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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Nobody?

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 11:49 PM

They want you to stop asking uncomfortable questions.

sharrukin on September 30, 2011 at 11:56 PM

It’s late, I haven’t read a single comment, I just watched the video.

Paul is a comptete nut. Killing an American born allied with Al Queda muslim cleric coordinating attacks against his homeland and it’s wrong to kill him?

Ethel and Julius Rosenberg ring any bells?

Freedom for everything under the sun, but no freedom to protect ourselves?

Bite me. That mindset got us 9/11, and 2,977 victims paid for that with their lives, and Ron Paul was not among them, and more importantly was not among those who delivered a response to that attack.

Ron Paul has a check coming from all those he proclaims to protect for the rest of his life, and has never risked a thing to protect the ideals he proclaims. If the muslims are so swell to live with, why doesn’t he live there? Oh yeah… freedom of speech and being an American citizen, good thing for Ron Paul he lives here.

Ron Paul lives in Congress, the rest of us live in the real world.

Hog Wild on September 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM

Ron Paul reminds me of Ross Perot would be like running today.

Well Paul is a little kookier, and rambles more of course.

Ron Paul…….Fed Chairman, and nothing else.

PappyD61 on September 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM

I’ll check back tomorrow to see if anyone has. Somehow, I doubt it.

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 11:58 PM

Look, I’m anything but a Paulian, but I agree; the rule of law doesn’t just matter when it’s convenient.

Good Solid B-Plus on September 30, 2011 at 11:32 PM

…yes, but reality shouldn’t be held hostage to the rule of law….

…we’ve already spent 8, goin’ on 9, years doing everything possible in a war zone to limit collateral damage, help the locals, and spread jurisprudence all over the Middle East like treacle on toast…service personnel have had to labor under sometimes ridiculous rules of engagement which often added unnecessary risk to their already dangerous burderns…nationally, we’ve done our due dilligence….

…was the guy an enemy combattant or an enemy commander/planner, or even an enemy enabler? Are we still debating who is and who isn’t an enemy? Are we still to chase our tails on that one?

It’s easy to pop off with “not only when it’s convenient”…just as it’s easy to pop off with “this isn’t a declared war”…well…it’s a de facto war, as we’ve got guys and gals on the ground, and some of ‘em come home in metal boxes…and the Late Mr. A assumed the mantle of enemy combattant voluntarily, and reaped the rewards of same….

…if the law doesn’t reflect reality, what bloody good is it? It’s like gun control laws…it only applies to those who obey the laws…adding additional time to a villain’s sentence once he’s killed someone who might’ve been able to defend himself brings to mind the whole “barn door/horse’s gone” paradigm….

…if we aren’t at war because we haven’t submitted the proper paperwork, that means that the Late Mr. A wasn’t an enemy, and that the extra-national organization he seems to have served isn’t our enemy…which means that they don’t plan to do anything nasty to any of us, to our aircraft, to our cities, etc.

…here’s hoping that Al Qaeda got the memo….

Puritan1648 on September 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM

Ron Paul…….Fed Chairman, and nothing else.

PappyD61 on September 30, 2011 at 11:57 PM

That isn’t half a bad idea, but I’d have to have in writing an oath not to adjust the interest rate against his better judgment in an attempt to make foreigners not hate us.

HitNRun on October 1, 2011 at 12:00 AM

sharrukin on September 30, 2011 at 11:56 PM

Well, it happened to a member of my family, and it made me realize a lot of things–sympathy for the rights of and due process for proven terrorists NOT being one of them.

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 12:02 AM

How many of you condemning this victory have ever had a loved one, friend, or colleague singled out personally and attacked by terrorists?

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

Vigilantism is it? The new law of the land.

A better question would be, how many people have seen the news reports of how the police in this country target the wrong person or house for assaults. How many innocent people have been killed by these assaults by police. How many think that there should be some kind of limit and check and balance on this kind of activity to ensure that as close to 0 deaths of innocents occurs? Here in Arizona we have a recently out Marine shot 70 times by police, and they had no reason to storm his property.

How many people have been following the fast and furious and gun walker scandals? Does anyone think that politics was used above any other consideration at all in these activities? Does anyone think the government was planning to put any sunlight on these activities on their own?

Government is not infallible. People are not all good. Mistakes happen. Evil people can subvert the power of government for evil ends. Thus we are well advised to ensure that our freedoms are not given away for a small amount of protection. Those who give away their freedom for security and comfort deserve neither and likely will not keep either for long.

And just to be clear. Awlaki has been on the run since 2002. 9 years have passed. It is not like we have not had ample time to do some due process and set up a proper level of checks and balances on this type of government action. With limits on its use, limits on who gets to decide, and checks on their decisions. This is not some ticking time bomb scenario where we had to act in immediate self defense, but a long term threat that gave ample ability to think out the process and set it properly so that there is as little risk to innocents from this sort of activity ever being used against them.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:03 AM

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:03 AM

I’ll take that as a no for you.

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Well, it happened to a member of my family, and it made me realize a lot of things–sympathy for the rights of and due process for proven terrorists NOT being one of them.

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Too many in the west have come to despise the very necessity of defending themselves. They are so enthralled with navel gazing that they will allow themselves to be slaughtered while singing praises to the ones who are doing their best to kill them, and hold in contempt those trying to preserve their miserable lives.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:07 AM

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Yep. They can get back to me when it happens to them and theirs, which I hope means never.

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 12:09 AM

The government, specifically the U.S. Army, put the Fort Hood killer there, they even made him a major and paid him. He didn’t sneak in. They invited him in and kept him in. Remember, as the top army general said, “Diversity is our Greatest Strength”.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Absolutely correct. After hearing that idiot Mullen’s comments, combined with the mismanagement of the early occupation of Iraq, the dangerously restrictive R.O.E in Afghanistan and social engineering with the repeal of DADT, I realized the army doesn’t give a damn about our soldiers. The good soldiers get out while the butt kissing bureaucrats climb the chain of command. Hell, even terrorists like Hasan climbed the chain of command.

They don’t even allow our soldiers to arm themselves on military bases.

Daemonocracy on October 1, 2011 at 12:10 AM

You’re more likely to die in a car wreck then getting blown up by terrorists.

…which justifies what, exactly? Ignoring the fact that, once in a while, the guys in Al Qaeda get their act together and actually do pull off a mass-murder….

…that’s sort of like deciding on an “acceptable number” of friendly casualties….

The number of terrified bloodthirsty people on this board is pretty astounding.

…and the number of clueless ideologues is staggering, as well…withdraw behind our oceans…we have no business overseas…is that the ticket?

And the endless “war on terror” enters its second decade. Probably will go on for another 30, or until every last person in the middle east is dead. Then we can ask why they hate us so much.

bingsha on September 30, 2011 at 11:44 PM

…or…we remain vigilant, because people are actually out there, planning to kill us because it’s fashionable in their narrow little alleyways to do so…we can ignore ‘em, and say that if we only just let the pressure of Islamist pique choose with whom we made treaties, supported, and the like, that there’d be “peace in our time”….

