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Author Topic: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen  (Read 4284 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter

Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« on: April 08, 2010, 06:47:12 PM »
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/middleeast/07yemen.html?hp
Quote
The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday.
Related

Mr. Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico and spent years in the United States as an imam, is in hiding in Yemen. He has been the focus of intense scrutiny since he was linked to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 people at Fort Hood, Tex., in November, and then to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25.

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president.

...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040604121.html?hpid=topnews
Quote
A Muslim cleric tied to the attempted bombing of a Detroit-bound airliner has become the first U.S. citizen added to a list of suspected terrorists the CIA is authorized to kill, a U.S. official said Tuesday.

Anwar al-Aulaqi, who resides in Yemen, was previously placed on a target list maintained by the U.S. military's Joint Special Operations Command and has survived at least one strike carried out by Yemeni forces with U.S. assistance against a gathering of suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

Because he is a U.S. citizen, adding Aulaqi to the CIA list required special approval from the White House, officials said. The move means that Aulaqi would be considered a legitimate target not only for a military strike carried out by U.S. and Yemeni forces, but also for lethal CIA operations.

...

At the very least, a public trial in absentia could be established. Doing this without any deference to the rule of law whatsoever is a horrible precedent (not that Bush set many fine ones himself).

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 07:38:49 PM »
Shoot the son of a bitch he is a terrorist and not likely retrievable. If he wants to live he can always turn himself in at the nearest US Embassy for extradition to the US.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 07:47:33 PM »
I don't see 'assassinate on sight' on this.. he's been labeled as an 'enemy combatant' and is a legitimate target for any action up and including sanction. It's not the same as 'assassination'. You don't announce assassinations like this. He's most likely going to be shot/missiled/bombed but it's not the same as assassination. I bet most of the groups involved in such actions in the field would give their eye teeth to get him in a cell and eventually trial for treason.

Me personally, I think we should be a little more practical in our actions. Less man in the field targets more recruiters/financers. Get them with the laws and banks, it's hard to recruit folks without recruiters or money.

Of course we could also do like Russians did in the 80s. Someone took a couple Russian diplomats in Beruit, the Spetznatz came in and quietly started shooting folks related to the kidnappers till they returned the diplomats.  Blunt and to the point.


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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2010, 02:53:18 AM »
Would you be equally happy to have that same standard applied to Americans? Quietly start shooting those til they stop doing things others consider wrong? Say for example those who contributed, directly or indirectly, to funding the IRA in the 80s. If the British government had decided to assassinate American citizens, you'd be perfectly fine with this?

Offline Lucius Cornelius

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2010, 05:35:55 AM »
Shoot the son of a bitch he is a terrorist and not likely retrievable. If he wants to live he can always turn himself in at the nearest US Embassy for extradition to the US.

is no there law about be innocent until proven otherwise...or another law about a fair judgment?

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2010, 09:06:33 AM »
Shoot the son of a bitch he is a terrorist and not likely retrievable. If he wants to live he can always turn himself in at the nearest US Embassy for extradition to the US.

There are legal structures to deal with treason. It is a crime like any other, as is terrorism. You cannot support the rule of law or value your rights as a citizen and at the same time support the authorization to kill American citizens without trial.

I don't see 'assassinate on sight' on this.. he's been labeled as an 'enemy combatant' and is a legitimate target for any action up and including sanction. It's not the same as 'assassination'. You don't announce assassinations like this. He's most likely going to be shot/missiled/bombed but it's not the same as assassination.

Because suddenly the method of death matters? Or do you think semantics has any bearing on morality?

Of course we could also do like Russians did in the 80s. Someone took a couple Russian diplomats in Beruit, the Spetznatz came in and quietly started shooting folks related to the kidnappers till they returned the diplomats.  Blunt and to the point.

Yeah, we should totally just start shooting innocents who haven't even been accused of crimes. Or...wait...here's an idea...maybe we could set up these big camps, and you know send all the Japanese Muslim American citizens into them, you know, just in case. [/sarcasm]

It's disgusting how when the words terrorist and enemy combatant start flying around people seem to think that it has an effect on law, morality, and the value of human life.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2010, 09:31:21 AM »
I don't see 'assassinate on sight' on this.. he's been labeled as an 'enemy combatant'

By what court?

Separation of powers exists for a reason. Have a court come to that decision, then the executive branch can carry out necessary action. We should not be so paralyzed as to make that difficult -_-

Offline Aiden

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2010, 10:53:30 AM »
If he is an enemy of the state, then he deserves what comes to him, Kill the son of a bitch.

Offline Lucius Cornelius

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2010, 11:03:34 AM »
If he is an enemy of the state, then he deserves what comes to him, Kill the son of a bitch.
who decides it??
who has to decide it?

if i walk along a street, and talk about kill someone, the police don't shoot me. Even if i kill someone the police arrest me , and have a lawyer to defend...
where is the difference?

Offline Aiden

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2010, 11:08:21 AM »
In this case our legal system, flawed as it is, if the evidence exist that the person in question is guilty then he is an enemy.

