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Author Topic: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen  (Read 4281 times)

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Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #25 on: April 10, 2010, 03:03:16 PM »
What exactly is so hard to understand about this?

Quote
Article 3, Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.

You all remember article three, right? The powers given to the Judiciary? You know, one of those two branches that is not the Executive? Have you even bothered to read this thing?

Offline Sabby

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #26 on: April 10, 2010, 04:45:51 PM »
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.

That made a lot more sense then the gung-ho, stars and stripes BS that's been flying around at the mention of this issue (and yes, in this thread as well).

I can understand feeling passionate about your home and ideals, but spouting "I'm American! Kill all these terrorists!" Is just a generation or two away from making America the devil the terrorists feel it is already. Beautiful in its irony, but not a desireable future.

Offline sleepingferret

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #27 on: April 10, 2010, 07:17:30 PM »
I can understand feeling passionate about your home and ideals, but spouting "I'm American! Kill all these terrorists!" Is just a generation or two away from making America the devil the terrorists feel it is already. Beautiful in its irony, but not a desireable future.

So you're saying what exactly?  That I should just let the terrorists claim their religious bullshit reasons for using suicide bombers, chemical weapons, or even outright old fashioned gunfire or just flat out beating someone to death and say or do nothing about it?

Yeah, don't think so.  If the rest of the world wants to view me as the devil, fine.  Then so I am.  But as far as I'm concerned when it comes down to it, I wasn't the one killing innocent people or disrupting the lives of those just trying to have a decent life for themselves.  If it means that I have to lay down my life or even condemn my soul to eternal damnation then so be it.  Because I for one, shall not be enslaved by terrorism.

Offline Paladin

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #28 on: April 10, 2010, 07:21:41 PM »
From a Military standpoint though once he left the US and started working against the US if it can be prooven then he is infact an enemy of the US... as I said IF the proof is there. Its a time of war folks, by military standards the only punsihment dure time of war is Death.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2010, 07:29:51 PM »
From a Military standpoint though once he left the US and started working against the US if it can be prooven then he is infact an enemy of the US... as I said IF the proof is there. Its a time of war folks, by military standards the only punsihment dure time of war is Death.

Bullshit. The military takes prisoners all the time. War criminals are tried.

And the entire point here is that it cannot be proven without a trial. That is his right as an American citizen. If he is convicted of treason then the Congress shall declare his punishment for treason. If that punishment is death, so be it. But until convicted in open court he has not committed treason. Definitionally. Read the Constitution. This is not a difficult concept to grasp.

The irony here is that the entire reason that is in the Constitution is to ensure that the executive branch does not have the power of the British monarchs of the age. This is a fundamental concept in American identity.

Offline Paladin

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2010, 07:34:03 PM »
Bullshit. The military takes prisoners all the time. War criminals are tried.

And the entire point here is that it cannot be proven without a trial. That is his right as an American citizen. If he is convicted of treason then the Congress shall declare his punishment for treason. If that punishment is death, so be it. But until convicted in open court he has not committed treason. Definitionally. Read the Constitution. This is not a difficult concept to grasp.

The irony here is that the entire reason that is in the Constitution is to ensure that the executive branch does not have the power of the British monarchs of the age. This is a fundamental concept in American identity.


Yea theres just one problem with following the consittution. The military tends to make its own rules. Aslo let please keep it civil. I am not cussing at you. I don't appriciate being cussed at.

Offline Brandon

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #31 on: April 10, 2010, 07:49:28 PM »
Paladin's pretty much dead on right about the situation. The military will do what they have to do. If they can take him alive they will, if he shoots back then the soldiers on site are going to do what they have to do. That might mean killing him or it might not

From my point of view, he has a means to preserve his life and ensure that hes given due process under American law and thats turning himself into one of the Various US embassies around the world. I grantee if he turns himself in it'll be a lot easier on him then if we have to send people looking for him too.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2010, 08:21:57 PM »
Yea theres just one problem with following the consittution. The military tends to make its own rules. Aslo let please keep it civil. I am not cussing at you. I don't appriciate being cussed at.

