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September 30, 2010

Comments

Ignatz

--The only reason we are thinking about killing Awlaki with a Predator drone is that the US lacks the resources to arrest/kidnap him from the wilds of Yemen.--

Lacks the resources?
I don't think so. It's just easier to lob missiles at him. Call it the Clinton Doctrine.

Danube of Thought

Decent nations do not permit their governments to assassinate their own citizens.

This assertion appears to arrive out of thin air, and the author seems to think it is beyond dispute. I don't think so at all; I think it depends entirely on the circumstances.

And the comparison to New York or Topeka is just plain silly, for the reasons TM points out.

Clarice

Ditto, DoT.

But when your head is so high up in the air as Williamson's is your feet cannot touch the ground. (No, it is NOT one of cathyf's wonderful Sicilian sayings.)

narciso

Man, it's not about politics, this fellow has incited people to violence in three continents, he is protected by his own tribal
ties, shades of Bin Laden and Pashtunwali

Captain Hate

I'd say Williamson gets the "Preener of the Day" award; although there's plenty of time for some other idiot to take that dubious prize.

Kenny G

The only reason we are thinking about killing Awlaki with a Predator drone is that the US lacks the resources to arrest/kidnap him from the wilds of Yemen.

Let's say Topeka police were busy on a shoplifting case at Walmart, would it then be ok to terminate Awlaki in Topeka using a Predator drone?

MarkO

Can we not kill traitors in war time? Can we not seek them out? Do we have to offer them the opportunity to surrender? Escape? Are all snipers murderers? Would it be different to drop the bomb on the region and kill all of them? Does it differ to know the name of one of the intended targets?

Silly. We have enough restrictions on these boys and girls. Let them fight or get them home.

Captain Hate

Kenny, aren't you supposed to be entertaining your fan Clenis?

RichatUF

Sure as long as they didn't scratch my car.

I seem to recall that the US launched a drone attack that got one of the Lackawana cell who was in Yeman at the time. Don't these drone attacks have that "lob a cruise missile and forget it" feel?

Rob Crawford

Decent nations do not permit their governments to assassinate their own citizens.

I'm guessing Kevin Williamson would not repeat this line when reminded of Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidians.

In any case, it's ludicrous on many levels:

A police sniper, responding to a hostage situation. In his sights is a 100% no-doubt American citizen who has a gun and -- according to the listening devices in place -- is counting down to start shooting kindergartners in the head. I submit that a "decent nation" requires the sniper to take the shot -- thereby assassinating one of its own citizens.

D-Day, Germany: a US sniper spots a figure in German uniform, carrying a radio, headed towards a prime observation point from which he can call artillery down on the landing beaches. Through his scope, the sniper realizes he knows the guy -- used to live in the old neighborhood, born about the same time as the US sniper, parents were into all that Bund stuff and then moved back to the "old country". Technically, he's a US citizen. Again, a "decent nation" requires the sniper to take the shot -- the target has taken arms with a hostile force, and while not an immediate threat, is capable of putting US forces under great threat.

(Question: no one ever bats an eye at a band takings its name from revolutionaries and spouting Marxist or anarchist cant at every turn. But can you imagine the reaction to a band named "Ruby Ridge and the Branch Davidians" that had songs raging against police-state tactics, government cover-ups, etc.? Do you think such a band would ever open for any politician, let alone a president or presidential candidate?)

Rob Crawford

Don't these drone attacks have that "lob a cruise missile and forget it" feel?

Yep.

reader

opposes the concept of Presidential assassinations in wartime

Should that read "the concept of President-authorized assassinations in wartime"?

Captain Hate

Don't these drone attacks have that "lob a cruise missile and forget it" feel?

Or bomb the Serbs from high altitudes and WTF we blew up the Chinese Embassy!!

Tollhouse

The important fact to me in this matter is what exactly has Alwaki been charged with?

As of a few weeks ago, he hasn't been charged with anything.

So the Topeka comparison fails even harder.

Can the US government assassinate a US Citizen that hasn't even been charged, let alone convicted of anything?

I understand the warfare argument and I agree with that, but this stretches that argument to cover anyone and anywhere at any time can be killed by the CIA because the President puts them on a list.

Rick Ballard

He's not being targeted for treason, if he were, then the terrorist scum, Bill Ayers and Jane Fonda would both be hiding in caves. He's being targeted because of the position he holds among the enemy and the place of his birth is irrelevant to the targeting.