I don't think we need to show mercy to those who try to kill us. I feel the same way about convicts and major crimes, rapist, murderers, hardcore gang members, the world does not need them, kill them all.

Offline Lucius Cornelius

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2010, 11:14:34 AM »
In this case our legal system, flawed as it is, if the evidence exist that the person in question is guilty then he is an enemy.

I don't think we need to show mercy to those who try to kill us. I feel the same way about convicts and major crimes, rapist, murderers, hardcore gang members, the world does not need them, kill them all.

who decides it <------This is the question.
All the legal system go  around it.

if the goverment can decide who is guilty and who doesn't , that next goverment, can decide that gay are enemy of the state .

or jews...


Offline Aiden

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2010, 11:21:53 AM »
Whoever is in power at the time.

I think our government as reached a point that it will not target a specific group like that anymore, but we never know.

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2010, 11:30:15 AM »
I frankly, can't understand why people insist on giving terrorists things like fair trials, rights to lawyers, and all those other things listed in the Bill of Rights. The Constitution is for Americans, not foreign mass murderers who use our own laws against us while plotting to slaughter us all. They could go through the formalities of stripping this guy of his American citizenship (if that's possible, I don't know), but as far as I'm concerned, if he's in any way responsible for the Ft. Hood attack, then he's lost any rights to claim being an American anymore. Call me insensitive, but I think there's a lot more to citizenship than having your name written on a piece of paper - i.e., not carrying out or inciting acts of horrific violence against your fellow "citizens". 'With us or against us' is a stupid concept, but if you're unabashedly and blatantly against us, then it is pretty obvious you're not with us and should not be treated like you are.

Tl/dr: Obama +1. I don't agree with a lot of his policies, but I think he made the right decision here.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2010, 11:31:52 AM by TheGlyphstone »

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2010, 12:02:58 PM »
http://www.richw.org/dualcit/law.html
http://www.newcitizen.us/losing.html

It would be trivially easy to get his citizenship revoked. Or should be. Let that decision be made and be public.

Following the procedure here means that a future administration would not have it within their rights to conduct a political, religious, or ethnic pogrom.

Offline Lucius Cornelius

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2010, 12:10:45 PM »
http://www.richw.org/dualcit/law.html
http://www.newcitizen.us/losing.html

It would be trivially easy to get his citizenship revoked. Or should be. Let that decision be made and be public.

Following the procedure here means that a future administration would not have it within their rights to conduct a political, religious, or ethnic pogrom.


 that was exactly what i was trying to say.    XD

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2010, 12:58:43 PM »
People sort of assume that the Holocaust occurred without precedent or at random. Many Jews had nothing to do with the usury and scams that led up to the Great Depression, but they got blamed for it anyway. Some on the lunatic fringe are blaming them for it again already. Most Americans don't consider the banking crisis to be a Jewish problem, thankfully. Most Americans consider it to be a greedy fucking leech problem, so I doubt we'll see a repeat of the Jewish holocaust.

Islam, however, has a different problem. Terrorism is seen as an Islamic problem. Honor killings are seen as an Islamic problem. "Revenge rape" is seen as an Islamic problem. They should thank the Catholic Church for so carelessly handling its pedophilia problem. These things are evil, yes, but we can't tear down our laws in pursuit of them. Smooth them out, make them leaner, make them better. Replace the Jury with a tribunal if needed, but the separation of powers serves a very important function.

To quote A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt:

Quote
Sir Thomas More: And go he should, if he were the Devil himself, until he broke the law!
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat?

This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down (and you're just the man to do it!), do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?

Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2010, 03:24:48 PM »
People sort of assume that the Holocaust occurred without precedent or at random. Many Jews had nothing to do with the usury and scams that led up to the Great Depression, but they got blamed for it anyway. Some on the lunatic fringe are blaming them for it again already. Most Americans don't consider the banking crisis to be a Jewish problem, thankfully. Most Americans consider it to be a greedy fucking leech problem, so I doubt we'll see a repeat of the Jewish holocaust.

Islam, however, has a different problem. Terrorism is seen as an Islamic problem. Honor killings are seen as an Islamic problem. "Revenge rape" is seen as an Islamic problem. They should thank the Catholic Church for so carelessly handling its pedophilia problem. These things are evil, yes, but we can't tear down our laws in pursuit of them. Smooth them out, make them leaner, make them better. Replace the Jury with a tribunal if needed, but the separation of powers serves a very important function.

Thank you Veks. Especially for the Man for All Seasons Quote.

Look, I get that not everybody is going to get on board with me in saying that the death, much less the wilful killing, of any human being for any reason is an act that should never be considered anything less than horrific (and in the case of killing immoral). I know I can be a little morally inflexible at times (it comes with being Kantian). But this goes beyond that issue. To support this is to say that an American can be stripped of their rights by fiat. This action is not being subject to the will of the public or the logic of the courts. This is an unbalanced source of a terrible power, and no matter how justified you see its use in the current circumstance, it is doubtful that this unprecedented instance will remain unique. There are checks on power like this for a reason. To remove them can turn the best intentioned of us into a formidable source of evil and tyranny.

