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View Diary: Assassination Rationales Then & Now--And How Awlaki Didn't Meet Any of the Criteria (163 comments)

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  •  You posted a link which counters your argument (2+ / 0-)
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    FG, Dr Swig Mcjigger

    That Al-Awlaki doesn't fit the criteria of the white paper. I'm on an iPad which makes linking difficult but your link associated with his name took me to the NY Times article which gives the governments position that he was no longer a propagandist and which also links to court filings. Personally I have a problem with this as I did when it was a Bush policy but if you're going to argue a point against this particular killing, you should accurately reflect the reasoning of the administration's action.

    Here is a quote from that article (which is, agai, linked in your diary:

    From a Propagandist to an ‘Operational’ Terrorist

    In August 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian graduate student, traveled to Yemen and began visiting mosques, asking where to find Mr. Awlaki. Their intensive plotting together for the next five months, and how they tried to pull off a suicidal bombing of a jet bound for Detroit that Christmas, has been laid out publicly as a result of Mr. Abdulmutallab’s trial in October 2011.

    By spelling out the case against Mr. Abdulmutallab, the Obama administration also went a long way toward explaining why officials decided that Mr. Awlaki, a United States citizen, had evolved from a propagandist to an “operational” terrorist. That, in turn, led to their extraordinary — and still officially unacknowledged — decision to kill Mr. Awlaki, without a trial, in a drone strike

    The story was portrayed in two court filings supporting prosecutors’ request that a judge sentence Mr. Abdulmutallab to life in prison. They contained evidence, largely based on several months of extensive conversations he had with interrogators in early 2010, that prosecutors would have introduced at his trial had he not abruptly pleaded guilty on its second day.

    The filings say Mr. Abdulmutallab, after making contact with Mr. Awlaki, spent three days at the cleric’s house discussing martyrdom and “jihad,” or Islamist holy war. It said that Mr. Awlaki introduced him to a top bomb maker for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemen affiliate of the terrorist group, approved a proposal to blow up a plane, and instructed him to attack an American airliner.

    The failed attack set off a wave of fear, helping to derail the Obama administration’s plans to prosecute five accused conspirators in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It also ignited a public debate about reading terrorism suspects the Miranda warning about their rights against self-incrimination, and prompted a secret decision by the administration to try to kill Mr. Awlaki.

    •  Here is the link (2+ / 0-)
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      kurious, Dr Swig Mcjigger

      Now there is an issue as to whether he was engaged in future plots against American targets even if he was involved in the Abdulmutallab plot. If drone killings could not be used as punishment for past acts but only to prevent future acts, what proof do we have that he was actively engaged in operations?

      Moreover , shouldn't there be some type of oversight of these decisions by the judicial branch?

      Again, I have problems with this policy but I don't agree that this particular case doesn't fit the criteria.

      •  The constitution is perfectly clear on this issue: (14+ / 0-)
        No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury . . . nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;
        Contrary to Mr. Holder's misrepresentations, due process of law = judicial process, not a team meeting in the Oval office over pizza.

        For example, had Abdulmutallab testified before a Grand Jury concerning Awlaki's actions beyond mere speech that would be one thing.  But to base the decision to assassinate an American citizen based on material obtained through interrogations (and God knows just what that means) without review by a court is manifestly unconstitutional.

        I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by bobdevo on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:44:23 AM PST

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        •  I agree, as I've said. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dr Swig Mcjigger

          And I think it is inconsistent to argue "enemy combatants" have a right to trial but then argue that they can be killed when not on the battlefield. And I don't see a difference that one is an American.

          My point was that under the criteria set forth, Al-Awlaki met them.

          But then, again, inherent in this policy is the fact that there is no oversight. If you're going to put someone on a kill list, there should be either a trial in absentia or at least some type of judicial finding.  

          And I don't think we can lay this blame on Holder. Obama is the CIC. My one criticism of the man is how he has caved in on principles he once espoused and this is one of them.

          •  There is a difference being an American citizen... (6+ / 0-)

            and I'll explain briefly why:

            The constitutional protections of the 5th Amendment apply to all persons (not citizens) within the US or its territories.  Persons outside the US have no such guarantee, however, an American citizen ANYWHERE ON EARTH is entitled to constitutional protection with respect to the actions of the United States of America.

            While it may be horrific for the US to kill civilians with predator drones . . . it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL for them to kill American citizens that way, and therefore an impeachable offense.

            I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by bobdevo on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:57:49 AM PST

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            •  of course this administration disagrees (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bobdevo, gerrilea

              with that quaint document.

              Instead, it says, an “informed, high-level” official of the U.S. government may determine that the targeted American has been “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of a violent attack and “there is  no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities.” The memo does not define “recently” or “activities.
              As in Holder’s speech, the confidential memo lays out a three-part test that would make targeted killings of American lawful:  In addition to the suspect being an imminent threat, capture of the target must be “infeasible, and the strike must be conducted according to “law of war principles.” But the memo elaborates on some of these factors in ways that go beyond what the attorney general said publicly. For example, it states that U.S. officials may consider whether an attempted capture of a suspect  would pose an “undue risk” to U.S. personnel involved in such an operation. If so, U.S. officials could determine that the capture operation of the targeted American would not be feasible, making it lawful for the U.S. government to order a killing instead, the memo concludes.
              The undated memo is entitled “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S. Citizen who is a Senior Operational Leader of Al Qa’ida or An Associated Force.”  It was provided to members of the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary committees in June by administration officials on the condition that it be kept confidential and  not discussed publicly.

              without the ants the rainforest dies

              by aliasalias on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:13:56 PM PST

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        •  I do wish Alwaki had been indicted first. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobdevo, Dr Swig Mcjigger

          IMO that would've put to rest most concerns except for those who completely oppose military actions.

          I see what you did there.

          by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:39:39 AM PST

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