Breaking: Awlaki dead? Update: American Samir Khan also killed

posted at 7:26 am on September 30, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

The New York Times reports this morning that officials in both Yemen and Washington claim that American-born Al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki has reached room temperature somewhere in Yemen:

In a significant and dramatic strike in the campaign against Al Qaeda, the Defense Ministry here said American-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, a leading figure in the group’s outpost in Yemen, was killed on Friday morning.

In Washington a senior Obama administration official confirmed that Mr. Awlaki was dead. But the circumstances surrounding the killing remained unclear.

It was not immediately known whether Yemeni forces carried out the attack or if American intelligence forces, which have been pursuing Mr. Awlaki for months, were involved in the operation.

A Defense Ministry statement said that a number of Mr. Awlaki’s bodyguards also were killed.

A high-ranking Yemeni security official who spoke on condition of anonymity said that Mr. Awlaki was killed while traveling between Marib and al-Jawf provinces in northern Yemen — areas known for having an Al Qaeda presence, where there is very little central government control. The official did not say how he was killed.

Awlaki has a long history of terrorism against the US.  At first considered a moderate cleric — the Bush administration invited him to the Pentagon as part of their outreach program after 9/11 — he became a suspect in the 9/11 attacks after at least three of the hijackers were traced to his mosque.  Awlaki fled the US and eventually masterminded the Christmas Day underwear plot in 2009 as well as a later plot to destroy cargo airplanes bound for the US, and at least inspired the Fort Hood massacre and other so-called “lone wolf” attacks.

These kind of early reports from places like Yemen have often proven wrong, although having confirmation from Washington makes it a little more reliable.  That also strongly hints that US forces were involved in the killing, which may mean hints will be all we’ll get.  As an American citizen, his status created controversy for the Obama administration when it became clear that they had tasked the military and intelligence communities with killing rather than apprehending him.  Awlaki put himself in that position by conducting a war against the US, though, and in war a belligerent has no particular duty to apprehend anyone who doesn’t surrender to their forces, regardless of their nationality.  For political reasons, don’t expect the same kind of celebration at the White House over Awlaki’s termination as was seen after Osama bin Laden’s death.

Assuming that Awlaki is really dead, though, this could be a bigger operational deal than getting bin Laden.  Awlaki’s group, AQAP, was by far the most active internationally among AQ affiliates, and his intimate knowledge of the US made him a dangerous foe.  His death won’t be the end of AQ’s attempts to create home-grown jihadis and infiltrators, but it will make that task a lot more difficult.

Update: Let’s not forget, however, that we’ve prematurely celebrated the end of this jihadi at least once before.

Update II: Rusty at MPJ notes that another American jihadi/traitor breathed his last in this attack, although at first he was rumored to have survived:

Sources in Yemen clarify why the rumor that he survived started: there were two missiles, he survived the first one …. but that second one? That one was the kill shot.

Samir Khan fled the US to Yemen and began producing the al-Qaeda recruitment “magazine” Inspire.  That makes two less Americans for AQ to consult on recruiting home-grown jihadis.  Be sure to read more at Khan at MPJ.

Update III: ABC News now reports on Khan’s demise:

A young American who edited al Qaeda’s English-language magazine, and had urged Muslims to mount deadly attacks on U.S. targets, was killed in the same CIA drone strike that eliminated Anwar Awlaki in Yemen Friday, U.S. officials said.

Khan, 25, was the Saudi-born, New York-raised editor behind “Inspire” magazine, the English language online publication of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. Khan had become a rising figure in jihadist propaganda and an “aspiring” Awlaki, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

But while Awlaki relied on sermons to recruit jihadis, Khan used sarcasm and idiomatic English in an attempt to appeal to Western youth. As Khan himself has said, “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I [am] Al Qaeda to the core.” He titled a rebuke of toppled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak “A Cold Diss.” Khan’s ability to use American vernacular, like a graphic depicting graffiti that reads, “Jihad 4 Eva,” had prompted concerns that young Muslims with an interest in jihad and al Qaeda would be drawn to a voice similar to their own.

“He does appear to be increasingly involved with operational activities [of Al Qaeda]“, a U.S. official told ABC News in 2010.

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Another one bites the dust. (It appears. Remember – he’s been ‘killed’ before.)

