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Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the automated-violence dept.

The Military 885

wiredmikey writes with this excerpt from a Wall Street Journal report: "The U.S. ushered in a new CIA-led counterterrorism program in Yemen on Friday, sending unmanned aircraft to kill an American-born cleric who occupied a top place on the U.S.'s anti-terrorist list. The death of Anwar al-Awlaki eliminates a leading figure in Yemen's branch of al Qaeda and one of its most charismatic recruiters. A Web-savvy Islamic preacher with sparkling English, Mr. Awlaki was known for his ability to couch extremist views in ways that appealed to Western youth. He had been linked to suspects in the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shooting spree and the botched bombing of a Detroit-bound jet that Christmas."

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5th Amendment (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576364)

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Re:5th Amendment (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576378)

That's just something written on some little piece of paper dude.

Re:5th Amendment (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576398)

Our ancestors had a penchant for writing run on sentences.

Re:5th Amendment (3, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576404)

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I highlighted the relevant part.

Re:5th Amendment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576438)

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

I highlighted the relevant part.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576476)

I think you are correct in that this would qualify as an exception, but it is still a slippery slope. What if he had been on US soil? Or in Canada or Mexico? Aren't they "allies" as well, so why would it make a difference?

Obviously he wasn't here or in a truly 'friendly' country, but the question remains, where do we draw the line? When it comes to US citizens, it is more of a problem, even though the Constitution doesn't differentiate "citizen" and "person". We just take the government killing a citizen much more serious, justified or otherwise.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576520)

US soil doesn't make a difference on Due Process, I think. According to the media, the judge in the case said that if he wanted due process, he could hand himself in, but otherwise the courts shouldn't step in. What bothers me is that his dad had to sue to get it before a judge in the first place--it seems to me that there should be at least a magistrate or neutral arbiter involved, and that you should have the same constitutional standards you do for convicting someone of treason--or at least probable cause of treason.

Re:5th Amendment (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576488)

Anwar al-Awlaki was not and had never been a member of the US military, which is what that clause is plainly referring to. And even the military doesn't have carte blanche to just slaughter people - they're (in theory at least) bound by treaties and rules of engagement. No matter how you slice it, this was a US president ordering (or even worse, the CIA and DoD acting without orders) a US citizen killed far from any battlefield without presenting a shred of evidence to a jury.

There would be also some question about whether this was a time of war, as no declaration of war has ever been passed by Congress against Iraq, Afghanistan, or Al Qaida. Regarding "public danger", your chance of being killed by a terrorist has never been greater than your chance of being killed by a washing machine.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576532)

They are also bound by the constitution. The military does not have the right to violate it, although the courts would give them a lot of leeway to bend it if they claimed they had to. (See, e.g., the Korematsu case.)

Re:5th Amendment (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576672)

Not to mention that the "War Against Terrorism" is not a real war in the first place. A war is between two governments and involves armies.
Fighting against guerillas or terrorist groups may bereferred to as 'war' in the media and popular culture, but that's just for simplicity. In reality it's nothing more than crime.

Next people caught smoking weed will be sent to Gitmo. ''War on drugs'' and all that.

And now people are just going to keep calling the USA a free country. How many more laws and constitutional rights will the US government have to violate before people realize what it really is?

Re:5th Amendment (2, Insightful)

Jiro (131519) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576732)

By this reasoning, a US citizen who simply went overseas and, oh, joined the German army during World War II couldn't be shot either. You say "far from any battlefield", but you are not claiming that the fifth amendment doesn't apply to battlefields, you are claiming that it doesn't apply to people who are not members of the US military, which a German soldier wouldn't be.

Of course, someone who is fighting the US "far from any battlefield" is, since he is fighting, actually on the battlefield.

Re:5th Amendment (4, Insightful)

alcourt (198386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576496)

During World War I and II, individuals in some cases joined the armies of those nations fighting against the US. That made them legitimate targets for military action. The most significant precedent however, is the US Civil War.