…they hate us because we won’t knuckle under…they want the world to reflect their ideology, their worldview, and all their inner demons, and we’re happily spinning along, doing our thing, and don’t recognize just how damned and dirty we all are. Now…if we all converted to Wahaabi Sunni Islam, wrapped our women in layers of linen, forbade them to drive, gave up alcohol — in short, ticked all the boxes on their list of demands — they’d still hate us.

…because we took so long to come ’round….

…see…just can’t win….

…so…stay alert, stay alive…and keep making missles….

Puritan1648 on October 1, 2011 at 12:12 AM

And just to be clear. Awlaki has been on the run since 2002. 9 years have passed. It is not like we have not had ample time to do some due process and set up a proper level of checks and balances on this type of government action. With limits on its use, limits on who gets to decide, and checks on their decisions. This is not some ticking time bomb scenario where we had to act in immediate self defense, but a long term threat that gave ample ability to think out the process and set it properly so that there is as little risk to innocents from this sort of activity ever being used against them.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:03 AM

So we are supposed to give this guy due process as if this was a courtroom, or he was on a street corner being busted for trying to blow people up.

If thats how it works then why are they allowed to just up and kill non-citizen combatants?

They can’t just haul off and gun down a French guy on the street, so why don’t those same civil rules apply equally?

They don’t apply in either case because its a military situation, not a civil matter.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:19 AM

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on September 30, 2011 at 9:36 PM

Daemonocracy on October 1, 2011 at 12:10 AM

…that’s the problem with relying on ideology not grounded in practical reality: events only reinforce your ideology, and so you learn nothing.

The Constitution is a heaven-sent document because it’s practical. It’s a how-to for keeping your elected officials from crowning themselves kings.

The rule of law based on that Constitution and laws promulgated from it is heaven-sent because it serves the people…it doesn’t merely trap people in a box, criminalizing them for how they conduct their daily business (or wouldn’t, if we had officials who respected it around today)….

…but, we leave reality in the rear-view mirror and enter the Toontown of officialdom, and things are good or bad based upon how readily one can attach ideologically derived labels to them…diversity, good…defense, bad…self-defense, really bad….

…imagine the firestorm of politcally correct outrage if anyone had actually tried to stop the Fort Hood killer up to the time that he switched the selector from “safe” to “fire”…trees from Oklahoma to Mexico City would’ve been visibly vibrating from all of the self-fascinated holier-than-thou keening about picking on the “poor widdle Muslim”….

…now…imagine if the killer hadn’t been a Muslim man…imagine if Awlaki had been mentoring a black Muslim woman to do the dirty…anyone who’s served in the American military over the last 40 years shudders at the suggestion….

Puritan1648 on October 1, 2011 at 12:27 AM

I’ll take that as a no for you.

Christien on October 1, 2011 at 12:07 AM

Your argument is pointless. They made me feel bad, so anything bad that happens to them, no matter the method, is good. Waaaaaah! Were you personally or do you know someone personally who was targeted by name by Awlaki?

I have been shot at by gang members. Does that mean that because I have bad feelings towards them that they should be denied due process? And by them not getting due process I lose my right to due process.

I have been targeted by a cop who was mad at me because my aunts and uncles teased him in high school way back when. I guess he was justified hiring a criminal to attack me because, well all those familyname’s deserve it.

I have had Saddam Husein’s scuds targeting my barracks. So, I guess no Iraqi deserves any respect.

I have had Saudi people firing guns at my Guard Post and my Motor T maintenance tent. So, I guess we should just kill off all Saudis.

When all the settlin’ that needs to be settled is done, I guess the two or three totally innocent humans on Earth can try to repopulate it, or they might just become targets for death through some imagined atrocity someone remotely related to them may have caused.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:29 AM

They don’t apply in either case because its a military situation, not a civil matter.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:19 AM

Your right. Due process happens through the military all the time. As for the executive branch having him targeted for death, is it too much to ask that there actually be laws on the books that authorize this, and are known to the population?

Got any idea how many people are erroneously, or likely politically targeted, on the do not fly list? A couple people in the house and senate found themselves on it, several times.

9 years! 9 years to have some sort of legitimacy to the action, and all we get is, War Powers Act and the 2001 war thingy as legitimacy for Obama to kill an American. I think as a nation we can do better.

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:34 AM

…if we aren’t at war because we haven’t submitted the proper paperwork, that means that the Late Mr. A wasn’t an enemy, and that the extra-national organization he seems to have served isn’t our enemy…which means that they don’t plan to do anything nasty to any of us, to our aircraft, to our cities, etc.

…here’s hoping that Al Qaeda got the memo….

Puritan1648 on September 30, 2011 at 11:59 PM

When the police catch a criminal in the act of a horrible, unspeakable crime, why don’t they execute him on the spot? Why insist on a long, drawn-out process of a trial, then sentencing, then the years and years of appeals, and then finally an execution? Isn’t it just easier to pull a Dirty Harry, cap the scumbag on the spot?

We don’t do that because the rule of law matters. It’s not just a pithy slogan, it’s the way justice in this country has worked for over 200 years.

If all it takes to uphold the rule of law is “a little bit of paperwork,” then it shouldn’t be such a burden, right? Hold a quick trial with Awalaki in absentia, convict him, remove his citizenship, then frag him. I think even the most fervent supporter of doing things by the books can agree that Awlaki had waived his right to habeas corpus, and we could proceed with a trial/tribunal without him being present.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 12:38 AM

But I’ll be damned if I’m going to bat for a guy killed in a situation that wouldn’t have gotten him killed just as summarily if he was on Long Island. Armed criminals (or foreign soldiers, take your pick) that can’t be safely apprehended are shot on sight in the United States.

HitNRun on September 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

I don’t want Awlaki alive, I want him killed by the letter of the law. Terrorist or not, he was an American citizen; we should have officially revoked his citizenship/convicted him of treason in absentia, then killed him.

How many of you condemning this victory have ever had a loved one, friend, or colleague singled out personally and attacked by terrorists?

Christien on September 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

My mother was killed by a drunk driver. If I personally witness a drunk driver plow into a school bus and kill a bunch of grade school kids, can I drag him out of the car and execute him on the street?

No, because that’s now how the law works; that’s not how justice operates. Don’t try to veil the facts with an appeal to emotions.

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

astonerii on October 1, 2011 at 12:34 AM

Again you are mixing up civil and military matters.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:44 AM

When the police catch a criminal in the act of a horrible, unspeakable crime, why don’t they execute him on the spot? Why insist on a long, drawn-out process of a trial, then sentencing, then the years and years of appeals, and then finally an execution? Isn’t it just easier to pull a Dirty Harry, cap the scumbag on the spot?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 12:38 AM

So the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy are murderers who killed those poor Germans without attempting to arrest them? Where those men given a trial? Were they given a lawyer and allowed to appeal their death sentence?

