Video: Ron Paul condemns drone strike on Awlaki

posted at 4:56 pm on September 30, 2011 by Allahpundit

Not the only libertarian all-star troubled by this morning’s op in Yemen. Earlier on Fox, Gary Johnson confessed to mixed feelings that a U.S. citizen, degenerate though he was, had been targeted for execution without due process. Honestly, I’m conflicted too: Read the exchange between Andy McCarthy and Kevin Williamson at The Corner for sharp arguments on each side. There are two difficulties here, I think. One is the fact of Awlaki’s citizenship, the other is the nature of the combat he was engaged in. No one outside of the far left disputes that if an American joins a foreign army and points a gun at a U.S. soldier on the battlefield, the soldier’s entitled to take him down. No one disputes either that officers are legitimate targets in war, not merely the infantrymen they command. (Ask Admiral Yamamoto about that.) Awlaki was an officer in Al Qaeda’s army, tasked mainly with propaganda but increasingly given to directing would-be killers like Abdulmutallab around the global battlefield. Or so we’re told; there’s endless video out there of him denouncing America and exhorting attacks on the country, but the proof that he was planning operations — the heart of the argument for taking him out — remains within the upper reaches of America’s counterterror establishment.

That’s where his citizenship comes in. If we’re going to kill one of our own without independent review of the evidence that he is in fact fighting or commanding fighters on the other side, then we’re handing the president broaaaad power to kill Americans abroad. As Danger Room says, “[S]houldn’t Awlaki’s American citizenship count for something? If nothing else, doesn’t it oblige the government to at least disclose why it asserts it can kill an American citizen?” The irony is, I doubt the feds would have trouble convincing a judge that Awlaki’s as big a threat as they suspect: Although some experts claim his role in AQ was vastly overstated, his terror ties go all the way back to 9/11. Read Tom Joscelyn’s account of Awlaki’s relationship with three of the hijackers, then read this IntelWire summary of how he spent the past 10 years, assuming more of an operational role in the last few. (And no, contrary to what some on the left might tell you, Awlaki’s journey to jihad wasn’t a reaction to Afghanistan and Iraq. It began before that.) According to one senior U.S. official, he even took an interest in using chemical weapons against Americans. Why can’t we have a mechanism in which a judge either (a) reviews the evidence and signs off on the decision to target a suspect who’s a citizen, a la a probable cause warrant, or (b) adjudicates that the target has constructively expatriated himself by swearing allegiance to an enemy and taking up arms? The most hawkish hawks will hate that idea because it slightly limits the president’s war-making power and introduces a law-enforcement element into the war on terror, but there are worse precedents than involving judges in rare terrorism cases. Like, for instance, letting the president fire drones at anyone he wants, citizen or not, if they happen to be beyond easy reach of U.S. infantrymen.

Here’s Paul. Note the bit at the very end in which he distinguishes Awlaki from Bin Laden on grounds that no one ever said the former was a participant in 9/11. In fact, a lot of people suspect that he was; just follow the links above. Exit question: What would the war on terror have looked like without drones?

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Since you yourself admitted that you’ve yet to make an actual point…

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 7:29 AM

The lies continue.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 7:32 AM

The lies continue.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 7:32 AM

Ahem.

Why would I have to make a point when you make all my points for me?

Another quote that we’re going to pretend doesn’t really exist, Ronnie? For shame.

Besides, you’re really disappointing me on the culture front. I figured we could hit the art museum, maybe see La Traviata, do some calligraphy. I was gonna make a picnic basket with artisan breads…we could get a box of Franzia…watch some sort of terribly self-indulgent Fellini movie…it could be really awesome.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 7:40 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 7:40 AM

If you think that’s the same thing, you should get tested for retardation.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM

If you think that’s the same thing, you should get tested for retardation.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 7:42 AM

And yet another post without a point!

Are you trying to set a record in earnest, or do you have a fetish for coming off like an idiot?

Also: Where’s the Kulturkampf? Still waiting…..

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

You were caught in yet another lie. Why on earth would admit getting the point?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 8:09 AM

You were caught in yet another lie. Why on earth would admit getting the point?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Hmmm?? I accidentally the whole thing?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 8:14 AM

I think that sums up your position well enough. Bye.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 8:18 AM

I think by throwing away our adherence to the Constitution and Bill Of Rights, we let the terrorists win. This debate is not over whether this guy was a bad guy or not. This is about the power of the Executive, AGAIN. Executive overreach and the trampling of our rights as Americans is getting worse day by day. Did this terrorist deserve to be arrested for his crimes? Yes, he did. Does King Obama have the power to order killings on American citizens? Sadly, it looks like that is the case.
Say what you will about Dr. Paul, but as president, he will respect our Constitution and Executive overreach will be a thing of the past. Obviously, a lot of you have no respect for what our founding fathers envisioned.
I applaud Ron Paul for standing up for the Bill of Rights and hope to see him in the oval office in the near future.

U.S. Marines for Ron Paul 2012

RightXBrigade on October 1, 2011 at 8:23 AM

“You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw.”