It would be hard to argue that a leader in a group that the US has effectively declared war on (including resolutions of Congress that authorize military force) is not a legitimate military target.

Re:5th Amendment (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576502)

Q: Who is the war against?
A: Terror
Q: And can we kill anyone we like without presenting evidence in a trial?
A: Sure
Q: Anywhere in the world?
A: Sure
Q: So you would have attacked a "terrorist" in ,say, Europe, shooting them down with a drone plane?
A: Sure, but it would likely not be necessary as the Europeans would have handed them over
Q: Do you think that this maxim applies to the US alone or does it apply to any other country in the world?
A: Well, all have the right to fight against terrorism everywhere.
Q: So can I shoot a US citizen on US soil if I believe they have been involved in terrorist activities?
A: (I leave this up to the concerned reader)

Re:5th Amendment (2)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576506)

Are we in a declared war, then?

For that matter, can you declare a war with al-Qaeda?

Not that I particularly object to this guy's death, but the legalities are potentially troubling.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

alcourt (198386) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576560)

If a US born person happened to serve with the Barbary Pirates, you think that would have made them not a legitimate target for the military reprisal?

Authorized military action isn't only a congressional resolution that explicitly calls it war.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576642)

Anwar al-Alaki was in actual service? That is, he was enlisted in our military or part of a militia? News to me.

Re:5th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576690)

CIA

(137)

Re:5th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576416)

> No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury

They are not persons, they are untermensch and, much like then, this kind of new will be cheered by people who don't know what they are giving up. In other words, this dead "untermensch" are playing the Ben Kenobi trick and winning after death.

Re:5th Amendment (4, Insightful)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576428)

Came here to say this. It's amazing what our government decides it can get away with. Once we allow it to have the power to do this for someone who was most certainly guilty, we have given it the power to do this with anyone else it decides is guilty enough. It's very dangerous territory that we need to retreat from. End American imperialism. It's time we got rid of Obushma.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576636)

And replace Obushma with who? Down with the Republicans! Down with the Democrats!

Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss.

Re:5th Amendment (1, Insightful)

cirby (2599) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576430)

"except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger"

He's in the land forces. He's just in service in the land forces of an enemy.

That sort of thing happens when you commit treason and declare war against the country you're supposedly a citizen in...

Re:5th Amendment (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576458)

1. We're not at war with Yemen
2. Who decides that someone deserves to die? Who is this 'government' you refer to?

Re:5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576610)

"except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger"

He's in the land forces. He's just in service in the land forces of an enemy.

That sort of thing happens when you commit treason and declare war against the country you're supposedly a citizen in...

They say he did that BUT if you read his speeches it doesn't quite jibe with the claims so this is fierce propaganda. Also, the declaration of war must be against a soverign nation and not an idealistic and nebulous term such as terrorism. By definition that can mean anyone who doesn't like the US. Al Queda isn't a soverign nation and there is no evidence he was actually a member. Rooting for those who fight arguably illegal US operations abroad isn't treason. If it is then we are in deep caca. If, in fact, he is guilty of the alleged crimes why was there no grand jury indictment or warrant out for his arrest? Now it is moot because he is dead. The "secret" list has 12 names on it of US citizens targeted for assassination and none have been vetted through any legal process

Re:5th Amendment (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576440)

So, Constitutionally when a cop sees a person threatening the life of another the officers is not permitted too use deadly force to stop the act?

Re:5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576516)

So, Constitutionally when a cop sees a person threatening the life of another the officers is not permitted too use deadly force to stop the act?

They are allowed. But what is not allowed is following the perp home and while they are sitting there watching TV, pointing your gun through the window and assassinating them.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576562)

If someone threatens the life of another by preaching hatred, then no, the cop cannot shoot the person preaching hatred. The cop may be able to arrest him if the preaching is over a line that basically is open rebellion (you'd have to check the conlaw to be sure), but shooting him is not usually okay.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576632)

"So, Constitutionally when a cop sees a person threatening the life of another the officers is not permitted too use deadly force to stop the act?"