They just capped those guys without mercy!

Oh, the humanity!

Or maybe you have police and military affairs mixed up?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:49 AM

He was [a US citizen]. There was no due process to strip him of it.

paulsur on September 30, 2011 at 8:43 PM

The deadguy renounced his citizenship if not by words then by deeds. {There is precedent}

darwin-t on September 30, 2011 at 8:45 PM

paulsur, you seem to be saying that “being stripped of your citizenship” and “renouncing your citizenship” are the same thing. Only a moron couldn’t see that the first one is done to you, while the second one is something you do to / for yourself.

And according to the legal requirements for renouncing one’s citizenship cited throughout this thread, by word and deed he did indeed fulfill the legal requirements for renunciation – and joined the enemy.

That does NOT make him a traitor, which would entail the due process you’re trying to claim; rather it makes him an enemy combatant – and therefore a valid military target, upon which we took valid military action.

Why is it that you’re trying to force criminal proceedings in a military matter? Don’t say “because he was a citizen” – as we’ve shown time and again, he was NOT, by virtue if his renouncing it. No ‘legal proceedings’ necessary to do so, either – just stating it and acting in accordnce with your statement.

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 12:57 AM

We don’t do that because the rule of law matters. It’s not just a pithy slogan, it’s the way justice in this country has worked for over 200 years.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 12:38 AM

…and, if this had been a legal matter…if, say, the Late Mr. A had held up a 7-11, I’d be right behind you on the “rule of law” bandwagon….

…but, it wasn’t….

…he was very clearly acting in the interests of a hostile foreign entity…and, even if he never held a gun, he was a hostile combattant…the accident of his birth matters not at all…once again I say that by acting in his capacity as a drum-beater for AQ, he renounced his citizenship…someone here said 9 years ago? OK…he renounced his citizenship 9 years ago.

…he didn’t do it formally? Taking that line is like saying that a guy didn’t rob a bank because he didn’t submit a note to a teller saying “Put all the money in this bag”….

What disturbs you more? Being blown up on a plane…or getting sued? Seems that the “rule of law”, as supported here, is being supported by those who pooh-pooh AQ’s amateurish but still credible drive to accomplish the former, but who blanch at the prospect of the latter.

If it makes you feel any better, I’ll personally issue the Late Mr. A a “do-over”…the next time I see him….

Puritan1648 on October 1, 2011 at 12:58 AM

Government is not infallible. People are not all good. Mistakes happen.

Right. So, obviously, the only safe solution is to do nothing and hope the problem goes away.

HEY! I GET RON PAUL NOW!!!

psrch on October 1, 2011 at 1:03 AM

If all it takes to uphold the rule of law is “a little bit of paperwork,” then it shouldn’t be such a burden, right? Hold a quick trial with Awalaki in absentia, convict him, remove his citizenship, then frag him.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 12:38 AM

…is that your problem? The “t’s” weren’t crossed/the “i’s” weren’t dotted? Is it me, or does this look rather ridiculous in the face of what this guy seemed willing to countenance?

Because we didn’t let a judge weigh in, this guy can continue to spew and scheme and maybe succeed one day? What’s the point? So people can sleep better at night? That may make one the “bigger man”, and make him feel righteous in himself…and it may ultimately make him dead.

…once again, “feel good” legalisms triumph over reality….

…no…kill ‘em…kill ‘em dead.

Puritan1648 on October 1, 2011 at 1:07 AM

So the men who stormed the beaches at Normandy are murderers who killed those poor Germans without attempting to arrest them? Where those men given a trial? Were they given a lawyer and allowed to appeal their death sentence?

They just capped those guys without mercy!

Oh, the humanity!

Or maybe you have police and military affairs mixed up?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 12:49 AM

How many members of the German Army were American citizens, sharrukin?

Which army was Awlaki a member of, exactly? Was he in the Yemeni army? Wearing an official Yemeni army insignia when we capped him? Was he in hand to hand/rifle to rifle combat with a US solider? No. So stop using a stupid metaphor that isn’t at all applicable.

I’m not weeping over Awlawki’s death. Rather, I’m saddened at how many of my fellow conservatives don’t care about the rule of law when it’s “inconvenient” to do things the right way.

I’m sure that a thorough review of the facts would lead any judge to rule that Awlaki was aiding and abetting the enemy, and that he had effectively renounced his citizenship. But this wasn’t a decision made by a judge, was it? It was, in effect, the President and those under his direct authority pulling the trigger on an American citizen without due process.

So what’s the barrier for “clearly” being a traitor who deserves a one-way trip to hell via drone strike? Writing a blog for an AQ website? Appearing in a jihadist propaganda video? Hopping a plane to Somalia/Yemen and burning Obama in effigy? Where’s the exact line you cross when it becomes okay to kill you without due process if you’re still an American citizen?

And for once, I’ll agree with ernesto. So many of you here don’t trust the government to run our schools, don’t trust the government to give loans to energy companies, don’t trust the government to protect our 2nd amendment rights, etc. But you trust them to make life or death decisions regarding American citizens with almost no oversight.

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

…is that your problem? The “t’s” weren’t crossed/the “i’s” weren’t dotted? Is it me, or does this look rather ridiculous in the face of what this guy seemed willing to countenance?

Because we didn’t let a judge weigh in, this guy can continue to spew and scheme and maybe succeed one day? What’s the point? So people can sleep better at night? That may make one the “bigger man”, and make him feel righteous in himself…and it may ultimately make him dead.

…once again, “feel good” legalisms triumph over reality….

…no…kill ‘em…kill ‘em dead.

Puritan1648 on October 1, 2011 at 1:07 AM

Yes, my problem is that we didn’t follow the law. That you seem not to care about that says more about you than it does about me, Puritan.

Was Awlaki a new threat? No, he’s been on our radar for years. We were so busy that we couldn’t have tried him in absentia in a military tribunal? Charge him with treason. A treason conviction is a guaranteed revocation of citizenship; once that’s over with, he’s no different than any other member of AQ.

Had Awlaki been a member of a foreign army, then yes, he’d automatically lose his citizenship. If he enlisted in the Yemeni army, we wouldn’t have to go through the process of trying and convicting him of treason. Alas, Al-Qaeda isn’t a country; much like Palestine, you won’t find it on the map.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:23 AM

How many members of the German Army were American citizens, sharrukin?

There were in fact some. Exact numbers aren’t available.

Which army was Awlaki a member of, exactly? Was he in the Yemeni army? Wearing an official Yemeni army insignia when we capped him? Was he in hand to hand/rifle to rifle combat with a US solider? No. So stop using a stupid metaphor that isn’t at all applicable.

