Anwar al-Awlaki’s extrajudicial murder

Israel/Palestine
on 108 Comments

This article originally appeared in The Guardian:

Is this the world we want? Where the president of the United States can place an American citizen, or anyone else for that matter, living outside a war zone on a targeted assassination list, and then have him murdered by drone strike.

This was the very result we at the Center for Constitutional Rights and the ACLU feared when we brought a case in US federal court on behalf of Anwar al-Awlaki’s father, hoping to prevent this targeted killing. We lost the case on procedural grounds, but the judge considered the implications of the practice as raising “serious questions”, asking:

“Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organisation?”

Yes, Anwar al-Awlaki was a radical Muslim cleric. Yes, his language and speeches were incendiary. He may even have engaged in plots against the United States – but we do not know that because he was never indicted for a crime.

This profile should not have made him a target for a killing without due process and without any effort to capture, arrest and try him. The US government knew his location for purposes of a drone strike, so why was no effort made to arrest him in Yemen, a country that apparently was allied in the US efforts to track him down?

There are – or were – laws about the circumstances in which deadly force can be used, including against those who are bent on causing harm to the United States. Outside of a war zone, as Awlaki was, lethal force can only be employed in the narrowest and most extraordinary circumstances: when there is a concrete, specific and imminent threat of an attack; and even then, deadly force must be a last resort.

The claim, after the fact, by President Obama that Awlaki “operationally directed efforts” to attack the United States was never presented to a court before he was placed on the “kill” list and is untested. Even if President Obama’s claim has some validity, unless Awlaki’s alleged terrorists actions were imminent and unless deadly force employed as a last resort, this killing constitutes murder.

We know the government makes mistakes, lots of them, in giving people a “terrorist” label. Hundreds of men were wrongfully detained at Guantánamo. Should this same government, or any government, be allowed to order people’s killing without due process?

The dire implications of this killing should not be lost on any of us. There appears to be no limit to the president’s power to kill anywhere in the world, even if it involves killing a citizen of his own country. Today, it’s in Yemen; tomorrow, it could be in the UK or even in the United States.
 

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108 Responses

  1. upsidedownism
    October 1, 2011, 2:35 pm

    Out of sight, out of mind. Obama’s administration doesn’t want American troops on the ground, with the images of the grieving families and the dead soldiers in the media. For the same reason, avoiding publicity, Obama doesn’t want any prisoners; whether at Guantanamo Bay, or inside America.

    So the solution the administration has arrived at is drone strikes in remote areas. Maximum bang for your buck, minimum publicity.

    The rule of all, of course, goes completely out the window. But politicians have long known that if you are seen as providing protection, the electorate doesn’t really care about the rule of law. This is especially true where the USA’s victims are foreigners, but now it even applies to American citizens.

    • Hostage
      October 2, 2011, 1:50 am

      In Hamdan v Rusfeld the Supreme Court ruled that, even in the case of an armed conflict involving non-signatories like al Qaeda terrorists, Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention still applies so long as the conflict takes place in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties. Common Article 3 stipulates that the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court is one of the acts that is prohibited at all times.

      Willful killing is a grave breach defined in Article 147 and a violation of both Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and US Title 18 § 2441, War Crimes.
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/usc_sec_18_00002441—-000-.html

      • Antidote
        October 2, 2011, 4:28 pm

        blah, blah, blah, hostage. As if the rule of law mattered more in the US than in Israel, and elsewhere. Grave breach of Geneva Conventions and War Crime? Like it’s the first time. The Soviets weren’t even signatories to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, then smugly sat in judgement over German violations of the Geneva Conventions at the Eastern front. Clever how Nuremberg exxluded breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed AFTER the war, and at the same time the show trials were taking place. The farce of Nuremberg is the ‘rule of international law’ that has been practiced ever since.

        upsidedownism is perfectly right. Politicians have long known that all you have to do is foster a sense of being threatened, be it real or imaginary, and you get away with just about anything. The Nazis knew that too, and they were not the first either

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 6:39 pm

        blah, blah, blah, hostage.

        waah, waah, waah, Antidote.

        As if the rule of law mattered more in the US than in Israel, and elsewhere.

        Strawman alert, I didn’t say that the rule of law mattered more in the US. OTOH the citizens here did insist on codifying a Bill of Rights limiting the power of the federal government and made its inclusion a condicio sine qua non for adoption of the Constitution itself. If you’d care to check the archives, I think you’ll find that I’ve discussed the Basic Laws and High Court of Israel, the European Court of Human Rights, the ICC, the ICTY, the ICTR, and a few decisions of the UK Law Lords too.

        Grave breach of Geneva Conventions and War Crime? Like it’s the first time. The Soviets weren’t even signatories to the Geneva Conventions in WW II, then smugly sat in judgement over German violations of the Geneva Conventions at the Eastern front.

        I’m familiar with the history and the theory of the prosecution. The Germans weren’t signatories of the Hague Conventions either. That didn’t prevent prosecution, and upon conviction, punishment for violations of the underlying customary laws. The Tribunal ruled that those laws and customs had been codified in the conventions and had been accepted as binding by all civilized peoples.

        Clever how Nuremberg exxluded breaches of the Geneva Conventions committed AFTER the war, and at the same time the show trials were taking place.

        The tribunals weren’t witch trials and didn’t unfairly target any innocent people. There’s no statute of limitations for the war crimes you’ve alleged. So, nothing prevents you or any other critic from filing charges and proving your cases in Court. Recent developments in international and domestic laws make it easier than ever before to obtain victim compensation in the US federal courts and in the ECHR. People are still pursuing and prosecuting Nazi war criminals. So, an argument from silence about crimes or torts the Allies were “guilty” of committing is pretty unpersuasive.

  2. Chaos4700
    October 1, 2011, 3:02 pm

    One has to wonder how long it will be before this starts taking place on US soil to boot.

    • seafoid
      October 1, 2011, 4:30 pm

      When fascism comes to the US it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

      • James
        October 1, 2011, 6:06 pm

        indeed seafoid.. it already is… a lot of folks can’t get past the packaging… it looks good on the outside, so it must be good on the inside… actually the idea of what is on the inside or outside is beyond the grasp of these same folks… they take everything literally, including the bible.. jesus prefaced some of his parables with something like ‘ having ears they hear not, and eyes, they see not’… these are the same folks running the usa, canada and a few other countries at present.. that is how it ””’looks”” to me…

      • Shmuel
        October 1, 2011, 6:16 pm

        jesus prefaced some of his parables with something like ‘ having ears they hear not, and eyes, they see not’

        Borrowed from his illustrious predecessors Jeremiah, Ezekiel and one or more authors of the book of Psalms.