Washington Nearsider on September 30, 2011 at 7:27 AM

More, please, and a little more often, if you don’t mind.

Extrafishy on September 30, 2011 at 7:29 AM

was he shot on the border with a barrett .50cal??? Oh wait, that was Brian Terry.

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Well done.

myrenovations on September 30, 2011 at 7:31 AM

will those same officials who said that we were not supposed to “jump to conclusions” about that POS Nidal Hassan please stand up and be counted?

Will the same stains that gave shout outs to chief Red Cloud after Awlwakis boy shot 30 soldiers at Ft Hood please stand up?

We were RIGHT to jump to conclusions about Nidal Hassan. He was a freakin Islamic terrorist and now his homeboy mentor, Awlwaki or whatever his name is, has been spared the eternal horror of 3 square meals a day at that prison we closed in Cuba…oh WAIT!

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM

YES.

Cylor on September 30, 2011 at 7:33 AM

I hate to be cynical, and I’m thankful if this is true, but expect more of these as 11/6/12 draws closer.

kingsjester on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

can the ACLU read someone his rights faster than a hellfire drone can fly? im jus’ askin’….

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

BTW, if Turdboy ordered this that makes exactly two “attaboys” in a vast ocean of “aw, sh!ts”. Doesn’t even register on the Reconsider Obama Meter. That piece of equipment was busted when it left the Chinese factory.

Extrafishy on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Lesson to future radicalized American muslims: Citizenship offers no protection. You mess with our security, we’ll take you out.

Double thumbs up.

BuckeyeSam on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Just in case you’re wondering, NO…this doesn’t make Fast and Furious go away.

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

did the ATF force hellfire drone dealers to sell weapons to the cartels so these could then be used in Yemen? Was this the result of a “botched sting operation”? Were these hellfires “walked” into the hands of rogue drone operators?

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I hate to be cynical, and I’m thankful if this is true, but expect more of these as 11/6/12 draws closer.

kingsjester on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Fellow cynic here. I thought the same thing.

RDE2010 on September 30, 2011 at 7:38 AM

the Bush administration invited him to the Pentagon as part of their outreach program after 9/11

Taqiyya at work.

The fox in the henhouse. Do I dare hope we have a little more skepticism before inviting ANY Muslim imam or preacher or whatever into our midst?

fred5678 on September 30, 2011 at 7:39 AM

this is the kinda news that you’d think they’d break on the friday that the unemployment numbers were coming out.

ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:39 AM

I hate to be cynical, and I’m thankful if this is true, but expect more of these as 11/6/12 draws closer.

kingsjester on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

I don’t disagree, but only OBL and Awlaki were known by at least a plurality of Americans. The Obama WH will need another year to publicize the identity of the next big target. In the meantime, successful strikes will be met with little more than a high five and quickly forgotten.

BuckeyeSam on September 30, 2011 at 7:40 AM

Had this mofo in the dead pool. Good times.

JammieWearingFool on September 30, 2011 at 7:41 AM

Are they going to toss his corpse into the drink with OBL after a respectful Islamic funeral?

If he truly is dead, then Good Riddance. Feed him to the dogs.

CantCureStupid on September 30, 2011 at 7:44 AM

If he truly is dead, then Good Riddance. Feed him to the dogs.

CantCureStupid on September 30, 2011 at 7:44 AM

Or the pigs.

Red Cloud on September 30, 2011 at 7:45 AM

I’m surprised the left isn’t outrageously outraged that an organ of the US government violated the due process of and assassinated a US citizen in a sovereign nation with which we are not at war.

Oh. Right. Obama = perfect.

Washington Nearsider on September 30, 2011 at 7:46 AM

I love it when it rains parts in Yemen.

docflash on September 30, 2011 at 7:46 AM

I did this!! I gave the order!! I pulled the trigger!! It’s all about me!! Forget the military!! I did it!! —Obama

Vntnrse on September 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Very good news, but if you’re worried this will bump Fast and Furious off the front page don’t worry…. Fast and Furious never made the front page….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM

ACLU hardest hit

txmomof6 on September 30, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Just something to consider here:

If he’s dead, good. I’m glad. But….

Al Awlaki was also a US citizen. He was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. The US government targeted a civilian and said, “This guy is bad. Take him out.” No due process. No trial.

