. 400
  401. 401
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Paul in KY: that is wat its from– im a huge Pythonotaku.
    :)

  402. 402
    amk says:

    To all the gg acolytes here, this guy engaged in treasonous activities (going by your theory but, but, … he was a true blue amurikan) and got shitcanned for it. End of story.

    Don’t worry though. I am sure obama will do something in the next 24 hours that will piss you off again and you can all sing poutrage kumbaya with gg again tomorrow over at wherever he holds forth court for you.

  403. 403
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): LOL!

    Yeah, and your Dearest Julian will probably blame it all on the Jews in the end.

    nah, but he might blame the Israelinazis. And they deserve it.
    Can’t a person despise Israel without being called an anti-semite?
    I despise Israel. They are making war on children.

  404. 404
    Paul in KY says:

    @Samara Morgan: Cool! The first time I saw it was back in mid 70s. Pretty mind blowing to a person who had standard TV sitcoms & variety shows only to watch (on the 4 channels we had).

  405. 405

    @Samara Morgan:

    dude…..Saleh ALWAYS knew where Awlaki was.

    I agree. But Saleh couldn’t remove Al-Awlaki from that place without his people risking taking more casualties. That AQ compound is its own fiefdom, outside of reach of the law.

  406. 406
    James says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Actions taken by this government are always subject to the constitution no matter where the subject of their actions are.

    He’s such a minor part, I’m not sure why you keep thinking he’s relevant. Also, you can’t have a trial without and indictment nor charges laid. Arrest, sure.

    The thought that someone would willingly turn themselves over for trial when they’ve already got a hit order out on them is funny though. Thanks for that.

  407. 407
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Paula: lol you dimbo.
    Salah and Zardari knew ‘zactly where Awlaki and OBL were.

    They just cashed in their Friend-of-America chips when they needed to.
    Islamic terrorism is an EGT RESPONSE….and it wont stop until we stop meddling and trying to cram whiskey/democracy/sexy down their throats.

  408. 408
    Chris says:

    @Jenny:

    Wait a minute, I thought the Arab Spring was a good thing. I remember when Mubark fell, the Bush people tried to take credit, citing Bush’s 2nd Inaugural address.

    The GOP never actually ruled either way – Bachmann’s opinion (“OMFG it freed the filthy Muzzies!”) and the one you just cited (“YAY!!! It was all Bush!”) are both fairly common among conservatives.

    It’s simple, really: they’re waiting to see if the Arab Spring’s revolutions turn out nice respectable democracies with liberty and tax-cuts for all, or eebil terrorist Ragheadistans, so they know who to credit/blame. In the former case, they’ll cheer, credit Bush and say they were for the Arab Spring all along. In the latter case, they’ll boo, blame Obama, and say they were against the Arab Spring all along.

    The one thing they all agree on is that the Arab people will have been irrelevant to the outcome.

  409. 409
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Cheap Jim:
    Let me see if I can climb into your mind a bit.

    Because it seems all the president has to do is take a dislike to someone and he can have him killed.

    First off, the president is in charge of the military. Theoretically, he has always had this power. The only thing that stops him is Congress and the possibility of being removed from office. Any president who does not feel inclined to be limited by this could have people killed. It also works at the state level as well. Governors used to get the state guard out to shoot people who didn’t do what the governor thought was right. See the national guard in Colorado during the mining strike.

    I don’t care who the president is; we’re on our second who can do that now.

    We’re not on our second. If anything, we’re on our 40+. I’ll just go back through the presidents since I was born: Nixon ordered firebombing in Vietnam, Clinton had bombing in Serbia, and then there’s Bush, and your example of Obama. It’s some rather week crap to be thinking that Obama is the second president to have people killed because he didn’t go through you. Yes, we like our president to go through proper procedures, but we also task him with protecting the country, a tension which you seem to only want to look at one side of, especially since he went through a number of steps.

  410. 410
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @James: OK, sounds reasonable. I am very leery of the leap to “now the president has the power to order anyone assassinated, on nothing more than a whim” claim, but I see what you’re getting at. IIRC there were sticking points about how a capture/arrest operation would have gone down, logistically, but I’m having a hard time remembering what they were…

  411. 411
  412. 412
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    Find out where he is, get an extradition order then put assets in place that at least have the potential to apprehend him.

    You can’t get an extradition order from a country we don’t have an extradition treaty with. We do not have an extradition treaty with Yemen.

    So now what’s the plan?

  413. 413
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): watch what happens next. Salah gets to come back and brutalize his peeps in the name of “stability”…or else he was gettin’ freaked by al-Q turning his citizens against him…
    The droning was dialed back and Zardari got reelected.

    c’est la guerre (on terror). hahahaha!
    :)

  414. 414
    virag says:

    @Emma:

    i’m sorry you’re so limited brains-wise, but the happy laughing jerkoffs here cheering summary murder really are totally ready to live in a glorious police state, 2 minutes of hate, constant surveillance, extra-judicial murder, the whole shootin’ match. i guess that’s hegemony they can believe in.

  415. 415

    @James:

    So Yamamoto was denied due process for his part in the attack on Pearl Harbor then, right?

    None of that “American citizen” bullshit, either. The Constitution protects anyone suspected of a crime in the US or its territories.

  416. 416
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne: OK, that’s what I was failing to remember. What about something like Abbotabad, helicopters violating the other nation’s airspace and lowering Navy Seals into the compound? Is that what the most righteous move would have been?

  417. 417
    virag says:

    @Paul in KY:

    you need to see the rampant boehners all over fux today. they haven’t been this hard in quite a while.

  418. 418
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    But Saleh couldn’t remove Al-Awlaki from that place without his people risking taking more casualties.

    Plus, he had no incentive. As long as Awlaki was loose in Yemen Salah could get on the anti-terror teat.
    But now Obama is doing him like he did Mubarak and Zardari.
    Whats a burnt dictator to do?
    I think he cashed in his Awlaki chip.

  419. 419
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @virag:

    but the happy laughing jerkoffs here cheering summary murder

    OK…

    really are totally ready to live in a glorious police state, 2 minutes of hate, constant surveillance

    How did we get from the first part to the second part? What does the former have to do with the latter?

    ETA: I mean, it seems like you should be saying that you’re appalled at what people are willing to accept happening to Americans _in other countries_. I don’t get how police state totalitarianism has anything to do with what we’re talking about.

  420. 420

    @Samara Morgan:

    You’re too young to remember when Yemen was two separate states, aren’t you? The situation was only slightly more anarchic than it is now.

  421. 421
    Cheap Jim says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):
    “Didn’t go through me”? What, I’m a federal court, now?

  422. 422
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): a lot of them are pro-Israelinazi.
    Didn’t you read Exodus and Mila 18?

  423. 423
    Emma says:

    @virag: Nothing like a nice victimization fantasy to keep a good hissy fit going. I hear there are some really good video games where you can plan the hunted hero. Me? I know the difference between saying “someone who boasted of killing Americans has been killed” and “OMG the President is going to start hunting us with dogs next week.”

    I lived in a police state, moron. At least one of my school mates was sent to jail by his own grandmother. So save the fantasy angst. There are enough real s–t happening in the world without having to live in imaginary persecution.

  424. 424
    soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: To say nothing of the fact that the Yemeni government does not exercise sovereignty over that particular part of Yemen, and so couldn’t honor the extradition treaty (that we don’t have) anyway.
    So again I ask, after NO ONE answered–what the fuck do you do then?
    How many FBI agents are we to risk in going after this guy who was protected very tightly by his tribe?
    If you don’t think the FBI can pull it off, how about the Marshals’ Service (seeing as how apprehending fugitives is their actual job description)? How many Marshals should we consider acceptable losses?
    If not them, because they don’t have the resources, how many Marines or Soldiers?
    Perhaps we should’ve just asked him nicely to stop killing our citizens?

  425. 425
    virag says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    this cohort is so ready go all-in and become the drooling cheering section at the witch trials, lynchings, and 2 minute hates. america, fuck yeah.

  426. 426
    El Tiburon says:

    @Can’t Be Bothered:

    apparently

    Do you see this word that I put in blockquotes for you?

    You know, I don’t want to get all “First they came for the Jews…” on you, but do you not see a pattern forming here since oh, beginning shortly after 9-11?

    A Big Stink is made about an alleged TERRARIST and you all shit your pants until he is THANKFULLY killed. Crawl out from under your beds and stop peeing your pants.

  427. 427
  428. 428

    @Samara Morgan:

    So because they’re Jews and they don’t work well with Julian, they’re Mossad. How convenient.

  429. 429
    Stillwater says:

    @FlipYrWhig: How much worse is it to kill a US-born Awlaki with a drone-fired missile than it would be to kill an Egypt-born Awlaki with a drone-fired missile? Are we arguing about drones, or about citizenship, or about human rights?

    We can argue all those things, can’t we?

    One issue is surely his citizenship since presumably his citizenship grants him a right to trial, at least a right to a hearing, at least a right to government meeting an evidential burden in an judicial forum before a kill order is presented. The problem is that these rights are apparently waived because he’s declared – without recourse to a hearing! – an enemy combatant.

    Apparently, EC status is sufficient to deprive US citizens of their otherwise applicable rights. YOu don’t see a problem there?

  430. 430
    Samara Morgan says:

    @soonergrunt: this guy who was protected very tightly by his tribe?

    his “tribe” is America.