Offline September

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2010, 04:14:31 AM »
Justifiable homicide is not some terrifying new idea.  Government agents are allowed to kill terrorists, whatever nationality they are.  This just seems to recognise in law the fact that al-Awlaki is a member of Al Qaeda and is subject to the consequences of that status.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2010, 05:44:44 AM »
Justifiable homicide is not some terrifying new idea.  Government agents are allowed to kill terrorists, whatever nationality they are.  This just seems to recognise in law the fact that al-Awlaki is a member of Al Qaeda and is subject to the consequences of that status.

Recognized by who? I don't remember any kinda trial.

Offline September

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2010, 05:58:50 AM »
Osama Bin Laden hasn't been tried either.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2010, 06:08:43 AM »

Offline September

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2010, 07:30:00 AM »
Hasn't been tried for 9/11, which you must admit sort of sparked all this interest in him off.  The point is that members of Al Qaeda do not need to be tried in court before our soldiers and agents are allowed to kill them.  Presuming that nobody here has a problem with that, the only controversy here would seem to be if this guy's membership in Al Qaeda were in doubt, which doesn't seem to be the case, so I don't see the problem.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2010, 11:33:00 AM »
Osama Bin Laden hasn't been tried either.

He's not an American citizen.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2010, 12:21:58 PM »
Justifiable homicide is not some terrifying new idea.  Government agents are allowed to kill terrorists, whatever nationality they are.  This just seems to recognise in law the fact that al-Awlaki is a member of Al Qaeda and is subject to the consequences of that status.

You obviously have no idea how government agencies work. Every bullet fired from a government agent's gun means a pile of paperwork. And if someone is killed by that bullet it means inquiries, because for something to be a justifiable homicide, it has to be proven to be justified. Most government agents never discharge their firearms in their entire career. Despite what TV has told you there is no "licence to kill" which gives any agent the right to shoot terrorists willy-nilly. They have no more right to kill than the average citizen does, which is to say in defence from a clear danger. This is why the CIA has a list in the first place. This list does not include 'every member of Al Qaeda', but rather select individuals that are believed to be, by their very continued existence, unacceptable threats to the safety of the nation. It is not a good precedent to set that American citizens can be placed on this list without trial. It in fact violates the constitution in multiple ways and ignores established procedures for dealing with this.

Hasn't been tried for 9/11, which you must admit sort of sparked all this interest in him off.

Either you are very young or 9/11 eclipsed lots of other stuff for you (not surprising, many Americans only believe things are wrong if they happen in America). Bin Laden was active for years, maybe even decades, before 9/11. But that is beside the point. Osama bin Laden was not a naturally born US citizen.

The point is that members of Al Qaeda do not need to be tried in court before our soldiers and agents are allowed to kill them.  Presuming that nobody here has a problem with that, the only controversy here would seem to be if this guy's membership in Al Qaeda were in doubt, which doesn't seem to be the case, so I don't see the problem.

Again, not even the military gets to kill people just because they are part of Al Qaeda. They must be a clear, armed danger. Rules of engagement are very specific on this and soldiers that violate them are tried and disciplined within the military court system. It is very rare to set up a kill list and the names on that list should be there with no other alternative, and your rights as an American citizen should prevent you from being put on such a list at all. It is a clear violation of constitutional rights. They could have tried him for treason (there are methods for trying people in absentia in unavoidable circumstances). They could have stripped him of citizenship. They didn't.

To appeal to the pragmatist consider the precedent this sets. Even if you can approve of this realize that the next time it is applied it might not be a situation you agree with. This is a big blunt instrument being given to the executive branch with no oversight by the legislative or judicial. That is a recipe for disaster.

If you will indulge my hyperbole for a moment, this is Pandora's box, and it is baffling to think that you are so short-sighted as to be cheering its opening.

Offline sleepingferret

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #24 on: April 10, 2010, 02:34:22 PM »
America's legal system has sadly come down to a bunch of high dollar lawyers and who can afford the best one..and that pretty much wins.  The supposed stuff about truth and justice for all?  That'll be written on America's headstone if people don't wake up and realize certain things have to start changing and changing now.

Freedom?  Hey I'm all for it.  But at times, freedom comes with a cost.  And if that cost is outright killing a terrorist, so be it.  Better him or her than some innocent law abiding citizen or even some person just visiting the country that's minding their own business and not causing trouble.

Besides, it's about time Obama stepped up and realized if he's going to be sitting in that chair he can't just play pacifist with terrorists.  Doing stupid things like closing Guantanamo Bay isn't going to deter terrorism.  And as for Mr. Awlaki, well committing acts of treason isn't going to win anyone's heart over.  Does he expect a medal of honor or something?  Treason is the one crime that stands as the one crime that is pretty much absolutely punishable by death throughout the US, and while there may be "official" ways of handling it...including court trials.  What do those do?  Aside from generate more press for our enemies and cost us more money.  Kill the traitor and be done with it, unless there is any significant evidence contradicting his guilt.