Apologies.

And what you have pointed out, if it were true, would be a problem with the military. However, I believe the the military remains loyal to America and its ideals, and to suggest otherwise without providing evidence is a bit tasteless. This is an irresponsible action on the part of the President and the CIA, specifically a violation of the principles of the Constitution they are duty-bound to uphold.

Do you really believe that the Constitution should be discarded in favour of killing one man?

Offline Paladin

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2010, 08:26:01 PM »
Apolagy accepted. Now onto the facts. The thing about the CIA is even without presidential order they probably would have still gone after this guy. the CIA, if you look in books and read the stories is known for its black ops deal and missions without telling anyone... not even the president. The Military as a whole does try to uphold to the laws and they will only do whats nessisary. The CIA though I don't trust them to give me the time of day.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #34 on: April 10, 2010, 08:33:37 PM »
We should never discard the Constitution, but adhering ourselves too closely to it in the wrong situations could end up shooting ourselves in the foot. One of reasons, among many many others, for why we're having such a difficult time in Iraq is that the insurgents know we have to stick to certain rules of engagement and simple legal/moral principles flatly stated out in our laws (which are freely viewable for anyone), and know exactly how they can abuse those rules and laws to cause us as much grief as possible while being completely uninhibited by anything resembling scruples of their own.

 It's always better to be on the morally superior side, but if I absolutely had to pick between being morally superior and dead, or guilty that I violated my moral principles but alive and able to atone for such, it's going to be option number two for me. Along that lines, if endorsing a violation of this man's Constitutional rights means it could stop another Ft. Hood or similar attack, then I'll take that option and live with it. I take it for granted that other people don't feel this way, but it's how I look at situations like this with no 'good' answer, only 'bad' and 'less bad', with ambiguity as to which one is which.

And Paladin's got a point, the CIA probably already had this guy on a list to 'terminate with extreme prejudice', the only thing this does is bring it out of the black books and made public, whether such was politically motivated or not.

Offline Brandon

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #35 on: April 10, 2010, 08:53:11 PM »
It wouldnt be the high road if things were easy. We've known that for years but its still the right thing to do (by our societies standards) so we adhere to doing whats right. I guess the question should be asked, do you want to maintain our country's high standards of morality or do you expect us to make warfare easier by letting the soldiers and police forces commit far more questionable acts to protect us?

Offline Paladin

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Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #36 on: April 10, 2010, 08:58:59 PM »
It wouldnt be the high road if things were easy. We've known that for years but its still the right thing to do (by our societies standards) so we adhere to doing whats right. I guess the question should be asked, do you want to maintain our country's high standards of morality or do you expect us to make warfare easier by letting the soldiers and police forces commit far more questionable acts to protect us?

Thats why we have the CIA. So they can do all the stuff we arn't proud of and we can continue to pretend we are still the good godfearing nation that has no idea this stuff occures.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2010, 09:00:45 PM »
That's the key thing, and what makes the question so difficult - how far are principles worth going for, possibly up to the point where doing so gets you killed and you don't have any principles at all? I'm not in a position to make that choice, and I'm indescribably happy for this fact. But I won't be judgemental against people who are in that position, and do have to make those choices, potentially on a daily basis.

Offline Jude

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2010, 09:11:25 PM »
From a practical point of view this is clearly the right thing to do and from a principled point of view this is clearly the wrong thing to do.  It's a matter of which should win out.

Personally I'd say principles should always win out as long as the cost isn't too high; in this case it wouldn't take much at all for the Obama administration to have his citizenship revoked, a trial held, or to have him convicted of treason.  In principle, this is no different than the way the Bush administration overstepped its executive authority, but in practice I'd say it's a more tolerable violation.  Whatever that means.