  431. 431
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Diplomacy? Yemen seemed pretty willing to hand the guy over and allow military operations. For reals, we just blew some shit up there a couple of hours ago.

    Yamamoto’s plane was shot down, no kill order signed.

    Seriously, what the fuck are you two even arguing? Third chucklefuck chimes in with FBI agents? Holy fuck are you people insane. It’s not domestic policing, you can actually bring in the military to affect an arrest in this circumstance. Jesus wept.

  432. 432
    patroclus says:

    I think it’s good news that the traitor is dead. The AUMF clearly authorizes it. He was tried and convicted in Yemen; which has no extradition treaty with the U.S. There are numerous precedents for this type of action.

  433. 433

    @Samara Morgan:

    Sure it makes a difference. How do you legally and constitutionally conduct a legal, constitutional process when a party puts itself beyond the reach of the law and constitutional protections? Is there some sort of legal “Free Parking” spot on the board now?

  434. 434
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): i have friends that are jews.
    i USTA have friends that are Israelis.
    Nada mas.

    Israel will perish from paranoia induction before the US will.
    Julian says.

  435. 435
    Chris says:

    @Emma:

    I lived in a police state, moron. At least one of my school mates was sent to jail by his own grandmother. So save the fantasy angst. There are enough real s—t happening in the world without having to live in imaginary persecution.

    Not casting doubt on the story, I’m just curious, what police state did you live in?

  436. 436
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @soonergrunt: And this is what I was trying to get at too. What would doing it the right way look like? It doesn’t feel “fair,” although that word is a terrible understatement, that someone could be, at the same time, stateless, American, and Yemeni, and use all of those statuses against each other to thwart all attempts to bring him to justice.

    I honestly know nothing about this. If, say, the head of Aum Shinrikyo was hiding out in the Navajo Nation, that is, on an Indian reservation, how would Japan attempt to round him up?

  437. 437
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): dude….Imam Awlaki has been there since 2003.
    /rolls eyes incredulously

  438. 438
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    apparently @Mnemosyne:

    You do realize that there are copious statements from al-Awaki taking credit for various attacks, right?

    And that matters how…

    Are you not aware of the copious amount of doubt out there to Alwaki being involved or responsible for anything?

    Gee- if only there was a way to determine if an American was guilty when there is so much doubt and confusion…only a a way…can’t quite think of how that could be done.

    But no matter – ’cause as long as we are at WAR with everyone and regardless of the laws or our liberties, ALL that matters to a lot of you is injecting a lot of lead and shrapnel into people and those innocents around them so as you can be goddamned guaranteed to get your Starbucks latte and be home in time for CSI.

  439. 439

    @James:

    Yamamoto’s plane was shot down, no kill order signed.

    No, it was planned, and planned to make it look like blind luck so as not to let on that we had intelligence assets in place.

  440. 440
    Stillwater says:

    @soonergrunt: Sooner, I haven’t followed the thread, so this comment may be off base, but what you’re arguing here seems to be this: it’s easier and safer to just kill the guy. But doesn’t this conclusion presuppose his guilt, a fact which can only be determined by the court?

    How can he be guilty in the legal sense of the word – and the sense of the word which permits the state to use lethal force! – unless he’s already had a trial?

  441. 441

    @Samara Morgan:

    Yeah, and he’d been encamped with AQ, which was hostile to the Yemeni government in 2003.

  442. 442
    soonergrunt says:

    @James: OK–again, HOW MANY MILITARY PERSONNEL ARE YOU WILLING TO SEE KILLED OR WOUNDED?
    And while we’re on the subject, how many of his local tribesmen and/or their family members are you willing to see killed or wounded? Even the Abottabad operation had unarmed persons in the compound killed in the fight. (should we hand the SEALS over the Pakistani government?)
    What happens if Al-Awlaki personally resists arrest? Can they kill him then? What if somebody from his tribe fires on the US vehicles? Can they shoot this guy or do they have to try to take him into custody as well?
    What happens if the mission goes to shit? What resources are you willing to use? Aerial bombardment to cover their extraction?

  443. 443
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: I think there’s a problem there, sure, but I want to disentangle the argument about using a “flying death robot” on anyone, on the one hand, from the argument about the extent to which the protections of American citizenship apply to people looking to hide themselves in the folds and seams of national sovereignty, on the other.

  444. 444

    @Samara Morgan:

    Israel will perish from paranoia induction before the US will.
    Julian says.

    Oh, the irony! Stop it! Yer killin’ me!

  445. 445
    El Tiburon says:

    @OzoneR:

    The outrage is against you and Greenwald for repeatedly lying about this whole case to make it seem like this guy was some innocent farmer toiling in the fields of his Yemeni farms singing “Dominique” before he was brutally slaughtered.

    Uh, yeah. This entire statement is bullshit. I challenge you to find ONE quote of mine (or Greenwald for that matter) where I make Alwaki to be anything. And fuck you for you Bill O’Reilly for your right-wing tactics of making it seem as though we think this guy is completely innocent. Fuck you.

    He wasn’t. He was openly anti-American, openly called for Muslims to kill Americans, unapologetic about his connections to 9/11 terrorists and put ON TRIAL and convicted in Yemen, where he is also a citizen.

    Oh NOES! Openly Anti-American? For Fucks sake Sean Hannity, do we kill every anti-American person out there? And when did we start following Yemen Law? Is it okay for me to murder my daughter if she loses her virginity? Hey – in Yemen you can do it!!*

    Tool.

    *I exaggerate to make a point.

  446. 446
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    And that matters how…

    Really? If a guy voluntarily makes multiple public statements while a free man saying, “Yes, I did it,” we’re not allowed to take that into account?

    I understand being skeptical of statements made while in custody, but we’re really not allowed to believe someone making public statements about their own actions?

    Are you not aware of the copious amount of doubt out there to Alwaki being involved or responsible for anything?

    I know that I’ve had you and mclaren telling me that, and it looks like troofer Carl Nyberg believes it, but I haven’t seen any rational sources explain why I’m supposed to completely disregard everything that al-Awlaki voluntarily said about himself and his own actions.

  447. 447
    James says:

    @soonergrunt:

    I don’t think I had any objection to laying waste to the compound if there was a safety risk. As for ‘assets’ I’ll settle for a navy fry-cook in a four hundred mile radius. He doesn’t have to get off the boat. I don’t ever recall asking someone to die for this bullshit and I’m not gonna start now.

    I’m not even asking them to be sincere in their ‘lawful’ attempt.

    God you people just need to get your extrajudicial kill on, fuck that constitution thing entirely.

  448. 448
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): so? Salah KNEW where he was, just like the ISI knew where OBL was. The US sent predators or reapers to where Imam Awlaki was.
    Thing is….the world is changing.
    The Get-Out-of-Dictator-Free card only plays with Murrikkka, and not with dar ul Islam…

  449. 449
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): its the truth, ruth.
    :)

    hay! n/e one wanna bet me on Monday?
    I bet the Palis get nine votes and the US abstains.

  450. 450
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    Yemen seemed pretty willing to hand the guy over and allow military operations. For reals, we just blew some shit up there a couple of hours ago.

    So the fact that Yemen had to turn operations over to the US because they were unable to capture him is, like, totally proof that we could have captured him alive? Huh?

    Yamamoto’s plane was shot down, no kill order signed.

    ‘Fraid not — Yamamoto was assassinated by the Allies, not merely killed in action. They gave the operation a cool name and everything. Commanders of opposition armies have always been considered legitimate military targets, even when they’re not on the battlefield.

  451. 451
    Samara Morgan says:

    why is this thread so long?
    its pretty straightforward.
    we traded something for a kill in the “GWOT”, just like OBL.
    it remains to be seen what part of America’s collective soul was harvested by Salah.

  452. 452
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    but I haven’t seen any rational sources explain why I’m supposed to completely disregard everything that al-Awlaki voluntarily said about himself and his own actions.

    Wow. Let’s break this down. You haven’t read any “rational sources”? Have you looked, or do you want to see what you want to see? Please do tell: who are your rational sources? Can you maybe link one?

    Who said you have to “completely disregard” anything? Here’s the thing: just ’cause he said it DON’T MEAN SHIT.

    But can you not see that an American citizen was just bombed into oblivion and nobody knows why. You don’t. Not one single person on this blog does. All we have is some supposition and maybe some statements from the guy. And how do we know those are true?

    And is a statement of guilt from an alleged perp good enough for you now on?

  453. 453
    Samara Morgan says:

    i can replace about half the comments on this thread.

    Amurikkka FUCK YEAH! USA! USA!

  454. 454
    Stillwater says:

    @Mnemosyne: but I haven’t seen any rational sources explain why I’m supposed to completely disregard everything that al-Awlaki voluntarily said about himself and his own actions.

    That’s a pretty low threshhold to justify the use of lethal force.

  455. 455
    soonergrunt says:

    @James: So let me get this straight–

    I don’t think I had any objection to laying waste to the compound if there was a safety risk.

    So what they did should be OK with you, then.

    As for ‘assets’ I’ll settle for a navy fry-cook in a four hundred mile radius. He doesn’t have to get off the boat. I don’t ever recall asking someone to die for this bullshit and I’m not gonna start now.

    So what they did should be OK with you, then.

    I’m not even asking them to be sincere in their ‘lawful’ attempt.

    What you’re saying here seems to be that it’s important that the forms be observed, even if only to make you feel better?
    Really?