      • Citizen
        October 2, 2011, 6:45 am

        We all know the story: Jesus was a Jew, and he only “preached” to fellow Jews, and that his chief target was the Jewish Establishment in his time and place, right? Some say Jesus became, was, and has been the only Christian who ever lived.

        And Saul, at request of the Saddhedrin (sic?), use to chase down Jewish followers of Jesus, right? Then he saw the light, while doing just that, on the road to Damascus? Morphed into St Paul, the salesman to the Gentiles, who never saw or heard Jesus?

        And that, according to Nietzsche’s study results, Christianity grew as a desperate hope to the downtrodden in Roman Era, was, thus, the new religion for slaves, with “slave morality?” And that Nietzsche himself created the concept of ubermenschen to evoke self-overcoming, rather than the cartoon version of a super hero representing survival of the fittest?

      • MHughes976
        October 2, 2011, 12:48 pm

        The reference to sighted people who will not perceive and hearing people who will not understand comes not exactly as a preface but as an explanation, offered to the disciples by Jesus, about his use of ‘parables’. AJ Saldarini (Eerdmans Comm) is good on this passage in Mt.13/Is. 6 – the Jewish people are being given the best possible chance but at the same time Isaiah’s terrible warning on the same theme is invoked. Jesus then begins to withdraw to non-Jewish areas, where he is out-argued – by a ‘Canaanite’ woman whom he had at first treated with apparent rudeness – the only time this happens to him or perhaps to any prophet. An indication that wisdom and understanding are on the move to new places.
        I think that Isaiah expects that people will refuse to listen not because he uses mysterious parables but because he is just too provocative. I think that we at Mondoweiss know something of how he felt – or of how a dialogue marked by mutual provocation goes – even if we don’t think we have been commissioned by God in a terrifying vision of a smoke-filled temple.
        I’m not too convinced by Nietzsche – I think that the class that put Christianity into power must been the one that provided intellectuals and army officers.

      • James
        October 2, 2011, 1:20 pm

        shmuel, citizen and hughes – thanks for the additional thoughts on this passage from the bible.. i don’t know much about the bible, other then i have enjoyed reading jesus’s parables which are in the new t first few books…. to me this whole story of jesus is like a psychological or metaphysical drama that has a completely interior meaning that is lost on many who read it… they are too busy taking everything literally… this is why many bozos into christianity around the globe think jerusalem is a ‘holy’ city for example….

        a better example would be the use of the word ‘israel’ in the bible which is taken by most to be a ‘physical’ place, instead of a place where one has overcome ‘sin’ – spiritual liberation of some sort being ‘the place’ one would arrive at as opposed to a physical location on the planet… i tried finding someone talking about this sort of idea with google… my first exposure to these ideas happened a long time ago with a book called ‘the metaphysical bible dictionary’ at a bookshop in vancouver that specialized in metaphysical type literature…

        here is a link outlining the general direction of my thoughts around all this, but the m b dictionary is really a better resource then this link… scroll down 1/4 to the heading ‘the name “israel”‘ and read for a bit if interested..
        link to amazingfacts.org

      • MRW
        October 2, 2011, 1:32 pm

        And Buddha, ca. 500 BC, the original guy for this phrase.

      • MRW
        October 2, 2011, 1:35 pm

        “a better example would be the use of the word ‘israel’ in the bible which is taken by most to be a ‘physical’ place, instead of a place where one has overcome ‘sin’ “

        Israel was a man, not a place.

      • Shmuel
        October 2, 2011, 2:01 pm

        Israel is a man, a people and a place in the Bible – although there is nothing to stop anyone from interpreting all three in a metaphorical sense.

      • James
        October 2, 2011, 2:13 pm

        mrw – here is a quote from the link i left “The Name “Israel”
        It is impossible to clearly understand the subject of Israel apart from a careful study of the Old Testament. The first time the name “Israel” appears in Scripture is when it was spoken to Jacob after his long night of wrestling with a powerful opponent. The heavenly stranger finally said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed” (Genesis 32:28). Thus the name “Israel” was at first a name of heavenly origin applied to Jacob alone. It represented his spiritual victory over sin, through wrestling in prayer and claiming God’s grace.
        Jacob had 12 sons who later moved into Egypt. The descendants of these sons eventually multiplied into the 12 tribes, which were later forced into slavery by the Egyptians until the time of Moses. Then God told Pharaoh through Moses, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn … Let my son go” (Exodus 4:22, 23). Note here that the name “Israel” is expanded to include Jacob’s descendants. Therefore, the name “Israel” first applied to a victorious man, then to his people. You’ll soon see why this is a very important point!

      • MRW
        October 2, 2011, 2:26 pm

        The descendants of these sons eventually multiplied into the 12 tribes, which were later forced into slavery by the Egyptians until the time of Moses.

        So says the Bible. Not the Israeli archeologists.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 3:09 pm

        Hmmm, of the four , I prefer the James version.

      • Shmuel
        October 2, 2011, 3:13 pm

        Hmmm, of the four , I prefer the James version.

        That’s King James to you ;-)

      • john h
        October 2, 2011, 4:39 pm

        “Israel was a man, not a place.”

        Amazing where we get to sometimes here at Mondoweiss, and how we get there! But this does have much relevance to what most of us who read this blog are here for.

        Israel was a man whose name became a place, and those who lived there became known as Israelites; in today’s language, Israelis.

        The name Israel has its own meaning, and there is a whole story about that. It was given by God to Abraham’s grandson, whose name until then had been Jacob.

        Many consider the bible and religion as fairytales, but remember, they are the history and heritage of Jews, who therefore cannot be understood without taking that into account.

        Names in the bible are there for a reason, to tell us what the person will be like. And if that name is changed, there is an equally good reason, to tell us what the person has become or will become like.

        Jacob was his name, and it means “supplanter”. I googled this and the first entry gave these definitions:

        “supplanter – one who wrongfully or illegally seizes and holds the place of another
        usurper
        offender, wrongdoer – a person who transgresses moral or civil law
        claim jumper – one who illegally occupies property to which another has a legal claim” (thefreedictionary)

        I think we know the country that describes today.

        After writing the above, I saw the latest 6 postings. I agree with Shmuel, the James version is about right.