We’ve set a precedent here and we can’t ignore the larger implications.

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Are they going to toss his corpse into the drink with OBL after a respectful Islamic funeral?

If he truly is dead, then Good Riddance. Feed him to the dogs.

CantCureStupid on September 30, 2011 at 7:44 AM

Corpse? What corpse?

fred5678 on September 30, 2011 at 7:51 AM

Good news if true, but for re-electon, dont you think they need to leave a little gas in the tank? A nice October surprise would be Gadahn in chains.

Greek Fire on September 30, 2011 at 7:52 AM

Good news rides a fast horse…

Amazing how those Bush policies (still in place) work as designed…

Waiting for the PBHO “It was I who ordered this specific operation” meme to start…

Khun Joe on September 30, 2011 at 7:53 AM

I blame Bush.

bloggless on September 30, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Just something to consider here:

If he’s dead, good. I’m glad. But….

Al Awlaki was also a US citizen. He was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. The US government targeted a civilian and said, “This guy is bad. Take him out.” No due process. No trial.

We’ve set a precedent here and we can’t ignore the larger implications.

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Sorry Dave… Once he goes overseas like this and foments jihad against the homeland, POTUS can sign the death order… It is on the books, and I support PHBO for this… The implication being: “Foment and foster jihad, mentor and assist Soldiers of Allah that come and murder soldiers at Fort Hood, and we will track you down and kill you.”

To me, that is the message the USA wants to send. Message delivered.

For specific legal opinion, I defer to crr6, who is probably sad right now…

Khun Joe on September 30, 2011 at 7:56 AM

Just something to consider here:

If he’s dead, good. I’m glad. But….

Al Awlaki was also a US citizen. He was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. The US government targeted a civilian and said, “This guy is bad. Take him out.” No due process. No trial.

We’ve set a precedent here and we can’t ignore the larger implications.

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

I agree 100%

I’d add not only was he a US citizen but a native one.

Mr. Bingley on September 30, 2011 at 7:58 AM

The media story I read said Obama personally ordered his killing. Good grief.

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 7:59 AM

Glenn Greenwald’s already up in arms over this, the horror of the U.S. killing one of its own citizens. See: ‘Anwar al-Awlaki Killed in Yemen’.

Donald Douglas on September 30, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Paging Bill Ayers…

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:04 AM

…If true…Great job.

Also great to see our perpetually outraged “killing terrorist only creates more terrorist”,civil liberties crowd celebrate the actions they called “war crimes” under Bush for 8 years.

…nobody assassinates people better than the “anti-war” crowd.

………..peace out and bombs awayyyyyyyyy.

Baxter Greene on September 30, 2011 at 8:04 AM

ACLU loses another client.

In August 2010, al-Awlaki’s father sued the U.S. government with the help of the ACLU, challenging its order to kill al-Awlaki, but a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in December 2010.[40][41]

fred5678 on September 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Does he get another Nobel Peace Prize?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Is this considered the death penalty? Will the Troy Davis protestors storm the WH?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:07 AM

Meanwhile, back on Wall Street……
http://themorningspew.com/2011/09/29/all-new-wall-street-protesters-see-where-your-tax-dollars-are-going/

Why hasn’t Obama focused on cleaning up these people? You get the sense that liberals want this to get bigger and bigger.

bloggless on September 30, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Dave in San Diego,

I agree with the strike, but this does have major implications. This should only be done after very careful deliberations.

On another level, I believe that the what if “Bush did this” angle will be interesting to watch. I anticipate there will some but not much lefty outrage. Their Bush rage was not about the constitution but about advancing the progressive agenda pure and simple.

mwbri on September 30, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Does he get another Nobel Peace Prize?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:05 AM

Maybe a “Pieces” Prize….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 8:10 AM

he renounced his citizen ship along time ago, its why he was living in Yemen to begin with.

jp on September 30, 2011 at 8:10 AM

mwbri on September 30, 2011 at 8:09 AM

killing this guy wasn’t unconstitutional

jp on September 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM

One reason I “do not” miss GW Bush yet. The very idea of inviting the likes of Awlaki to the Pentagon or even allowing such inside our borders. But the liberal GW Bush allowed hundreds of thousands of Muslims who hate us, inside our borders just to show them, “we don’t hate you”. And sadly, most are still here and they have zero love for us or our nation. What a colossal blunder by Bush. DD

Darvin Dowdy on September 30, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Dirt Nap!!!!!!

