All rejoice, Anwar al- Awlaki Is Dead!

by Jenifer

Anwar Al-Awlaki was an American citizen. There is no declared war with Yemen and he was not a combatant but a preacher. He deserved a trial, like any American citizen. If they wanted him, they should have gone in, got him, brought him back and let him face a jury of his peers. Extra-judicial killings are reprehensible, but in times of war they happen as collateral damage. But to target a US citizen for execution without a trial is simply unconstitutional and on that basis alone the responsible parties in the government should be held accountable.

If we let our right to free speech, or to a trial go by the wayside in this unending war against a few terrorists, we are giving up the very values we are trying to defend. At least the Bush administration brought people to Guantanamo for some kind of hearing, which was better than the killing campaign that the Obama administration is conducting. It seems convenience and cost effectiveness has become the rule of the day in modern warfare. This is a very slippery slope. Are we to execute all murder suspects simply because it is more cost effective than to hold a trial and keep them incarcerated?

An interesting article examining a photo from the period when al-Awlaki was an Imam at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, close to Mclean, VA, home of the CIA (they are approx. 5 miles apart).

From BagNews

“al-Awlaki: What’s Wrong with this Picture?
By Michael Shaw

I am especially interested in this photo (below) — and the opportunity for us to study it and think about it — since the Administration “predator-droned” Anwar al-Alwaki into the ground last Friday. (Yes, going forward, I recognize “predator drone” as a verb.)

First, let’s consider the caption from TIME’s “Anwar al-Awlaki in the United States” slideshow (keeping in mind — regardless of any ambiguity in that title — that al-Awlaki was born and raised an American).

The caption reads:

Patricia Morris (left) and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki stand inside Dar al Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia in 2001. In Virginia, al-Awlaki served as imam of the mosque from 2001-2002, while pursuing a doctorate at George Washington University and serving as the school’s Muslim chaplain. Morris organized a vigil of solidarity at the mosque, in the weeks following the September 11 attacks.”  Source

Obituary in Guardian.UK

“Anwar al-Awlaki, who has been killed at the age of 40 by missiles fired from an American unmanned drone in Yemen, was an effective propagandist for radical Islam and a key figure in the dissemination of the message of al-Qaida and related groups. With his fluent English, grasp of contemporary western culture and ability to condense esoteric theological debates into simple arguments, the Yemeni-American dual-national citizen was able to act as a real and virtual mentor to large numbers of young Muslims around the world attracted by the ideology of violent extremism.

Awlaki was born in New Mexico, while his father, from a prominent Yemeni family, was studying agriculture there on a scholarship. His family returned to Yemen in 1978 and Awlaki lived in the capital, Sana’a, until finishing his secondary education. He then returned to the US, where he attended colleges in Colorado and San Diego, gaining degrees in education. In 1993 he travelled to Afghanistan, then in the depths of the chaotic civil war between former mujahideen factions which had followed the withdrawal of Soviet forces. The Taliban had not yet been formed, and it is unclear which group Awlaki was with and what he did during his time there. He married on his return to the US, where he took up a post as an imam at the Rabat mosque in San Diego.”

Source

Does this sound like a CIA operative? It does to me. The lack of clarity about what he did in Afghanistan makes that a distinct possibility. Does this mean he was an asset that went rouge?

Huffington Post:

“WASHINGTON – The United States government killed an American citizen in Yemen on Friday in hostile action, despite not having declared war on the country or charging the citizen, American-born Anwar al-Awlaki, with a crime.

American officials added al-Awlaki two years ago to a list of targets whom the military is authorized to kill, a move that raised the consternation and concerns of many civil liberties groups.

“For two years since Awlaki has reportedly been added to a kill list, the administration has made a lot of statements to the press but has presented no evidence to a court,” said Ben Wizner, the National Security Project Litigation Director at the ACLU. “There’s a distinction between allegations and evidence that’s pretty critical here. Our argument isn’t that you need to go to a court just to make the claim that he is an imminent threat, but placing someone on a kill list for months or years seems fundamentally inconsistent with the legal definition of `imminent,’ and so there’s really no reason why a judicial role can’t happen here.””

Source

NY Daily News:

by Rep. Ron Paul

President Obama apparently believes he is not bound by the Constitution or the rule of law. When it was reported that Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by U.S. drone strikes in Yemen last week, certainly no one felt remorse for his fate. Awlaki was a detestable person we believe helped recruit and inspire others to kill Americans through terrorist acts.

Awlaki was a U.S. citizen. Under our Constitution, American citizens, even those living abroad, must be charged with a crime before being sentenced. As President, I would have arrested Awlaki, brought him to the U.S., tried him and pushed for the stiffest punishment allowed by law. Treason has historically been judged to be the worst of crimes, deserving of the harshest sentencing. But what I would not do as President is what Obama has done and continues to do in spectacular fashion: circumvent the rule of law.

Source

Christian Science Monitor:

“The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen this week again raises questions about the legal authority under which the US Government can target its own citizens for assassination.

Does it skirt the right of legal due process guaranteed under the US Constitution? Or in a time of what has been called the “global war on terror,” is the killing of those urging attacks on their fellow Americans in the name of Islamic jihad a justifiable act of self-defense?

The American-born radical cleric Awlaki – a recruiter for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula said to have inspired alleged Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan and other homegrown Islamic terrorists – was killed in a US drone strike Friday. Also killed in the attack was American-born Samir Khan, editor of Al Qaeda’s English-language magazine “Inspire.””

Source

And so it goes. The liberal media wrings its hands and ultimately justifies the president’s actions after an appropriate period of mourning for the late, and belated Bill of Rights enshrined, supposedly in the Constitution of the USA. Unfortunately unless it has to do with the right to bear arms (a pair of grizzly bear arms mounted on the wall would be nice), there simply is not a powerful enough lobby to make a difference in what gets preserved and what goes by the wayside.

Once the Tea Party and the corporate lawyers are done the only thing left will be the right to commerce and commerce law with some right to bear arms as a bone thrown to the gun freaks out there. The right to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers, long gone, the right to free speech, blown up by drone attacks, the right not to incriminate yourself, tortured out of the last defendant, and so it goes, with the incessant so called war on terror, replacing the more anemic war on drugs, and the very robust war on communism, we have a perpetual war state which justifies itself by creating bogeymen as needed. A compliant media provides the hoopla required and we have a police state masquerading as a democracy.

Welcome to the world George Orwell predicted. This has become such a cliché it doesn’t really even rate mentioning. How to get across to the masses of Americans that their rights are being trampled upon? Perhaps that is not the correct question. Most people by now understand what is happening, it is either that they don’t believe it, or like in a sit-com on TV they just hope Big Brother is a good guy and/or won’t hurt little old them as long as they keep their nose to the grindstone and don’t make waves.

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