It's very unsurprising that those afflicted with the progressive social disease should be discomfited by the fact that the President, one of their own, does not consider treason a sufficient shield from exaction of the penalty for engaging in terrorism.

Captain Hate

this stretches that argument to cover anyone and anywhere at any time can be killed by the CIA because the President puts them on a list.

Isn't Congress supposed to oversee this? Assuming so, maybe we'll have one worthy of performing that function at some point in the future.

NK

I recommend TM and everyone to Andy McCarthy's "Corner" response to Williamson. Like virtually everything McCarthy writes about national security law it is informed and rational. Basically, the Admin is IDing Alwaki as a legitimate hostile combatant, as opposed to an innocent non-combatant. In that way, AQ can't use Alwaki as a US citizen shield to prevent attacks on AQ who are with Alwaki. Alwaki isn't worth a drone attack just on himself, but if he's collateral damage in an attack so be it -- it would not violate US ROE and treaty obligations.
Williamson was preening-- he sounded like Sullivan, McCarthy politely set him straight.

Danube of Thought

"Let's say Topeka police were busy on a shoplifting case at Walmart, would it then be ok to terminate Awlaki in Topeka using a Predator drone?"

No. If no other police were available, the ones involved with the shoplifter should promptly drop that matter and arrest Awlaki.

Rob Crawford

Can the US government assassinate a US Citizen that hasn't even been charged, let alone convicted of anything?

Sure. There actually were US citizens in the German forces during WWII -- possibly in the Japanese and Italian forces, too. Some of them were killed by US fire.

If the people of a few counties somewhere in the US decided they were a separate nation and began shooting anyone who didn't agree with them, would warrants be required? Or could the Constitutional requirement that we be protected from enemies "foreign and domestic" come into play?

Rob Crawford

In that way, AQ can't use Alwaki as a US citizen shield to prevent attacks on AQ who are with Alwaki. Alwaki isn't worth a drone attack just on himself, but if he's collateral damage in an attack so be it -- it would not violate US ROE and treaty obligations.

Neither would it if he were still considered a civilian. Using civilians as shields is a war crime; firing on legitimate targets who have surrounded themselves with civilians is not.

RichatUF

Captain Hate-

Ooops. I was thinking mostly about the various bombings in Sudan, Iraq, and Afghanistan though. Ledeen did a great piece on Clinton as the Indolent Prince and think it would be great to dust it off and update it for Obama.

Tollhouse-

Wouldn't charging him make it harder to kill him not less because the intelligence gathering on him would grind under the wheels of FISA?

Rob-

We are about the point at which the financial crisis and political crisis encourages our enemies to attack creating a national security crisis. The Times Square and Christmas day attempts were the shot across the bow, but I think we should be looking else and looking at a different model. Interesting times.

Captain Hate

Rich, I was just supplementing your list. Is that Ledeen piece in his website's archives? I'll do a google for it in any case.

lyle

Too bad. I like Williamson's writing for the most part. Has he transmogrified into Andrew Sullivan, The Voice of the True Conservative? Anyway, can anyone pinpoint the exact time that sedition and treason became so passe in this country?

Rob Crawford

Anyway, can anyone pinpoint the exact time that sedition and treason became so passe in this country?

One second after the daughter of a major celebrity plopped her ass in the chair of an enemy AA gun.

Clarice

Why isn't Allred speaking out for Alwaki here?

Thomas Collins

Decent nations consistently deal with traitors as traitors. I think of it as due process for traitors. Betray America and get terminated with extreme prejudice. That way, traitors know exactly what to expect (no mercy).

Tollhouse

Rob, I understand that side of the argument. Those citizens were killed during war operations. I see targeted assassination as something entirely different in nature then someone getting their justice from a bomb even if the mechanism of their demise is similar.

Rich, charging him would make it harder to kill him of course. I guess if there were charges, and a good faith attempt was made to capture him and he was killed in the process, I would be okay with that, but this administration appears to be laying legal framework to allow them to do these actions under color of law.

Creeping legalism into warfighting is the problem here as I see it. Unintended consequences arise, like Gitmo detainees getting criminal trials.

Danube of Thought

"Those citizens were killed during war operations. I see targeted assassination as something entirely different in nature then someone getting their justice from a bomb even if the mechanism of their demise is similar."