Well I guess Al Qaeda didn’t commit an act of war on 911 because they weren’t wearing uniforms? I guess those Viet Cong soldiers not wearing uniforms in Vietnam weren’t actually in a war with American soldiers, it just kinda seemed that way to the guys who were there?

Talk about stupid.

I’m not weeping over Awlawki’s death. Rather, I’m saddened at how many of my fellow conservatives don’t care about the rule of law when it’s “inconvenient” to do things the right way.

I’m sure that a thorough review of the facts would lead any judge to rule that Awlaki was aiding and abetting the enemy, and that he had effectively renounced his citizenship. But this wasn’t a decision made by a judge, was it? It was, in effect, the President and those under his direct authority pulling the trigger on an American citizen without due process.

A judge has nothing to do with it because it wasn’t a police matter. The domestic rule of law has nothing to do with war.

Policemen don’t get to drop nuclear bombs on cities and vaporize ten of thousands of people as a means to intimidate people.

So what’s the barrier for “clearly” being a traitor who deserves a one-way trip to hell via drone strike? Writing a blog for an AQ website? Appearing in a jihadist propaganda video? Hopping a plane to Somalia/Yemen and burning Obama in effigy? Where’s the exact line you cross when it becomes okay to kill you without due process if you’re still an American citizen?

Whats the barrier for anything?
When does a criminal become a terrorist?
When does a civilian become a soldier?
Yay for pointless absurdity!

You can navel gaze these things to the point of absurdity and you are well on your way to doing so. That does not mean there are no terrorists, or soldiers, just that you want to play by the Marquess of Queensberry rules.

And for once, I’ll agree with ernesto. So many of you here don’t trust the government to run our schools, don’t trust the government to give loans to energy companies, don’t trust the government to protect our 2nd amendment rights, etc. But you trust them to make life or death decisions regarding American citizens with almost no oversight.

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

What we understand and what you do not, is that there is a vast difference between how you treat your own and how you treat outsiders. Awlaki was an outsider by choice and he was killed fighting for the other side. That he was, or was not, carrying a gun is meaningless. Most military personnel never see combat and many civilians are employed by the military and they are legitimate targets… armed or not.

The military does not conduct itself according to police rules and the police do not act as a military force. That the police are starting to drift in that direction is worrisome but that is a different discussion.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 1:39 AM

Gee, Paul, do you even believe that Osama bin Laden was a participant on 9/11, or are you still courting the tin foil hat brigades out there? Whatever.

Yes, it’s a tricky moral issue, and the thought of Obama killing anyone he wants is kind of terrifying, but to compare Awlaki to Timothy McVeigh (coincidentally, another favorite of the tin foil hat brigade) is just stupid. Timothy McVeigh didn’t leave the country and renounce his citizenship to join up with a terrorist organization, he acted with a handful of co-conspirators and was caught in the US. In addition, we didn’t have to risk a squad of Marines or deal with unhelpful foreign nations to catch McVeigh. The comparison falls flat on its face!

R. Waher on October 1, 2011 at 1:42 AM

What we understand and what you do not, is that there is a vast difference between how you treat your own and how you treat outsiders. Awlaki was an outsider by choice and he was killed fighting for the other side. That he was, or was not, carrying a gun is meaningless. Most military personnel never see combat and many civilians are employed by the military and they are legitimate targets… armed or not.

The military does not conduct itself according to police rules and the police do not act as a military force. That the police are starting to drift in that direction is worrisome but that is a different discussion.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 1:39 AM

So if an AQ sympathizer trails a drone operator back to his house and slits his throat as he’s unlocking his door, that’s a legitimate act of war? Bull****. That would be cold-blooded murder. We make these distinctions for a reason.

You’re creating a false military/police dichotomy that doesn’t negate the rule of law, and doesn’t apply to Awlaki. Just because someone goes overseas and says “Hey, I’m with them,” that doesn’t give the President and his underlings unchecked authority to order his summary execution w/o due process.

But hey, I’m glad you trust Obama with this level of power. He’s too incompetent to pick winners or losers in energy production, but unilateral control over the life and death of an American citizen? Totally up to the task!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Gee, Paul, do you even believe that Osama bin Laden was a participant on 9/11, or are you still courting the tin foil hat brigades out there? Whatever.

Yes, it’s a tricky moral issue, and the thought of Obama killing anyone he wants is kind of terrifying, but to compare Awlaki to Timothy McVeigh (coincidentally, another favorite of the tin foil hat brigade) is just stupid. Timothy McVeigh didn’t leave the country and renounce his citizenship to join up with a terrorist organization, he acted with a handful of co-conspirators and was caught in the US. In addition, we didn’t have to risk a squad of Marines or deal with unhelpful foreign nations to catch McVeigh. The comparison falls flat on its face!

R. Waher on October 1, 2011 at 1:42 AM

McVeigh pretty much declared war against America. Had he skipped bail and ended up in a foreign country, should we have sent the CIA to kill him instead of bringing him back for a trial?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:49 AM

Had Awlaki been a member of a foreign army, then yes, he’d automatically lose his citizenship. If he enlisted in the Yemeni army, we wouldn’t have to go through the process of trying and convicting him of treason. Alas, Al-Qaeda isn’t a country; much like Palestine, you won’t find it on the map.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:23 AM

Of course alqaeda is a foreign army. They receive funding from a number of foreign governments.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 1:53 AM

McVeigh pretty much declared war against America. Had he skipped bail and ended up in a foreign country, should we have sent the CIA to kill him instead of bringing him back for a trial?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:49 AM

What is a “pretty much declaration of war”?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Due process for a POS scum like this is BOOM, here comes the BOOM, ready or not, here comes the boys from the South. BOOM, here comes the BOOM, ready or not, how do you like me now?

carbon_footprint on October 1, 2011 at 1:57 AM

So if an AQ sympathizer trails a drone operator back to his house and slits his throat as he’s unlocking his door, that’s a legitimate act of war? Bull****. That would be cold-blooded murder. We make these distinctions for a reason.

We make these distinctions because they are a holdover from the 18th and 19th century rules of war. Summary execution was the response to those combatants found to be out of uniform. That has since become unpopular and we have seen a rise in non-uniformed non-state militia groups. Was it a legitimate act of war to slit the throat of a VC local commander if the situation called for it? Yes.

You’re creating a false military/police dichotomy that doesn’t negate the rule of law, and doesn’t apply to Awlaki.

[Congress shall have Power...] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

That means that Congress can grant someone the power to act as a pirate on the high seas. That is NOT an action they can grant domestically.

The constitution clearly sees civil and military matters as distinct.

Just because someone goes overseas and says “Hey, I’m with them,” that doesn’t give the President and his underlings unchecked authority to order his summary execution w/o due process.

Yes, actually it does. In the War Of 1812 American citizens were forced into British naval service and American ships engaged those ships in combat, killing American citizens without due process or a lawyer on board. Those American citizens were being held by force, not by choice.