Offline Alexiel

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2010, 09:39:09 PM »
It looks like some people lost their train of thought along the way in there. This drifted from one thing to another and lost sight of the main problem being presented to us. To call back a previous statement, who decided this man was guily at all? Ok, so they have the evidence. Wonderful news, now bring him to trial. According to the law, every American citizen has the right to a speedy, fair trial with decent representation by a lawer of their choosing or one appointed to them.

So all those who are saying just to kill this man, I ask you one single question. If it were you, and they claimed they had evidence, would you still agree that you deserved to be shot on sight without a trial of any kind, and no chance to do anything but die? If the answer is yes, I don't know what to tell you, because I would like to think I had a right to a trial, at the very least.

As an American citizen, I would like to think that some rights in this country are still upheld, but it seems that little by little, humanity is losing that which it claims to have the most of. Freedom. There is no freedom if we let them do things like this and agree with it, but that's just my opinion.

This wasn't meant to offend anyone, and I apologize here and now if I have offended anyone, but I do have a right to my own opinion. (Unless the government takes that away next -_- )

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2010, 03:08:39 AM »
That's the key thing, and what makes the question so difficult - how far are principles worth going for, possibly up to the point where doing so gets you killed and you don't have any principles at all? I'm not in a position to make that choice, and I'm indescribably happy for this fact. But I won't be judgemental against people who are in that position, and do have to make those choices, potentially on a daily basis.

If this were a case of mosques and other Islamic orders arming themselves and preparing for an armed rebellion against the United States - well, that's part of why there is an appropriate case in which the Habeas Corpus can be temporarily suspended. The framers of the Constitution were geniuses and gave us a document that - at its core principles - is sound enough that compromising it is not a matter of wordplay but simply a matter of bald-faced contradicting it like in this case.

Radical Islam is going to continue trying the West's patience, and eventually those strings are going to snap. That's not going to end very well for them, but they don't believe that. When that occurs, though, what is it going to mean next? If militant atheists are the dominant political force by then, that means all religions may get cut down a notch or ten. Fundamentalist Christians - well we're all familiar with the sorts of steps they would like to take.

Our principles are what ensure that when we perform an action, we can stop at an appropriate point, rather than letting whatever dominant political force have its way with any further freedoms.


Offline Huginn

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #41 on: April 11, 2010, 05:50:18 AM »
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2010/0407/Anwar-al-Awlaki-Is-it-legal-to-kill-an-American-in-war-on-terror
A good writeup on this one that seems to make a bigger point in mentioning what I will go on about. First a couple little gripes.

First off. The charge on him is not treason. As I can find no evidence to support trial in absentee as it would be all sorts of bad. So this is not treason even if he is treasonous (It seems pretty obvious he is at the moment. But even that doesn't let us go in guns a blazing)

http://www.uruknet.info/index.php?p=m64888&hd=&size=1&l=e
Seems to have a great writeup on what is going on here. A ways down it explains what may be the power base behind this choice. Specifically it links further in to....
http://timeenoughforlove.org/saved/YahooNewsU_S_CanTargetAmericanal-QaidaAgents.htm
So! Now we are getting somewhere. It seems Bush worked in the power to target US nationals specifically if they are acting as a agents of Al Qaeda


The connection is here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/06/AR2010040604121.html?hpid=topnews ""He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," said a second U.S. official. "He's working actively to kill Americans, so it's both lawful and sensible to try to stop him." The official stressed that there are "careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens." "

So as we can see, The foundation for this act has long been around. It is not new  and seems to have been used in the past to excuse the killing of an American citizen (Even if they were not the primary goal of the attack.)

Right or wrong it seems it has stood up to at least some legal scrutiny before. And although it is hardly focused on in any of these stories they do state that this is a "Capture or Kill" I think we can all hope that Capture is the primary objective, no matter what the truth is, the possibility of "Kill" is what made this story, and because of that we are going to focus on that.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/world/middleeast/07yemen.html?hp
The possibility that Mr. Awlaki might be added to the target list was reported by The Los Angeles Times in January, and Reuters reported on Tuesday that he was approved for capture or killing.