According to the experts on FoxNews, this guy was more dangerous because they are calling him Al Queda 2.0. He knew our culture, he knows the new media, and he was able to reach people and brain wash them through virtual means. This “lone wolf” terrorism can be very deadly and harder to track because peeps aren’t going to training camps overseas which can be watched, monitored, infiltrated, etc.

Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen were musing as to why youtube still allowed this guy’s “sermons” etc. to still be posted up there for all eternity. The good old freedom of speech issue.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I don’t want to appear unappreciative but I’m ready for Adam Gadahn to check out also. I wonder if Gen Peterus being at CIA was instrumental?

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 8:16 AM

The Western welcome mat for these clowns is going to kill us.

A fluent English speaker, Awlaki skillfully exploited the internet to urge young British Muslims to launch home-made terror attacks against high profile institutions. During a spell in 2004 when he was – bizarrely – allowed to live in London, he spent much of his time preaching his radical message at mosques and on university campuses. Among those who attended his vitriolic sermons were some of those responsible for carrying out the July 7 bombings in London, the worst terrorist attack in British history.

fred5678 on September 30, 2011 at 8:17 AM

From what I heard on the news, this dude was born here because his dad was attending grad school in New Mexico. At the age of 2, he went back to Yemen when his parents moved back and stayed there until his late teens, when he returned to go to school here. From what was reported, he lied on his college application and claimed to be a non-citizen (he held dual citizenship) because apparently he would have access to more financial aid or something.

Then he stayed over here and was an Imam in all of these mosques. He had close ties to the guys who plowed a plane into the pentagon. That is especially insidious since he was invited there to lecture on why muslims were radicalizing against America.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:17 AM

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

Hmmm, need to think about that.

OK. Done.

Next batter.

justltl on September 30, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Interestingly, I rather agree with Dave and Bingley. While I am absolutely horrified at extending the rights of US citizenship to foreign enemies, Awlaki was a US citizen.

Was his citizenship ever revoked? If so, was it done by due process?

If, on the other hand, a specific mission was written to kill a US citizen without due process…

what’s to stop the President from writing a mission specifically to kill me?

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:19 AM

jp on September 30, 2011 at 8:11 AM

I would disagree, but the unconstitutional argument in this case at least is compelling and I see where you are coming from.

On the other hand, the libs outrage with GWB was for foreign insurgents/terrorists being denied their “rights” when captured on foreign soil. Now when a US citizen is denied his due process, I don’t look for lefty rage because Obama did this. It is ironic.

mwbri on September 30, 2011 at 8:21 AM

He knew our culture, he knows the new media, and he was able to reach people and brain wash them through virtual means.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Yea, well, only a million more guys just like this.

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:22 AM

I don’t want to appear unappreciative but I’m ready for Adam Gadahn to check out also. I wonder if Gen Peterus being at CIA was instrumental?

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 8:16 AM

FoxNews has some hi ranking retired general on the phone today and they kind of asked him this question. He actually credited Panetta coming over from the CIA and now SecDef. And someone else who is well researched and connected on this war on terror said they were tracking this guy for a week. Hillary and Panetta were definitely on the “take him out” side. Finally Obama gave the order for the strike.

They haven’t announced who was traveling with him in the 2 cars.

Most of the experts they have on their show today are saying that it is far more effective and way more cheaper to just conduct the war on terror on offense this way, than counterinsurgency. That guy (I think it was the retired general), said it costs us a million dollars per soldier to be on a battle field. I am not sure in what time frame that million dollars is spent giving the soldiers all of the weapons and support they need to do their job.

I learned a lot watching their coverage over the past 2 hours. Actually they broke in at 5:30 this morning and have had a lot of guests on their show (mostly by phone), and it has been very informative.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM

If, on the other hand, a specific mission was written to kill a US citizen without due process…

what’s to stop the President from writing a mission specifically to kill me?

That’s my concern as well, Scott. Look, I have no love for the scumbag or any of his ilk, but if the US government can at their whim kill a US citizen overseas, no matter how much the person richly deserves it, than they can send a Predator to visit me here at my office in Manhattan as well.