A drone attack on Awlaki would be a war operation as well. And it is no more necessary to charge him with a crime than it was for the guys who fought with the Nazis or the Viet Cong. We'd have dropped a bomb on Tokyo Rose in a heartbeat if we'd known where she was.

Rob Crawford

I see targeted assassination as something entirely different in nature then someone getting their justice from a bomb even if the mechanism of their demise is similar.

Admiral Yamamoto was targeted for assassination in WWII. While not a US citizen, some US officials did object to launching a mission with a single man as its target. Colonel Barber, who shot down Yamamoto's plane, was given a medal, not prosecuted for a war crime.

How was Barber's mission different than that of a US rifleman who fired a shot that killed a US citizen in the Italian army in North Africa?

(And I'd argue that the mission to shoot down Yamamoto was a good parallel with a drone mission today, at least in technological terms. Two cargo planes and six early-war-design fighters against 18 P-38s?)

Creeping legalism into warfighting is the problem here as I see it.

Well, yes. So why demand even more legalism when the enemy combatant happens to have held US citizenship at one point?

lyle

One second after the daughter of a major celebrity plopped her ass in the chair of an enemy AA gun.

Thanks. That'd be my vote as well.


boris

The battlefield vs targeted assassination argument seems weak to me. If both are valid against enemy jihadists on foreign soil then both are valid against enemy jihadists on foreign soil who happen to have been US citizens.

The citizenship status of a life threatening assailant is not relevant in a self defense situation. Likewise risking US military lives to "arrest" a citizen jihadist on foreign soil would be utterly insane.

Pagar

"One second after the daughter of a major celebrity plopped her ass in the chair of an enemy AA gun."

There are lots more names, but I contend that John Kerry and Walter Cronkite are two of the obvious names to be added. No one did more to aid the North Vietnamese military in defeating the South Vietnamese and Allies than these three Americans.

PD Shaw

I disagree that the lack of resources is in any way dispositive. Let's assume we had the resources to invade Yemen; wouldn't just war doctrine prefer a single combatant's death over an invasion into a country racked by civil war, causing any number of collateral deaths, just to avoid the unseemly appearance of targetting an individual?

RichatUF

Captain Hate-

AEI has a version of it (FPM doesn't seem to have it in their archives), but I recall a longer version and don't remember if it may have been in his book, "The War Against the Terrormasters". He described the cruise missile in the way Clinton employed them as the perfect weapon for an indolent prince.

Captain Hate

Wow, thanks for that link, Rich. I don't think I've ever read as scathing a characterization of the red-nosed predator, who keeps refusing to be completely scraped from the bottom of the nation's shoe, as that.

Ignatz

If Americans killing Americans in wartime is the problem, then aren't we starting the conversation at about 1/600,000th the level we should be and about 150 years too late?
A preliminary dustup, although not involving any gubmint troops, occurred just down the road from Topeka as a matter of fact.

lyle

The indolent prince--perfect.

Tollhouse


"Well, yes. So why demand even more legalism when the enemy combatant happens to have held US citizenship at one point? "

Ah, I see the problem. I don't mean it quite that way. Within the structure of legalism you have your arguments that go one way or the other. I would contend that war isn't anything like the legal arena and can't be interpreted this way otherwise you end up with absurd situations like we have right now.

Boris, as for the "arrest" part, I did try to say capture for that specific reason. We capture combatants on the field of battle, we don't arrest them. Our troops wouldn't be arresting anyone in this case. Alwaki would be captured as a combatant on the field of battle and we already have clear precedence of trying before a military tribunal american citizens captured conducting military operations against the US, so no need to stretch some legalisms over it.

I may be insane though. I really don't have any moral or ethical problems with assassinations of non-citizens, Yamato etc. I still believe as most of you I'm sure, that just war calls for minimizing destruction and death that calls for assassination as a critical tool in warfare. I only see that spreading the legal framework over this simply creates the idea that these sorts of things are properly determined within the legal system.

When we codify something we freeze it into place limiting are future actions.

Terry Gain

If Awlaki were to be killed on a battlefield, I’d shed no tears.

He is operating on a battlefield of his choosing. The fact that he is committing treason while engaging in war is in my view an aggravating factor, not an insulating one.

Decent nations do not hesitate to eliminate the killers of innocents.

rse

On hearing and meeting mcCarthy next Wed in ATL-

I have the hall, room #, and parking info now.

