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Al-Awlaki taken out via drone

160 posts in this topic

 

 

So, We have it here first - Conqy thinks Barry's word is golden and infallible.. This is good precedent for future conversations.

 

Did he forget the sarcasm emoticon? He might have been baiting the "true believers" in the messiah (yourself not included) who predictably came in to condemn the government yet apportion no blame to the commander in chief. You can be sure that the killing of OBL and this guy will appear in the 2012 campaign and supporters of Obama will ignore any constitutional ramifications in the same way they were disinterested in Bill Clinton bombing an aspirin factory in Sudan or firebombing the Waco compound.

 

My recommendation would be to avoid publicizing such stories. If the PR does not further the cause, the events on the ground should not be denied, but there should be no formal announcements.

 

The drone operations should indeed inspire some reflection on what we are doing in the middle east/Asia, who or what we are fighting, and what measures are necessary. Considering that this reflection has been missing for most of the past 20 years, it would be unrealistic to expect a sudden change in attitude.

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Assassination seems to be completely acceptable by now. I just wonder why this shouldn't work vice versa as well and why senior US administration officials shouldn't equally be considered to be fair game? Given the amount of absolute BS we have been fed by our own governments over the past years I wouldn't accept the word of any government official at face value to condemn a dog.

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another member of Al-Qaeda gone? I sleep well at night...

 

Same here. Spent part of my childhood in the Middle East and witnessed first hand what such people are capable of.

The Western world took notice of their "violence" after September 11.

I don't feel sorry for terrorists when they are taken down.

 

Edit: typo*

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Same here. Spent part of my childhood in the Middle East and witnessed first hand what such people are capable of.

The Western world took notice of their "violence" after September 11.

I don't feel sorry for terrorists when they are taken down.

 

Edit: typo*

 

Such as saturation bombings of cities? I don't believe that "such people" are capable of anything more than what we in the Western world inflicted on each other and on others during the last century.

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From a legal standpoint? Yes, that would make a significant difference. What you call 'dogmatic', I call following the constitution.

 

Ahh, lovely - now respect for the constitution and the expectation that people who join a military force with an oath to serve said constitution take a risk to uphold it equals a disdain for the military.

 

No, getting him probably would have been difficult, it might have even been dangerous. None of these things make me believe we should invest in our executive, a man you often disdain, the ability to arbitrarily kill people without any due process or oversight whatsoever. I am glad you trust Obama so much, I do not.

 

Do I think he is a murderer? Not particularly, I guess in some esoteric sense of politicians who break rules to kill people conveiniently, but I do realize the difference between that and Ted Bundy. I don't think he has any respect for the constitution though, his support of the bush policies wiping their ass with the constitution and this have made me quite the opposite of me being a fan of his.

 

Why do you group me with someone who supports barry when I have on multiple occassions said I neither voted for him and think he is a shitty president? I have said that out of principle I would vote for someone who isn't Rick Perry, because unless Obama starts drinking the blood of 2 year old children on live TV I don't think he can come close to how bad a human being Perry is, but fortunately as a resident of Texas I can just abstain and it won't make any difference.

 

I had a longer and more thoughtful rebuttal but I was at the cottbus pauli game today and am quite drunk, to be continued tommorow as I am going out to the Kiez to get drunker - enjoy your evening ladies and gentlemen.

 

You have your particular interpretation of what the constitution says about al-Awlaki being taken out- that doesn't mean any military person has to support your interpretation unless it is determined to stare decsis. Constitutional scholar Barack Obama doesn't seem to agree with you- why don't you challenge him in federal court?

 

Don't worry about Perry- he won't be on the ticket.

 

Since you were inebriated when you posted this, I'll assume you don't really believe that "getting him [al-Awlaki] probably would have been difficult, it might have even been dangerous"- try nearly impossible given Yemen's geography and the protection afforded him by his tribe, and no doubt the legal dogmatists would have insisted that we get China and Russia's permission at the UN to do so first.

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Constitutional scholar Barack Obama doesn't seem to agree with you- why don't you challenge him in federal court?

Well if Super Barry says something it must be right, but I can't challenge him in court because I wouldn't have standing and the case would get dismissed, much like when his father sued the state - the courts generally jump at the easy way out to dodge political questions such as this in the case. However to completely ignore the fact that there could be a constitutional issue with allowing the president to murder summarily execute citizens without due process simply because it might be harder to give them due process is frightfully common and shows how little average Americans value freedom in actuality as opposed to some bumper sticker concept.

 

These questions should be posed, and even if the answer was that Super Barry's unquestionable legal interpretations were correct, the fact that so few people even seem to question it in the first place is quite frightening. But as kropotkin pointed out, I guess I shouldn't be surprised - it is about par for the course.

 

 

Don't worry about Perry- he won't be on the ticket.

Good, then I wont have to consider voting for Obama or whatever nutjob the libertarians round up this time around.