–Augustus McCray

KyMouse on October 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM

“You ride with an outlaw, you die with an outlaw.”

–Augustus McCray

KyMouse on October 1, 2011 at 9:22 AM

A judge usually decides who’s an outlaw. Have you seen the legal case made against these citizens?

faraway on October 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM

I think that sums up your position well enough. Bye.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Nah, it just sums up your complete lack of grammar, which really puts a bow on your complete lack of a point for this entire 6 hour debate. I hope you had fun being a total putz.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:03 AM

A judge usually decides who’s an outlaw. Have you seen the legal case made against these citizens?

faraway on October 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Didn’t you hear? That decision is now made by the hyper-competent Obama Administration, and I’m assured by Eugene Robinson and E.J. Dionne that they’ve never made a mistake.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Nice to see the terrorist fluffers come out of the closet…

Blake on October 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Ron Paul would’ve been that second vote against going to war after Pearl Harbor were he in Congress back then.

Yakko77 on October 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Nice to see the terrorist fluffers come out of the closet…

Blake on October 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Nice to see people who don’t care about the 5th Amendment voluntarily out themselves.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

He was part of the war machine directed against the United States. He is a traitor to his country. For those reasons alone he is subjection to liquidation and should be shown no mercy.

If you don’t like your country’s policies foreign & domestic thats all fine. When you openly take up arms and partake in an organization thats openly at war with your government you are as guilty as the guy that pulls the trigger, makes the bombs, and blows up the bombs.

Terrorists deserve death not trials.

Rattl3r on October 1, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Agreed. Tea Party Terrorist Hobbits don’t deserve due process. I know because Van Jones told me so.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 7:08 AM

If you honestly can’t tell the difference between political rhetoric (regardless of how obnoxious) and actual interest in the literal death and destruction of the United States, you have zero credibility.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Nice to see people who don’t care about the 5th Amendment voluntarily out themselves.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

How, exactly, does the fifth amendment pertain to military action?

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Didn’t you hear? That decision is now made by the hyper-competent Obama Administration, Commander in Chief as a miltary action …

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:08 AM

FIFY

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Ron Paul would’ve been that second vote against going to war after Pearl Harbor were he in Congress back then.

Yakko77 on October 1, 2011 at 10:48 AM

There would have been no need to vote for a war against Japan back then if RP was President.

Notorious GOP on October 1, 2011 at 11:38 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 8:00 AM

You ignored most of his points, and the ones you didn’t ignore, you mischaracterized and then embellished them with your own idiotic assumptions about them.

As sharrukin and others pointed out, throughout the thread, you are focusing military matters with civil matters, deliberately.

As Ronnie pointed out, you simply made up positions and attributed them to your opponents in order to avoid addressing the actual arguments. I lost count of all the logical fallacies you used. You definitely win the “Most Dishonest Debater” award for this thread!

Congratulations!

JannyMae on October 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Nice to see people who don’t care about the 5th Amendment voluntarily out themselves.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM

This one is getting whiskers on it. Why don’t you go back to those cute, little arguments about people “trusting Obama” to make the decisions that are his responsibility to make. That way we can replace “Obama” with Bush, and you can sound just like Cindy Sheehan!

Have a nice day, dishonest one!

JannyMae on October 1, 2011 at 11:48 AM

How, exactly, does the fifth amendment pertain to military action?

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

My understanding is that it was the CIA’s operation. I tend to think of that as a more civilian operation that military.

Funny how many twists you pretzel brains are willing to go through in order to make yourself feel better.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Good riddance to a traitor working for the declared enemy of America.

No, not Ron Paul, Al-Awlaki.

profitsbeard on October 1, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Not sure what’s so hard about this? We are in the business of killing terrorists, so we killed a terrorist.

tommer74 on October 1, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 12:42 AM

Another no. Anybody else?

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 4:10 PM

I took a quick glance over at the comments on this same subject over at HuffPo. I figured there would be some level of difference between the alarming opinions here and the opinions over there.

Nope. Just more people too wrapped up in hubris to see what’s happening here at home.

gyrmnix on October 1, 2011 at 4:39 PM

I can’t see how anyone can be so mentally constipated as to think that this assassination was unconstitutional because these terrorists were technically US citizens. Al-Awlak was a proven insurgent doing his best to kill Americans.

We had a “Civil War” (strictly speaking a war of secession ), and it may be recalled that Lincoln did not order general Grant to avoid shooting any rebels because they were citizens and must be put on trial first.

It’s crazy to think our military had to arrest these insurgent terrorists. Their forced demise was perfectly constitutional. I wish all American Islamic insurgents in foreign terrorist camps a similar fate, and so should any sensible American.

Chessplayer on October 1, 2011 at 6:01 PM

How, exactly, does the fifth amendment pertain to military action?

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

My understanding is that it was the CIA’s operation. I tend to think of that as a more civilian operation that military.

You are entitled to think that if you wish. You are also, of course, entitled to believe in rainbow-colored, Skittle-pooping unicorns. Doesn’t make it true.