  456. 456
    Mnemosyne says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Who said you have to “completely disregard” anything? Here’s the thing: just ‘cause he said it DON’T MEAN SHIT.

    So if it “don’t mean shit,” doesn’t that mean I have to completely disregard it?

    I already know I can completely disregard you, because you can’t even put a single sentence together that doesn’t immediately contradict itself.

    Again, I could understand being skeptical if all we had was statements from the US government, but we have al-Awlaki’s own copious writings and statements to take into account as well.

    And is a statement of guilt from an alleged perp good enough for you now on?

    If it’s a freely made public statement when he is neither under arrest nor under control of a third party? I don’t know why I’m supposed to be just as skeptical of statements made in a TV interview as I am of statements made while in custody. What would al-Awlaki’s motive be to lie? What good would it do him?

  457. 457
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    That’s a pretty low threshhold to justify the use of lethal force.

    When someone comes forward and says, “Hey, you know that guy who just killed 13 people? I totally helped him plan it and I’m going to do it again, try and get me, suckers!” that’s a low threshold?

    I mean, I’m willing to argue about whether this was the best possible way to do it (I don’t think it was), but I think the arguments that al-Awlaki was an innocent guy who just happened to draw the ire of the US are ridiculous.

  458. 458
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I’m consigned to the fact murder was going to happen. Show me where I once demanded, or even made passing reference to him being captured alive. We’re in the business of killing folks abroad in the forever war now, I just prefer it when they at least pretend the rules still exsist. I’m a traditionalist in that regard.

    Props to Roosevelt for knowing how to handle his shit, I guess. Take that over an open air assfucking of the constitution any day.

    @soonergrunt:

    Yet it’s not okay with me. Imagine that. Never heard the constitution refered to as ‘the forms’ before, but give it some time and I’m sure we can whittle it down some more. I’m hoping by 2030 we’re just calling it ‘The Con’ for maximum irony.

  459. 459
    Cat Lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    They want to die on that hill with Greenwald. Get out of their way.

  460. 460

    @Samara Morgan:

    Sure. It’s that black and white. Like everything else in the world.

    All we need to do is prosecute Bushco and everything in the world will be great.

    All we need to do is admit that Bushco MIHOP on 9/11/01 and the world will be great.

    All we need to do is admit that the CIA murdered JFK and the world will be great.

    All we need to do is admit that FDR LIHOP in regards to Pearl Harbor and the world will be great.

    All we need to do is admit that Booth was a patsy for the greedy bankers who really murdered Lincoln and the world will be great.

    All we need to do is admit that George Washington was replaced by Adam Weishaupt of the Order of the Illuminati and the world will be great.

  461. 461
    Mnemosyne says:

    @James:

    Show me where I once demanded, or even made passing reference to him being captured alive.

    I’m pretty sure that’s what you meant when you talked about how he was “innocent until proven guilty” and should have been put on trial. Barring some really amazing new technology, you can’t put a dead man on trial.

  462. 462
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): wallah….i said nothing like that.
    Obama is opportunistic and exploitive.
    He saw a chance to get Awlaki, and a chance to get OBL. He exploited that.
    He did nothing illegal, because of the AUMF.
    Its got nothing to with George Washington or George Bush, and everything to do the the changing world and the Arab Spring.

  463. 463
    soonergrunt says:

    @James: You’re the one who is “not even asking them to be sincere in their ‘lawful’ attempt.” I’m just trying to suss out the parameters here, because you don’t care if they’re sincere. So if they had launched a helicopter, flew around the carrier and then landed it back on the deck, that would satisfy you? Or would they have had to landed on the beach in Yemen? How long–enough to take a piss break, or set up a perimeter and sit overnight?

    I’m just telling you that I think your reasoning is faulty. If he were get-able, I expect my government to get him and to have a fucking good explanation why they didn’t. Because knowing few things about military operations, I know that they’re never supposed to be undertaken without as accurate an estimate of the potential for mission failure, and all that entails. So I don’t believe he was get-able. I also know that he was consciously engaging in command and control actions as part of a hostile armed force. He made himself a legitimate target the moment he did that.

  464. 464
    MBunge says:

    @James: “Props to Roosevelt for knowing how to handle his shit, I guess.”

    I think some interned Japanese folks might question how Roosevelt handled his shit.

    Is it just me or is this whole discussion a microcosm of lefty bitching about everything Obama? All factual nuance and reasonable distinction shoved aside so a bunch of liberals can celebrate how much better they are than the hoi paloi?

    Mike

  465. 465
    patroclus says:

    James, the Constitution was followed. Congress enacted and the President signed the AUMF in accordance with the Constitution. The AUMF authorizes this sort of action. The President, acting pursuant to the AUMF, ordered this action. Your problem seems to be that you disagree with the AUMF.

  466. 466
    nancydarling says:

    @soonergrunt: This. My oldest brother, when asked what he took home from his Korean War experience, said he learned what total chaos is. And there are always more civilian casualties in war than military—true for every war ever fought. That doesn’t make it okay and we ought to try to reduce the number, but it is what it is. That said, while I care deeply about lives lost, innocent or not, I care even more deeply about American lives. There I’ve said it.

    Serious people don’t run to be president/CinC because they want to get to heaven. Hard decisions come with the territory and I think President Obama made the right call here and with bin Laden, too. There were no good options for bringing this guy back alive and from reading the legal minds here, it appears legal to me. At least I haven’t read any reasonable suggestions here for doing it any other way.

    I haven’t seen much “glee” expressed on this thread—just a lack of remorse. There’s a difference.

    If the shark and others here can come down off their high dudgeon long enough, maybe they can tell us where that perfect world they are living in is located in so we can all move there.

  467. 467
    Nikki says:

    I feel horrible. With this assassination, I want to feel exactly like Glenn Greenwald. We’re Americans, we are supposed to be better than this. But honestly, I feel exactly like Andrew Sullivan.

  468. 468
    Stillwater says:

    @Mnemosyne: Let’s just take the dispute over his actions out of the equation entirely. The issue, then, is whether the US government is justified in using lethal force to kill him.

    On one supposition, killing him was an act of self-defense. Normally, self-defense is a response to an imminent threat to personal injury. I think this fails to meet that burden.

    On another supposition, killing him was a form of preventative defense, along the lines of preventative war. This justification would require an evidential burden – not one that the state would or ought to share with us – that active schemes and plans were being implemented to harm us. Surely there is a plausible argument that AA was plotting and planning to harm the US. So the killing could be justified on grounds consistent with the war on terror. Fair enough.

    But here’s the problem: the US government has succeeded in lumping a US citizen in with non-US citizens and expected the AUMF and Patriot Act to cover US military actions against both groups equally. But why think it has that power? just because AA was on foreign soil when he was killed?

    So in effect, the broad powers [granted by congressional legislation] of the federal government to kill or capture ‘enemy combatants’ takes precedence over the constitutionally guaranteed rights of US citizens. And that’s not to say that a clear way of reconciling the tension is apparent or even easy. It’s just that now, given this precedent, the lines are sufficiently blurred that clearing it up won’t be made any easier.

    Edited to add.

  469. 469
    James says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Why yes, putting him on trial would indeed the correct and constitutionally appropriate thing to do. Imagine that, wanting the right thing to happen but knowing there’s no point in hoping for it.

    It’s important to talk about the former, once in a while.

    @soonergrunt:

    Navy fry-cook can look out a window 400 miles off the coast, say ‘whoa man, looks crazy’ then launch the predators.

  470. 470

    @Samara Morgan:

    Well, geez, you get to boil it down to…

    i can replace about half the comments on this thread.
    Amurikkka FUCK YEAH! USA! USA!

    …but you won’t allow others to play nuance-free?

    I don’t think there’s a person here whose comments can be replace with, “Amurikkka FUCK YEAH! USA! USA!” I think that everyone who’s commented here can point out a great number of things that this nation has done wrong and what this nation has done right. I think it’s much closer to the truth that those who disagree with this course of action- targeting Al-Awlaki, that is- have a much harder time admitting that there are people who are enemies of this country not because the US has earned their hatred, but because they’re just as vile as the most vile critters this country has ever produced. We aren’t exceptional in our virtues, and we’re not exceptional in our malignancies.

    ETA: Off to work. GO TIGERS! FTFY!

  471. 471
    patroclus says:

    James, the traitor was put on trial and convicted in Yemen. Imagine that, constitutional legal processes were actually followed in both the U.S. and Yemen.

  472. 472
    Big Southern says:

    I want to agree with more or less everything Stillwater has said, and add that folks need to stop quoting AUMF as some sort of justification for this nonsense. The authorization of force was clearly narrowly tailored to include only the perpetrators and planners of Sept. 11 and those who aided or harbored them and that regard the most that could be pinned on al-Awlaki is that he acted as a spiritual adviser. Please stop pretending that AUMF is what made this “legal.”

  473. 473
    sparky says:

    it’s unfortunate that for so many people the ends justify any means. kinda makes you wonder about this “nation of law” business.

  474. 474
    gelfling545 says:

    @Jenny: You are expecting what Bachmann says to make sense?

