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The Obama administration has authorized the killing of an American citizen in Yemen

May 13, 2010

  The Obama administration authorized the killing by the CIA of Anwar al-Awlaki– an American born radical Muslim who is now believed to be hiding in Yemen. Awlaki has been preaching that it is a moral obligation and a religious duty for Muslims to attack the United States. Because the CIA has targeted him for death he no longer has the constitutional protections guaranteed in the constitution. There was no judicial review in this case, he was targeted for death by the CIA and Barack Obama has authorized his killing.

  Make no mistake about it, I have no problem with the CIA targeting Awlaki for death and I give kudos to the Obama administration for authorizing his killing– Awlaki has made it his goal to wage war and to condone and recruit people to wage war against the United States; he has forfeited his rights as a citizen of the United States. But not everyone sees it this way.

  The Obama administration is coming under fire from the far left for this decision. They claim that it is un-American to target this man for death based on top secret information and without the benefit of a trial by jury.

  Here is some of the fallout from this decision:

“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.”

  We are entering a grey area here. What is the difference between Anwar al-Awlaki and Faisal Shahzad– the failed Times Square bomber? After all, Faisal Shahzad is also an American citizen who tried to wage war on American soil. Yet Shahzad was granted his rights under the constitution and read his rights. Both men have decided that America must be attacked; Anwar al-Awaki is trying to entice Muslims to fight against the United States, while Faisal Shahzad actually carried out an attempted attack– with the help of the Taliban– that would have been successful if the bomb had exploded, and he was probably influenced by al-Awaki. The most obvious difference is the fact that Shahzad was an American on American soil while al-Awaki is an American hiding overseas. Yet al-Awaki is not in the war zone and is not actively fighting against the United States. Shouldn’t he then be targeted for arrest, read his rights, and then given a fair trial by jury. This is the argument that the left will make.

  I do not have a problem with the handling of the Shahzad case to this point. I understand fully that as a United States citizen who was arrested on American soil he will receive the full rights granted in the United States constitution, including the reading of those rights. But the news that Anwar al-Awaki has been denied those rights has got to draw fire from the far left in this country, after all Barack Obama railed against President Bush and his war policies during the campaign and promised to end the controversial policies of the Bush administration, yet now he is willing to target an American citizen for death with no trial by jury and no reading of his Miranda rights.

  This is the conundrum that Barack Obama finds himself in because of the promises he made to the left to bring the war to a quick ending, to end the Bush administration’s “un-American” policies, and to wage a smarter and more humane war against our enemies. He has nobody to blame but himself for the controversy which may arise from the government’s authorization to kill one of her own citizens.

  Again, I agree with both the targeted killing of al-Awaki and the handling of Shahzad after his arrest, but the left has to be wondering what is going on here. Is this what they voted for when they went to the polls and voted for the most anti-war candidate that they could find?

  Barack Obama made promises that he could not keep–  promises that he knew he could not keep, but many people bought into them and there will be many people on the left who feel that Barack Obama is no better than George W Bush for his authorization of the assassination of al-Awaki. Or at least there should be; if the left condones the authorization of the assassination of an American citizen without a trial it will prove once and for all that they are nothing more than hypocrites when it comes to the war on terror.

  The legal wrangling has begun, it will be interesting to see which politicians who opposed George W Bush’s handling of the war on terror come out to defend Barack Obama’s decision to allow the killing of an American citizen in Yemen.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    May 13, 2010 11:19 pm

    I’ve got a hard time believing that there were no Americans in German uniforms in WWII.

    I also don’t know where in the Constitution citizens are afforded rights denied others.

    If an American citizen holds himself outside the reach of our law and advocates the overthrow of the US government by force, shall we go through the mockery of trying him in absentia?

    I’m certainly not far left, and I don’t see anything wrong with what the President’s doing.


    • May 13, 2010 11:28 pm

      Yes, there were German-Americans who went home and fought against the United States for germany, and they were not granted rights under the constitution when they were caught. Neither should al-Awaki.
      I agree with the president on this issue, I am just interested to see how the left reacts to this news considering what he promised during the election. Certainly the left would be against this news, wouldn’t they?


    • May 13, 2010 11:31 pm

      I think that the founders just assumed that everyone understood that the rights granted under the constitution only applied to citizens of the United States and felt in unneccessary to put that into print.


  2. The Georgia Yankee permalink
    May 13, 2010 11:21 pm

    To clarify – I know that the Constitution restricts membership in the Congress to citizens, but the right to due process is granted to all persons, not just citizens.


  3. May 14, 2010 10:46 pm

    Steve, I don’t know that the Constitution makes a differentiation of where a person physically is located. If Anwar al-Awlaki is a citizen, he should be arrested, tried, and, if found guilty, executed for treason.


  4. May 15, 2010 6:17 pm

    Personal opinion: If you take up arms against this nation in the uniform, or under the banner of the enemies OF this nation, the cross-hairs need to be place on YOUR forehead!

    Click — BOOM — AMF… 😈



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