From the CIA’s own website:

1. What does the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) do?
The CIA may also engage in covert action at the president’s direction in accordance with applicable law.

6. Does the CIA spy on Americans? Does it keep a file on you?
By law, the CIA is specifically prohibited from collecting foreign intelligence concerning the domestic activities of US citizens. Its mission is to collect information related to foreign intelligence and foreign counterintelligence. (Which, by the way, means that IF the mission WAS carried out by the CIA, there is a strong likelihood that the whole “U. S. citizen” question does not apply. Unless you’ll argue that the CIA acted illegally, in which case the 5th Amendment DOES apply – to THEM.)

7. Who decides when CIA should participate in covert actions, and why?
Only the president can direct the CIA to undertake a covert action. Such actions usually are recommended by the National Security Council (NSC). Covert actions are considered when the NSC judges that US foreign policy objectives may not be fully realized by normal diplomatic means and when military action is deemed to be too extreme an option. Therefore, the Agency may be directed to conduct a special activity abroad in support of foreign policy where the role of the US government is neither apparent nor publicly acknowledged. Once tasked, the intelligence oversight committees of the Congress must be notified.

Not to mention that the CIA works closely with the military during military operations through the Associate Director for Military Affairs. Which means that just because the CIA was involved (and I honestly don’t know either way), doesn’t automatically make it a civilian operation. Now if the FBI were involved…. but I don’t think they were.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 6:38 PM

BTW – I’m most definitely not an Obama fanboy, or even close. I’ve even called for his impeachment on a whole raft of stuff that seems to fit the “high crimes and misdemeanors” bit.

But this is one time where I honestly believe, based on what I’ve read on the Constitution and related legislation, that he was within his purview as CinC of the armed forces. Was it a ‘wise’ move? Time will tell, although I, like most people here, believe that Aw-lacky and his buddy obtaining room temperature is a positive in the fight (since we still seem to be arguing against the use of “war”) against terrorist activities.

But it’s pretty low to accuse me (and others) of not caring about Constitution, when we simply see this as being within the CinC’s area of responsibility. Do we agree on that? Obviously not. But accusing us of not caring about the Constitution simply because we do disagree is both disingenuous and simplistic.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

JannyMae on October 1, 2011 at 11:44 AM

If creating this false military/civilian dichotomy in regards to the 5th Amendment helps you sleep better at night, then that’s great.

Unfortunately, you’re still wrong, but I suppose after 3 years that hardly bothers you anymore.

Another no. Anybody else?

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 4:10 PM

Nice to see you completely ignore my hypothetical because you’re a coward.

My understanding is that it was the CIA’s operation. I tend to think of that as a more civilian operation that military.

Funny how many twists you pretzel brains are willing to go through in order to make yourself feel better.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Surprised to see us on the same side here, aston, but I’m happy to see another American who doesn’t just care about the Constitution when it’s convenient.

But it’s pretty low to accuse me (and others) of not caring about Constitution, when we simply see this as being within the CinC’s area of responsibility. Do we agree on that? Obviously not. But accusing us of not caring about the Constitution simply because we do disagree is both disingenuous and simplistic.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 6:46 PM

I’m sure you apply that same standard to liberals who argue against conservatives re: the 2nd Amendment, right? Both sides are patriots who have their own perfectly legitimate interpretations of the Constitution?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

It’s crazy to think our military had to arrest these insurgent terrorists. Their forced demise was perfectly constitutional. I wish all American Islamic insurgents in foreign terrorist camps a similar fate, and so should any sensible American.

Chessplayer on October 1, 2011 at 6:01 PM

They didn’t have to arrest them, they had to try them in absentia.

I know, it’s too hard to follow the law, it’s more fun to ignore it.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 2, 2011 at 3:43 PM

FIFY

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:30 AM

How, exactly, does the fifth amendment pertain to military action?

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Ah, so citizens don’t get due process as long as we can classify their liquidation as a “military action.” That must be another one of those clauses from the “Shadow Constitution.”

If you honestly can’t tell the difference between political rhetoric (regardless of how obnoxious) and actual interest in the literal death and destruction of the United States, you have zero credibility.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 11:27 AM

So we could have executed McVeigh in a drone strike instead of after a trial? He seemed pretty interested in the literal death of the United States and its citizens. Just declare it a “military action” and it’s perfectly Constitutional, right?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 2, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Ah, so citizens don’t get due process as long as we can classify their liquidation as a “military action.”

You keep using the word “citizen,” as though he was one. He renounced his citizenship by both word and deed.

Let me make this as simple as I can, so you can understand it:

As a non-citizen, he has no 5th amendment rights.

As an enemy, he becomes a target.

psrch on October 2, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

Nope, just set a precondition. One which you cannot meet. Get back to me when you can. Hopefully, never, blowhard.

Christien on October 3, 2011 at 1:19 AM

Testo testo – herro!

AsianGirlInTights on January 17, 2012 at 6:16 PM

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