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White House Defends Targeted Killing Program
WSJ ^ | 25 Sep 2010 | Evan Perez

Posted on 09/25/2010 1:23:43 AM PDT by Palter

U.S. officials say national security is threatened by Yemeni-American Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, whose fiery sermons are a major draw for anti-American jihadists on the Internet. Mr. Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, is believed to be targeted for extrajudicial killing for his alleged involvement in terror plots against the U.S.

A terrorism task force led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in San Diego for years has been building a case against Mr. Awlaki, according to people familiar with the matter. Obama administration officials have recently weighed whether to bring an indictment against him, these people say.

Last month, Mr. Awlaki's father, with the aid of U.S. civil-liberties groups, filed suit in District of Columbia federal court seeking an order to stop the government from killing Mr. Awlaki unless he posed an immediate threat. The suit also asked the court to force the government to disclose the process it used to determine that a U.S. citizen can be executed without trial.

The government was scheduled to file its response to the suit late Friday. A U.S. official said the government would challenge Nasser al-Awlaki's standing to bring the suit on behalf of his son, who is believed to be hiding in Yemen. The government doesn't admit or deny whether it plans to kill Mr. Awlaki, or disclose any details of the targeted killing program. But the official said it would argue that Mr. Awlaki, as a U.S. citizen, would have access to the courts if he wants to surrender peacefully.

The filing was set to argue that it is not for the courts to decide whether it is legal to kill an American in Yemen, far from the actual battlefield in Afghanistan, where the U.S. is fighting al Qaeda. Congress and the president should determine that question, according to the filing.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Foreign Affairs; Government; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: aclu; assassination; citizen; obama; yemen

1 posted on 09/25/2010 1:23:46 AM PDT by Palter
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To: Palter
Worldwide outcry when Bush did it. Now that regime change has occured, it ceases to exist.
2 posted on 09/25/2010 1:33:25 AM PDT by allmost
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To: Palter

Cynically, some believe that this is a telegraphed warning to Awlaki to lay low, and Obama has no real intention of offing him but is concerned about being embarrassed by what Awlaki might know.

Maybe.

What is suspicious to me is just about anything that is new with the Obama administration. This sounds like something that a Kenyan high muckety muck might do. The seemingly ruthless George W. Bush did not touch this with a ten foot pole. Letters of marque and reprisal are provided for in the US constitution, but those are Congress’ prerogative, not the president’s.


3 posted on 09/25/2010 1:36:01 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: allmost

Umm, when did Bush ever name an American for assassination?


4 posted on 09/25/2010 1:36:49 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: allmost
It more easily marches the SS out into the pseudo-legitimate open.

I just received an e-mail from a compatriot that is in a position to see the black mafia/SS that zero is surrounding himself.

I'm afraid America is still pushing the "OK" button every time they swipe their political/social card and is asked, "Is Obama OK?"

Enough time has been bought to develope the plan(s) for that civilian army he promised.

5 posted on 09/25/2010 1:39:04 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
First and foremost let me just state that I believe some people just need killing.

Who was checking passports in 2001-2002?
6 posted on 09/25/2010 1:41:36 AM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost

Well, if America is to walk the talk of being governed by a government of laws rather than men, it seems that this kind of guff should be off limits to a president. If Congress wants the American citizen Awlaki gone without bothering with a trial, it should issue the letter of marque and reprisal to whoever will git ‘er done.


7 posted on 09/25/2010 1:45:53 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: knarf
What would you do?
I'm not wanting to defend obama/sotero/whatever but still. The only difference seems to be that obama proclaims his ' I want to kill Americans' attitude. It is my opinion alone. Enemy combatants under Bush were given more sanctuary? Read the passport later.
8 posted on 09/25/2010 1:49:08 AM PDT by allmost
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Well I'm biased. I'm still not convinced that obama can run a lemonade stand. I was against this. Now I'm ambivalent regarding declared enemies outside of the country. No, the wookie did not suck the brains out of me, I just agree. Some people should not be breathing
9 posted on 09/25/2010 1:55:16 AM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost
Let's build a ground zero at their mosque.

Tell me THAT wouldn't be a message to the Satanists!

10 posted on 09/25/2010 2:06:33 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: knarf

A buddy of mine likes to work with glass. I would not be opposed to seemingly eclectic supplies. Nuke em. They do in fact want to kill me.


11 posted on 09/25/2010 2:11:06 AM PDT by allmost
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To: Palter

The defense for targeted killing should be straightforward.