Jerry J

Rasmussen (9/30/10): "Republican Ron Johnson now leads incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold by 12 points [54-42] in Wisconsin’s race for the U.S. Senate." LUN

Looks like Russ should have skipped Barry's staged pep rally after all.

boris

... "arrest" part, I did try to say capture ...

BS ... either way troops would be put at risk. Sending people into enemy territory to "capture" someone who can be killed without risk is not comparable to battlefield surrender/capture that reduces risk to both sides.

Haversham Brothers

I guess the Dems forgot that most tsunamis start with an earthquake

Danube of Thought

Two cargo planes and six early-war-design fighters against 18 P-38s

Nobody ever said a battle should be initiated only if both sides have an equal chance of success. It's the duty of every commander to ensure, to the extent possible, that when his people go into harm's way the fight is likely to be extremely unfair in his favor.

Yamamoto was an enemy combatant aloft in a military aircraft in a war zone, and was absolutely fair game. The French used to post snipers in the rigging with instructions to identify and kill Horatio Nelson. And so on...

Joan

I agree with you, Tom. If he's out there in Yemen or a cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or wherever, plotting to kill and maim and terrorize innocents, he loses all my compassion, plus his citizenship as an American and a human being.

Rob Crawford

Nobody ever said a battle should be initiated only if both sides have an equal chance of success.

Which was my point -- the American pilots not only out-numbered the Japanese, their planes were more heavily armored and carried heavier weapons. Better than two-to-one odds, technological edge, and the mission favored the offense -- a situation that strongly parallels the modern drone attack.

I don't know if I even have the book anymore, but there was definitely concern over whether targeting Yamamoto was "assassination" or not, and thus a war crime. I can't recall who raised the objections, but the combination of "he's in uniform" and "Pearl Harbor" ended the argument.

Ellie Light

What a joke. Are we going to quibble over a trial for a man who is a villian and a knave?

When someone brings up such issues its clear they have never had to deal with reality.

Sue

Very simple. Strip him of his citizenship on the grounds of treason. Then kill him.

Fernando G

Kill him and don't tell anybody you killed him.

Sandy Daze

30 September 2010
Baghdad

What I am wondering is if we can co-locate the GITMO detainees with Awlaki, such that they are all together seconds before the strike occurs.

Doing this, as I am sure you know, would allow the current executive to clean out GITMO and save all the messiness of tribunals. Then he could close GITMO, late--sure--but still closed.

Take good care,
Sandy

Ignatz

So it's a "Good War" if we fire bomb Tokyo and kill 100,000 civilians in one night but now we have to worry about one terrorist because by accident of birth he's a US citizen?

daddy the "Extremist"

Don't know if this bear's repeating but...

What a nice flight that was.

About 3:30 PM Anchorage time yesterday, my partner and I went out to the plane and started cranking her up for the Flight to the Indianapolis Zoo. Met the 2 gal handlers, (1 from Purdue-the veterinarian) the other from IU Bloomington (the handler). They presented me with their box of tranquilizer darts and stun guns etc, and my F/O gave then the briefing on how to wear the Oxygen masks and slide down the window rope-line in case of a crash.

Then with all that done we waited as our final passenger, an 80 pound, 1 year old brown bear from the Russian River Area was loaded aboard. Cute as a button. He was in a cage securely tied down to a big square pallet, that was driven by forklift to a loader, lifted up to the cargo hold, and rolled onboard on ball-decking and secured in position.

He was really good looking. He seemed tired and the girls said that having been at the Alaska Zoo for a few months he was used to being near humans. Through the bars he sat just a foot or so from me staring at me. Having had my new puppy lately and paying lots of attention to animal stuff, he seemed to have a moist nose, which I took to be a sign of good health, and his fur was beautiful. He was a boy bear, with brown eyes and really looked healthy. Made you want to grab him and roll around on the floor like you do with a Pup but of course he'd unfortunately probably try to eat me.

Flight took about 5 and a half hours. I tried to make sure throughout for the bear that the temperature back in the hold was not too hot, not too cold, but just right. He does not yet have a name, as the girls said that's the Zoo's decision. They said he would be quarantined for 4 to 6 weeks before joining the Indy Zoo's Bear population.

Every few hours I'd go back while an attendant was checking up on him but he seemed to be sleeping just fine and enjoying the ride. No turbulence, and air was smooth all the way.