  475. 475
    soonergrunt says:

    @nancydarling: The world isn’t a perfect place. I wish to hell it were, and fwiw, I wish my country wasn’t so quick to use force all over the world, but that’s a subject for a different time.
    The simple fact is that most people seem to think that stuff is a hell of a lot easier than it really is. There’s a very good reason that there are so few Navy SEALS and Army Special Forces Soldiers, or Special Ops Aviators.
    The people who can do that kind of stuff are pretty rare and expensive, and their equipment is just as rare and even more expensive. And they have mission-compromising things happen all the time.

  476. 476
    soonergrunt says:

    @James:

    Navy fry-cook can look out a window 400 miles off the coast, say ‘whoa man, looks crazy’ then launch the predators.

    And that’s better than what actually happened, HOW, exactly?

  477. 477
    patroclus says:

    Big Southern, the AUMF was broadly drafted to cover all organizations or persons that the President determines that participated in 9/11 in order to prevent future attacks on the U.S. The President determined that Al Qaida participated in 9/11; hence, attacks on that organization or persons connected to that organization are authorized. Perhaps you disagree with the broad nature of the AUMF, but there is no doubt that it authorizes military action against Al Qaeda.

  478. 478
    James says:

    @soonergrunt:

    A fiction to find perfect reflection of my cynicism and idealism both.

  479. 479
    Stillwater says:

    @patroclus: So let’s suppose that on 9/12/01 US citizen John Doe joins AQ. Does the AUMF – an act of legislation by congress – accord the state with the legitimate power to kill John Doe?

    That is, does congressional legislation (not amendment!) have the power to revoke/rescind/abrogate the constitutionally guaranteed rights of US citizens?

  480. 480
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    On one supposition, killing him was an act of self-defense. Normally, self-defense is a response to an imminent threat to personal injury. I think this fails to meet that burden.

    Why would it not meet self-defense? This is someone who had planned attacks against the US before and had announced his intention to carry out more attacks. Were we required to wait until another attack was actually underway before we could try to stop him?

    On another supposition, killing him was a form of preventative defense, along the lines of preventative war.

    The only way to get to that supposition is to suppose that he had never acted against the US and never planned any attacks, only that we suspected he might try to attack us.

    That’s why you can’t just handwave away the fact that he had attacked us before. It takes you to very foolish places, like insisting that stopping a second attack by someone is somehow “preventative.”

  481. 481
    Mike Lamb says:

    @El Tiburon: Nobody knows why? You might not agree with it, but there are a lot of people expounding on exactly why he was killed in this thread.

    I’m just curious, but why shouldn’t we place substanital weight on a “statement of guilt from an alleged perp” aka a confession–especially where there is nothing that would suggest said confession is unreliable.

    My problem with your approach is I believe it likely that had there been a confession while in custody, you would find it equally, if not more, problemmatic. So then what?

  482. 482
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Big Southern:

    The authorization of force was clearly narrowly tailored to include only the perpetrators and planners of Sept. 11 and those who aided or harbored them and that regard the most that could be pinned on al-Awlaki is that he acted as a spiritual adviser.

    So anyone who joined al-Qaeda after 9/11 can’t be legally pursued under AUMF because they weren’t themselves involved with the attack?

    I also find it amusing that you seem to think that the spiritual adviser to the hijackers was completely ignorant of their plans.

  483. 483
    patroclus says:

    Stillwater, the Constitution (i.e., the 14th Amendment) protects “persons within the U.S.” That’s the clause that the USSC has construed broadly. By contrast, the USSC has narrowly construed the “privileges and immunites of U.S. citizens” clause to such a great extent that it really only applies to a few things, like the freedom to travel between states. Consequently, the Constitutional test is whether the person is within the U.S. or, as at GITMO, within the jurisdiction of the U.S.

    In this case, the traitor was not “within the U.S.” Hence, the Constitution, as construed by the courts to date, would not apply. I suggest that those that are interested actually read the 14th Amendment and the relevant cases.

  484. 484
    patroclus says:

    @Stillwater:

    Yes, if that is what the President determines. And, I suggest that you read the 14th Amendment and the relevant cases – constitutional protections are applicable to “persons within the U.S.;” not to “U.S. citizens.”

    It’s pretty clear legally.

  485. 485
    KXB says:

    Transitive property people – Al Qaeda publicly declares it is in a state of war with the United States. Al-Alwaki publicly declares he is a member of Al Qaeda, specifically its operations in the Arabian peninsular. So, since he is in a state of war with the United States, what difference does it make if he is a citizen or not?

  486. 486
    Stillwater says:

    @Mnemosyne: I think you’re wrong on both counts – his having aided in previous attacks before isn’t sufficient to establish imminent threat and preventative defense doesn’t require prior history, only evidence of an impending attack – but you also failed to address the substantive point of the post: that congressional legislation apparently trumps constitutionally guaranteed rights.

    Not a very good answer, Mnem.

  487. 487
    The Commish says:

    Awlaki could have negotiated a surrender, if he wanted to enjoy the due process of the criminal justice system.

  488. 488
    Paula says:

    @James:

    Props to Roosevelt for knowing how to handle his shit, I guess. Take that over an open air assfucking of the constitution any day.

    This is some stupid ass shit, but completely typical of the left blogosphere.

  489. 489
    Cat Lady says:

    @Paula:

    They love their mythical creatures.

  490. 490
    patroclus says:

    Stillwater, no, statutes do not trump Constitutional protections. If the traitor was “within the U.S.,” the 14th Amendment would still apply. But the traitor was in Yemen; not the U.S. Hence, it doesn’t apply and the statute does apply, which clearly authorizes, upon a Presidential determination, military action against al Qaeda.

    Like I said, the law and precedents are pretty clear. I suugest you read the 14th Amendment and the relevant cases.

  491. 491
    Pat says:

    Mexico has announced it is sending mercenary commandos across the northern border to murder US citizens who fuel the drug trade that is killing a generation of its citizens.

  492. 492
    Stillwater says:

    @patroclus: Can you point me to the provision you’re referring to?

    ETA: I just read it, and can’t find any thing that suggests that constitutionally established rights end at the borders.

  493. 493
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Pat: No need for hyperbolic hypotheticals. Ever heard of Orlando Letelier?

  494. 494
    soonergrunt says:

    @Pat: Well, if that were OK with the government of the US, or the government of the US were unable to capture and prosecute US citizens within the borders of the country who violate US (and Mexican) laws then you might have something remotely like what happened in Yemen today.
    But since neither of those conditions exist, let alone both of them, as is the case in Yemen, then you’re out past left field–hell, you’re not even in the same county as the ball park.

  495. 495
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: How does this work? Even if Americans are protected against unreasonable search and seizure _here_, don’t Americans traveling abroad constantly get harassed by local cops?

  496. 496
    patroclus says:

    Stillwater, as a young law student, I and my friends, took your view and argued it vehemently with our law professors. I had been brought up to believe that U.S. citizens were constitutionally protected. Trust me, we aren’t – one has to be within the jurisdiction of the U.S. for the 14th Amendment to apply. Indeed, the “priveleges and immunites” clause is also there – but it has been very narrowly construed by the relevant cases.

    The Boumidenne (sp?) case about GITMO goes into it in great detail – I suggest you read it. The Bush administration argued that “within the U.S.” meant within the U.S. – the USSC clarified that and applied it to “within the jurisdiction of the U.S.” So, the 14th Amendment applies to the detainees at GITMO; it does not apply to traitors in Yemen.

  497. 497
    El Tiburon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So if it “don’t mean shit,” doesn’t that mean I have to completely disregard it?

    Regard it all you want. Put it on a t-shirt and run around in circles.

    My point is , regardless of what he says, as far as making the decision to assassinate him, it dont mean shit.

  498. 498
    Mnemosyne says:

    Of course, to bring up something that all of us can agree on, a huge part of the problem here is that the Bushies insisted on trying to come up with some neither fish nor fowl category so they could avoid having to treat al-Qaeda prisoners as either criminal defendants (who have to receive a speedy trial) or prisoners of war (who have to be treated a very specific way under the Geneva Convention).

    If we were clearly at war with al-Qaeda, then al-Awlaki would be a commander of the enemy forces and a legitimate military target. If they were clearly criminals, we could have taken clearer steps through the Yemeni courts (inadequate as they are) and been on firmer ground for sending in a strike team to attempt to capture him.

    So now we’re stuck having dangerous people who are actively trying to harm us in a legal limbo where they’re not quite enemies but not quite criminals, and they’re exploiting that murky status.

  499. 499
    Stillwater says:

    @patroclus: Well, this is news to me. I’ve always read the [relevant part of the] 14th as restrictions on state’s autonomy, not on the limits of the federal authority. Surely there is a case to be made that foreigners in the US either do or don’t get accorded normal US rights. But I’ve not heard an argument based on the 14th to the effect that once a person is outside the US boundaries (whether the contiguous states or protectorates) that the US citizen is suddenly deprived of constitutionally protected claims against actions by the US government.

    edited to add.

  500. 500
    Stillwater says:

    @FlipYrWhig: No, you’re right: the protections aren’t against the actions of foreign governments. But they presumably still hold if unreasonable search and seizure occurs by an agent of the US.

  501. 501
    patroclus says:

    @Stillwater:

    Well, if it’s any comfort, it was news to me too in law school. And, I’ve read the privileges and immunities cases and disagreed with their reasoning. Nonetheless, that’s the law and the cases are pretty clear in their holdings and dicta. The constitutional standard is “persons within the jurisdiction of the U.S.”; not the status of U.S. citizen.