First, that it works. It takes out the leaders most responsible for planning enemy operations, who send low level fighters to attack both our military and innocent civilians. And it does so inflicting the minimum collateral loss of life, enemy as well as friendly.

Second, for each of these leaders stopped, perhaps a dozen to a hundred innocent civilian lives are saved. Since they operate in and destabilize two nations, with a combined population of about 200 million people, yet the overall number of such enemy leaders is small, once a critical threshold is reached, these nations on their own should be able to finally overpower these enemies of their peoples.

Third, any sympathy or international concern for these enemies should be minimal. They are non-uniformed terrorists who brutalize and murder innocent civilians, and pay mercenaries supported by illicit and criminal organizations, such as fake charities and drug cartels. They do not have popular support, nor any national or religious legitimacy.


12 posted on 09/25/2010 2:59:25 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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To: allmost
"First and foremost let me just state that I believe some people just need killing."

Yeah, I do also.

So many people have some misguided belief that you shouldn't wish dead on anyone. They also say that you should talk ill of the dead. I so disagree.

I have seen dozens within my lifetime of 60 years I would just love to see rotting away in the ground. Where should I start? I won't, it would take me into next month to list them all.

I truly don't get it. We ALL die. Why not the bad guys early on? Screw them - just be deaded and get out of our lives.

Thanks for your post.

13 posted on 09/25/2010 3:01:28 AM PDT by A Navy Vet ( An Oath Is Forever.)
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To: A Navy Vet

“should [not] talk...”


14 posted on 09/25/2010 3:03:10 AM PDT by A Navy Vet ( An Oath Is Forever.)
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To: A Navy Vet

Evil men do exist in reality. Thousands of years of examples are available to anyone that can read this page.


15 posted on 09/25/2010 3:14:30 AM PDT by allmost
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To: allmost
"Evil men do exist in reality."

The problem is that "evil men" don't exist within the feelings of the liberals. They are just mis-guided or a victim of circumstance. Yet, so many others over-come their difficulties and are productive moral citizens. I have NO tolerance for those who don't. I have been there and consciencously corrected my path.

16 posted on 09/25/2010 3:29:04 AM PDT by A Navy Vet ( An Oath Is Forever.)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

The US Government does not have the right to unilaterally assassinate US Citizens, even if they are outside the country.

A trial needs to be held to revoke his citizenship, which would then open him to assassination.

Anything else opens the door to targeted assassinations of political opponents by the DNC.


17 posted on 09/25/2010 3:34:09 AM PDT by Erik Latranyi (Too many conservatives urge retreat when the war of politics doesn't go their way.)
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To: A Navy Vet

I know many people who were not born with a ‘silver spoon’ in their mouths. I am one of them. I know good people and I also know murderers incarcerated for the rest of their lives. Yes people do choose.


18 posted on 09/25/2010 3:40:51 AM PDT by allmost
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To: Erik Latranyi

Unfortunately, the US has long had the right to “assassinate”, or just plain kill, US citizens who are overseas fighting against the US. US policy *only* excludes (official) “foreign leaders” from assassination. Importantly, even US citizens *within* the US may, under extraordinary circumstances, be killed.

The tap dance involving this policy has been bizarre.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_12333

(Which is just the tip of the iceberg.)

One of the truly weird events involving this was the death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. It finally came out that he was alleged to have committed an intolerable act of treason, selling the locations of NSA listening posts surrounding China to the Chinese, as well as the identities of those individuals working at those posts, placing their missions and lives in jeopardy.

So some organization within the government, an unknown secret “Star Chamber” (a court set up to ensure the enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes), heard the evidence, and convicted Brown in absentia, and sentenced him to death.

It was decided that Brown’s death, on the surface, had to look like an accident, but with any examination at all, would be seen to be clearly an assassination.

In the aftermath, at some point allegations about the unusual nature of the crash were raised in the press, and two prominent officials, when asked if there was a possibility of murder, replied enigmatically, “US policy forbids the assassination of *foreign* leaders. Other than that, no comment.”

Of course this was a meaningless response to the question, but can be put under the heading of “disinformation”, answering the question without answering it.

In any event, given the insanely dangerous nature of such a Star Chamber, despite its rare utility, having been known since the 17th Century, the controls on the US version must be extreme.

In retrospect, I agree with their decision. What Ron Brown was alleged to have done was beyond the pale, and merited the death penalty. But at the same time, he was a cabinet officer for the president of the United States. And there was no way he could be tried by a conventional court.


19 posted on 09/25/2010 10:01:47 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy
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