Was fun to have the handlers on board because in these rare circumstances they are allowed to sit in the cockpit, and it's fun to point out scenery and what we do to folks who don't ever see it. Moon was big, and lights of Chicago were a huge glow on the horizon easily visible from 100 miles. Getting nearer you could easily see the humongous grid system of Chicago roads, and the shape of the lake where the roads end at waters edge. That they enjoyed.

Touchdown at Indy was not too hard, not too soft, just right at about 1:30 in the morning. (Other guy was driving).
Then we parked and shut down, and in wonderful warm temperature, stood outside with a number of folks and ramp guys as our cool passenger was gently slid out of the plane, smoothly lowered on a hydraulic lifter, and his pallet was secured on a wheeled platform attached to a tug, to be driven off to wherever he was heading.

Had a last few minutes looking at our bear, who seemed awake but calm, and gave me a nice long stare for a few minutes just before he drove away. Said thanks and goodbye to the girls and they took our e-mail addresses and said they would eventually send pics and info about our friend as stuff happens at the Zoo.

Then hustled to the hotel, discovered my partner is a non-drinker (yippee--that'll save me a ton of Euro's in Germany in the next few days, especially since it's coming up Octoberfest!), so he went to bed and I jogged down the street in Downtown Indy to the Slippery Noodle before last call at 3 AM. Naturally arriving with a Library book and ordering 2 pints and being sober at 15 minutes before closing bartender says, "You a pilot with _____?"

"Yep", says I. Guess you recognize us by now?"

"Yeah, she answers, every nite, just before closing. White tennis shoes, polo shirt, Library book, and sober, and slamming a couple pints quick. You guy's aren't hard to spot. There's some more of you", and she pointed to an Airbus crew a few barstools over; white tennis shoes, polo shirts, pounding a couple pints, etc, so regaled everybody with my bear story, then hit the all night burger joint (Steak and Shake) and off to sleep.

Nothing in the Indianapolis Star about it this morning dag nabbit, so I didn't even get my 15 minutes. Grrrrrr.

Rick Ballard

Ignatz,

Ssssh - expert sophists are engaged in picking the flyspecks out of the pepper. I keep looking for a definition of "decent nation" in order to join in but, dang, it seems to always depend upon personal POV or whether the war was won or lost.

Clarice

Thanks for that boffo report, daddy. Now I have to figure out how to get the national Zoo to send something to China on your plane with me to keep the thing amused till we get there.

flodigarry

Great story daddy! Did you get a chance to take some pictures? Would love to see the little cutie.

hit and run

http://www.gallup.com/poll/143318/Obama-Clinton-2012-Democratic-Nomination.aspx>Heh

If Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were to challenge President Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2012, she would currently have the support of 37% of Democrats nationally, while 52% would support Obama.

Next,a poll of Obama vs Generic Democrat

I bet it'd be neck and neck.

Danube of Thought

"there was definitely concern over whether targeting Yamamoto was 'assassination' or not, and thus a war crime"

I'm not sure I ever heard it discussed as a possible war crime, but I do know that there were some who had qualms about it. One of my father's dearest friends, the late Major General Johnny Condon, USMC, was involved in the planning, and he never harbored the slightest reservation. (The fact that he had flown a number of missions at Guadalcanal may have been a factor in his thinking.)

centralcal

Loved the story daddy! Hope the gals remember to email you with some photos.

NK

A NRO blogger raises a simple analogy; 1942 a US Citizen travels to Europe and joins the Waffen SS (BTW: that happened in at least dozens of cases); is killing him in combat just like any SS officer problematic? no of course not. But I think the analogy is flawed vis a vis Alwaki. a 105mm howitzer shell taking out the SS man in 1943 is a consequence of 2 mass armies clashing an one of hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers made a casualty. The Obamaniacs have called out Alwaki in what is in effect an individual assination order. Sure assasination of enemy combatants is lawful-- bin Laden is a target, active AQ is a target-- does Alwaki's US citizenship make him different? I personal don't find it wrong in a moral sense; BUT my question is why have the Obamaniacs made this a public assasination. Bush for instance arrested the American Taliban kid in 2002-- they didn't send a sniper after him. puzzling.

Jane

If you can bear it, you should tune into Beck

lyle

As far as I'm concerned, if you partner up with the enemy you forfeit your citizenship. Take them out with extreme prejudice. FTR, I would not have given the slightest of shits had Hanoi Jane been taken out while in N. Vietnam.

narciso

Speaking of the subject of the thread in question, in the LUN

jorgxmckie

Is Alwaki violating the Geneva Accords? Most probably. If so, then he has given up any protections under them.