 

 

Since you were inebriated when you posted this, I'll assume you don't really believe that "getting him [al-Awlaki] probably would have been difficult, it might have even been dangerous"- try nearly impossible given Yemen's geography and the protection afforded him by his tribe, and no doubt the legal dogmatists would have insisted that we get China and Russia's permission at the UN to do so first.

I find it fairly hard to believe that if we could find him with a drone you wouldnt be able to get a team in there fairly quickly. But hey, if Dear Leader says it is in our best interests, why question him?

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It may not always be a matter of "not questioning it", rather after looking at the situation and viewing it as a part of war (let's be frank- we've had wars where there wasn't an official declaration of war by Congress). You don't try everyone you are fighting with in a war in a civilian federal court.

 

In the case of al-Awlaki's father's lawsuit being dismissed, in addition to a lack of standing it was a matter of the court realizing it had no business trying to usurp the power of the commander-in-chief to make command decisions using intelligence information, something that rightfully belongs in the executive branch. That's not, as you mischaracterize it, a mere matter of inconvenience or difficulty, and it's not an absolute authority, but neither can the judicial branch be considered to have the constitutional right to decide. Note also that al-Awlaki's attorneys in the paternal lawsuit admitted that lethal force could be used against al-Awlaki if he posed an imminent danger.

 

Drones are often used where it is either impossible or impractical to send in troops, so you shouldn't assume that, even assuming that 1) the intelligence was considered airtight, 2) Yemen would have given permission and that 3) al-Awlaki would not have been tipped off. If it was more or less impossible to use anything other than a drone, would that change your mind?

 

EDIT: it turns out that Al-Awlaki was taken out in a remote area of Yemen not under central government control, so not exactly the kind of place you want to send troops to arrest him. The Justice Department concluded the following in advising Obama (see http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/world/awlaki-strike-shows-us-shift-to-drones-in-terror-fight.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&hpw):

 

"The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel eventually issued a lengthy, classified memorandum that apparently concluded it would be legal to strike at someone like Mr. Awlaki in circumstances in which he was believed to be plotting attacks against the United States, and if there was no way to arrest him."

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I'm taking exception with the dogmatic insistence that the US government treat al-Awlaki as if he were an ordinary criminal suspect within the jurisdiction of the US.

 

The fact al-Awlaki is a US citizen isn't as relevant as you and cinzia seem to think it is- would the drone attack have been OK, IYHO, if he were not a US citizen?

 

Why should the fact al-Awlaki is an US citizen not be as relevant as they think? Is there some sort of two-tier citizenship that I'm not aware of that allows the government to assassinate said citizens without due process? As far as I'm aware, the constitution doesn't give you the option to kill citizens as an alternative to arrest just because it's tough to lay hands on them. And don't give me the "at war" line - who would the USA be at war with in this case? You can't declare war on an organization, regardless of bush's rhetoric otherwise. This seems like another straightforward case of the US moving away from the rule of law as a guiding governmental principle.

 

 

You have your particular interpretation of what the constitution says about al-Awlaki being taken out- that doesn't mean any military person has to support your interpretation unless it is determined to stare decsis. Constitutional scholar Barack Obama doesn't seem to agree with you- why don't you challenge him in federal court?

 

You're going to have to be explicit here. Are "military persons" not required to observe pretty obvious interpretations of the US constitution? I rather think they are. Just because he hasn't yet been challenged in court is no evidence at all that he is acting correctly here.

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Well I for one will not miss him however the street hookers in San Diego might. So does the Koran say it's ok to get your knob polished by prostitutes or was this guy a hypocrite as well as a war/whoremonger? Just askin.

 

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/buster/terrorism/anwar-al-awlaki-hookers-874910

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I knew Saudi Arabs at Uni in the 80s. The first thing they wanted to do was get whores, booze and some coke and then party. 'Hypocrites' would be an understatement.

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Also my experience, having worked in the region. The border to the adjacent countries are busy on a Friday evening...

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Flying between Sharjah and Manama one Wednesday ("Friday" in Saudi), our account manager pointed out the large quantity of, erm, "businesswomen" who were making the same trip, in order to service the demand for "free and frank exchange of views". In his opinion, it's fuelled by the Saudi "ban everything" attitude, rather than educating people the difference between right and wrong. (His words/judgement, not mine.)

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It may not always be a matter of "not questioning it", rather after looking at the situation and viewing it as a part of war (let's be frank- we've had wars where there wasn't an official declaration of war by Congress). You don't try everyone you are fighting with in a war in a civilian federal court.

Except we aren't at war, war can be declared only through sovereign states. Under this rhetoric we could use a drone to take out bodie and poot in the baltimore projects because they are in the war on drugs. The fact that politician markets political action as a 'war' does not make it a war from a legal standpoint. I know we thew this away with the 'enemy combatant' nonsense, but once we start doing it to our own citizens it does bring up legal questions. And it is a matter of not questioning it, most of America doesn't even conceptualize there could be a question. Even here, people like you who should know better attack those who question this action as being "disdainful of the military".