    Perhaps it could be challenged again and the USSC could take a different view. But the law as it stands today is fairly clear.

  502. 502
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    ETA: I just read it, and can’t find any thing that suggests that constitutionally established rights end at the borders.

    Wait, what? So if I give a speech in Germany denying the Holocaust and they prosecute me for it under German law, I can claim my First Amendment rights under the US Constitution and they can’t touch me?

  503. 503
    Stillwater says:

    @Mnemosyne: Against US government prosecution.

  504. 504
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    The presumption of innocence is inside of the court of law during the trial. If a bank robber is shot and killed in the course of robbing a bank, the cops aren’t put on trial for murder even though that robber would have had a full presumption of innocence for his own trial. The law does not assume that a guy standing at the teller window with a mask and a gun had legitimate business there and therefore the cops had no right to shoot him.

    On the contrary, if a bank robber is shot dead AND

    — the chief of police had explicitly targeted him for assassination 1 1/2 years earlier, AND

    — this was done in the absence of any effort to indict him during that time, AND

    — the cops don’t say “he was holding up a bank when we shot him”; they just redefine “bank” to mean “the location this robber happens to be in” AND

    — “in the course of robbing a bank” is redefined to mean “he claimed to be behind several robberies committed by other people (look! Here it is in his handwriting!),” THEN

    this constitutes a crisis of our civil justice system, whether you admit it or not.

    Here’s the crux of what’s wrong with your argument. You say “The presumption of innocence is inside of the court of law during the trial.” And you suggest that it exists ONLY there. But our system is based on presuming innocence before the trial and in the absence of a trial. You seem to be suggesting we presume guilt, and act on it, in the absence of a trial. On the contrary, our constitution EXPLICITLY forbids killing without due process.

    No one, as far as I can tell, has suggested that al-Awlaki is IN FACT innocent. But your arguments only really make sense in a context of presumed guilt, de facto and de jure. That’s not our system and it never has been our system. And to all those urging the practical necessity of this action, let me remind you what the Times noted today: “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.” Somehow the U.S. managed to survive a couple centuries without pulling this kind of shit.

  505. 505
    patroclus says:

    Oh, and as to your federal/state point, the 14th Amendment tracks the 5th Amendment almost exactly in its wording and the two clauses (14th as to states and 5th as to the feds) have been construed similarly.

  506. 506
    Stillwater says:

    @patroclus: But that argument encompasses the rights issue from the other angle: what are the rights accorded people (US citizens or otherwise) whithin US jurisdiction?

    What about the other direction? The 14th is silent on that – it says nothing about whether US citizens’ rights are rescinded wrt claims against US government actions outside the borders. The relevant sections for this issue are that people born within US but not subject to US jurisdiction are not subject to us laws. That refers to children born of ambassadors and the like.

    How that gets construed as an argument that once a citizen leaves the jurisdictional borders of US their rights and privileges against the US are rescinded is beyond me.

  507. 507
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So now we’re stuck having dangerous people who are actively trying to harm us in a legal limbo where they’re not quite enemies but not quite criminals, and they’re exploiting that murky status.

    I said something similar upstream, calling it “Guantanamo logic,” but it might also be dubbed Schrodinger’s Detainee.

  508. 508
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So if I give a speech in Germany denying the Holocaust and they prosecute me for it under German law, I can claim my First Amendment rights under the US Constitution and they can’t touch me?

    You can claim your Constitutional rights with reference to any action the U.S. government may take. The Yemenis didn’t kill al-Awlaki; quit clowning around.

  509. 509
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Stillwater:

    I think you’re wrong on both counts – his having aided in previous attacks before isn’t sufficient to establish imminent threat and preventative defense doesn’t require prior history, only evidence of an impending attack –

    So previous attacks aren’t enough to establish an imminent threat, but since preventative defense doesn’t require previous attempts, you can’t use those previous attempts to establish the need for intervention.

    That’s a lovely Catch-22 you’ve set up there — basically, we could never act against al-Awlaki because neither past attacks nor the promise of future attacks is sufficient to do anything.

    Just out of curiosity, what would be sufficient to act against him, in your opinion?

    but you also failed to address the substantive point of the post: that congressional legislation apparently trumps constitutionally guaranteed rights.

    Until it gets in front of a court, yes, it does. If you’d like to take a case to the Supreme Court arguing that the AUMF violated al-Awlaki’s Constitutional rights, be my guest. I’d be very interested to see what they decided. But laws are presumed to be constitutional until challenged in court, so absent a challenge, one has to work from the assumption that a law is constitutional. Otherwise, no new laws could ever be enforced until they were reviewed by a judge and approved.

  510. 510
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Stillwater: I was trying to adduce possibly appropriate instances like, for instance, Indian reservations, where there are multiple overlapping sovereignties; maybe the Vatican would be a similar case. There are clearly parts of the map where sovereignty is at issue, and it doesn’t seem quite right that criminals could simply dig themselves into those and create their own special category to be beyond reach of law.

    And, again, as Mnemosyne pointed out, the Bush administration did something roughly as weaselly when they hit upon the expedient of Guantanamo.

  511. 511
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So now we’re stuck having dangerous people who are actively trying to harm us in a legal limbo where they’re not quite enemies but not quite criminals, and they’re exploiting that murky status.

    Look at this. “So now we’re stuck.” As if we used to do this all the time till the damn hippies started burning bras all over the place.

    Again—NY Times: “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”

  512. 512
    Big Southern says:

    patroclus, I see your point, and I do disagree with the broad application (obviously).

    I’d also like to again side with Stillwater at 499, especially that least sentence. The Boumeiene case involved bringing a non-citizen into a US jurisdiction against his will. This matter with al-Awlaki is an altogether different set of circumstances, and I wish the case brought forth by his father hadn’t been dismissed.

    Lastly, I’d like to thank Mnemosyne for taking the time to not read what was written. It doesn’t matter if I think al-Awlaki was more than a spiritual adviser that title was all we could pin on him.

  513. 513

    @Mnemosyne:

    Yes, and just one of the corrosive legacies George Bush et al left us to sort out to get back to some degree sane logic. And not have everything that is done be through the looking glass of that administrations criminal behavior and corruption of the very institutions the founders gave us to make those judgements.

    IMO, it is just as reactionary to straddle the war fence in order to torture interrogate captured prisoners on the wholesale of doing it because we can, and then adjudicate in the courts , when faced with what to do with people who have publicly joined an enemy you are officially at war with on a foreign battlefield, or lawless region where their armed compatriots hold sway over any semblance of rule of law and spend their days perfecting exploding underwear to bring down western airliners. And to argue that citizenship trumps that loaded gun aimed at our collective heads.

  514. 514
    Stillwater says:

    @Big Southern: Lastly, I’d like to thank Mnemosyne for taking the time to not read what was written.

    It’s sorta remarkable, isn’t it?

  515. 515
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    Here’s the crux of what’s wrong with your argument. You say “The presumption of innocence is inside of the court of law during the trial.” And you suggest that it exists ONLY there. But our system is based on presuming innocence before the trial and in the absence of a trial. You seem to be suggesting we presume guilt, and act on it, in the absence of a trial. On the contrary, our constitution EXPLICITLY forbids killing without due process.

    And if all of this had happened within the US, or within territories controlled (at least in name) by the US like Iraq and Afghanistan, I might agree with you. It did not. It happened within a sovereign country that the US does not control where it was impossible for us to have him extradited.

    I see that you also did not address the fact that al-Awlaki voluntarily left the country, publicly renounced his citizenship, and joined up with a group that he knew had publicly declared war on the US. Does none of that count at all? His intentions are meaningless, it’s only the US government’s actions that matter?

  516. 516
    Mnemosyne says:

    @vernon:

    Look at this. “So now we’re stuck.” As if we used to do this all the time till the damn hippies started burning bras all over the place.

    Er, no. What we’re “stuck” with is a weird legal limbo created by the Bush administration where people who would have been clearly classified as either criminals or enemy soldiers are stuck into an amorphous “enemy combatants” category where the government can just make up what they want to do as they go along. This “enemy combatant” designation is, in fact, something created by the Bush administration that did not exist before they created it.

    Reading comprehension is your friend.

  517. 517
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Big Southern:

    It doesn’t matter if I think al-Awlaki was more than a spiritual adviser that title was all we could pin on him.

    So, to clarify, in your opinion the AUMF does not apply to any member of al-Qaeda who was not specifically involved in planning the 9/11 attacks?

  518. 518

    And for those doubting the legality of Yemen, or any place else on earth as not being a “battlefield” for the declared war on Al Quaida, the UN respectfully disagrees, and for the first time, it actually “required” all member states to cooperate and fight AQ together, pretty much wherever they are.

    “1. Unequivocally condemns in the strongest terms the horrifying terrorist attacks which took place on 11 September 2001 in New York, Washington (D.C.) and Pennsylvania and regards such acts, like any act of international terrorism, as a threat to international peace and security; “2. Expresses its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims and their families and to the People and Government of the United States of America;
    “3. Calls on all States to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist attacks and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable; “4. Calls also on the international community to redouble their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts including by increased cooperation and full implementation of the relevant international anti-terrorist conventions and Security Council resolutions, in particular resolution 1269 of 19 October 1999; “5. Expresses its readiness to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and to combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations; “6. Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

  519. 519
    Amir Khalid says:

    Fascinating discussion. Glad to see a 500+ comment thread that hasn’t degenerated all the way into a flame war.

