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Al-Awlaki taken out via drone

160 posts in this topic

 

I've already stated there are various circumstances when you could kill someone without due process, and they are generally imminent danger - and imminent danger is a pretty strict criteria that does not mean 'he was recruiting terrorists'. Police are allowed to use deadly force in self defense or to quell an imminent danger. They cannot just shoot people from afar if they think they are planning a crime.

 

I'd be happy for a constitutional body to consider various circumstances but the executive is saying this circumstances cannot be examined because our national security would fall apart - effectively shielding them from all questions.

 

Do you know that he did? No you didn't - and yet you are defending and justifying the government's actions as vehemently as I am opposing them. Given the fact that he was in Yemen and no where near American soldiers, however, I am finding myself at somewhat of a loss to even construct a fantasy scenario in which he could have been considered to be posing an imminent danger however. I suppose if he had a doomsday weapon aimed at Washington and we took him out right before he pushed the button, that would be an imminent danger. Otherwise, pretty hard to imagine from that distance. The criteria set from federal law enforcement rules doesn't just mean he is going to do something bad at some point in the future.

 

I would call the removal of due process of citizens and the precedent that the executive doesn't have to offer any actual justification of this to any other branch of the government or the public a far greater concern than warrentless wiretaps, and that is being said as someone who views such wiretaps as an anathema to the constitution.

 

No, he hasn't commited treason or bribery and exceeding executive power isn't a high crime or misdemeanor, per se. I also think the people crying for Bush's impeachment didn't have any grounds to do so other than "I don't like the guy".

 

Intelligence information, esp. sources and methods, does have to be protected, and can get stale quickly. How would you overcome that in coming up in designing a system to review such actions? Inevitably, judgement by the President with advice from his advisors is going to be necessary to make decisions.

 

The point about police shooting ordinary criminal suspect in certain circumstances is that you apparently consider al-Awalki an ordinary criminal suspect. He could very well pose a danger from afar- ask the folks at Fort Hood. If al-Awlaki had only been a Yemeni citizen, would it then have been acceptable to kill him?

 

At the end of the day, LP, your claim of a removal of due process presumes the government was lying just so it could kill him. Do you really think Barack Obama ordered an individual killed who did not pose that sort of danger? That defies reason.

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I am quite sure they do make distinctions, and yes, targeting military personnel in a public place in Germany is certainly "out of bounds".

 

LP-this is an example of what disdain for the military produces.

 

No, it's an example of American military and CIA disdain for the civilian population in whatever we designate a "war zone."

 

Conquistador, if "terrorists" can be designated "enemy combatants" by the US and targeted/captured wherever they happen to be at any given moment, it's pretty rich to say that it's out of bounds for the same "enemy combatants" to target uniform-wearing American soldiers wherever THEY happen to be at any given moment.

 

I'm not disdainful to our uniformed military personnel or unsympathetic to their situation. But that's the position that their own government has put them in.

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Clearly US military and civilian targets, wherever they may be, are not 'out of bounds' as far as the terrorists are concerned. Therefore, the terrorists are also not out of bounds wherever they are.

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Can't have it both ways, I agree.

 

At the same time, it's appropriate for US citizens to demand more accountability from the government when it comes to unilateral decisions to kill US citizens, whether they're conveniently branded a "terrorist" or not.

 

To make such demands is not to accuse the government of lying, any more than holding a trial for anything else is tantamount to accusing the defendant of lying. You can call it "trust, but verify," if you want. Others have.

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Intelligence information, esp. sources and methods, does have to be protected, and can get stale quickly. How would you overcome that in coming up in designing a system to review such actions? Inevitably, judgement by the President with advice from his advisors is going to be necessary to make decisions.

If it gets stale quickly then there should be independant judiciary reviews after the fact to address the very real questions of the power of the president to unilaterally and without a check suspend a right enumerated in the United States constitution.

 

 

The point about police shooting ordinary criminal suspect in certain circumstances is that you apparently consider al-Awalki an ordinary criminal suspect. He could very well pose a danger from afar- ask the folks at Fort Hood.

An imminent danger? Even if he inspired the Fort Hood shootings, even if he told the dude to do it that still wouldnt fit within any reasonable definition of imminent danger. The fact that we are now considering encouragement to comment crimes as a right to kill someone without due process is part of why this is so scary, the mental gymnastics people will do to feel comfortable with the trampling of a document they would otherwise trump as so important.

 

Lets not forget he was put on a Target Killing List, which means he is KOS.. He had been on that list since what, july of last year? Hard to believe someone can be an imminent danger for so long, I guess we can redefine the word imminent..

 

 

If al-Awlaki had only been a Yemeni citizen, would it then have been acceptable to kill him?

If he was a Yemeni citizen in Yemen then the legal questions certainly would have been differently, and if my uncle had a vagina he would be my aunt.

 

 

At the end of the day, LP, your claim of a removal of due process presumes the government was lying just so it could kill him. Do you really think Barack Obama ordered an individual killed who did not pose that sort of danger? That defies reason.

