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September 30, 2011

Assassination of an American Marks Another First for Obama Administration: US Cancels Al-Awlaki's Subscription to "Inspire"

"Bang! Zoom! To the moon, Al, the moon!"
U.S-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who edited the slick Jihadi Internet magazine, were killed in an air strike on their convoy in Yemen by a joint CIA-U.S. military operation, according to counterterrorism officials. Al-Awlaki was targeted in the killing, but Khan apparently was not targeted directly. -- Yahoo! News

UPDATE: A J STRATA considers the precedent: The Strata-Sphere サ Looks Like Obama May Have Finally Assassinated An American Citizen
I will never shed a tear for al-Awlaki, but I will note that this may be (and hopefully is) the first time a US President has suspended the constitution and assassinated a US Citizen who was still presumed innocent.

Posted by Vanderleun at September 30, 2011 2:08 PM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

"still presumed innocent".

By whom? Ideologs & the ACLU.

SFTU and just enjoy. It’s a win for the good guys, go have a beer. Dude gave up his rights a LOOOOONGGG time ago.

Posted by: tim at September 30, 2011 12:39 PM

How was this different from taking down John Dillinger or Bonnie & Clyde, or the Symbionese Liberation Army?

Posted by: Don Rodrigo at September 30, 2011 1:21 PM

I can't agree with your sentiment. When an American citizen declares his allegiance to our enemy when we are at war, and then acts on that declaration, he can't be presumed innocent anymore.

Otherwise all the American born can declare their allegiance to the enemy, go fight against us on a foreign soil and assume they are not going to be threatened with anything more than a civil trial and possible conviction. While our soldiers who would have to be on the ones responsible to bring him in would be shot at trying to apprehend him, roadside bombed, etc.

The Constitution and the rights of a citizen just can't extend that far.

Posted by: Marie at September 30, 2011 1:29 PM

" Dude gave up his rights a LOOOOONGGG time ago."

First of all it is not MY sentiment. There is a citation and a link. As for "presumed innocent" I'm agnostic on the issue in this and similar cases. Short form: I just don't give a damn.

Still, I find it interesting that Strata has picked up on yet another Constitutional work-around by the administration that has the least respect for the Constitution since.... I don't know.... The Confederacy?

Posted by: vanderleun at September 30, 2011 2:25 PM

Taking up arms against your own country, and not wearing a uniform while doing it, makes you subject first to the summary judgment of the battlefield (ie, becoming very dead in the course of fighting), and secondly subject to being executed at will as a spy or just a breaker of the rules of war.

If you want the protections of civilian criminal law, you have to remain a civilian. If you want to be a guerrilla on a foreign field who wears no uniform, you'd better accept your new and different legal position.

Posted by: Maureen at September 30, 2011 2:42 PM

I may be wrong about this, being a Brit and not well versed in American constitutional law, but is it not the case that enlisting in a foreign military, especially an enemy one, makes you no longer a citizen of the USA?

I suppose there must be some way for an American to gain approval and thus not lose his citizenship - after all, a fair number of Americans enlisted in the RAF for example - but I don't know what it is.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at September 30, 2011 3:43 PM

I believe that the law reads taking up arms against the US by serving in the army of or for a "foreign state." Al-Queda is not, strictly speaking, a state so there may be some legal wiggle there.

Posted by: vanderleun at September 30, 2011 6:03 PM

Just for fun, imagine if Bush had done this. "War criminal!!"

Posted by: RedCarolina at September 30, 2011 6:19 PM

The Constitution is not the relevant document. Rather, it is Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, #12, Destroy the Individual:

"Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and vaporize it."

Posted by: Gagdad Bob at September 30, 2011 6:25 PM

It is ironic that the Obamabots are more inclined to kill terrorist in proportion to their dread of holding them captive.

Posted by: james wilson at September 30, 2011 9:29 PM

I'm glad our bombs never hit Tokyo Rose. What an embarrassment for FDR that assassination would have been.

Posted by: ErisGuy at October 1, 2011 2:36 AM

Awlaki is now a smoking hole as compared to his being a smoking bunghole before.

Lets see what, oh say, France thinks if you are worried about opinion.

Posted by: Peccable at October 1, 2011 4:15 AM

Enemy combatants are given rights they don't deserve and citizens are murdered without due process. (Yes, he was a murdering shit--I know, I know.) The overlying theme here is the government's presumption of the right to do whatever it damned well pleases without being accountable to anyone.

This is a development we should all view with the gravest concern. Now there's a precedent.

Posted by: ahem at October 1, 2011 9:34 AM

Ruby Ridge and Koresh's Palace have any meaning?
Precedent was set a while ago.

Posted by: Peccable at October 1, 2011 2:29 PM

I'm glad we finally smoked Al-Awlaki, but is it too much to ask that all of our self-appointed guardians of human rights and peace and civil liberties, not to mention all the Democrats in Congress, all the newspaper editors, and all the movie stars, could support our right to take out our enemies any time our security requires it, and not just only when the rest of us Americans have qualified to receive their permission to, by virtue of having elected a Democrat President?

Posted by: sherlock at October 1, 2011 3:18 PM

Enemy combatants are given rights they don't deserve and citizens are murdered without due process.

If you are armed and traveling in the company of unlawful combatants, your status *is* unlawful combatant, and you are a valid target. Your citizenship is not only secondary, it is immaterial.

Posted by: BillT at October 1, 2011 4:56 PM