Mr. Bingley on September 30, 2011 at 8:26 AM

karen: Well, clearly if all you care about is the present hostile envrionment, then bombing them into submission works.

If you care about the future environment, then bombing them is not necessarily the best way.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Yea, well, only a million more guys just like this.

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:22 AM

Actually one of the experts on their show today was asked about who would fill the void. The expert stated emphatically that this guys was especially effective and recruiting and brain washing because of his familiarity with our culture, our popular culture, etc. He said the other bad guys that we know about don’t have the charisma and first hand knowledge of what it is to be an American. So this expert seemed to feel that there is a big void now with this successful operation. (dirt nap!!! )

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:29 AM

If you care about the future environment, then bombing them is not necessarily the best way.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:28 AM

Frankly, if it were up to me, I would have already turned a lot of the areas that support and harbor terrorism into glass by now.

And if it were up to me, I would have an all of the above energy policy so we could be more financially independent of mideast oil, so our American dollars are not financing terrorism that is directed back at us.

But that is why I will never be elected into any political office here.

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:32 AM

what’s to stop the President from writing a mission specifically to kill me?

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:19 AM

All I know is that this type of gratuitous self-indulgent smarty pants argument is killing me.

CarolynM on September 30, 2011 at 8:32 AM

karen: He lied. I have worked specifically on the methods by which the US military can determine the important people in a terrorist organization, and the resilience of the organization to disruption.

One of the most important results of this research is that terrorist organizations are highly resilient to targeted removal of even important figures.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:32 AM

The expert stated emphatically that this guys was especially effective and recruiting and brain washing because of his familiarity with our culture, our popular culture, etc

It amazes me that many talking heads on TV make it sound like these people live in caves, and don’t have access to TV, Internet, music, etc.

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:33 AM

“Now Obama is murdering American Citizens?! Will the madness and imperialistic crusade against the Religion of Peace never end?!” – Leftard Dipstick.

catmman on September 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Andy McCarthy has wrote alot about this issue in past, should have something good soon

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/248276/re-assassination-andrew-c-mccarthy

As I argued the last time we went around on this, the conduct of war is more a political matter than a legal one. I won’t rehash the Supreme Court jurisprudence supporting the proposition that an American citizen who fights for a foreign enemy in wartime can be treated like any foreign enemy combatant. A couple of non-legal points are worth highlighting, though.

.

jp on September 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:25 AM

I saw that also, I got the impression that working within the CIA might be more, er, liberating. I had been under the impression that The Won encouraged Patraeus to move to CIA to block a possible electoral opponent but now I’m wondering if it was just to allow him to be more effective. Or maybe I’m giving him too much credit and Sec. Panetta engineered it. Oh well, I don’t need to over think it, I’ll just be happy. There is something about a U.S. citizen joining in this nonsense that just toasts my buns.

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

karen: I certainly agree with you that, if you think that the ends of radical Islam are insoluble with the ends of our country (as I do), then you can nuke them all.

It’s pretty clear, though, that a COIN strategy assumes some type of accommodation can be obtained.

Carolyn: It is neither gratuitous nor self-indulgent. If Awlaki neither voluntarily renounced his US citizenship nor had it stripped from him by due process, this is a precedent for allowing the government to kill any of their subjects.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Once he goes overseas like this and foments jihad against the homeland, POTUS can sign the death order… It is on the books, and I support PHBO for this…

For specific legal opinion, I defer to crr6, who is probably sad right now…

Not being a legal scholar of any kind, I’ve been digging a bit and I’d have to say I’m more confused as to the legality. I do know that skipping the country to avoid criminal prosecution doesn’t put you on a kill list. And Al-Awlaki’s renouncing his citizenship doesn’t mean diddly, as far as extradition goes, were he to be captured (I won’t even dip into the legal morass of dealing with the possibility of extradition in a country like Yemen, whose government is barely hanging on).

Again, I’m not mourning the loss of this scumbag. But this wasn’t ‘on the battlefield.’ He’s not John Walker Lindh. He wasn’t collateral damage. And I think it’s fair to ask what it means for the US to target a citizen, whatever his crimes, for execution without trial.