    I’m not even remotely qualified to comment on the legality/constitutionality of the USA killing its own citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, so I’ll hold my peace on that part. But as a practical matter, the government knew — and not just because al-Awlaki freely admitted it but, from its own intelligence gathering — that the man was fomenting and helping to organize terrorist acts against Americans on American soil.

    To my mind, al-Awlaki’s comparable to the Communist insurgents who were still fighting in the jungle here well into the 1970s, more than a decade after the official “end” of the Emergency in 1960. Few if any Malaysians had a problem with the military conducting operations against them on a regular basis. Because, even as ragtag remnants, they were still seeking the violent overthrow of the government and were still killing people. So I think that targeting al-Awlaki was perfectly justifiable as a practical measure.

  520. 520
    eemom says:

    I can’t wait for Cole or another FPer to opine on this matter so we can go through this whole shitstorm AGAIN.

  521. 521
    soonergrunt says:

    @eemom: Actually, it’s been kind of fun.

  522. 522
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: But what if those Malaysian insurgents escaped into, say, Inuit country in Canada? Should the Malaysian military be allowed to fire missiles into another country (or a zone within a country where the governing power is somewhat remote or limited) in the service of quelling the insurgency? That’s where things get slippery.

  523. 523

    @eemom:

    Don’t know if you remember, but if my memory serves, Cole did a mea culpa of sorts, that he would focus on the legality of things like this, and not so much mixing the moral with the legal. Maybe I am imagining that, but so far, he hasn’t weighed in one way or another. Could be cause he said he felt no regrets over Bin Laden getting whacked. The night is still young though, so we shall see.

    It was on this topic, a long time ago, I first found myself nailed to the BJ front page cross, under the banner of STUNNING HYPOCRISY.

  524. 524
    MBunge says:

    @vernon: NY Times: “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”

    And the threat posed by Al Qaeda is perfectly common and run of the mill.

    Mike

  525. 525
    Amir Khalid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Why, then they wouldn’t be insurgenting in Malaysia anymore, and the threat from them would be over. In any event the Malaysian military has never been deployed abroad except as part of a UN-sanctioned peacekeeping force. In the scenario you cite, I guess what our government would have done was seek the extradition of any stray tropical commies shivering amongst the Canuckistani Inuit. If it cared that much.

    A few former insurgents did actually settle in their spiritual motherland of the People’s Republic of China. It was never a big deal in our relations with the PRC.

  526. 526
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think the issue here is that critics of how Awlaki has been handled want to emphasize that what hasn’t been attempted enough is the kind of law-enforcement approach you imagine in my (far-fetched) parallel case. If the insurgents had retreated into China to plan further attacks, and the Chinese government wouldn’t cooperate with efforts to crack down on them, I don’t know what the world community would think about Malaysia firing missiles into the Chinese hinterland. Probably nothing good.

  527. 527
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    As for al-Alwaki, ordering attacks on the US made him an enemy of the state,

    And you know he did this because… the government told you so? The same government that killed him?

    Well, I’m so glad you live in the Land of the Free As Long As The Government Doesn’t Like You.

  528. 528
    The Raven says:

    And what is to prevent any future administration from declaring any of you “enemies of the state” and ordering you killed without a trial?

    We corvids are salivating.

  529. 529
    Amir Khalid says:

    @FlipYrWhig:
    Law-enforcement approach? You mean, al-Awlaki’s arrest and extradition? In the best of all possible worlds, yeah, the US should have asked its Yemeni counterpart to arrest him. But the Yemeni government wanted to do that, and it couldn’t; he was holed up where they couldn’t enforce their sovereignty. So not an option available to the Yemeni government, in practical terms; still less to the US government.

    Best of all worlds, yes, the US should have brought al-Awlaki back alive to stand trial, just as they should have brought Osama back alive. If there’s a question here, to me it’s whether the US made enough of a good-faith effort to do that. I simply don’t know if anyone outside the White House or the Pentagon could answer that.

  530. 530
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Amir Khalid: Agreed on all counts.

  531. 531
    soonergrunt says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: Well, there was the whole thing with him making videos and audio recordings bragging about doing these things, exhorting others to do these things, and stating that he would continue to do these things.

    @The Raven: I do hereby promise to NEVER move outside the US, renounce my US citizenship, join an organization that makes war on the US, repeatedly plot and carry out attacks against US targets, repeatedly brag about plotting and carrying out attacks against US targets, repeatedly encourage others to plot and carry out attacks against US targets, nor repeatedly state that I intend to plot and carry out future attacks against US targets.
    If they declare me an enemy of the state and kill me under any of those circumstances, ALL of which applied to Anwar Al-Awlaki, then you’ll know they’re full of shit.

  532. 532
    handsmile says:

    I realize this thread may be spooled out by now having generated much heat and some light for almost 12 hours.

    But at the moment there is an absolutely first-rate article at the Guardian that addresses a good many of the issues debated here, as well providing new details and overall context: “Anwar al-Awlaki death: US keeps role under wraps to manage Yemen fallout”: http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....laki-yemen

    Among the topics discussed: the role of the Yemeni and Saudi governments in sanctioning US actions in the region; the impact this drone strike may have upon the political/military unrest now roiling Yemen (a point I raised in comment #183 many hours ago); an eyewitness account of the strike itself; the likelihood that the mission was carried out by the secretive US Joint Special Operations Command; the separate roles and legal distinctions between the CIA and JSOC; and legal interpretations in support of or in opposition to this action by the US government upon one of its citizens.

    Much information to digest certainly, but a superbly written and edited article.

    I’d also recommend two related Guardian articles, written respectively by Michael Rattner, director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, and by General Wesley Clark.

  533. 533
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Amir Khalid: man, you all too thick.
    Offered a choice between troops on the ground or drones, the Yemeni gave Uncle Sam Imam Awlaki’s geo-loc, just like Pasha gave up OBL’s geo-loc in return for the US dialing back the droning long enough for Zardari to get reelected.
    But since we couldnt zactly drone 50 klicks from Islamabad, we had to fake a stealth helo mission with imaginary courier data.

    It will be interesting to see what happens to Our Ally Saleh now.
    Do you think he gets to go home from Saud and kick the shit out of his citizens somemore?

  534. 534
    Wee Bey says:

    531 posts later… This guy is still dead.

    And I’m still pleased.

  535. 535
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Wee Bey:

    531 posts later… This guy is still dead.

    comments dude, not posts.

    i shan’t defend him. He is no more a muslim than Khalid and OBL if he denies denied the First Pillar.
    And the AUMF says the hit was TOTALLY legal.

  536. 536
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: Just to be clear. You exalt Muqtada and his declarations to kill American troops in Iraq past a date.
    But you celebrate the death of this individual.

  537. 537
    Gerald McKee says:

    He made was against the US we killed him, He’s a traitor we killed him, He killed we killed him. I really don’t think anything else matters.

  538. 538
    Corner Stone says:

    Not even charged. With anything. Can’t even sustain a charge.

  539. 539
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Corner Stone: She is pro-death.

  540. 540
    Corner Stone says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    She is pro-death.

    Lots of commenters here seem to be.

    The burden of proof paradox seems to be an essentially crushing weight. Except it isn’t for some strange reason.

  541. 541
    slightly_peeved says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I think the issue here is that critics of how Awlaki has been handled want to emphasize that what hasn’t been attempted enough is the kind of law-enforcement approach you imagine in my (far-fetched) parallel case.

    Though what none of them seem to be address (bar Uncle Clarence Thomas, surprisingly) is that the law-enforcement approach was tried, in the proper fashion; he was tried in the court of the country in which he was residing, under their law. And they endorsed his capture dead or alive.

    Capturing him and bringing him to the U.S. to trial, when he had already been tried in Yemen, is in its own way a breach of the law-enforcement approach, because it presumes that US citizens are always subject to US law before they are subject to the laws of the country in which they are currently. Without an extradition treaty, it is in essence a kidnapping.

    He may not have got the fairest trial in Yemen, but these days the US can hardly talk on that score.

  542. 542
    Corner Stone says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Capturing him and bringing him to the U.S. to trial, when he had already been tried in Yemen, is in its own way a breach of the law-enforcement approach, because it presumes that US citizens are always subject to US law before they are subject to the laws of the country in which they are currently.

    Didn’t France recently essentially declare any convictions by a US court to be null?
    I’m semi remembering a situation where other countries basically said the US justice system was fucked and untrustworthy. And any convictions held no weight.

  543. 543
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: i do not exult. im just saying what will happen. Muqtada is making a proportionate response to the proselytizers, as the Noble Quran mandates.

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    /shrug
    death rawks and evolution rolls.
    :)

  544. 544
    OzoneR says:

    @Stillwater:

    How can he be guilty in the legal sense of the word – and the sense of the word which permits the state to use lethal force!

    the same way soldiers who we kill in a battlefield are “guilty”

  545. 545
    Samara Morgan says:

    @OzoneR: @Stillwater: look up the AUMF.

  546. 546
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    542 comments and you people are still leering, lawless and depraved, without even an understanding of the basic facts or the requirements of the Constitution, democracy, fairness or logical thought. And all fueled by a Cult of Personality, American Exceptionalism, Islamophobia, self-satisfied smugness, and an overdose of hypercowardice. The one thing that you cannot abide, which befits your supreme hypocrisy, is for other countries and non-state actors to act in exactly the same way against you and yours.
    .
    .

