Do not misunderstand the intent of this post, Anwar al-Aulaqi was indeed apparently and evidently a ‘terrorist’ who played a role in the Fort Hood massacre and the attempted Christmas Day bombing. It seems that he was largely a spoke-person and speaker against the US and played some sort of operational role in Yemen. No argument there. However, as far as I know, this is the first time that a US president has ordered the killing of a US citizen (at least in the public light), acting as judge-jury-and executioner.
I have very mixed feelings about this killing. On one hand, logic says that it’s a good thing that an apparent terrorist is no longer plotting. On the other hand, I wonder whether the action was criminal and unconstitutional under US law. What of the civil liberties and ‘due process’ granted to a US citizen? (key word phrase: US citizen) Was he given a chance to surrender? Lots of questions and uncomfortable thoughts…
From the Washington Post, ‘Anwar al-Aulaqi, a radical U.S.-born Muslim cleric and one of the most influential al-Qaeda leaders wanted by the United States, was killed Friday in a U.S. drone strike in northern Yemen, Yemeni and American authorities said, eliminating a prominent terrorist recruiter who inspired attacks on U.S. soil. The strike also killed a second U.S. citizen — Samir Khan, the co-editor of an al-Qaeda magazine’
Again, I’m not suggesting that this person was a good-guy or was not an influential danger, etc. What struck me this morning was the process, or lack thereof, of a US citizen (I notice the main-stream-media are calling him ‘American-born’ rather than citizen, perhaps to downplay the reality – not sure…).
I wonder why Obama instead of ‘eliminating’ him, couldn’t have captured this guy instead, and prosecuted – maybe would’ve learned more that way too? I guess it just doesn’t sit quite right with me, probably because I’m sensitive to the concept of liberties and due process of citizens.
On one hand I do get frustrated when observing long and drawn-out ‘due process’ of someone who is apparently and blatantly guilty and how long it often takes to get through the system – and the money spent doing so, but on the other hand it’s our Constitution and rights. Is it not?
So before some of you think that I’m sticking up for some terrorist and send scathing emails, just consider that I’m wondering if a line was crossed here. Let your mind wander and imagine how far it could go? Who will be labeled a ‘terrorist’ in the future and perhaps be targeted for killing? It may sound extreme, but, who’s to say now that it’s happened?
What do you think of this? Curious to know what your gut is telling you… Comments?
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