 

 

In the case of al-Awlaki's father's lawsuit being dismissed, in addition to a lack of standing it was a matter of the court realizing it had no business trying to usurp the power of the commander-in-chief to make command decisions using intelligence information, something that rightfully belongs in the executive branch.

They avoided it for political reasons. They certainly have business addressing constitutional questions of the presidents power to arbitrarily execute citizens without having to justify it except to say "its top secret, but trust me, he had to die". But yes, unfortunately in post 9/11 legislation the executive can hide behind the veil of national security and justify pretty much whatever rights abuses it wants by saying if it actually had to explain its actions we would all die in a fiery jihad.. Convenient.

 

 

That's not, as you mischaracterize it, a mere matter of inconvenience or difficulty, and it's not an absolute authority, but neither can the judicial branch be considered to have the constitutional right to decide.

I think it is perfectly right and proper for the judiciary to be able to judge if it is constitutional for the executive to issue arbitrarily execution warrants, especially as it would at least require the same requirements as suspension of habeas corpus, which have not been met. I suppose one could say the congress had the responsibility to be the check on that matter, but since the judiciary tends to avoid these questions on political grounds the far more politically enslaved congress would never touch it - which is why Ron Paul is about the only politician with any principle who has the tamrity to actually stick up for the values that America once claimed to represent in this issue.

 

 

Note also that al-Awlaki's attorneys in the paternal lawsuit admitted that lethal force could be used against al-Awlaki if he posed an imminent danger.

From a legal standpoint, imminent danger is likely interpreted quite literally (much like imminent lawless action is interpreted). If he was in the cockpit of a plane flying towards a building, that means they can shoot him down. If he is a continent away thinking of how to put someone in a cockpit and send him at a building, that is not imminent danger. Of course it is a moot point because now the government can just *claim* we are in danger and kill whoever they want. We can't of course tell you why, but trust us - it was for your own good.

 

Move along citizen, nothing to see here.

 

 

Drones are often used where it is either impossible or impractical to send in troops, so you shouldn't assume that, even assuming that 1) the intelligence was considered airtight, 2) Yemen would have given permission and that 3) al-Awlaki would not have been tipped off. If it was more or less impossible to use anything other than a drone, would that change your mind?

The ease or difficulty of apprehending a criminal will do nothing to assuage the discomfort I have with the widespread assessment of the ability of our government to arbitrarily remove due process and execute people, so no, I likely wouldn't change my mind.

 

 

"The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel eventually issued a lengthy, classified memorandum that apparently concluded it would be legal to strike at someone like Mr. Awlaki in circumstances in which he was believed to be plotting attacks against the United States, and if there was no way to arrest him."

Generally it is kind of the job of the Justice Department to come up with legal justifications for the president's actions.

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Well if we've decided it's OK for the US government to execute people it believes are a threat without any form of trial or justice longer term it will be a negative. This time it's Al-Quida but who knows.

 

First they came for those they described as terrorists...

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So his life and principle is more sacred than those lives lost at Fort Hood at the hands of one of his followers (plus we don't know how many more motivated by him in the past and those that may have been in the future)?

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Yes, but is his death a positive or negative for all concerned?

 

For the war on terrah its probably a positive, and most people are probably not losing any sleep over the plesant fact he is rotting in tiny little charred pieces... but for the constitutional concerns and the ramifications of yet another unquestion erosion of civil liberties? I would say that is a negative thing.

 

 

So his life and principle is more sacred than those lives lost at Fort Hood at the hands of one of his followers (plus we don't know how many more motivated by him in the past and those that may have been in the future)?

 

Inspiring people is to do things does not mean the government can arbitrairly kill you. Bye that precedent we should be able to call in a drone strike on Jodi Foster for inspiring John Hinkley to shoot Ronnie...

 

But yes, civil rights should be held more sacred than the satisfying pleasure of bloody justice. It has nothing to do with his life but rather our supposed values as a nation, especially one that likes to beat its chest about freedom and liberty and such without the majority of us having a clue about what those concepts really mean.

 

The bottom line is, no matter how much of a scumbag someone is, they still deserve due process - because although no one might shed a tear that this asshole is dead, every abuse of the constitution lays the foundation for the next abuse of the constitution - and eventually they might start abusing it for people who are not so universally loathed. Its a constant danger of a system that is built on legal precedent and one that is right and altogether proper to question.

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If we want to sell the ideals of liberty and justice for all we should be strong enough to actually promote them. For without them are we really any better than those who we oppose?

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I knew Saudi Arabs at Uni in the 80s. The first thing they wanted to do was get whores, booze and some coke and then party. 'Hypocrites' would be an understatement.

 

We had a Pakistani at college (in the States that is). He used to call women who wore make up and dresses, "whores" and one time he got into trouble with our law professor cause he also called her a whore. He later told people on the campus that all the "infidels" will pay with their lives for living as infidels. He said the religious believers will start a "jihad" against the West. This was in 1996.

p.s. I privately told him to go f himself.

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