  547. 547
    Ron says:

    @Strandedvandal: I don’t think anyone is “defending” him but rather objecting to extra-judicial assassinations.

  548. 548
    Q.Q. Moar says:

    “It’s the actively despised part I well, despise.”

    Where is it that soldiers in this country are actively despised? Every ground pounder who catches a bullet in the ass gets a home-coming parade as a Purple Hearted Hero, and God protect you if you don’t agree that every volunteer-soldier-one-of-them isn’t a real American Hero.

    Sure, there may be a few liberal elites enclaves on the coasts and the Internet where Our Troops don’t get a regular tongue bath, but you seem to be all het up about a rather minimal amount of butthurt.

  549. 549
    Corner Stone says:

    IOKIYGDI

  550. 550
    Corner Stone says:

    The sheer just fucking disregard for common sense and common sense scepticism here is just fucked up.
    Really? The right wing nutters don’t trust the government to change their fucking light bulb style and the people here applaud the government assassinating someone with no sustained charge against them.
    WTF?

  551. 551
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas: the AUMF overrides the constitution. its how Bushco made Iraq and A-stan legal.

  552. 552
    Corner Stone says:

    And I wish that guy’s name was Arnold Alexson. Guess what would have happened after a rocket got jammed up his ass?

  553. 553
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Corner Stone: I didnt say i approved…i said it was legal. Congress passed a law legalizing preemptive defense.
    its called the AUMF.
    look it up.
    IOKIY are a ‘sline.
    :)

  554. 554
    Q.Q. Moar says:

    @Corner Stone: “…the some people here applaud the government assassinating someone with no sustained charge against them.”

    FTFY and “no sustained charge” is open to definition.

  555. 555
    THE says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    Offered a choice between troops on the ground or drones, the Yemeni gave Uncle Sam Imam Awlaki’s geo-loc, just like Pasha gave up OBL’s geo-loc in return for the US dialing back the droning long enough for Zardari to get reelected.

    Ah the conspiracy theories are multiplying in the enemy camp.

  556. 556
    Corner Stone says:

    @Q.Q. Moar:

    and “no sustained charge” is open to definition.

    It is?
    Where has he been charged in the US court system? I’m eager to hear alternative definitions.

  557. 557
    Corner Stone says:

    @Samara Morgan: Sad.

  558. 558
    eemom says:

    @handsmile:

    2 questions:

    (1) are the component parts of your nym hand smile or hands mile? Or Hand S. Mile? And WTF does it mean, anyway?

    (2) Why are you so obsessed with the Guardian? Is it really THAT good?

  559. 559
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    oh, you are deeply disturbed by this, aren’t you?

    You are so very profoundly upset by injustice of ANY kind, so intense is your empathy for your fellow humans.

  560. 560
    slightly_peeved says:

    Where has he been charged in the US court system? I’m eager to hear alternative definitions.

    He’s on Yemen soil. He is not subject to US law, he is subject to Yemen law – where he was charged, and where he was standing trial in absentia (and where, given the robust sense of justice in Yemen, not showing up for trial results in a ‘Wild West’ kind of response from the judiciary).

    Since there is no extradition treaty, the US has no standing to arrest Al-Awlaki and bring him to trial while he remains in Yemen. If they want to deal with Al-Awlaki in any way, it’s by negotiating an arrangement with the Yemen government. Somehow, given the ‘dead or alive’ order given by a judge in the trial of Al-Awlaki, I don’t think Yemen was planning on handing him over for a US trial.

  561. 561
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: I don’t expect you to understand. You’re on board for killing people trying to help starving Palestinians. I mean, you’re about the worst example of a human being anyone here has ever experienced.
    So, that’s cool.
    But I try to hold death warrants to a higher example than you have professed here multiple times.
    If there’s a sustained charge in US Courts then it should be blood simple for someone here to show it to us.
    If there isn’t, if we’re going to to take a Yemeni absentia court finding, or YouTube declarations, then that’s fine.
    Let’s just say that.

  562. 562
    Corner Stone says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Somehow, given the ‘dead or alive’ order given by a judge in the trial of Al-Awlaki, I don’t think Yemen was planning on handing him over for a US trial.

    Except that is exactly what they did.
    They gave him up to US drone coords. How do you think he’s dead now? Fortunata? He received his trial and summons.

  563. 563
    slightly_peeved says:

    Except that is exactly what they did.
    They gave him up to US drone coords.

    Knowing where he is, especially given the state of Yemen at the moment, doesn’t exactly mean the US could arrest him.

  564. 564
    THE says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How do you think he’s dead now? Fortunata?

    I think he was possibly identified by biometrics. Face, gait, body morphology, and a Bayesian learning network to bring it all together.

  565. 565
    eemom says:

    @Corner Stone:

    sooo-priiiiiize! You broke out that same old tired accusation, about which I have proven multiple times what a lying sack of shit you are, AGAIN. I so totally did NOT expect you would do that.

    You would be pathetic, if you were not so utterly despicable.

  566. 566
    Corner Stone says:

    @slightly_peeved: They never intended to. It was a kill order. Are you not tracking?

  567. 567
    Corner Stone says:

    @THE: He got sold. Come on man. There is no doubt.

  568. 568
    Corner Stone says:

    @eemom: munch…munch…munch…

  569. 569
    THE says:

    @Corner Stone:
    Perhaps you do not watch the technology like I do.
    It is entirely possible to photograph the whole of Yemen and find him.

  570. 570
    Corner Stone says:

    @THE: I’ll just add that Yemen knew where he was for a looong time. They gave him up.
    We didn’t scope his braggart walk on a training camp and ID him.
    Give me a break.

  571. 571
    THE says:

    @Corner Stone: You like your theory I like mine.

  572. 572
    slightly_peeved says:

    They never intended to. It was a kill order.

    There was no circumstance by which the US could have any judicial process for him, barring a violation of the existing Yemen judicial process. So what else do they do in that case?

  573. 573
    Mike Lamb says:

    @Phoenician in a time of Romans: Do you think the guy was innocent? Do you think it likely that the youtube videos, etc. were either a) fabricated and/or b) the product of a delusional mind (why else would someone admit to these acts if it weren’t true)?

    It seems to me that the argument raised by several in opposition to the assassination feel the need to argue that Al-Awlaki was an innocent (the arguments that we just don’t know because there wasn’t a trial strike me as flimsy–it appears many take a knee-jerk reaction that if the gov’t says something it must therefore be untrue.

    Process matters in this country. I understand that. But why can’t there be recognition that this wasn’t a person that was acting lawfully, while still arguing that the process should be respected?

    And having said that–what is the process worth? Arresting this guy would have likely lead to a number of deaths–probably US soldiers and Yemeni citizens, etc. So what is the process worth? Or is there no price? Because the idea that there was no justification for the assassination is, I believe, naive (and there have been some arguing in this thread that there is no justification for it). Which brings me back to the question of what is the process worth?

  574. 574
    FlipYrWhig says:

    It’s kind of interesting how many discussions here turn into a routine where some people say “I don’t like this one bit!” and other people say “So what do you think should have happened instead?” And then the first group says something and the second group says, “Actually, they did do that” or “Actually, that’s just not possible.” And then the first group starts talking about how the second group is apologists for empire or hegemony or complicity in something awful, and the second group starts talking about how the first group pats itself on the back a little too easily without ever knowing what it’s talking about. Maybe we can do it while talking about college football, gardens, and dogs, too.

  575. 575
    Corner Stone says:

    @THE: That’s fine. But your theory is nonsensical.
    The Yemen govt knew where he was for years. They refused to get him or give him. You’re off your rocker if you think the US sat mapped him and took him out with no local resource.
    It’s just silly.

  576. 576
    Corner Stone says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    So what else do they do in that case?

    How about they start by charging him?

  577. 577
    handsmile says:

    @eemom: #558

    Checking in here before turning in. I really do hope this thread sustains itself for 24 hours.

    Question 1) Thanks for the late-night chuckle. The “nym” is hand smile. Its origin goes back several decades to those halcyon undergraduate days of mine. An acquaintance proposed it as a synonymic alternative to my allegedly difficult-to-pronounce Scandinavian last name. It stuck.

    Question 2) Speaking with the zeal of a convert, I believe the Guardian is the finest English-language news organization. Each day’s reading offers writing of the highest standard, a depth of knowledge and sophistication, a breadth of coverage, and several delightfully offbeat stories. I consider myself not only better informed by reading it but in fact smarter for the effort. If your schedule permits you the time to read it, I hope and suspect you will find it to be worthwhile.

  578. 578
    THE says:

    @Corner Stone:
    I think power of AI is growing beyond most people’s capacity to believe. I think it’s possible that they had some intelligence from the ground to narrow down the search.

    But I think once you have target area, and it is subject to regular imaging, every person you see there will be routinely passed to the recognition software, to compare to a database of people of interest. Then if you find someone that looks like a possible hit, the other biometric parameters refine the ID.

    It’s just a variation of visual search. It’s is becoming more impressive by the day.

