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Awlaki's Dead. Justice Served?
Western Hero ^ | 2 October 2011 | silverfiddle

Posted on 10/02/2011 6:34:26 AM PDT by Silverfiddle

Liberals are up in arms over the Al-Awlaki killing. And so are many conservatives...

Uber liberal Glenn Greenwald sums up the case against Obama, leveling the charge of Due-Process-Free Assassination:

No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him). Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even had any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt.
This controversy involves two questions. One of law, and one of motives and legitimacy. Let's look at the legal issue first, since it is the more important of the two.

The Law

Which is operative? The fact that he is an enemy combatant? or the fact that he is an American criminal suspect? That's what this comes down to.  And it's clear that the US considered him a combatant, not a criminal suspect, since as Greenwald says, no charges were filed against him.

The editors at National Review make a compelling case in Obama's favor. Awlaki was a self-described enemy of the United States who joined Al Qaeda (AQ).  The United States took him out in a military action authorized by congress.  No subpoenas and no charges required:
The conduct of warfare, including targeting decisions, is inherently an executive function. In this instance, moreover, executive war powers are bolstered by a sweeping congressional authorization of military force that contains no limitations based on citizenship or geography. We don’t ask the courts to evaluate every strike we make against Taliban or al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan or Iraq, nor do we inquire about their citizenship. (NRO - Al-Awlaki's Just Demise)
Were it otherwise, all AQ would have to do is station an American traitor at every outpost and on every convoy to legally thwart our drone strike program.

Awlaki Renounced his Citizenship

Finntan did his usual yeoman research and provides the following results (Finn's words are italicized):
Loss of nationality, also known as expatriation, means the loss of citizenship status properly acquired, whether by birth in the United States, through birth abroad to U.S. citizen parents, or by naturalization. As a result of several constitutional decisions, §349(a) of the current Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA") provides that U.S. nationality is lost only when the U.S. citizen does one of the specified acts described in INA §349, voluntarily and with the intent to give up that nationality.
"taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof after having attained the age of eighteen years."

"entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serves as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer;"

"performs an act made potentially expatriating by statute accompanied by conduct which is so inconsistent with retention of U.S. citizenship that it compels a conclusion that the individual intended to relinquish U.S. citizenship."

"committing any act of treason against, or attempting by force to overthrow, or bearing arms against, the United States, violating or conspiring to violate any of the provisions of section 2383 of Title 18, or willfully performing any act in violation of section 2385 of Title 18, or violating section 2384 of Title 18 by engaging in a conspiracy to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, if and when he is convicted thereof by a court martial or by a court of competent jurisdiction."
I think Al-Awlaki personally made his position quite clear. He hasn't been an American citizen for years and it doesn't take a court or judge to formally renounce your citizenship. It can occur automatically based on your words, writings, or actions.
The Legitimacy Question

Many Right Blogistanis are questioning the president's motives, and I understand that based upon his past actions. However, this was a deliberate action with diligent legal review and it was carried out transparently, as befits a democracy. We can examine the unclassified information, and our lawmakers can review it all.

The only difference here is that the Justice Department also reviewed the plans because of the anticipated uproar over killing an "American."

That Justice Department review was just the last step in a standard review process that is routinely performed daily for all kinds of military and CIA strikes. Discrediting the whole operation just because a tainted Justice Department was involved is committing a fallacy known as Circumstantial Ad Hominem, where one asserts that because an entity is wrong on some issues, it is wrong on all issues. That's just not logical. Would two plus two no longer equal four because Adolph Hitler had once gotten that simple math problem correct?

The Case is Clear:  It was a righteous shoot

This was not an extra-judicial assassination carried out at presidential whim, and it sets no legal precedent that would allow a president to order American citizens killed at will.

Awlaki rejected his country of birth and renounced his citizenship, throwing his allegiance and aid to an enemy of America that congress has authorized the president to prosecute military action against.  President Obama transparently and with due legal diligence authorized a military strike against a military target.  Regardless of citizenship status, Awlaki made his bead, and now he's dead.

God Bless America 

WaPo - The White House's Drone Policy
CBS - Justice Memo

TOPICS: Government; Military/Veterans; Politics
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; awlaki; gwot; islam; jihad; obama

1 posted on 10/02/2011 6:34:32 AM PDT by Silverfiddle
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To: Silverfiddle

In a word “ YES “

2 posted on 10/02/2011 6:36:40 AM PDT by TsonicTsunami08
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To: Silverfiddle

If not Justice, surely Vengeance.

Either one works for me - in this they should be hyphenated.

3 posted on 10/02/2011 6:40:06 AM PDT by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Silverfiddle

Just plain dead.

4 posted on 10/02/2011 6:49:42 AM PDT by cripplecreek (MLB Playoff thread
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To: Silverfiddle

He’s more guilty than the Rosenbergs were.

5 posted on 10/02/2011 6:52:22 AM PDT by H.Akston
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To: Silverfiddle

But the sudden interest by Obama in killing fellow Muslims and the timing is kind of odd.
With his poll numbers going south and his re-election hopes fading, this is a good way to get a bump.
If Obama was doing good and his numbers were ok, would these scumbags still be alive?
Like a crooked mayor ordering hooker sweeps the week before the election, Obama is just doing what he has to to stay in office.