But hey, I’m glad you trust Obama with this level of power. He’s too incompetent to pick winners or losers in energy production, but unilateral control over the life and death of an American citizen? Totally up to the task!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:46 AM

Welcome to the real world.

He also carries something called a nuclear football, and I doubt he’s up to the task that it demands either.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:03 AM

Just because someone goes overseas and says “Hey, I’m with them,” that doesn’t give the President and his underlings unchecked authority to order his summary execution w/o due process.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 1:46 AM

That’s exactly what it does. Contrary to Ron Paul’s vision of America, there’s no wall keeping us in. You don’t have to cut through a lot of red tape or scale any barbed wire fences. Just join the other side and you’re out.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:09 AM

Of course alqaeda is a foreign army. They receive funding from a number of foreign governments.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 1:53 AM

If receiving funding from foreign governments and hurting America makes you a terrorist organization, then I guess we should be targeting the IMF and the World Bank too.

That’s exactly what it does. Contrary to Ron Paul’s vision of America, there’s no wall keeping us in. You don’t have to cut through a lot of red tape or scale any barbed wire fences. Just join the other side and you’re out.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:09 AM

No, it really doesn’t. Only in the fever dreams of the most hawkish of hawks does this right exist.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:12 AM

If receiving funding from foreign governments and hurting America makes you a terrorist organization, then I guess we should be targeting the IMF and the World Bank too.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:12 AM

You are ridiculous.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:18 AM

What is a “pretty much declaration of war”?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Blowing up a government building to take revenge for government action? McVeigh didn’t mince words. He wanted revenge for Ruby Ridge and Waco. He chose the Murrah Building because it was a Federal Government property. McVeigh had a lot more American blood on his hands than Awlaki. Answer the question; if he skipped bail and hopped to, say, Argentina, should we have just sent someone overseas to kill him instead of seeking his extradition?

Oh, and also, from Wikipedia:

“The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda, and a Yemenite judge ordered that he be captured “dead or alive”.”

So Yemen, which is, to put it diplomatically, a ****hole, has the good sense to put Awlaki to trial in absentia. America, bastion of freedom and democracy, says “**** it” and fries him with a Hellfire missile.

Outdone by a 3rd world Arab craphole. Heckuva job, America!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:20 AM

What legal process did we follow during the civil war? (Assuming more like this starts to happen?)

What about traitors during WWII in America? (I’m not talking about internment camps, there were some actual traitors the U.S. executed.)

Anyone remember the details?

scotash on October 1, 2011 at 2:24 AM

No, it really doesn’t.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:12 AM

Yes, it really does.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:24 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:20 AM

You know “Army of One” is just a metaphor, right?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:26 AM

You are ridiculous.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:18 AM

No, conservatives who talk about distrusting the government but then hand Obama a golden ticket to order the targeted killing of citizens are ridiculous.

The DOJ says Solyndra, F&F and Lightsquared are on the up-and-up, conservatives rightly call BS.

The Obama administration says we have enough evidence to execute Awlaki without due process, and we clap like trained seals. Please give us more bread and circuses, Obama! Sooth our economic woes with terrorist blood!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM

You know “Army of One” is just a metaphor, right?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:26 AM

You know McVeigh had co-conspirators, right?

Answer the question. Why not send a drone to take out McVeigh if he skipped bail and ended up in a foreign country? He killed over 150 Americans, wounded over 800 more. He almost certainly contributed to more American blood being shed than al-Awlaki could ever dream of. He said in no uncertain words that he did it to attack the American government.

Why go through the trouble of extraditing him? Just kill him. It’s apparently the American way.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:31 AM

The Obama administration says we have enough evidence to execute Awlaki without due process, and we clap like trained seals.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM

You think he was innocent?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:32 AM

You know McVeigh had co-conspirators, right?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:31 AM

You know that doesn’t make them a foreign army, right?

Answer the question. Why not send a drone to take out McVeigh if he skipped bail and ended up in a foreign country? He killed over 150 Americans, wounded over 800 more. He almost certainly contributed to more American blood being shed than al-Awlaki could ever dream of. He said in no uncertain words that he did it to attack the American government.

Why go through the trouble of extraditing him? Just kill him. It’s apparently the American way.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:31 AM

He didn’t surrender his citizenship by serving in a foreign army engaged in hostilities against the US. I know you get this. No one can be this confused.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:36 AM

What legal process did we follow during the civil war? (Assuming more like this starts to happen?)

What about traitors during WWII in America? (I’m not talking about internment camps, there were some actual traitors the U.S. executed.)

Anyone remember the details?

scotash on October 1, 2011 at 2:24 AM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Hans_Haupt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Pastorius

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte_Quirin

“Herbert Haupt and the other seven “U-Boat Raiders” were sent to Washington, D.C., where they faced a military tribunal. All were found guilty of being enemy agents…six – including Haupt – were sentenced to death. Dasch and Burger received long prison sentences, which were commuted after the war.”

But, I mean, it’s not like World War 2 was a big deal or anything.

If only FDR had known he could have just had them killed instead of convening a military tribunal; I’m sure he would have been ecstatic.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

All the crap in this thread is exactly why we are where we are. Too many abstract minds thinking about too many practical problems.

I’m glad the SOB is dead. The SOB deserved dead. The SOB didn’t deserve due process, a phone call, or a last trip to the toilet.

Frak the folks who think this monster deserved treatment, lawyers, or more than American shrapnel.

With that good night. And Frak my Rangers for showing their fannys to the masses.

Limerick on October 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

Why go through the trouble of extraditing him? Just kill him. It’s apparently the American way.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:31 AM

If we could extradite him, then sure. If on the other hand we tried to arrest him and put the cuffs on him and he made a run for it, which resulted in our policemen shooting him dead… I would be fine with that. That however is a police matter.

Fighting Al Qaeda isn’t.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

No, conservatives who talk about distrusting the government but then hand Obama a golden ticket to order the targeted killing of citizens are ridiculous.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:28 AM

Still begging the question. He wasn’t a citizen.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:41 AM

He didn’t surrender his citizenship by serving in a foreign army engaged in hostilities against the US. I know you get this. No one can be this confused.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:36 AM

What exact rank did al-Awlaki hold in the Al-Qaeda army, Ronnie?

Oh, by the way, Herbert Haupt surrendered his citizenship by conspiring with and joining the Germany army. As you can read above, he was executed after being convicted in a military tribunal, not executed at the whim of FDR.

FDR, whose administration was so gung-ho about civil liberties that he issued EO 9066, leading to the internment of 110,000 Japanese-Americans.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:44 AM

What exact rank did al-Awlaki hold in the Al-Qaeda army, Ronnie?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:44 AM

Douchebag First Class

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:47 AM

All the crap in this thread is exactly why we are where we are. Too many abstract minds thinking about too many practical problems.