      • Antidote
        October 2, 2011, 4:40 pm

        “And Buddha, ca. 500 BC, the original guy for this phrase”

        I’m certain prehistoric people already made the discovery, even though they didn’t write it down on their cave walls

      • Philip Munger
        October 1, 2011, 6:10 pm
      • James
        October 1, 2011, 7:25 pm

        the “state secrets” line really grates on the nerves…. i suppose this is a catch phrase for some government type of carpet where everything is swept under it so that once again ”all outer appearances” are hunky dory… the reason the usa gov’t want to crucify bradley manning is he made the public aware of just how ugly the event in fallujah and etc. etc. just were and how the usa is not being held accountable for it’s actions on the international stage…

        the usa might as well be communist china at this point.. they are acting much the same…….

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 1:56 am

        Philip,
        The article you cite is filled with overwrought argument. e.g.

        Juan Cole: “do you really think it would be a good idea to give a President Michele Bachmann or a President Rick Perry the authority to kill American citizens at will and with no due process?”

        The proposition the Yemen killings stand for is that American citizens who choose to join and fight against the US in an ongoing war are justifiable targets of war, not common criminals. Nothing in those killings is remotely precedential for a blanket authority for any president to “kill American citizens at will and with no due process.”

        Legal standards in war are different than legal standards in peacetime. Equating the killing of an enemy combatant with the murder of a bank clerk is absurd. The first is legal homicide under the terms and laws of war. The second is murder under criminal justice standards. The legal restraints and constitutional protections afforded US citizens, even criminals, are far stronger than the standards that apply to our own combatants and decision makers during wartime, particularly in exigent circumstances.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 2:26 am

        The proposition the Yemen killings stand for is that American citizens who choose to join and fight against the US in an ongoing war are justifiable targets of war, not common criminals. Nothing in those killings is remotely precedential for a blanket authority for any president to “kill American citizens at will and with no due process.”

        In fact the Supreme Court ruled in Reid v Covert that the President and the Congress are bound by the limitations of the 5th Amendment when dealing with US citizens overseas. So, you can rest assured that they probably think they have the necessary authority to behave the same way here in the US if they deem it necessary.

        The Supreme Court ruled in Hamdan v Rumsfeld that Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention applies to the conflict with al Qaeda so long as they operate from the territory of any of the High Contracting Parties. So, in this case both the Geneva Conventions and the 5th Amendment of the Constitution prohibit the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court.

        I’ve been commenting at length about this today in the threads over at Tikun Olam link to richardsilverstein.com

      • petersz
        October 2, 2011, 4:16 am

        What does “enemy combatant” mean? Sounds like something out of George Orwell’s 1984. There are people in the Republican Party like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin who believe Julian Assange a journalist is an “enemy combatant” and should be killed. If your an “enemy combatant” the Geneva Conventions don’t apply, that’s why everyone in the Guatanamo Bay gulag is an “enemy combatant”.

        President or should I say Emperor Obama now has the right by executive law to kill absolutely anyone in the world without due process or any accountability on the grounds of being a “security risk” or an “enemy combatant” or just because Emperor Obama doesn’t like them. Hitler, Stalin and Nero had such absolute powers!.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 5:14 am

        If your an “enemy combatant” the Geneva Conventions don’t apply, that’s why everyone in the Guatanamo Bay gulag is an “enemy combatant”.

        No, the Bush administration attempted to designate everyone in Gitmo as “unlawful enemy combatants” and claimed that the Geneva Conventions did not apply (a tactic borrowed from the government of Israel). In reality fewer than a dozen of the 700 prisoners were captured on or near a battlefield. In any event, the US Supreme Court dismissed the argument about the inapplicability of the Geneva Conventions in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (No. 05-184) 415 F. 3d 33
        link to law.cornell.edu

        The Bush era Congress adopted the Military Commission Act of 2006 which contained provisions (subsequently repealed) that immunized government officers and agents for violations of the Geneva Conventions, e.g. “the Geneva Conventions are not judicially enforceable in any court of the United States”); 152 Cong. Rec. S10354-02, S10400 (daily ed. Sept. 28, 2006) (statement of Sen. Kennedy) (“[T]he bill expressly states that the Geneva Conventions cannot be relied upon in any U.S. court as a source of rights.”); id. at S10414 (statement of Sen. McCain) (“[This legislation] would eliminate any private right of action against our personnel based on a violation of the Geneva Conventions.”).

        The people that you mentioned are in favor of inflating the charges against Bradley Manning by portraying Julian Assange as some sort of enemy of the United States. That would allow charges of unauthorized communications with the enemy under Article 104 of the UCMJ (Title 10, Chapter 47, § 904.
        http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/10/usc_sec_10_00000904—-000-.html

  3. Bumblebye
    October 1, 2011, 3:03 pm

    Was listening to the radio last night, when this topic arose, and a phone interview with ex-CIA Michael Schuerr(sp?) ensued. To the considerable consternation of those in the studio, he insisted that international law was irrelevant in “time of war”, and stuck to his guns even when various implications of his statement were raised. Clearly, he’s simply displaying the same totally blinkered mindset that seems to pervade 21st century US administrations.

    • Whizdom
      October 1, 2011, 3:58 pm

      Clausewitz, in contemplating the spectrum of conflict betweeen total war (survival) and limited war (gains of territory, resources, or pre-emptive deterrrence) was careful to note, that once total war is engaged, there are no limits, as regards the unintended consequences, or the limits of human decency. And limited war is terribly difficult to contain from becoming total war.

      I think he was mostly right. Once the dogs of war are unleashed, there is no great confidence that matters will return to status quo ante.

      • American
        October 1, 2011, 7:21 pm

        ” once total war is engaged, there are no limits, as regards the unintended consequences, or the limits of human decency. ”

        I think that’s both true and not true….how do we explain shipping German prisoners of war to the US instead of shooting them where they stood and saving ourselves the trouble?
        And then dropping the bomb on a million innocent Japanese civilians?
        Can’t explain it.

    • MHughes976
      October 1, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Scheuer wrote a book called ‘Imperial Hubris’ about American policy, which he thinks wrong, too intrusive in the politics of others (he calls it ‘bloody-handed’), and far, far too committed to Israel. But as an ex-secret agent he just seems to love the idea of political assassinations, though these too are intrusive, bloody-handed and an expression of overweening pride.

      • LeaNder
        October 1, 2011, 6:12 pm

        too intrusive in the politics of others (he calls it ‘bloody-handed’), and far, far too committed to Israel. But as an ex-secret agent he just seems to love the idea of political assassinations

        Interesting, you mention his US-Israel-skepticism in a context that seems to tell us very much about their closeness in terms of security operations.

        I am not sure if secret agents love political assassinations. But it is obviously peculiar when one’s own rights evaporate into a secret-security-clowd.