  579. 579
    soonergrunt says:

    @Stillwater: Having just seen this post, I can tell you that the level of proven guilt required by a court of law against an accused and the level of suspected guilt required by the executive acting in his roles as Director of Foreign Policy, Guarantor of National Security, and (subordinate to, and required by the first two) Commander in Chief are two entirely different things.
    It has been ever thus under the Westphalian system of nation-states and the various theories and concepts of statecraft that have evolved over the hundreds of years since.
    Al-Awlaki would have been protected under the constitution if he were inside the US under the laws and jurisprudence that grew out of that very constitution, particularly the 14th amendment. Since he chose to leave the US, his citizenship (and the fact that he renounced it, btw) are utterly irrelevant to the question of whether or not the government of the United States of America can or cannot shoot him with three Hellfire missiles from Predator drones in the Yemeni desert. Under the century+ of laws and legal precedents emanating from the 14th amendment to the constitution, the answer is unequivocally YES, he can be killed if the executive finds it is necessary to do so to end a clear and present danger to the security of the US or the safety of its citizens.

    All of the above comes from my Poly Sci studies as well as the points made by a couple of lawyer-types that I know. I could be wrong. That happened once, and may yet happen again.

  580. 580
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: LOL! Oh Spock, i suppose you believe in stealthy helos too. We have not solved bladeflash or rotor signature yet.
    The Yemenis gave him up when they needed to cash him in, just like the Paks gave up OBL when they needed to cash him in. And Imam Awlaki was in a vehicle, not doing a pimp walk in some camp when we whacked him.

    Why now? The Arab Spring. The Yemeni gov OFFERED him up.
    Why OBL last spring? Panetta agreed to dial back the droning long enough for Zardari to get reelected.
    You are the conspiracy theorist.
    KISS. Keep It Simple Stupid.
    Biometric pattern recog and stealth helo tech are still in development.

    Morally, sure, it was WRONG.
    Legally O had the right under the AUMF.
    @soonergrunt:

    the answer is unequivocally YES, he can be killed if the executive finds it is necessary to do so to end a clear and present danger to the security of the US or the safety of its citizens.

    well that and the fact that CONGRESS PASSED A FUCKING LAW so we can do that without being hauled into the International Courts.
    Otherwise pissed off islamic nations could be suing us for OIF and OEF, and for violating Pak sovereignity on OBL and droning Waziristan.

  581. 581
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Mike Lamb: lol.
    in case you havent figgered it out, no islamic nation IN THE WORLD will accept American boots on the ground for the next century or so.
    We HAVE to use drones and CIA/Xe.
    Its not like we have a choice.

  582. 582
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: oh bulshytt.
    i worked the technology, and its no where near robust enough.
    That is the “technology ” that kills school kids gathering firewood and wipes out wedding parties and prayer meetings.
    We drone because no sovereign islamic nation nation IN THE FUCKING WORLD is going to invite us in on the ground after the twin horrorshows of Iraq and A-stan.

  583. 583
    Samara Morgan says:

    Dumbass americancentric ‘slines.
    /spit

  584. 584
    THE says:

    You are out of date.

  585. 585
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: bulshytt.
    you are a technological fantasist.
    What is the reason we got Awlaki now? the Yemeni gov gave him up.
    What is the reason we got OBL last spring? The Paks gave him up.
    You might be from Oz, but you are just as much of a westerncentric tool as the rest of the ‘slines here.

  586. 586
    THE says:

    You are talking about a field that doubles in computational power every 18 months?

    You see it as black and white when it is not really like that. Reinforcement learning is a progressive gradual improvement. It grows out of the collaboration of humans and machines. The sheer volume of photoimaging data from systems like Gorgon’s Stare has forced the US to develop more advanced systems for classification. There are so many layers to the classification of data. Identifying faces, gaits, body morphologies, social connection patterns, voice where that is available, geographical patterns of activity.

    It’s not that human identification doesn’t play a part, it’s that the volume of data requires sophisticated strategies of human-machine collaboration to make the data-flood manageable.

  587. 587
    THE says:

    I am not a westerncentric tool.
    I am a Westerner and an Australian by choice.
    I chose my loyalty very carefully.

  588. 588
    B W Smith says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Read through this whole damn thing! Amazing! Then I get to your comment which sums this argument and almost every other BJ argument so perfectly, that I had to post a BRAVO to you, sir!

  589. 589
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: i see it as Occams razor.
    Yemen has known where Awlaki was since 2003. As long as he was there Saleh could suck the GWOT teat.
    Pak has likewise known where OBL was. What changed?
    The Arab Spring.
    Zardari’s gov was being destabilized by droning.
    Imran Khan was bringing Arab Spring style protests.
    So Pasha cashed in the OBL chip so Zardari could get re-elected.

    I chose my loyalty very carefully.

    me too. my loyalty is to the third culture and empirical data….and Science.
    :)

  590. 590
    Samara Morgan says:

    @FlipYrWhig: LOL! there is no discussion, just a lot of fools preening their ideological plummage for their peer groups.
    BJ is the lefthand mirror of Redstate and FOXnews.
    like Julian says, no one gives a fuck about the material.

  591. 591
    THE says:

    What changed? The Arab Spring.

    I’m sorry. I have no interest or faith in the “Arab Spring”.
    That is a solution that might have worked 40 years ago.
    When oil prosperity first arrived.
    It is far too late now.
    Now there is nothing but decline and decay.
    Faster in some places, slower in others.

  592. 592
    Samara Morgan says:

    @THE: dude, the Arab Spring is not a “solution”, its an EVOLUTION.
    did you miss the Arab Spring coming to Wall Street? you always tell me the economy is global.
    :)
    I know how to get rid of you….like Zeus chanting abraxas gallo gallo tse at les mouches, i just need one phrase.

    Death to the crusaders.

  593. 593
    THE says:

    It wasn’t the phrase. It was the context.
    You were gloating over the deaths of US soldiers.

    I don’t doubt you would gloat over the deaths of Australians too. We are also in Afghanistan.

    This time it was personal.

  594. 594
    THE says:

    did you miss the Arab Spring coming to Wall Street?

    If you understand that the way I do, you’d better hope it is wrong.
    ECRI is saying leading indicators are now flashing a US recession is imminent.

  595. 595
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    His intentions are meaningless, it’s only the US government’s actions that matter?

    Not at all. But an assessment of the U.S.’s conduct does not, and should not, imply any assessment of al-Awlaki’s conduct.

    I begin to wonder whether you’ve given ANY serious thought, ever in your life, to the traditions our legal system arose from. The maxim about the devil himself getting a fair trial was formulated precisely with the al-Awlakis of the world in mind. And it wasn’t formulated to protect them. It was formulated to protect and preserve decency and principal in the midst of great power.

  596. 596
    vernon says:

    @MBunge:

    And the threat posed by Al Qaeda is perfectly common and run of the mill.

    Right, because the rebel South, Nazi Germany, the USSR and every other threat we’ve faced in our history are dwarfed by the massive empire horde in the Afghan hills.

  597. 597
    vernon says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Reading comprehension is your friend.

    OK—I was reading you carelessly there; I apologize.

    Nevertheless you (and others) were writing as if the action re al-Awlaki were normal and precedented. E.g. “we haven’t captured and tried an enemy leader since Noriega”; “we essentially did this to traitors in WWII”; etc. My point stands.

  598. 598
    Corner Stone says:

    Oh hey,
    Secret U.S. memo sanctioned killing of Aulaqi
    “The document was produced following a review of the legal issues raised by striking a U.S. citizen and involved senior lawyers from across the administration. There was no dissent about the legality of killing Aulaqi, the officials said.”

    Well, at least I feel better now. A secret memo as the output where there was no dissent after a legal review by admin lawyers.

  599. 599
    Corner Stone says:

    ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said, “The targeted killing program violates both U.S. and international law. As we’ve seen today, this is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts. The government’s authority to use lethal force against its own citizens should be limited to circumstances in which the threat to life is concrete, specific and imminent. It is a mistake to invest the President – any President – with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country.”

    ACLU Statement on Killing of Anwar Al-Aulaqi

  600. 600
    Corner Stone says:

    “We few, we brave, we 600!”

  601. 601
    vernon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    ACLU Statement on Killing of Anwar Al-Aulaqi

    Hey, FUCK THEM, they’re just having a hissy fit along with Glenn Greenwald and the so-called Left. THEY ARE ALL RACIST.

  602. 602
    Corner Stone says:

    @vernon: ACLU and GG 2001 – 2008 = RELENTLESS HEROES
    2008 – Present = IRRELEVANT RACIST ASSHOLES

  603. 603
    Corner Stone says:

    US warns of retaliation following cleric’s killing
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says the killing of a U.S.-born cleric in Yemen has raised the risk of anti-American violence worldwide.

    The State Department says the death of Anwar al-Awlaki would provide motivation for individuals or groups to retaliate against U.S. citizens or American interests.”

    Well, if that don’t sound fucking convenient I don’t know what does.

  604. 604
    Mjaum says:

    Soonergrunt asks, essentially: “How many soldiers should if necessary be sacrificed for the constitution to be upheld?”

    According to the oath they swore: All of them. Every single one. For the US military, the constitution is a suicide pact. You have sworn to protect it with your life.

    I have some other points, but this thread is dead, and this is enough of a hand-grenade in the henhouse for now.

  605. 605
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mjaum: Not done yet.
    The amusing part is soonergrunt acknowledges that absolutely NO soldiers should die in Afghanistan.
    So his question is just rhetoric because he wants an outcome he doesn’t believe has any value.

  606. 606
    Paul in KY says:

    @virag: I try to never watch Fox News. I will take your word that they were giddy.

Comments are closed.