I’m glad the SOB is dead. The SOB deserved dead. The SOB didn’t deserve due process, a phone call, or a last trip to the toilet.

Frak the folks who think this monster deserved treatment, lawyers, or more than American shrapnel.

With that good night. And Frak my Rangers for showing their fannys to the masses.

Limerick on October 1, 2011 at 2:38 AM

The 5th Amendment disagrees. I know, “not a suicide pact” and all that. Just don’t complain if 50 years down the road a liberal SCOTUS overturns Heller/McDonald and decides that “right to bear arms” really means “militias in 1790 could have guns but citizens in 2050 can’t, therefore all private gun ownership is illegal.”

If conservatives get to parse the BOR whenever it helps us sleep at night, then we can’t blame liberals for doing the same thing.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM

What exact rank did al-Awlaki hold in the Al-Qaeda army, Ronnie?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:44 AM

So the only thing left to you is to pretend that an armed foreign group that murdered 3,000 Americans is somehow not at war with the US because they don’t wear uniforms? That magically makes it a law enforcement matter and not military?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM

Douchebag First Class

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 2:47 AM

Nice non-answer, Ronnie. I see you don’t have a reply to Ex Parte Quirin.

But hey, like I said, it’s not like World War II was a big deal. Just a minor skirmish, so it makes sense that German conspirators got the luxury of a military tribunal.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:52 AM

If conservatives get to parse the BOR whenever it helps us sleep at night, then we can’t blame liberals for doing the same thing.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:50 AM

In the War Of 1812 American citizens were forced into British naval service and American ships engaged those ships in combat, killing American citizens without due process or a lawyer on board.

Does the Bill Of Rights apply to those American citizens?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:53 AM

So the only thing left to you is to pretend that an armed foreign group that murdered 3,000 Americans is somehow not at war with the US because they don’t wear uniforms? That magically makes it a law enforcement matter and not military?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:51 AM

How would trying al-Awlaki in absentia in a military tribunal be a “law enforcement matter”?

Had he been convicted of treason in absentia, we’d have likely still killed him the exact same way, via drone strike. That’s how we killed Ilyas Kashmiri and a bunch of other foreign jihadis. How would the same drone strike suddenly become a “law enforcement matter”?

Of course, the end result is the same, Awlaki being worm food. If we killed McVeigh on the spot, it would also have the same end result. In this case, the journey actually matters, not just the destination.

I guess the Wehrmacht wasn’t really at war with the US? Hell, they even had uniforms, darn spiffy ones!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:58 AM

In the War Of 1812 American citizens were forced into British naval service and American ships engaged those ships in combat, killing American citizens without due process or a lawyer on board.

Does the Bill Of Rights apply to those American citizens?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:53 AM

It certainly should have.

Those are hardly the only American citizens to be killed without due process, but that doesn’t make it okay. Besides, World War 2 is a little more recent than the War of 1812, so I think Quirin applies more than a 199 year old naval engagement.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:03 AM

Nice non-answer, Ronnie. I see you don’t have a reply to Ex Parte Quirin.

But hey, like I said, it’s not like World War II was a big deal. Just a minor skirmish, so it makes sense that German conspirators got the luxury of a military tribunal.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:52 AM

Sorry, I don’t speak arabic. If you want to know what his “exact rank” was, I’m sure you can find it with a proper translator. So those WWII traitors were picked up in Nazi territory, right? We just wandered into adolph’s HQ and asked if they wouldn’t mind terribly if we borrowed a couple of their guys for a mo. Otherwise, your analogy is pointless. I assure you if they were running around Germany we would have dropped a few thousand pounds of something on their heads too.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:05 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:58 AM

Why would you try him in a military tribunal if he wasn’t in the other side’s army?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:06 AM

How would trying al-Awlaki in absentia in a military tribunal be a “law enforcement matter”?

Who cares if we try him or not? He was an enemy combatant and he was Kaboomed. End of story. If its not a police matter then let the military deal with him.

I guess the Wehrmacht wasn’t really at war with the US? Hell, they even had uniforms, darn spiffy ones!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 2:58 AM

They were put on trial after they were captured. We had no problem killing those same guys before that. They were targeted for killing if we could manage it without any hand wringing or weepy sermons. We didn’t care if they were Russians drafted into the German armed forces, or American citizens.

In the War Of 1812 American citizens were forced into British naval service and American ships engaged those ships in combat, killing American citizens without due process or a lawyer on board.

Does the Bill Of Rights apply to those American citizens?

If it doesn’t (and it didn’t) then why the hell should it apply to Awlaki?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:08 AM

You think he was innocent?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 2:32 AM

Nope. I don’t think Casey Anthony was innocent, either. None of that matters until I get unilateral authority to decide the innocence/guilt of American citizens, which is apparently the province of the President.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:08 AM

In the War Of 1812 American citizens were forced into British naval service and American ships engaged those ships in combat, killing American citizens without due process or a lawyer on board.

Does the Bill Of Rights apply to those American citizens?

It certainly should have.

Those are hardly the only American citizens to be killed without due process, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:03 AM

You are ridiculous.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:10 AM

Sorry, I don’t speak arabic. If you want to know what his “exact rank” was, I’m sure you can find it with a proper translator. So those WWII traitors were picked up in Nazi territory, right? We just wandered into adolph’s HQ and asked if they wouldn’t mind terribly if we borrowed a couple of their guys for a mo. Otherwise, your analogy is pointless. I assure you if they were running around Germany we would have dropped a few thousand pounds of something on their heads too.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:05 AM

It’s not pointless at all. It’s far more apropos than sharrukin’s War of 1812 analogy.

What exactly are you objecting to, that we would be trying Awlaki in absentia instead of capturing him? That’s a substantially easier way to deal with it logistically, so I ask you, what exactly is your problem with it?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:16 AM

You are ridiculous.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:10 AM

Says the person whose argument boils down to “I found one instance where the 5th Amendment wasn’t applied, so it should never again be a hindrance to the targeted killings of American citizens.”

I guess we should have killed Jane Fonda too. She was aiding the VC by taking those glam shots on the AA guns. We can even use “War of 1812!” as the new “Commerce Clause!”

You say I can’t order the killing of an America citizen w/o due process of law? War of 1812! Due process can suck it.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:19 AM

What exactly are you objecting to, that we would be trying Awlaki in absentia instead of capturing him? That’s a substantially easier way to deal with it logistically, so I ask you, what exactly is your problem with it?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:16 AM

I have no problem with trying him in absentia, pointless as it may be. For all I care, we can have pointless little show trials for all the foreign soldiers as long as we continue to drop big bombs on them. Waste of money though.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:20 AM

Whatever. I’m done arguing with people who want to hand Obama unilateral, unquestioned powers of execution.