I'd simply give him a choice and advise him to present himself to the nearest US embassy and have his trial, or turn himself over to other appropriate American authorities for a similar result, or else keep a close eye on the sky.

I'd be perfectly happy to give the POS a fair and just trial if he'd be willing to stand for one.

Jane

Okay, you can turn it off now.

BobDenver

What was that about, Jane?

Rick Ballard

"why have the Obamaniacs made this a public assasination."

Tom Hayden, Bill Ayers and Jane Fonda weren't much help to LBJ. It may be that the President's life long close association with traitors has led him to the conclusion that a firm example of the treatment to be expected towards them is of political benefit. After all, those suffering from the progressive social disease are not particularly pleased with him at the moment - it just wouldn't do to let them get out of hand.

lyle

Kerry better than Obama as Prez? No way. You simple can't come up with sufficiently small enough gradations of suck between the two.

BobDenver

These backyard shindigs seem like another self-inflicted wound for Obama. He's being asked tough (and sometimes impossible) questions that he has to answer without benefit of TOTUS, he's coming across as crabby and defensive, and the press has decided to report these things reasonably accurately and not to protect him. This is beginning to feel like the point in the Carter administration when they could no longer do anything right -- or at least not get any credit for doing anything right.

lyle

"This is beginning to feel like the point in the Carter administration when they could no longer do anything right -- or at least not get any credit for doing anything right."

That's odd. I can't think of a single damn thing that the Carter admin did right?

lyle

Oops. Please disregard the question mark. I meant it as a declarative.

Rick Ballard

Lyle,

He left the WH tidy upon his eviction - a much better man than Bubba in at least that respect.

jimmyk

This is just another case of "No good deed goes unpunished." A hundred years ago we might have invaded Yemen, and caused thousands of civilian deaths, in the process of neutralizing someone like Awlaki. If Yemen doesn't arrest him, or turn him over to us, or assist us in capturing him, they are his ally and our enemy. But now that we can be more surgical in our efforts, picking off some scum like Awlaki is naughty.

jimmyk

Excuse the OT, but has anyone commented on McDonald's announcement that it is considering dropping health insurance for 30,000 employees because of the 80% rule? (See LUN) Good going, Barry and Nancy.

Of course, as cathyf has pointed out, the goal of Obamacare was to eliminate private insurance, so all is going according to plan. Perhaps they'd just hoped it would not become apparent this soon (say before the election).

Danube of Thought

I don't see any difference between an enemy combatant getting killed in a clash of massed armies and his getting waxed by an aerial drone.

I don't believe that a combatant who violates the Geneva Accords gives up his protection under them, but I don't think they protect him against us killing him in the first place.

The American Taliban wasn't exactly arrested--he was captured on a battlefield in the aftermath of a firefight, and only then was he discovered to be a US citizen. He is lucky he wasn't shot dead during the engagement, but if he had been there would have been no violation of law on our part.

I, too, am baffled as to why this has been made public, but I sure am bemused by all the hand-wringing about it now that it is out in the open. Just kill the son of a bitch, pour encourager les autres.

Cecil Turner

Basically, the Admin is IDing Alwaki as a legitimate hostile combatant, as opposed to an innocent non-combatant.

Exactly the way I see it, with a perfectly legitimate AUMF from Congress to authorize his actions:

(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
If you want to argue this doesn't cover Awlaki, I guess there's some room for discussion. But the idea that an "extrajudicial killing" is counter to the authorized war powers of the president is pretty hard to support.

Rick Ballard

I'd say that it's impossible, rather than pretty hard to support. A hypothetical that might be pretty hard would be sending a SF team into Venezuela (no extradition) to kill a follower of Calypso Louie who was acting as a liaison to AQ. The presumption of the existence of actionable intelligence at the 'smoking gun' level is a given.

tollhouse

I think we are seeing what the corrosive effects of a long ill defined war will do to a political body. In our zeal to minimize casualties, ours and theirs, we are making compromises that we shouldn't be.

I've been called neo-con, fascist, nationalist, all the left wing slurs, so I don't think I need to show my creds for using bloody and aggressive violent war when needed but I also think that we need to think very carefully about giving the President the right to terminate American citizens without any additional safeguards that this power not be used capriciously. This is really dangerous territory in my opinion and categorically different then what has gone before imo. This is new territory.

Charlie (Colorado)

But when your head is so high up in the air as Williamson's

air?

boris

"think very carefully about giving the President the right ..."