    • biorabbi
      October 1, 2011, 6:26 pm

      Scheuer also originated the practice of rendition while head of the UBL unit during the Clinton era. Rendition is often wrongly attributed to Bush. This was Scheuer’s brainchild, typically to friendly prisons in Jordan and Egypt(and Syria as well at times)with a few CIA “observers” to record. On the topic of Israel, he hates Jews, Israel and Zionists. However, he’s an equal opportunity bigot, supporting killing as many Muslims as possible in response to 911, profiling, rendition, extra-judicial killings all ok. An American Firster who might make Father Coughlin blush. He’s no fan of Palestinians, arabs, Muslims or Jews.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 12:30 pm

        Hey bio, good to see you back.
        Thanks for the factoid about Scheuer’s invention of rendition although a source might be nice.

        I do think your description of Scheuer’s various hates is a tad overdone. He clearly has little sympathy for Israel’s actions or with those Arabs who qualify as terrorists, but to equate him with Father Coughlin and label as a Jew hater/antisemite is a cheap shot unless you have quotes and other evidence to back it up.

        It is not antisemitic to criticize Israel or its US lobby’s actions nor is it anti Muslim/Arab bigotry to criticise actions of some Muslims or some Arabs.

    • James
      October 1, 2011, 7:28 pm

      ex-CIA Michael Schuer must be looking for a job promo in the present gov’t…

  4. longliveisrael
    October 1, 2011, 3:10 pm

    What, Americans assassinating people in foreign countries extrajudicially? Call Goldstone, call HRC, call Chaos and Cliff. This is outrageous.

    • Mndwss
      October 1, 2011, 3:47 pm

      You would only think this was outrageous if a member of the Master Race was killed.

    • Chaos4700
      October 1, 2011, 3:51 pm

      It is outrageous and believe me, if I can see Obama (and his predecessor for that matter) punished to the full extent of the law that their crimes warrant, I would see to it.

      But your turn will come first, Israeli. You don’t think the US government won’t push you off the cliff in the hopes that you might break our fall, do you?

      • eee
        October 1, 2011, 5:01 pm

        Ah, thank you for admitting that the US government takes care of its interests first and is not “bought by Zionists”.

        What punishment would you give Obama Chaos? Life in prison?

      • Daniel Rich
        October 1, 2011, 8:33 pm

        Q: What punishment would you give Obama Chaos? Life in prison?

        R: Nope. Live his life in an illegal settlement surrounded by robotnik settlers. That’s enough to catapult any right-minded individual through concrete walls.

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 12:09 pm

        A) Your money’s only good until you max out your credit card, eee.

        B) I’m not a lawyer and I’m not a judge. That’s for a court to decide.

      • eee
        October 2, 2011, 5:13 pm

        a) I live a debt free life
        b) Which court? Your US courts have no issue with Obama. So your answer is kind of dumb.

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 8:41 pm

        Well of course. You’re Israeli, so you believe that whoever has the biggest gun writes the laws. No wonder the rest of the world outside Israel makes almost no sense to you.

    • kapok
      October 1, 2011, 9:15 pm

      Hey, longlive, djew suppose there’s enough djews in Israel to act as a brood stock in case those pesky islamo-fascists wipe out all us creplach benders beyond the pale? Don’t know why your having such conniptions.

  5. Kate
    October 1, 2011, 3:32 pm

    Hey lli, where do you think the US got the idea? Along with all the rest of it, hooding and humiliating prisoners, outright torture, etc. A horrible thing to watch, the US becoming more like Israel all the time.

    • eee
      October 1, 2011, 5:06 pm

      Kate,

      Of course! Israel invented all forms of torture. Why Americans never tortured ONE person before Israel was founded. Moreover, they never killed ONE person without a trial. By the way, what does “wanted dead or alive” mean?

      • shawket
        October 1, 2011, 5:54 pm

        Well, I think we could argue with each other until we’re blue in the face about who’s committed more war crimes and atrocities, the U.S. or Israel. But I think relative to the size of its population, Israel is the likely candidate. But it’s nice to see you (accidentally?) admit Israel’s guilt in this matter, eee.

      • longliveisrael
        October 1, 2011, 6:37 pm

        Hmm, so let’s see, aside from dropping 2 atomic bombs on civilians, you fought in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and now Iraq and Afghanistan.. All countries not directly threatening the US.

        Please preach to us more about self-defense and human rights.

      • Real Jew
        October 1, 2011, 11:25 pm

        It’s hilarious that zionists constantly justify their murderous criminal behavior by citing someone else’s murderous behavior. And its not just the zios who contaminate this site, it actually comes from their leaders as well. Can u imagine Obama saying (in reference to the hundreds of thousands of innocent iraqis who’ve been killed) “well Nazi’s killed a lot of innocent people too”.

        Here’s a jewel everyone can take home and polish : 2 wrongs don’t make a right!

      • eee
        October 2, 2011, 2:08 am

        It is hilarious that you support Kate in saying that the US was an innocent babe until taught by Israel. Did you even read what Kate wrote and what LLI is responding to?

      • Walid
        October 2, 2011, 10:16 am

        “By the way, what does “wanted dead or alive” mean?”

        “Hmm, so let’s see, aside from dropping 2 atomic bombs on civilians, you fought in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Panama, Somalia, and now Iraq and Afghanistan. All countries not directly threatening the US. ”

        Good points, eee and LLI, I’d like to hear someone refute these 2 points without bringing the Zionists into it.

      • shawket
        October 2, 2011, 10:46 am

        There’s no point to “refute”. No one is denying that the U.S. hasn’t committed a large number of war crimes throughout its history and continues to this day. But I think the main point here is that war crimes of militarized nations begin to resemble each other. The U.S. and Israel are both warmongering psycho-nations who ought to be reigned in.

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 12:10 pm

        eee, there wasn’t institutionalized torture in the US until Bush hired Israeli consultants. That’s a fact.

      • DBG
        October 2, 2011, 12:56 pm

        Interesting, because this torture you talk about took part in predominately Arab prisons on foreign soil. How does rendition to say Jordan, Egypt, Moracco, etc jive with your ‘facts’

        while were at it, care to share your ‘facts’

      • Real Jew
        October 2, 2011, 1:45 pm

        Im not supporting what Kate said. Did you read what i wrote? I dont support terrorism or killing of innocence regardless of the source whether american israeli or arab. But you cant deny the fact that Israeli leaders, when faced with legitimate criticism of their murderous policies and actions in the OT, they point the finger at someone else’s misdeeds to reflect guilt and responsibility. Tell me Im wrong so I can pull up some quotes to prove it!

