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Friday, September 30, 2011

American citizen killed without trial

Remember when Republicans said Obama was "soft on terrorism."

Here is the response:

First, the US has killed more suspected high level members of al-Qaeda using predator drone strikes in President Obama's first three years than we did under President Bush did in eight years.

Second, President Obama drew down troops in Iraq and ordered a surge of troops in Afghanistan in order to increase the odds of victory there so that we can get out in the next two years.

Third, Obama created the team and the authorized the specific mission that killed Usama bin Laden (UBL).

Now, the news media report that a major al-Qaeda operative in Yemen has been killed by the US. This guy, Anwar al-Awlaki, was directly inolved not only in 9/11 but also reportedly counseled subsequent attackers including the Fort Hood shooter and the "underwear bomber" among others.

The only problem is, he was an American citizen. And he was killed without trial.

I am not saying this is right or wrong, only that it is an issue worth addressing. And yet, in this story in the mainstream press, there is no mention of it. Yes, they say he was an American citizen, but they do not even raise the issue of what are the implications for Constitutional rights in the war on terrorism.

(For the record, I did write a letter to the editor calling on President Obama to respect the Constitutional rights of all Americans in such cases, which would require capturing Americans suspected of terrorism and giving them trials, assuming they were not killed during capture).

However you feel about the issue--frankly, I can see both sides of the argument--it is still sad that we are sacrificing certain rights in order to achieve victory in this war.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” -- Benjamin Franklin, 1755

And not a word about it in the press.


  1. Well, I am sure that they have been looking for him, but it would be very difficult to send in an arrest team. He did not surrender, so he still could be considered dangerous. It appears that he was part of a convoy of armed men. I can easily see the justification. He is an enemy combatant. We had a whole Civil War, where American citizens were killed in combat. He was definitely a step above a street criminal.

    We have gotten ourselves into a quandary. How do we stop killing the new top Al Qaida leaders? There is always another to take his place.

  2. Why didn't he voluntarily turn himself in? He knew he was wanted. He knows as an American his constitutional rights. He could have went on trial and garnered great publicity for his organization and become the martyr they so desire. I guess being a media martyr is not the same as being traditional martyr.