More BS. The president by default has the authority to target any designated enemy in the theater of combat, citizen or not. Apparently you would vote to remove that authority.

tollhouse

The theater of combat being the entire globe.

bgates

Cecil, you bolded too late. It's much easier to make the case that Awlaki is part of an organization that "planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks" than to show that he did any of those things personally.

I'd prefer to see this guy stripped of citizenship before he's blown up. If one can be shot in Pakistan whether he's a citizen or not, and arrested in Topeka whether he's a citizen or not, what good is citizenship?

I didn't find McCarthy's defense convincing at all. A paean to prosecutorial discretion from the president of the Fitzgerald Fan Club? C'mon.

Rob Crawford

I don't believe that a combatant who violates the Geneva Accords gives up his protection under them...

Um, that's the only enforcement option available.

Rob Crawford

I can't think of a single damn thing that the Carter admin did right?

Legalized homebrewing.

Rob Crawford

This is really dangerous territory in my opinion.

Except it's not anything new.

The Union refused to recognize the Confederacy as a distinct government, and Congress did not pass a declaration of war. So, technically, every Confederate soldier was a US citizen killed by order of the President of the United States, on US territory.

The theater of combat being the entire globe.

Not our choice.

Rob Crawford

I'd prefer to see this guy stripped of citizenship before he's blown up. If one can be shot in Pakistan whether he's a citizen or not, and arrested in Topeka whether he's a citizen or not, what good is citizenship?

What legal provisions are there for stripping him of his citizenship?

Easier, I'd bet, to get a conviction on treason, but you'll never see that because a fifth of the Democrat activist base would be just as guilty.

boris

"what good is citizenship?"

Apparently not much. Relevant to a different debate though.

Threadkiller

Tah-Dah!!

">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki"> Anwar al-Awlaki , born April 22, 1971 (age 39) in Las Cruces, New Mexico) is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Yemen, and of Yemeni descent.[8]


A dual citizen. Gee isn’t this the kind of guy that Levin says can’t be an American Citizen. Due to his dual allegiances Levin, Hewitt and the legal scholars they utilize would normally say “no way!"

Levin can cry about the Mexican "anchor babies” but he will say nothing about this. This clown Awlaki is no citizen to begin with. Please kill him at will.

bgates

Not our choice.

What on earth does that matter?

What legal provisions are there for stripping him of his citizenship?

Haven't the faintest idea. There are legal provisions for developing new legal provisions, though.

Relevant to a different debate though.

Relevant to this one too.

boris

Not relevant to making a distinction between killing an enemy combatant (citizen) in a field of combat vs an enemy camp or hideout.

Threadkiller

Compleatly relevant. Citizenship may protect citizens. This guy, per Levin's rules, should not be a citizen.

Threadkiller

Completely...

Danube of Thought

This is new territory.

To the extent that it's new, it's new because of choices made by the unlawful combatants. I don't see that as a reason to grant them the benefit of any doubt.

Um, that's the only enforcement option available.

Except that it isn't available at all. They are entitled to the protections of Common Article 3, and no act on their part affects those protections.

Danube of Thought

This guy, per Levin's rules, should not be a citizen.

Levin doesn't write the rules. The fact that he has dual citizenship has no effect on his rights as a citizen. But he has no right not to be targeted by a drone in Yemen.

Threadkiller

--"Levin doesn't write the rules."--

He is just a hypocrite when it comes to this rule. I always like to point that out.

boris

To the extent this assasination authority of a president would bother any "citizen" it argues for being more careful who gets elected to the office.

Sorta like arguing to disarm the law abiding to keep guns out of the hands of crooks. Don't fall for it, it's bogus.

jimmyk

I can't think of a single damn thing that the Carter admin did right?

I can think of several, actually: Deregulating the airline industry, deregulating trucking, the defense buildup.

Danube of Thought

He was indeed the first to deregulate anything. I still give him an F.

Clarice

One night when we are all drunk and sassy we ought to rewrite the rules of engagement as Yale law professors would draft it.

Danube of Thought

I happen to qualify right this moment, Clarice. But my ability to type is rapidly evaporating...

Ric Locke

*shrug* So let us return to the Old Days, pre-Robert Peel. Print up posters with a picture of Awlaki, subtitled "WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE".

Then, if there just happen to be some citizens with a drone at their disposal...

Regards,
Ric

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