      • Walid
        October 2, 2011, 1:47 pm

        Shawket, it’s not being denied but it’s not being talked about either. To say that the US is picking up its bad manners from Israelis is pushing it. But you’re right, they are both warmongering psycho-nations.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 5:38 pm

        To say that the US is picking up its bad manners from Israelis is pushing it

        Obviously. In 1902 the US Senate Committee on the Philippines investigated charges that the military administered the “water cure” to the insurgents and that some commanders gave standing orders to summarily execute men of military age, 10 years and older. link to en.wikisource.org

      • AhVee
        October 2, 2011, 5:45 pm

        “It’s hilarious that zionists constantly justify their murderous criminal behavior by citing someone else’s murderous behavior.”

        That happens so, so often. Then again, when no valid comeback is at hand, derailment is always a favoured tactic. I mean, there’s the option of shutting up, or changing their minds in favour of the better argument or superior evidence provided, but that would extend so far beyond their horizons, the latter two options aren’t very likely to happen.

        I’ve seen this list worked up and down many, many times.
        link to derailingfordummies.com

        Remember kids, admitting you’ve been out-argued shrinks your penis by an inch, changing your opinion in favour of that of your opponent shrinks it by 2!

      • Chaos4700
        October 2, 2011, 8:43 pm

        And how many Egyptians and Syrians ran CIA black prisons in Eastern Europe, Denier? Is this the sort of thing you talk about at your interfaith group, by the way? How to blame US policy on Arabs?

      • Real Jew
        October 2, 2011, 10:38 pm

        Ahvee….exactly. great link. Thanks

      • DBG
        October 3, 2011, 11:37 am

        Chaos, you can mock interfaith dialogue as much as you want. But it is the answer to making the world a more peaceful and loving place.

      • Chaos4700
        October 3, 2011, 6:51 pm

        Can’t answer my question so you’re dodging into citing your phony “interfaith” group, huh?

      • DBG
        October 4, 2011, 10:49 am

        Chaos, I’ll answer your question once you prove this:

        there wasn’t institutionalized torture in the US until Bush hired Israeli consultants. That’s a fact.

      • Chaos4700
        October 4, 2011, 7:24 pm

        You’re always touting how close the US military is with Israel. What else could we possibly learn from Israel? Torturing unarmed Arabs is the only thing the Israeli military is actually good at.

  6. Whizdom
    October 1, 2011, 3:47 pm

    What is missing in the narrative are the questions:

    1. Were diplomatic judicial initiatives exhausted? Did we ask Yemen to detain and extradite this character? Were those efforts unsuccessful?
    2. Was this character in the act of committing a crime that would cause irreversible harm to the US, and his demise was the only way to prevent them?

    This is a serious precedent, it makes it “legal”, or acceptable, for Cuba to take out Posado-Carilles in Miami (and a few Miamians in the process)

    Or Iran to whack with drones activist Iranian ex-pats in DC or LA who agitate or participate in regime change efforts re: Iran.

    The dude was a bad actor, and a threat, but at some point we become that which we hate, and then the bad guys win. We become them.

    • irishmoses
      October 2, 2011, 1:27 am

      Whizdom,

      I think you are conflating the criminal justice (“judicial”) model with the war fighting model. Your questions would be essential to the CJ model but only optional in WF model. In the WF model, exingency of the circumstance likely made diplomatic efforts futile. In any case, the Yemeni government statement late today indicates they played a role in locating/identifying these targets. It also would not surprise me if we later learn of some Pakistani government involvement in the location and targeting of OBL.

      Neither of your two examples, Cuba and Iran are similar in that there is no war situation involving Cuba and the US, and even the Iran example there is no active war between the two countries. The US action would be unacceptable in a country not directly involved in hostilities like say France or Britain although even there an exigent circumstance could justify a quick hit if major loss of life was imminent and time was fleeting.

      Virtually all of these kinds of decisions are vetted through a legal team so there is some minimal legal review of the proposed action which is normally based on prior legal analysis of appropriate terms of engagement in a variety of hypothetical scenarios. It is not shoot from the hip kind of stuff although there is room for abuse as we saw in the Bush administration (Yoo, etc.).

      As to our becoming what we hate, that didn’t happen after our earlier wars although the domestic civil rights intrusions justified by the so-called WoT are pretty scary to me.

      Wars are extreme situations. The primary goal is to win because losing is an unacceptable option. All other lesser priorities get sorted out after you’ve won. Wars also generate bad decisions that get lots of people killed unnecessarily. e.g. Pelilieu battle of WWII, as well as bombing of cities, and A bomb attacks on 2 Japanese cities in same war. Sometimes the bad decisions were just due to bad judgments or negligence, sometimes they were criminal in nature.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 3:09 am

        I think you are conflating the criminal justice (“judicial”) model with the war fighting model.

        Not at all. We are discussing the Laws and Customs of Armed Conflict. It is especially prohibited to treacherously kill or wound the enemy (Hague IV Article 23) or to ever pass sentences and carry out executions without obtaining the previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court that affords all of the protections recognized by civilized peoples (Geneva Conventions Common Article 3).

        Reviewing WWII analogies doesn’t justify violations of the post-WWII prohibitions that were adopted and incorporated in international law to spare future generations the scourges mankind experienced as a result of that war.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 3:25 am

        P.S. According to the United States Constitution, Article III, § 3, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

        There simply is no justification for carrying-out summary executions based upon a Star Chamber process using a war fighting model. Even the Gitmo military tribunals aren’t regularly constituted courts, since they operate under special rules of evidence not found in US Title 10, Chapter 47, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the Manual for Courts Martial.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 12:58 pm

        Hostage,
        The issue here is not whether American citizens committed treason, but whether they were fighting a war as combatants on the side of the enemy. If they were, their killing was no more illegal than the killing a non-US citizen enemy. You don’t get to hold up your US passport while fighting on the battlefield and thereby get a free pass from return fire or a trip to an arraignment before a US magistrate.

        Nor is there some legal requirement that an American citizen must first be tried and convicted in US court for treason before he can be killed on the battlefield as an enemy combatant. Once captured, a US citizen enemy POW is entitled to GC IV rights and if charged with a crime is probably entitled to full US standard constitutional and criminal justice system protections, something sadly missing in the Jose Padilla case.