Yes, I do think Obama ordered an individual killed who did not pose imminent danger. It was likely beneficial to the war on terrah, like many Americans he is willing to sacrifice our souls for safety. The frightening part isn't this instance, I could not possibly care less about this asshat as a person, but everything in law and politics is precedent and this is just one of many many precedents of what we are willing to give up for the illusion of safety.

 

 

Clearly US military and civilian targets, wherever they may be, are not 'out of bounds' as far as the terrorists are concerned. Therefore, the terrorists are also not out of bounds wherever they are.

 

Ahh, the lower ourselves to their level argument. Clearly strapping C4 on children and sending them into US military targets is not out of bounds as far as the terrorists are concerned, therefore we should do the same to them.

 

Seriously, dutch aiports suck..

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Cinzia,

How would this work in practise? The CIA find them, there's a senate hearing or a national vote on whether or not it's appropriate to kill him or bring him back to the US for trial, there's an appeal by the ACLU, it goes through the courts and finally 10 years later there's a ruling by which time the target has died of old age?

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If he was a Yemeni citizen in Yemen then the legal questions certainly would have been differently...

 

He was.

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Ahh, the lower ourselves to their level argument. Clearly strapping C4 on children and sending them into US military targets is not out of bounds as far as the terrorists are concerned, therefore we should do the same to them.

 

Let's twist that argument into a strawman.

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Cinzia,

How would this work in practise? The CIA find them, there's a senate hearing or a national vote on whether or not it's appropriate to kill him or bring him back to the US for trial, there's an appeal by the ACLU, it goes through the courts and finally 10 years later there's a ruling by which time the target has died of old age?

 

Well he had been on the targeted killing list for over a year, so there was plenty of time to get a legal decision on it if the courts wouldn't refuse to hear it.

 

Unfortunately living in a Constitutional Republic is at some times less convenient than being a terrorist.

 

 

He was.

 

No, he was an American citizen as well. As far as the American government is concerned, you are always a US citizen, even if you have dual citizenship.

 

 

Let's twist that argument into a strawman.

Your argument was they can do it, so should we. It wasn't a strawman, it was a direct application of your logic.

 

Terrorists and governments act on different sets of rules based on the fact that only one of the two has any sort of legitimacy, which is one of the reasons there is never an actual war against them.

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We were talking about being 'out of bounds'. I wasn't talking about using the same methods to attack.

 

The terrorists target civilians and military with impunity anywhere in the world they are able to. We should be able to do the same (to the terrorists).

 

If some nutcase is planning on killing me I sure as hell expect my government to take all necessary steps to prevent that (including taking out said nutcase if that is the most sensible option).

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The problem with that is that, unlike terrorists, we have to deal with issues of other countries sovereignty and the fact that our citizens don't cease to be citizens when they leave our borders.

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The action was supposedly in cooperation with the Yemenis (who were also hunting him), so I don't see how that applies in this case.

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That's another good one. I have heard arguments made that Awlaki couldn't have been captured in a country with no functioning government as an excuse for not attempting to capture him:

 

 

Anderson says in the legal analysis, the place where a target is located matters too.

 

"[The government's] standard is we're not going to be targeting somebody in London or Paris or someplace that's got the effective rule of law," Anderson says.

 

But by hiding in Yemen, Awlaki couldn't be served with a subpoena or easily taken into custody, putting himself in a different category.

And yet, somehow at the same time, our government is working "in cooperation" with the Yemeni "government" in this operation. Which is it? Do the Yemenis have a government for the US to cooperate with, or not? If not, with whom is the CIA cooperating?

 

 

How would this work in practise? The CIA find them, there's a senate hearing or a national vote on whether or not it's appropriate to kill him or bring him back to the US for trial, there's an appeal by the ACLU, it goes through the courts and finally 10 years later there's a ruling by which time the target has died of old age?

 

MrNosey, I guess it's natural that an American would have more respect for the principles of the American legal system than someone who spells "practice" with an "s," but yes, we do expect legal channels to be followed, especially in the absence of imminent danger.

 

The US government is not claiming imminent danger in Awlaki's killing.

 

You won't find many Americans complaining that other terror suspects, such as the "underwear bomber" whom Awlaki is said to have "inspired," are still awaiting trial. (Jury selection begins today in his case, by the way. He's Nigerian, and has received better treatment through our justice system than Awlaki, even though he was in the act of attempting an attack on American soil when captured.)

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In this case it applies with the fact that our citizens are still citizens even if they are in another country they hold dual citizenship in.

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Cinzia,

Personal insults? Tut, tut.

 

Unconventional warfare demands unconventional methods.

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You think that pointing out you're a Brit is an insult? That says more about you than about me, I'm afraid.

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No, it was a spelling mistake. I've been in D too long.

 

Anyway, we come from different political cultures. It was our man who said "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf" but Tom Cruise who shot that one down as being unacceptable. ;)

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I prefer our man who (maybe, depending on which history you believe) said "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

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Also, Tom Cruise has never been an elected US official, as far as I know. ;)

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