Between these clowns and the “I’ll vote for Obama/stay home and sit on my hands instead of Romney/Perry/RINO of the Day” brigade, we’re well and truly ****ed, aren’t we? I hope the post-American world still has baseball. I’ll really miss night like Wednesday, otherwise.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:22 AM

What exactly are you objecting to, that we would be trying Awlaki in absentia instead of capturing him? That’s a substantially easier way to deal with it logistically, so I ask you, what exactly is your problem with it?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:16 AM

You are trying to legalize the conduct of military operations on a law enforcement model. It cannot work that way.

The War Of 1812 example can be updated by China grabbing a few hundred American citizens and putting a few of them on their naval ships. Under your idea of warfare the American Navy would have to try to capture them and put the cuffs on? You certainly couldn’t shoot at them because that would violate their civil rights wouldn’t it?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:22 AM

I guess we should have killed Jane Fonda too. She was aiding the VC by taking those glam shots on the AA guns.

Yes, actually we should have.

You say I can’t order the killing of an America citizen w/o due process of law? War of 1812! Due process can suck it.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:19 AM

Not just the War of 1812, but every war that the US has ever fought has exactly the same problem and your approach would have required lawyers to parachute in on D-day to read them their rights.

Its absurd.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:26 AM

Whatever. I’m done arguing with people who want to hand Obama unilateral, unquestioned powers of execution.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:22 AM

Again, you lie about your opponent’s position. No wonder you’re frustrated. You have a position so weak you have to argue against a caricature of the opposing view. You get called out on it again and again and again but you don’t care.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:28 AM

I have no problem with trying him in absentia, pointless as it may be. For all I care, we can have pointless little show trials for all the foreign soldiers as long as we continue to drop big bombs on them. Waste of money though.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:20 AM

You can call almost every trial where the guilt of the accused is almost 100% certain a “show trial,” but we still have them.

Haupt was captured on June 27th and executed on August 8th. We were a tad busy that year, and I’d like to think we’d move a little quicker nowadays thanks to advances in technology since 1942. So how long would Awlaki’s in absentia tribunal have taken? A couple of days? We could have easily done it basically any time from early 2010 until last week, and voila, no more tricky questions about the 5th Amendment or dangerous precedents set regarding the targeted killing of citizens. A quick, easy treason conviction, and boom, citizenship revoked; arm the missiles and lock-on.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:29 AM

I guess we should have killed Jane Fonda too.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:19 AM

We could have.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:32 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:29 AM

Like I said, we could have had a trial. Few days. Few months. Few years. Doesn’t matter. He joined a foreign army. He wasn’t a citizen. He had no more rights than any other alqaeda soldier. Boom.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

Not just the War of 1812, but every war that the US has ever fought has exactly the same problem and your approach would have required lawyers to parachute in on D-day to read them their rights.

Its absurd.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:26 AM

The fact that you can’t tell different between Awlaki’s case and storming Normandy is that only absurd thing.

Then again, what can I expect? I’m arguing with someone who thinks we should have ordered the targeted execution of Jane Fonda because she took some glamour shots on an anti-aircraft battery.

Again, you lie about your opponent’s position. No wonder you’re frustrated. You have a position so weak you have to argue against a caricature of the opposing view. You get called out on it again and again and again but you don’t care.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:28 AM

That’s exactly your position. It’s not a strawman, it’s your specific argument.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

That’s exactly your position. It’s not a strawman, it’s your specific argument.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

I think I’m more qualified to know my position than you are.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:36 AM

Like I said, we could have had a trial. Few days. Few months. Few years. Doesn’t matter. He joined a foreign army. He wasn’t a citizen. He had no more rights than any other alqaeda soldier. Boom.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

It’s funny how roughly 5,000 blogs, newspapers and wire reports are getting the story wrong. They all say al-Awlaki was a citizen. I wonder why?

Oh, right…because he still was. But changing reality is fun, eh?

Here, I’ll try: the Browns won the last ten Super Bowls and I’m married to Giselle Bundchen. I said it, and now it’s true!

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:37 AM

I’m arguing with someone who thinks we should have ordered the targeted execution of Jane Fonda because she took some glamour shots on an anti-aircraft battery.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

Do you think you could build a good treason case against her?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:38 AM

The fact that you can’t tell different between Awlaki’s case and storming Normandy is that only absurd thing.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:34 AM

There is no difference. The US Congress authorized military force against Al Qaeda/Germany and accordingly that target is rightly considered an enemy against which military force can be used.

Awlaki/Haupt were members of that enemy and were legitimate targets of the US armed forces. Haupt was captured and put on trial, Awlaki was never captured just killed in action, just as Haupt might have been. Their citizenship in the field of combat was meaningless. It only became meaningful if they were captured.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:42 AM

We could have.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:32 AM

Only in Super Duper Crazy Town, population: Ronnie and sharrukin.

Could we have ordered the targeted killing of Rachel Corrie? I’m sure you could argue she was materially supporting Hamas. If she had been pancaked by an American Cat D9, would that have been, forgive the pun, kosher?

I’m just trying to figure out when exactly I lose my Constitutional protections as an American citizen. If I smuggle some falafel into Gaza, is that enough?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM

It’s funny how roughly 5,000 blogs, newspapers and wire reports are getting the story wrong. They all say al-Awlaki was a citizen. I wonder why?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:37 AM

Wow. 5,000! OK, I’ll take it easy on you. Name half.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:46 AM

BTW, is a trial In absentia even legal under American law? Doesn’t the accused have the right to face his accusers?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM

Oh, so when she’s running around enemy territory supporting the enemy, there’s a big bubble around her. Got it. Don’t let our enemies know about this little trick, mmm k?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:50 AM

Awlaki/Haupt were members of that enemy and were legitimate targets of the US armed forces. Haupt was captured and put on trial, Awlaki was never captured just killed in action, just as Haupt might have been. Their citizenship in the field of combat was meaningless. It only became meaningful if they were captured.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:42 AM

Except neither was in an explicitly designated field of combat. We’re not at war with Yemen, and Haupt was in Chicago. I know Chicago’s a corrupt machine city, but I’m pretty sure we didn’t declare war on it.

The AUMF from 2001 doesn’t designate a country, and the AUMF from 2002 is specifically dealing with Iraq.

So clearly, it’s not the country that matters, it’s the allegiance of the person involved. So what if it takes place on US soil? Had we caught wind of Nidal Hasan’s plot before he executed it, should we have sent an assassin to kill him instead of arresting him?

Also, I’m sure both of you are 100% behind our Libyan involvement, right? Qadaffi and friends may have a second cousin whose roommate sold yellowcake to Zawahiri. Therefore anything we do there is A-ok via the 2001 AUMF.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:51 AM

Could we have ordered the targeted killing of Rachel Corrie? I’m sure you could argue she was materially supporting Hamas. If she had been pancaked by an American Cat D9, would that have been, forgive the pun, kosher?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM

Probably not, but as she discovered, America didn’t put a big bubble around her either.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:53 AM

Also, I’m sure both of you are 100% behind our Libyan involvement, right?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:51 AM

Again, you fabricate my opinions and then complain about them. You’re quite the little liar tonight.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:56 AM

The AUMF from 2001 doesn’t designate a country,

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:51 AM

No it doesn’t which blows your argument about a uniformed army out of the water.