        I also don’t accept your claim that these were “summary executions” which implies they were not battlefield or war-related. I think they were battlefield killings just as were the killings of the Gestapo general in Poland and the shootdown of the unarmed transport plane of Admiral Yamamoto in WWII. I am using WWII incidents as examples not as legal precedents. Assuming GCIV modern day standards, and assuming both the above individuals were US citizens of German and Japanese descent who chose to fight on the side of the enemy, would either of those assasinations been illegal? I don’t think so.

        My point is that since specifically targeted assasinations of enemy key figures and leaders during war are not illegal, extrajudicial acts, the fact that a key enemy figure or leader is also a US citizen does not an exception make.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 4:26 pm

        The issue here is not whether American citizens committed treason, but whether they were fighting a war as combatants on the side of the enemy.

        Irishmoses waging a war against the United States as combatants on the side of an enemy is treason ipso jure. Wars are waged by killing or capturing the enemy. We already know that in the majority of cases, the President had incorrectly designated people in US custody at Guantanamo as “enemy combatants”. The issue here is that the Supreme Court has already rejected the argument that the President has the authority to use classified information or imaginary battlefields to designate persons as “enemy combatants”. The Court ruled that there is no authority to detain persons without the right of habeas corpus or to deny them a due process right to legally challenge that “enemy combatant” designation. It is ludicrous then to suggest that the President, relying on the same classified information, has the authority to place citizens on a list of persons to be assassinated.

        The preliminary Combat Status Review Tribunals (CSRT) that were subsequently conducted by the Detainee Review Board at Guantanamo Bay confirmed the fact that the overwhelming majority of the prisoners were not captured on any battlefield and that there was no evidence that most of them had ever been on one. They were accused persons with due process rights – including the presumption of innocence – and many were exonerated.

        FYI, there was no question in the cases of the handful of actual “enemy combatants” that they too have due process rights whenever they are not actively taking part in hostilities or once they have been taken into US custody. The only evidence against many of them were dubious confessions that had been obtained by torture. See for example the testimony of Prof. Joseph Margulies to the Senate Judiciary Committee. link to c-spanvideo.org

        I also don’t accept your claim that these were “summary executions” which implies they were not battlefield or war-related.

        The attacks in Yemen and Pakistan are not being directed against “combatants” on any “battlefield” or coincident to operations carried out against any military objectives located there. The Supreme Court has already ruled that, when the armed forces of the United States use deadly force on the territory of any High Contracting Party, the prohibition against passing sentences and carrying-out executions of civilians without obtaining a judgement from a regularly constituted court applies. Those are the rules of war, so your argument that this is war-related is moot.

        assuming both the above individuals were US citizens of German and Japanese descent who chose to fight on the side of the enemy, would either of those assasinations been illegal?

        There is no evidence that Anwar al-Awlaki was either an enemy State official or a member of an enemy State’s uniformed militia.

      • lysias
        October 2, 2011, 12:57 pm

        There are more unacceptable things than losing a war. Germany, for example, was very fortunate that it lost World War Two.

  7. Whizdom
    October 1, 2011, 3:52 pm

    Cadmus’ teeth. Makin’ martyrs Kill one and a thousand spring up. Heckuva job.

  8. upsidedownism
    October 1, 2011, 4:20 pm

    “[Awlaki's] hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians have been rejected by the vast majority of Muslims and peoples of all faiths. ”

    why not, or how long before:

    “Avigdor Lieberman’s hateful ideology and targeting of innocent civilians have been rejected by the vast majority of Jews and peoples of all faiths. ”

    or similar???

    lawless US government!!!

  9. shawket
    October 1, 2011, 5:56 pm

    As the incomparable Noam Chomsky said in response to Osama bin Laden’s assassination/murder:

    “We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.”

    • Theo
      October 2, 2011, 9:44 am

      That would have been a day for celebration and we should ask them to repeat the same in Washington.

  10. POA
    October 1, 2011, 6:23 pm

    On one of our local AM radio stations, which uses Fox as its news provider, the newscast stated that Al Awaki “was connected to DOZENS of attacks”.

    HUH???????

    Dozens???? Against whom????

    “Connected”????

    Amazing, isn’t it??? Suddenly, this guy that was vaguely implicated in the Ft Hood shootings, (because the Ft Hood shooter had emailed Al Awaki and visited his website), is now “connected” to “dozens” of attacks.

    Anyone else sick of this fucking propaganda, designed to hoodwink people that gotta be blithering idiots in the first place to buy into this CRAP?

  11. Dan Crowther
    October 1, 2011, 6:59 pm

    The Israelification of the American government is now complete. The Israeli’s have long provided a “canary in the mine shaft” to let American policy makers know what they can and cannot get away with, how to “message” and circumvent the law. If the president of the US has the power to kill without a shred of due process, what doesnt he have the power to do?

    I heard George Carlin once say, “Germany lost WWII, but fascism won.”
    Is there now any doubt?

  12. irishmoses
    October 1, 2011, 7:08 pm

    Give me a break.

    I’m sorry, but this line of reasoning is putting form over substance. We are, after all, fighting a war against a foe who has extended the fight across borders, even across continents. The argument in this thread seems to be that extrajudicial killing would be lawful if done within the “war zone”, but that Pakistan and Yemen somehow don’t qualify. While killing and maiming the enemy during a war is extrajudicial, it is also legal. So, the real question here is whether one combatant can take the war to another combatant wherever that other combatant has chosen to wage it.

    Suggesting that the extrajudical killings of OBL and these others in Yemen is somehow illegal and a crime of war is mind-boggling to me. An American citizen who chooses to fight on the side of the enemy is an enemy combatant, pure and simple, and is no more entitled to the protections of our criminal justice system than was the Gestapo general who was assasinated in Poland during World War II.

    Granted, the niceties of diplomacy seem lacking in that the killings in question took place in Pakistan and Yemen. But, the fact remains, both of those countries are war zones in which war is being fought every day. Since the folks we are fighting have already shown the capability and willingness to bring the war to our own countries (US, Britain, Spain, etc.) it is not surprising that our government feels compelled to stop them where it finds them, particularly in war-torn countries like Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia where asking the local judicial/criminal justice system to intervene would be problematic at best and most likely unwelcome to the host countries.

    Even in our own criminal justice system, the police have the legal authority, in certain unusual circumstances to search without a warrant, even to shoot and kill a suspect without judicial approval. Some of those exception likely were applicable to these killings.

    During a war the niceties of judicial approval and other constitutional protections are severely limited and conduct that would otherwise be judged barbaric and unacceptable is legal. While there are exceptions that deal with treatment prisoners of war, protection of civilian non-combatants, and the means used to wage war, but even these protections are very limited. Mr. Schuer’s analysis is largely correct.