(Note. I think the reason it is legal from a purely legal standpoint is the boundary between ideologue and someone partaking in direct action. The stories seem to point out that he has stepped over from recruitment and speaking to partaking directly in actions that harm others. In this he seems to have opened himself up to harsher reprisal. I don't honestly know where I would cross the line and say its ok to shoot first and ask questions later, but I would prefer if the order was to take him in if at all possible, with the understanding that in doing so, the lives of the agents/servicemen doing so were the primary concern, and to behave appropriately.)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 07:51:44 AM by Huginn »

Offline September

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #42 on: April 11, 2010, 02:28:47 PM »
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.

You're wrong on this point.  Members of Al Qaeda are pre-approved military targets - US soldiers do in fact have a licence to kill them.  (Edited to remove unnecessary bitching.)
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 02:29:52 PM by September »

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2010, 02:29:29 PM »
If this were a case of mosques and other Islamic orders arming themselves and preparing for an armed rebellion against the United States - well, that's part of why there is an appropriate case in which the Habeas Corpus can be temporarily suspended. The framers of the Constitution were geniuses and gave us a document that - at its core principles - is sound enough that compromising it is not a matter of wordplay but simply a matter of bald-faced contradicting it like in this case.

Agreed.



Huginn, I think you are missing the point a bit. If I am understanding you there are two major threads of argument in your post:

So! Now we are getting somewhere. It seems Bush worked in the power to target US nationals specifically if they are acting as a agents of Al Qaeda

[...]

So as we can see, The foundation for this act has long been around. It is not new  and seems to have been used in the past to excuse the killing of an American citizen (Even if they were not the primary goal of the attack.)

[...]

Right or wrong it seems it has stood up to at least some legal scrutiny before. And although it is hardly focused on in any of these stories they do state that this is a "Capture or Kill" I think we can all hope that Capture is the primary objective, no matter what the truth is, the possibility of "Kill" is what made this story, and because of that we are going to focus on that.

Just because something has been done before is neither an argument for its constitutionality nor morality. Also, I don't think the argument that Bush did it so it is okay is really that useful... It seems like what you are saying here is: Obama is not the only one to do this. Fine. I don't think that was anybody's main point. The point is that it is unconstitutional and immoral. That is not mitigated by any other president doing it before.

First off. The charge on him is not treason. As I can find no evidence to support trial in absentee as it would be all sorts of bad. So this is not treason even if he is treasonous (It seems pretty obvious he is at the moment. But even that doesn't let us go in guns a blazing)

To reiterate. Read the Constitution. Treason is defined in article three, section three.

Quote
Article 3, Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court. The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attained.

"He's recently become an operational figure for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula," said a second U.S. official. "He's working actively to kill Americans, so it's both lawful and sensible to try to stop him." The official stressed that there are "careful procedures our government follows in these kinds of cases, but U.S. citizenship hardly gives you blanket protection overseas to plot the murder of your fellow citizens."

[...]

(Note. I think the reason it is legal from a purely legal standpoint is the boundary between ideologue and someone partaking in direct action. The stories seem to point out that he has stepped over from recruitment and speaking to partaking directly in actions that harm others. In this he seems to have opened himself up to harsher reprisal. I don't honestly know where I would cross the line and say its ok to shoot first and ask questions later, but I would prefer if the order was to take him in if at all possible, with the understanding that in doing so, the lives of the agents/servicemen doing so were the primary concern, and to behave appropriately.)