It does mention ‘those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States‘ which means Al Qaeda.

Except neither was in an explicitly designated field of combat.

Was Normandy an explicitly designated field of combat and what exactly made it so? Was the North Atlantic?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:58 AM

Oh, so when she’s running around enemy territory supporting the enemy, there’s a big bubble around her. Got it. Don’t let our enemies know about this little trick, mmm k?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:50 AM

Amazing that we never tried her for treason since she so clearly deserved to be killed. Or were you referring to Corrie?

BTW, is a trial In absentia even legal under American law? Doesn’t the accused have the right to face his accusers?

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:49 AM

I think there was a warrant out for Awlaki’s arrest when he initially fled the States, so yes, he could be tried in absentia. It’s happened before when people flee the jurisdiction.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:59 AM

Probably not, but as she discovered, America didn’t put a big bubble around her either.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:53 AM

Why couldn’t we have killed her? She was supporting Hamas.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Amazing that we never tried her for treason since she so clearly deserved to be killed. Or were you referring to Corrie?

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:59 AM

Corrie was obviously not in a bubble. She’s dead. And yes, it’s amazing Fonda wasn’t tried. I asked you if you thought you could build a good case against her.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM

I think there was a warrant out for Awlaki’s arrest when he initially fled the States, so yes, he could be tried in absentia. It’s happened before when people flee the jurisdiction.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 3:59 AM

I don’t think a warrant is enough. Don’t they have to be present at the trial where they can be removed for being dorks, or if they escape, then they can be tried without being physically present.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM

Why couldn’t we have killed her? She was supporting Hamas.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:00 AM

This isn’t Israel. Treason doesn’t apply.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:03 AM

No it doesn’t which blows your argument about a uniformed army out of the water.

It does mention ‘those responsible for the recent attacks launched against the United States‘ which means Al Qaeda.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 3:58 AM

Right, so a targeted killing on U.S. soil would be a-OK if we were fragging an AQ conspirator, correct? Hell, if we’re going to patrol the US-Mexico border with drones, may as well give them some firepower. If we see a US citizen with AQ ties, shoot to kill. That’s the new calculus, right? Or do you only get squeamish about the on-the-spot execution of citizens when it happens back home?

In fact, why is there anybody in Gitmo? All of them should have been killed on the spot, regardless of their country of origin. If they had AQ ties, that’s enough for me.

Again, you fabricate my opinions and then complain about them. You’re quite the little liar tonight.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 3:56 AM

How could you be against the Libyan Kinetic Action? The 2001 AUMF clearly lets us do anything we want in regards to people who we’re pretty sure had a hand in materially supporting AQ. So actually, according to the AUMF, we should be killing the rebels, not the regime forces; some of the rebels have been found to have explicit AQ ties. Wonder why we aren’t targeting them with drones?

Of course, I’m sure there are also regime forces with AQ ties. Hell, let’s just bomb the entire country out of existence. It’ll make us safer.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:06 AM

This isn’t Israel. Treason doesn’t apply.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:03 AM

Hamas hasn’t been responsible for any American deaths? News to me.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:09 AM

How could you be against the Libyan Kinetic Action? The 2001 AUMF clearly lets us do anything we want in regards to people who we’re pretty sure had a hand in materially supporting AQ. So actually, according to the AUMF, we should be killing the rebels, not the regime forces; some of the rebels have been found to have explicit AQ ties. Wonder why we aren’t targeting them with drones?

Of course, I’m sure there are also regime forces with AQ ties. Hell, let’s just bomb the entire country out of existence. It’ll make us safer.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:06 AM

This is your argument, not mine. You’re just using one fabricated statement to back up another fabricated statement. Don’t pin that garbage on me. It came out of your head.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:10 AM

Hamas hasn’t been responsible for any American deaths? News to me.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:09 AM

Did I say this? No. Another lie. You going for a record?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:11 AM

I don’t think a warrant is enough. Don’t they have to be present at the trial where they can be removed for being dorks, or if they escape, then they can be tried without being physically present.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM

It may not have been done in this exact way in the US before, but it was done similarly during the Nuremberg Trials, which obviously had heavy U.S. involvement.

In fact, the Nuremberg Trials are the perfect example of why we should have tried al-Awlaki in a military tribunal. The Nuremberg Trials were, honestly, a bit of a joke. They were a kangaroo court enforcing ex post facto laws with basically guaranteed verdicts against any of the major offenders. We could have saved ourselves the hassle and just executed all the major Nazis w/o trials, but we didn’t; some semblance of justice, even the rather shoddy justice of a sham court, must be maintained. It’s a matter of decorum and civilization.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:15 AM

Did I say this? No. Another lie. You going for a record?

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:11 AM

So then what exactly is your point re: Corrie? She was supporting an enemy of America, hence she’s a traitor. Period, end of story. What, are you getting cold feet now? We need to keep the blood flowing, Ronnie.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:19 AM

Right, so a targeted killing on U.S. soil would be a-OK if we were fragging an AQ conspirator, correct?

Obviously not unless there was a pressing military need to do so, such as a terrorist with a nuke who had to be taken out immediately. Domestic and international rules are different.

Thats why they have that border thingie. On one side is America and on the other… it’s like a whole different country.

Hell, if we’re going to patrol the US-Mexico border with drones, may as well give them some firepower. If we see a US citizen with AQ ties, shoot to kill. That’s the new calculus, right? Or do you only get squeamish about the on-the-spot execution of citizens when it happens back home?

I think it would be more politic to get the Mexican government to deal with it, but if they wouldn’t or couldn’t then yes we should.

In fact, why is there anybody in Gitmo? All of them should have been killed on the spot, regardless of their country of origin. If they had AQ ties, that’s enough for me.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:06 AM

Actually I believe that is in fact legal under the 1949 Geneva Protocols, though not the 1977 Protocols of which the US is not a signatory.

sharrukin on October 1, 2011 at 4:20 AM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:15 AM

Sort of makes the case for NOT bothering with a trial, yet you call it decorum and civilization. Sounds more like the opposite. Sorry, not a compelling example.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:21 AM

Corrie was obviously not in a bubble. She’s dead. And yes, it’s amazing Fonda wasn’t tried. I asked you if you thought you could build a good case against her.

Ronnie on October 1, 2011 at 4:01 AM

I don’t think we could have convicted Fonda of treason, no. I certainly know we wouldn’t have killed her with a Predator drone, though.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 1, 2011 at 4:22 AM

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