    While certainly there has been a lot of conduct by the US that has been illegal, such as the Abu Graib (sp?) mess, the excesses of the Jose Padilla case, the Iraq war in general, etc., the killings of OBL and others was necessitated by the nature of the war we are fighting and are an unfortunate but reasonable reaction to the methods and means used by our enemy.

    Fighting a war is not some sort of clean, antiseptic game with clearcut rules and noble opponents. It is a nasty business at best in which the basic rule is to kill them before they kill you. While there are rules at the margins intended to limit the extremes of barbarity, the essence of war never changes. It is about killing the enemy. Get used to it. Get a grip.

    • mikeo
      October 2, 2011, 8:19 am

      IrishMoses, I don’t think you have a very rigourous definition of war which is commonly defined as only existing between states. I’m from the Uk, where the IRA waged several terrorist campaigns. By your logic it would have been OK if we’d invaded and bombed Dublin.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 1:18 pm

        Mikeo,
        The problem is that your current definition of war has been overtaken by history and the rise of non-state actors like al Queda. As to invading and bombing Dublin, that wouldn’t be justified unless the IRA was created, supplied, directed and led by the Irish government, which is wasn’t.

      • mikeo
        October 2, 2011, 4:25 pm

        Irishmoses.
        Nonsense, my definition IS the definition of war legally. It was pointed out at the time that the phrase emerged that a “War on terror” is nonsensical because terrorism is a tactic. Your assertion that the definition has been overtaken by history is nothing more than excusing the actions of a US government cynically ignoring it’s own constitution. As to your ideas about the justification necessary for war, so you are saying with a straight face that the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Yemen all created, supplied, directed and lead Al Quaeda? Well i can’t argue with that logic…

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 5:16 pm

        The problem is that your current definition of war has been overtaken by history and the rise of non-state actors like al Queda.

        Piracy and the Slave trade were almost exclusively a problem concerning non-state actors. The Magna Carta dealt with the subject of irregular and mercenary forces. The laws of war regarding recognition of belligerents, insurgents, and guerrilla forces weren’t fully developed until after the US civil war. They were nonetheless sufficiently advanced to treat the difficult issues surrounding the status and disposition of Hessian mercenaries during the American Revolutionary war. The notion that Al Queda fell into a new undefined category was advanced by the Bush administration in an unsuccessful attempt to claim that unprivileged belligerents had no due process rights or that no quarter should be given to them.

      • Keith
        October 2, 2011, 6:32 pm

        IRISHMOSES- “The problem is that your current definition of war has been overtaken by history and the rise of non-state actors like al Queda.”

        Let us begin by noting that al Qaeda is an offshoot of the Mujahadeen which were created by the CIA in order to fight the USSR in Afghanistan. We taught them and Osama bin Laden everything they knew. As far as I know, the Mujahadeen remain a CIA asset.

        The problem is that the tactic of terrorism has been labeled as a war as a pretext for the US government to engage in blatantly criminal activities and the further shredding of the US constitution. The crap that goes on in the name of “national security” and the bogus “war” on terrorism should be an affront to all.

        “Granted, the niceties of diplomacy seem lacking in that the killings in question took place in Pakistan and Yemen. But, the fact remains, both of those countries are war zones in which war is being fought every day.”

        The US is at war in Pakistan and Yemen? Why is the US even in Pakistan and Yemen? Apparently you feel that once empire decides to kill a lot of people for geostrategic reasons, then the nationality of the victims is of no consequence? You may have a point. If one supports empire and violence then perhaps equal opportunity mass murder has a certain balance to it. On the other hand, if one supports peace and justice, then one would support the dissolution of empire and bringing the storm troopers home. Storm troopers? Let us be honest about the whole business, eh? As Martin Luther King stated before he was assassinated, the US is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. And you know what? The situation has only gotten worse. Want to dramatically reduce terrorism? Get Uncle Sam to stop doing it.

      • annie
        October 2, 2011, 7:49 pm

        i think irishmoses is confusing netanyahu’s efforts to change the rules of war with rules of war. if israel wishes it so it doesn’t mean it’s changed. no different than what eee claims here. what are these people smokin’?

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2011, 8:49 am

      “the essence of war never changes. It is about killing the enemy. Get used to it. Get a grip.’

      The essence of this whole bordel de merde is defence spending. It’s not a war. It’s an excuse for technological turkey shooting. 6000 American soldiers have died but who gives a shit as long as Northrup Grumman have the order book full ?

      • Whizdom
        October 2, 2011, 10:14 am

        The essence of war is to force the adversary to do your will.

        Killing can be a means to that end, but it is far from the only option, and most often not the best option.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 1:20 pm

        Seafoid,
        An interesting political point that was first raised by the great warrior and allied general Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    • annie
      October 2, 2011, 10:34 am

      Since the folks we are fighting have already shown the capability and willingness to bring the war to our own countries (US, Britain, Spain, etc.) it is not surprising that our government feels compelled to stop them where it finds them,

      wherever! and for maximun efficiency let’s do hope they come from geostrategic hotspots that require our democracy building capabilities and assistance privatizing their resources as well as controling their airspace and coastlines.

      • MHughes976
        October 2, 2011, 1:06 pm

        I might let you persuade me, IM, that this is a war – a major armed conflict outside any social contract – and that war necessarily involves killing and a degree of ruthlessness. But are we in a position where we should or must completely set aside the idea that non-combatants – including the often-mentioned women and children – should not be targeted? We haven’t normally set this idea aside just because many women are, although they are unarmed, fanatical supporters of their menfolk’s violent ways or may have helped supply the hostile army with munitions, as so many women did in the World Wars.
        What would it be about the present situation that makes people who talk in a loud and hostile fashion – and that seems to be all we really know about the person targeted – into a kind of combatant?

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 1:52 pm

        Interesting points MH976,
        I think the gloves first came off with regard to the importance of throttling even so-called non-combatant civilian adults in our own (US) civil war. Grant (and Sherman) realized the vital importance of depriving the South’s armies of supplies and support and also realized the importance of convincing the people of the South that further resistance was futile and the price paid for it unacceptable. This resulted is Sherman’s very destructive but highly effective March through Georgia and the middle of the South.This doctrine was extended in WWII with the bombing of cities on the theory that the destruction of factories contained a key to winning the war and a way to undermine civilian moral. Neither proved totally true and the millions of civilians killed was a horrific and largely unnecessary consequence.