To me. This sounds an awful lot like "levying War against them [these United States], or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort". You know, the exact thing there is a very clearly defined section of the Constitution dealing with. A part which explicitly grants the power of determining and dealing with treason to the Judiciary and Legislature and not to the Executive branch or its agencies. To not call it treason is to try to use semantics to end-run around law. If I go kill someone with full knowledge and malice aforethought I cannot get off of prosecution by playing a word game and not calling it murder. Whatever term you want to apply to him, his actions are the same. Which is to say the actions he is accused of constitute a clearly defined grievance against the United States. A grievance known as treason, the right to determine the veracity of that accusation lies solely in the hands of the Judiciary and the right to punish lies solely in the hands of the Congress.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2010, 02:32:57 PM »
You're wrong on this point.  Members of Al Qaeda are pre-approved military targets - US soldiers do in fact have a licence to kill them.  May I advise you to consider reading the rules of engagement before lecturing people about what you imagine the contents to be.  Thanks.

I have read the rules of engagement, thank you. However I admit I may have misinterpreted them. Since you purport to have knowledge contradicting my claim, perhaps you could actually provide it? Where in the rules of engagement does it say you can attack a person solely due to organizational affiliation regardless of whether or not they are an armed threat? Or that the military does not accept surrender nor take prisoners?

Offline September

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2010, 02:50:19 PM »
Apologies for being unnecessarily bitchy.  I deleted it, but after you read it.

However, you have definitely misinterpreted the ROE.  Al Qaeda and terrorists in general are part of what's called (from memory) a "pre-designated target set" or a "preplanned target set" or something.  A soldier on the ground can kill one if he IDs one.

Offline VekseidTopic starter

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2010, 02:54:49 PM »
Apologies for being unnecessarily bitchy.  I deleted it, but after you read it.

However, you have definitely misinterpreted the ROE.  Al Qaeda and terrorists in general are part of what's called (from memory) a "pre-designated target set" or a "preplanned target set" or something.  A soldier on the ground can kill one if he IDs one.

No one reasonably expects our soldiers, in combat, to pick out - much less spare - traitors in the midst of combat. This is about conducting an assassination off of the battlefield, and what that means.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2010, 03:41:36 PM »
Apologies for being unnecessarily bitchy.  I deleted it, but after you read it.

However, you have definitely misinterpreted the ROE.  Al Qaeda and terrorists in general are part of what's called (from memory) a "pre-designated target set" or a "preplanned target set" or something.  A soldier on the ground can kill one if he IDs one.

Not a problem, emotion runs high in issues like these.

However, I am afraid you are misinformed. Soldiers cannot kill compliant individuals or individuals otherwise not resisting or displaying hostile intent. This is why prisoners of war exist. This is why enemy combatants can surrender themselves to US forces. This is why if we find a militant hospital, our troops don't just go down the line shooting everyone in the head. Organizational affiliation is not enough to warrant deadly force. To the best of my knowledge, no US Military rules of engagement for any specific operation, standard rules of engagement for any US Military branch, the Geneva Convention, or any international rules of engagement used by a coalition of troops the US Military has been part of has held otherwise.

As a for instance, CJCSI 3121.01A (US Joint Chief of Staff Standard Rules of Engagement) contains the following line:
Quote
US forces will comply with the Law of War during military operations involving armed conflict, no matter how the conflict may be characterized under international law, and will comply with its principles and spirit during all other operations.

A few applicable tenants of the Law of War (paraphrased from US ARMY FM 3-07.1) being:
Quote
   
-Do not harm enemies who surrender; disarm them and turn them over to the chain of command.
-Do not kill or torture detainees.
-Collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe.

If you know  of any specific example that contradicts this, please let me know.



No one reasonably expects our soldiers, in combat, to pick out - much less spare - traitors in the midst of combat. This is about conducting an assassination off of the battlefield, and what that means.

Exactly. If he is actively resisting in the midst of armed conflict his death is well within the ROE. This order specifically circumvents the ROE, and that is the problem.

Offline September


Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: Obama Approves Assassination of US Citizen
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2010, 05:06:51 PM »
What does CDE stand for?