I’m pretty sure this horse will get beaten bloody today.

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 8:37 AM

American citizen who fights for a foreign enemy in wartime can be treated like any foreign enemy combatant.

But,but Obama said we’re not at “war” it’s a kinetic military action….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

karenhasfreedom on September 30, 2011 at 8:32 AM

I’d vote for you.

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

If Awlaki neither voluntarily renounced his US citizenship nor had it stripped from him by due process, this is a precedent for allowing the government to kill any of their subjects.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:37 AM

So, are you saying that Obama committed an illegal act?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

So, are you saying that Obama committed an illegal act?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

Yeah. We’ll just add it to his growing list….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 8:40 AM

Great news. Burn in hell, maggot.

Jaibones on September 30, 2011 at 8:40 AM

faraway: IMO, I think he did. I am not a trained lawyer, however.

Of course, I have no issue with his death if it was collateral damage or on the battlefield. This, however, sounds much more like a targeted strike to specifically kill him. That is much more concerning.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I can think of a couple of QUEEN songs that would be appropriate right now. Why don’t you put links to them at the end of your article, just like you sometimes bring out the Bot, Ed?

Old Country Boy on September 30, 2011 at 8:43 AM

As an American citizen, his status created controversy for the Obama administration when it became clear that they had tasked the military and intelligence communities with killing rather than apprehending him.

Well, they couldn’t very well put him in Gitmo, that place is eeevil.

Al Awlaki was also a US citizen. He was on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. The US government targeted a civilian and said, “This guy is bad. Take him out.” No due process. No trial.

We’ve set a precedent here and we can’t ignore the larger implications.

Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

This is the logical end of the left’s irrational dislike of detention there. THEY ignored the larger implications that could be seen a mile away by anyone with a functioning brain. Are you happy now, progs?

JeffWeimer on September 30, 2011 at 8:46 AM

Robert Wright hardest hit…

NY Times Column Compares al-Awlaki to Jesus

mankai on September 30, 2011 at 8:47 AM

So, are you saying that Obama committed an illegal act?

faraway on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I bet his base will think he did, but will they say so?

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

Cindy: Far more likely is that they’ll parse it so that he didn’t… which is infinitely more work than they were willing to do for Bush when he contemplated doing this to non-citizens.

When attempting to determine the liberal mind, I have always felt safe in assuming that they will choose whatever causes the most cognitive dissonance.

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:50 AM

That also strongly hints that US forces were involved in the killing, which may mean hints will be all we’ll get.

You forget that this is the administration who introduced a secret SEAL team to the world and made them the target of a retaliatory attack in Afghanistan.

I’m surprised we don’t already have the names, home addresses, social security numbers, and secret turn-ons of the US personnel involved with this.

JohnTant on September 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM

When it is all said and done, the Yemenis will get credit making the legallity of the US doing it moot.

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 8:52 AM

But,but Obama said we’re not at “war” it’s a kinetic military action….

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

No, no, no… That’s Libya, silly!

Libya isn’t a war.

Everything else is a war, unless it isn’t. Obama will let us know.

Have faith in the SCOAMF!

catmman on September 30, 2011 at 8:54 AM

We’ve set a precedent here and we can’t ignore the larger implications.

[Dave in San Diego on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM]

This set a precedent? I think not.

Dusty on September 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Excellent news!..:)

Dire Straits on September 30, 2011 at 9:00 AM

Obama takes credit for this in 5..4..3..2..

Susanboo on September 30, 2011 at 9:02 AM

Scott H on September 30, 2011 at 8:50 AM

They are amazing. If we could quit giving them power over the rest of us they might be entertaining.

Cindy Munford on September 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM

Just in case you’re wondering, NO…this doesn’t make Fast and Furious go away.
ted c on September 30, 2011 at 7:35 AM

Fast and Fur…wha? I checked all the alphabet stations and they don’t mention it. You’re full of crap.

Bishop on September 30, 2011 at 9:03 AM

This set a precedent? I think not.

Dusty on September 30, 2011 at 8:58 AM

Thread winner.

shibumiglass on September 30, 2011 at 9:10 AM

Andy McCarthy has wrote alot about this issue in past, should have something good soon

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/248276/re-assassination-andrew-c-mccarthy

As I argued the last time we went around on this, the conduct of war is more a political matter than a legal one. I won’t rehash the Supreme Court jurisprudence supporting the proposition that an American citizen who fights for a foreign enemy in wartime can be treated like any foreign enemy combatant. A couple of non-legal points are worth highlighting, though.