        The collateral killing of civilians during war has always been seen as an unfortunate byproduct of conducting a war. One of the ironic benefits of drones and highly accurate modern guided munitions is that the numbers of civilians killed collaterally has greatly diminished.

        As to whether the 2 American citizens targeted are truly enemy combatants, I think there is little doubt that these folks took a very active and highly important role in AQ’s war against us. It is perfectly legal to target key enemy players including political and military leaders, or other key players (e.g. Goebbels as a propaganda genius) even though they don’t necessarily carry guns or even activily participate in combat. These were not just opinionated Americans who happened to be living in Yemen.

      • irishmoses
        October 2, 2011, 1:33 pm

        Well Annie, I share your cynicism as well as Seafoid’s earlier view re our fucked up motivations for much of what we do and have done (Iraq being the best example), but that doesn’t change my view, legal and otherwise, about how we can respond to attacks against us. These are really separate issues.

  13. American
    October 1, 2011, 7:28 pm

    ” Should this same government, or any government, be allowed to order people’s killing without due process?”

    No.
    But since the US and Israel seem to think they have that right I would reserve for others the same right to assassinate our leaders.
    I have a list if they want it.

    • Theo
      October 2, 2011, 9:51 am

      No other state outside the USA and Israel, goes around in foreigh countries and kills supposedly dangerous enemies.
      So American, you may have to wait a long time before other countries will be so depraved to go on a killing tour.
      By the way, did you contact the Mafia or the russian variation of that organisation, made up by the old KGB killers? If the price is right they may take the contract.

      • Hostage
        October 2, 2011, 1:45 pm

        No other state outside the USA and Israel, goes around in foreigh countries and kills supposedly dangerous enemies.

        A few other rogue states do it, but most of them issue public denials. For example:

        *It’s generally agreed that that fatal polonium-210 poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko was carried-out by the government of the Russian Federation on the territory of the United Kingdom.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        *The authorities in New Zealand prosecuted agents of the government of France for arson and murder in the case involving the Greenpeace Rainbow Warrior.
        link to en.wikipedia.org

        *The Pinochet regime and neighboring Southern cone countries carried-out terror attacks, including an assassination/car bombing in Washington D.C.
        link to gwu.edu

        *The government of Israel claims that in 1998, a telephone call intercepted from the Iranian embassy in Argentina demonstrated conclusively that Iran had been involved in a car bombing that killed 29 persons at the site of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina.
        link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      • Theo
        October 3, 2011, 12:08 pm

        I stand corrected, however I meant democratic states of the west, not dictatorships. Those rouge states do anything to stay in power, I could name you a few more besides the ones above.

      • Hostage
        October 3, 2011, 8:14 pm

        I stand corrected

        I wasn’t correcting you, I was just reminding you. Again, the US and Israel are the only states that come to mind which hold press conferences to discuss these illegal operations.

  14. Daniel Rich
    October 1, 2011, 8:27 pm

    Justice does not reign from the air, bombs rain and when the collateral dust is finally settled, mankind will not only have lost limbs and lives, but most of its liberties as well. Another sad day in history.

    • seafoid
      October 2, 2011, 6:19 am

      Yemen is lost anyway. There isn’t enough water for everyone.

  15. DICKERSON3870
    October 1, 2011, 9:23 pm

    We are fortunate to have Michael Ratner and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) working to reverse some of the more heinous humanitarian/civil rights abuses instituted since 9/11.
    Sometimes I feel like I’m living in pre-Magna Carta times.

    Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) - link to ccrjustice.org

    P.S. “Hell No”, by Michael Ratner and Margaret Ratner Kunstler – link to ebookstore.sony.com

  16. Edithann
    October 1, 2011, 10:05 pm

    The drones have been getting us into trouble now for a long time..
    We might have them now, but we wont have them to ourselves for long, as they’re the most wanted arms on the market right now and selling like ‘hot cakes’..
    I can’t imagine we wont be on the receiving end soon..
    I understand Apple is working on an added feature that will give notice to those with the latest gizmo.. You’ll be able to view murders in real time from the comfort of your living room….Times to be announced secretly….Wouldn’t that be great?

    Memories last forever..they’re written down and eventually become religion..

    TATA

    .

  17. Remax
    October 2, 2011, 3:53 am

    It has surely come to something when we need to consult the Geneva Convention to decide if an action is wrong.

  18. Hostage
    October 2, 2011, 4:11 am

    It has surely come to something when we need to consult the Geneva Convention to decide if an action is wrong.

    No, it has surely come to something when the creatures of the Constitution can ignore the Supremacy clause and commit acts that are prohibited by a). the 5th Amendment of the Constitution; b). the 1998 War Crimes Act; and the c). Articles 3 and 147 of the Geneva Conventions. That’s a criminal trifecta:

    [a.] This Constitution, [b.] and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; [c.] and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land;

    The Constitution provides that the duty of the Office of President of the United States is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to become a law unto itself.

    • MRW
      October 2, 2011, 1:47 pm

      I stand with Hostage on this . . . 1000%. Or you can forget the whole constitution thing as phony and false.

      The Constitution provides that the duty of the Office of President of the United States is to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, not to become a law unto itself.

  19. yourstruly
    October 2, 2011, 8:32 am

    given, that the u.s. backed zionist entity israel’s intransigence vis-a-vis settling the i/p conflict is the cause* of the hatred that underlies all the violent messianic movements in the region

    and given, that the enormous cost of these multiple wars/military spending is an important contributing factor to today’s global economic crisis

    so, if our goal is peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings –

    to end the bloodshed as well as the economic “bleeding”

    it follows that

    justice for palestine + troops out now + demilitarization

    way to go!

    *along with the afghanistan/iraq/pakestan/yemen/somalia wars

  20. MRW
    October 2, 2011, 9:40 pm

    Don’t miss this article on Awlaki, especially the penultimate paragraph:
    link to cnn.com

  21. Dan Crowther
    October 3, 2011, 1:16 pm

    To anyone still drinking the Obama Kool-Aid, this Greenwald article ( and corresponding link) says it all:

    link to salon.com

  22. LanceThruster
    October 3, 2011, 3:07 pm

    It’s clear we no longer even need to invoke their names any more and just use the generic, “Emmanuel Goldstein.”

    NEWSFLASH – – – Emmanuel Goldstein was again killed by predator drone today…”

    • Rania
      October 3, 2011, 4:13 pm

      You are so right, LanceThruster. It’s amazing (and sad….and disconcerting) how many times a day I think about Nineteen Eighty-Four.

    • Dan Crowther
      October 3, 2011, 4:17 pm

      Right. We have always been at war with Eastasia

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