….without evidence, arrest, trial, judge, jury, verdict or appeal.
And the Supreme Court cannot stop him, according to His Imperial Majesty.
Why would anyone doubt him or the rest of our Ruling Class?
Your inflammatory headline is prima facie evidence that you are “at war” with the U.S. government, Mark.
Watch your back… terrorist.
What (and I ask this question in sincerity) is a better solution? The person in question was not living in the US and was an active member of an organization at war with the US. There was no real way to force him to appear in court. Could we have found him guilty of treason in absentia? Should we have? Alternatively, do we simply accept that American citizens will be able to war against our people without fear of retribution?
I certainly don’t want to give the impression that I approve of the assassination of Al-Awlaki, but I find it hard to criticize because I don’t have a good vision of what a good alternative would look like.
Hopefully we can rely on Obama to protect us from the shredding of Habeas Corpus so eagerly desired by the Senate.
Presumption of innocence is the cornerstone of a free society….
“[Al-Awlaki was] an active member of an organization at war with the US”
That sentence should read
” According to the government which never bothered to even formally charge him with any crime so as to avoid having to produce evidence for their assertions. which strongly indicates they had none, Al-Awlaki was an active member of an organization at war with the US”
I suppose Osama bin Ladin wasn’t a terrorist either. After all, he wasn’t charged with a crime by the US government. Do you really need more public evidence that al-Awlaki was a member of al-Qaeda? He had Al-Qaeda recruitment videos on youtube for crying out loud.
Truth is objective, which means that you don’t need the US government do decide it for you.
It’s a question of rule of law. Your line of argument justifies lynch mobs just as easily as it does execution by executive fiat.
Typing “FALSE” after quoting me suggests that he things I said something incorrect. Then explaining that it is incorrect because the courts didn’t find him guilty of being a member of Al-Qaeda suggests that the courts didn’t find him so is proof that he is not.
It was this silliness that the quote you mentioned was directed. Not to whether or not the US government should have (or had the right to kill him).
“Then explaining that it is incorrect because the courts didn’t find him guilty of being a member of Al-Qaeda suggests that the courts didn’t find him so is proof that he is not.”
That is actually a distortion of my point (which is probably my fault granted) so let me clarify.
I was really making two points
1) Presumption of innocence is vitally important, consequently we ought not to treat Al-Awlaki’s case as though his guilt has been proved and is self-evident. The only evidence I seen produced by anyone is evidence that he said some inflammatory anti-American sermons, which insofar as I understand how US law works is his right as a US citizen under the First Amendment (maybe not of course but its hardly a clear cut death penalty offense by any means) I have never seen or been directed to any evidence he had any role in any terrorist organization beyond the rhetoric. I suspect perhaps incorrectly neither have you ( I suppose you may well be intimately familiar with the organization of Al-Quaeda in Yemen to the point where you can say with confidence Al-Alwlaki was a member involved in plotting attacks on the USA and its allies)
2) In the USA today with its ludicrously exaggerated fear of terrorism it would be easy to convict a citizen who also happened to Muslim Imam who preached anti-American sermons, if the government had even the sketchiest circumstantial evidence. Consequently I can only conclude the failure to even charge him with any crime indicates that the government that assassinated him lacked any evidence that could stand up to any scrutiny
Your gonna have to use some gel or something to put down that cowlick on your head that was just created by the point that was being made whoosing straight over your head at supersonic speeds.
Trial in absentia would be a legitimate possibility. But the real alternative, I think, would be trusting in God for justice, not Caesar. Caesar’s reach is — or ought to be — limited by the rule of law for good reason.
I think killing Al-Awlaki for the sake of punishment or “justice” would be monstrous, even if we could hold him at trial in absentia. I’m opposed to the death penalty in it’s more “civilized forms,” and what we did to Al-Awlaki was far from that. I hope (fervently) that he was killed because he was leading attacks against US soldiers and civilians as well as those of other nations. I of course cannot know Obama’s heart on the subject.
It’s important to note that the outrage against Al-Awlaki’s assassination revolves around the fact that he was a US citizen. No-one put Osama bin Laden on trial either, yet the response to his assassination seems slightly different.
AFAIK, Aw-awlaki didn’t even necessarily “take up arms” against the US. He was more of an inspirational figure. Obviously what he did was heinous, and inspired awful crimes, but consider how far that blanket assumption of “enemy combatant” or guilt by association can be stretched.
I’m no conspiracy theorist, but it’s not hard to imagine someone who could be targeted for saying the wrong things, advocating for the wrong people, etc. (all while within the bounds of free speech guaranteed by this country.)
What’s troubling is not only the rights that get trampled, but the credibility of our country and any remaining “moral high ground” disintegrates. Was there an effort to apprehend him, or take him alive to bring him to justice via the proper channels? In that event, if he resisted by force, then it is no different than police taking out someone who fires on them in the course of making an arrest.
I’m open to the criticism that I don’t know all the details– of course I don’t. And maybe I’m oversimplifying. But how do more people not find this problematic?
Was there an effort to apprehend him, or take him alive to bring him to justice via the proper channels? In that event, if he resisted by force, then it is no different than police taking out someone who fires on them in the course of making an arrest.
According to the White House, al-Awlaki was assassinated by remote-control drone. No attempt to apprehend him was made, and nobody was in danger.
I’m open to the criticism that I don’t know all the details– of course I don’t.
The White House has been quite open about the above details, which I think are sufficient to establish the problem.
But how do more people not find this problematic?
A heady mixture of fear and consequentialist ethics.
“The White House has been quite open about the above details, which I think are sufficient to establish the problem.”
They have been quite open on *this* version of the story. The question is; is it the truth? What is truth? I remember reading that somewhere…..hmmm…
I am not questioning you Timothy…I always question what comes out of the mouth of Ceasar, however.
In legal parlance, there’s such a thing as a “statement against interest.” I have no reason to disbelieve Caesar in this case, if he’s inclined to damn himself with his own words.
By the way, we’re not just at war with Al-Qaeda– it’s a “war on terror” that’s been going for over a decade. So anyone, under these laws and policies, could become fair game.
Murder, rape and theft by garden variety criminals are all terrifying. How soon till they are subject summary execution and torture too? Or people suspected of knowing something about such crimes?
But Mark, they’re terrorists, and terrorists shouldn’t get fair trials.
What’s that you say? How do we know they’re terrorists? Why, because Uncle Sam said so, of course! You don’t distrust the government, do you?
Or being a Catholic….where are your loyalties? Rome or DC? Answer, you papist!!
I fully believe this will be a dialogue in our future…
It’s worth noting that the Supreme Court decision in Holder vs. Humanitarian Law Project held that giving any advice to a terrorist organization amounts to material support of terrorism even if this advice is urging them to pursue their objectives by peaceful and lawful means. In other words, if you urge terrorists to stop their terrorism, this makes you a material supporter of terrorism, in other words a terrorist yourself and hence subject to execution on orders of the god-king.
I wonder how John Walker Lindh would have been treated with this piece of legislation enacted.
…so maybe don’t be a leading figure in al-Qaida?
I absolutely do not get what this is about. If it’s okay to carry out drone strikes against al-Qaida forces in the mountains of Yemen, then it’s really the responsibility of US citizens to not be part of those al-Qaida forces, yes? If it’s *not* okay to carry out those drone strikes, then that is a different issue entirely and has no bearing on the nationality of those involved. It’s either a human travesty regardless of the citizenship of the dead, or it’s a part of war. As someone who is neither American nor living in the US, I find your apparent view extremely unnerving!