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jp on September 30, 2011 at 8:36 AM

I’m not sure where I stand on this. Of course I’m glad this turd has been flushed. In a case like this I concede the need to deal with an American who “fights for a foreign enemy in wartime.” That said, I am generally wary of slippery slopes.

Andy’s arguments made more sense when Bush was president, but President Bush was not a criminal. Now we have a man some psychiatrists have labeled a “malignant narcissist” in office. The idea that Obama is “hemmed in by politics” is absurd. He runs roughshod over the Constitution and the prevailing will of the people as a matter of course. Any reader of this site knows the specifics.

I would like to know more of the parameters of this power.

flyfisher on September 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

jp,

I misread your quote. We both believe this was constitutional. My original comment was responding to someone who thought this was unconstitutional.

mwbri on September 30, 2011 at 9:18 AM

Our Predator has changed the face of war.

jake-the-goose on September 30, 2011 at 9:25 AM

I won’t be happy until we get the Zarkman.

Ward Cleaver on September 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

Buh-Bye. Hope it hurt a helluvalot. This scumbag was a U.S. citizen by birth only. He was targeted as a traitor and an enemy combatant terrorist. Once you commit the evil acts this dirtball committed, you have renounced your citizenship and loyalty to our country. It was a no-brainer. The Predator and Reaper programs may well prove their value in allowing us to draw down boots on the ground except for human intelligence gathering. Sweeeeeet kill!

I won’t be happy until we get the Zarkman.

Ward Cleaver on September 30, 2011 at 9:42 AM

I expect his ticket to get punched in the near future….

HomeoftheBrave on September 30, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I’m probably wrong on this, but don’t we lose our American citizenship if we renounce our citizenship and/or fight against our country on the battlefield? On those grounds, we couldn’t try and hang Awlaki for treason but we could treat him as just another enemy combatant. Of course, hanging him now would be an arguably gruesome, moot affair, but still.

Like I said, I’m not legal expert by any means, but I do know American citizenship is not immutable or irrevocable.

troyriser_gopftw on September 30, 2011 at 9:55 AM

I can’t believe some of you are whining about the government taking this guy out. He was an enemy combatant and was killed. Get over it.

Blake on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Oh, please let their be post morteum photos!!!!

Blake on September 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Alhamdilillah

blatantblue on September 30, 2011 at 10:09 AM

SWOOSHHHHHHH!!!!

BAM!!!!!!!

Thank you General Petraeus!!!

Texas Gal on September 30, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Our friend Jake Tapper has a lovely kiss up article today about this. Says Obama has a lot of terrorist “notches” on his belt and It proves he is on the Offense not defense against terrorism. Jake made sure to put a little dig in against Giuliani too.

sandee on September 30, 2011 at 10:13 AM

I hope this is true and I don’t care what his citizenship is.
WTH! should we care what his citizendhip is when we don’t give a flip about anyone else’s? Actually I don’t mean that but it pisses me off that a guy of indeterminate citizenship with a fake ss number can be president and this enemy combatant is dead and we’re worried about whether or not he was American?
I’ll tell you what, this guy was more dangerous than OBL at this point and if he is dead, it is a good thing. If Obambi ordered it then kudos to him.

ORconservative on September 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

I can’t believe some of you are whining about the government taking this guy out. He was an enemy combatant and was killed. Get over it.

Blake on September 30, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Yep. If only Clinton had these drones. There’s no need for a siege when you can vaporize your gun-toting enemies.

Stayright on September 30, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Another one bites the dust. Good riddance. The world is a better place today without this bloody murderer.

They got Samir Khan a/k/a “Inshallahshaheed” too!

More bad news for all those weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth over the fact that Awlaki was born an American, etc., because so was Sammy. After inciting terrorism from mommy’s basement in Carolina, Sammy took off before the FBI got him and went to Yemen where he edited/produced al Qaeda’s magazine, “Inspire”.

Good riddance to him too.

novaculus on September 30, 2011 at 10:17 AM

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