6 posted on 10/02/2011 7:12:35 AM PDT by Yorlik803 (better to die on your feet than live on your knees.)
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To: H.Akston

Would we be better off if he were captured alive? I’m beginning to wonder. Bin Laden? We had to take their word for it on every aspect of the operation. Being tied to the underwear bomber is another fact that we will just have to believe. We’re better off with him dead but these questions will just not be asked.

7 posted on 10/02/2011 7:14:08 AM PDT by DIRTYSECRET
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To: Silverfiddle

Don’t we have this guy on video fomenting terror attacks on us and recruiting followers to carry out attacks? This goes beyond treason to active participation in war on the American people. Since when can we not kill people at war with us?

8 posted on 10/02/2011 7:17:25 AM PDT by mtrott
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To: Silverfiddle

That is about where I came down on the issue. Sometimes Obama can not help himself and he or his administration or some arm of the government under him does something less than terrible. This was such an act.
Should the shoot be reviewed? Can’t hurt. If it turns out Al was a member of the TP and supported Sarah all bets are off. If, as seems likely, he was a sworn terrorist and leader in Al Qeada, it was a rightuous shoot.
Getting from this to shooting citizens at will is not a slippery slope. That is a craggy hill that only a determined zealot committed to the overthrow of the Constitution could climb. Oh. Yeah.
The moral seems to be, “Question authority. Even when it seems OK.”

9 posted on 10/02/2011 7:19:24 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (O assumes the trappings of the presidency, not its mantle. He is not presidential.)
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To: H.Akston
He was as guilty ~ not more guilty.

You can't be guiltier.

10 posted on 10/02/2011 7:22:38 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: All


11 posted on 10/02/2011 7:24:23 AM PDT by troy McClure
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To: Yorlik803

THIS is the problem
“But the sudden interest by Obama in killing fellow Muslims and the timing is kind of odd.”

Libs ranted and riled and demonized Bush for so long, Libs ranted and called for KSM to be tried in a civilian court whining that to not do so denied KSM of his “ rights” and how evil and blood thirsty we Pubs were for wanting him tried in a miliatry court.
EVERYONE has a right to due process Libs/ haters shouted over and over.

If a non citizen should have due process why not a citizen

12 posted on 10/02/2011 7:29:29 AM PDT by RWGinger (Simpl)
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Fair questions, and I think we’re better off that he’s not in this country wasting the courts’ resources and gathering a brainwashed following of sympathizers. That’s not a reason to kill him, that’s just a fringe benefit. What we need is to capture his hut where he’s set up. Imagine getting his computer. It sounds like we might already have some good intel, doesn’t it?

It looks like Obama is aware that BJClinton’s refusal, to take Bin Laden, when the Saudis offered him, was too big of a mistake, that he doesn’t want to risk repeating.

13 posted on 10/02/2011 7:48:03 AM PDT by H.Akston
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To: muawiyah

Ok, I should have said, more “deserving of death”, than “guilty”. But maybe on second thought the Rosenbergs were responsible for more American deaths, and more deserving of death themselves. Be that as it may, in a hot war there is less justification (and constitutional “due process”) necessary for the government to take enemy lives than in a cold war.

Even the 5th Amendment has a caveat in this regard: “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger;...”

That’s not entirely applicable to an enemy combatant - it was written more to protect US soldiers, but the founders recognized that some bets are off, in war.

14 posted on 10/02/2011 8:03:51 AM PDT by H.Akston
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To: Silverfiddle
I know I will get flamed for this post but what is bothering me most is not the fact that this guy was “dirty” and might have deserved to be executed but that a clear set of legal gates should have been passed through. This is called due process and it is preeminent to congressional authority under the fifth amendment of our constitution which forbids the taking of a citizens life without due process. I think you lay out a compelling case for justifying the action and you have cited many factual points which I do believe if presented before a court would be damning but nonetheless that due process was not followed. I guess I am more concerned about the precedent of this action than the result. Let me reemphasize that I am grateful the threat is neutralized but I really fear it has opened a Pandora's box for further extrajudicial actions this WH might choose.
15 posted on 10/02/2011 10:08:45 AM PDT by 7thOF7th (Righteousness is our cause and justice will prevail!)
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To: 7thOF7th

7thof7th: I understand your concerns, and they are good ones that one can have without being soft on terrorism.

The bottom line is that there is no due process for those who take up arms militarily against the United States.

Obama acted within congressional authorization to wage war on AQ. Had he schwacked this turd in a turban as he peacefully walked the streets of London it would be a different story altogether. As it was, Awlaki was carrying out AQ military operations against the nation of Yemen (who invited us in), and he paid the price.

16 posted on 10/02/2011 10:33:33 AM PDT by Silverfiddle (Stand With The Heroes, Fight The Zeroes!)
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To: H.Akston

“public danger” certainly covers this situation. I’m not at all surprised certain Leftwingtards, Libertarians and Libertines forgot all about it. They keep pointing to the 5th amendment but they don’t read the whole thing.

17 posted on 10/02/2011 10:37:15 AM PDT by muawiyah
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