Many Slashdotters object to that too, because all cops are pigs and all sweet, sweet civilians are victims.

Re:5th Amendment (0)

portforward (313061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576472)

except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger

Whether this applies to just soldiers or sailors I don't know, but the guy was calling for the destruction of the US Constitution and the implementation of Sharia law. I guess it would have been nice to pull him in and extradite and put him on trial. But that would have probably required a fourth war to occupy Yemen. Besides, with his internet videos he incriminated himself many, many times.

Somehow I don't think Washington, Madison, or Jefferson (or Lincoln or FDR) are spinning in their graves over this. I know Oliver Wendell Holmes wouldn't.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576498)

But that would have probably required a fourth war to occupy Yemen.

Yemen is a US ally. If they had asked, they probably would have received...

Re:5th Amendment (3, Informative)

portforward (313061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576608)

The president of Yemen is a US ally. The country itself just re-formed after being split and then reunited in a civil war. It's not like say Canada where the US embassy can make a request to extradite a criminal in say Calgary and the Prime Minister or Justice Minister calls the chief of police in Calgary to just go arrest the guy. Hence the statement US forces "occupy" because the president of Yemen isn't in control of the whole country.

Re:5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

jo42 (227475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576638)

the guy was calling for the destruction of the US Constitution and the implementation of Sharia law

He was practicing his 1st amendment rights.

HOW THE FUCK IS THIS NEWS FOR NERDS?? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576492)

Drones are not new, and drone kills are nothing new. This story doesn't highlight any tech issues or anything that could be considered news for nerds.

So why the fuck is this on slashdot? Are they going to be posting a story every time a terrorist bombing occurs or when the US executes another surgical strike?

Re:HOW THE FUCK IS THIS NEWS FOR NERDS?? (0)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576696)

I gave up this battle a LONG time ago my anonymous friend - I have always loved the technical interchange on Slashdot and have gotten a lot out of it in the many years I've been a reader , and I think it would be fair to say that engineers who design drones to kill terrorists are regular subscribers - but Slashdot has become more of a political platform in recent years and it is quite left leaning - I truly wish stuff like this would NOT get posted to Slashdot - it only serves to divide the group and breed hate. The level of technical content for this story so far has been non-existent so in my mind it has thus far no redeeming content including this post.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576552)

EXACTLY. Unfortunately, being literal minded about things the lawyers have created technical loopholes by playing with words; ignoring intent. A "war" on terror is used as the excuse - yet we don't actually have wars anymore so we end up with the benefits of non-war (attacking people with drones not requiring congressional approval) while also using "war" as justification in other ways. Common sense (if used) makes these things stand out to a vast majority of people if they are informed and simply stop and THINK (thinking being a huge problem with the modern advances in propaganda.) What is the point of even listing such restrictions in the first place if large loopholes were the intent?

How long before they take your donations to a group the state dept decides is terrorist (which may be political or a minority subgroup or a change in the org) to say you are a terrorist as well and as soon as you leave the nation they can justify your execution. People have been treated badly already for such things and maybe that never gets to the point of assassinations--- remember, we consider money as speech... this guy talked while others provide money (unknowingly; remember the US gov gave them a ton of money over the years... makes you wonder if we could handle WW2 at our current state, the much smarter Nazi's would probably be funneling billions from the USA directly and with multinationals probably even more indirectly.)

political vs. military targets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576670)

Also notable is that though it is traditionally acceptable to attack military targets (persons who are involved in military operations), it is generally unacceptable to attack political figures. These targets do not appear to have been military targets in any real sense, so it appears that the U.S. has just sent the message that it is OK to target political leadership.

It is really quite brave of them, to step up and say that they are willing to place their lives on the line, the same way that soldiers put their lives on the line. It's not often we see political leadership like that. On the other hand, it will make it impossible to arrive at a negotiated settlement to this "war".

Redefining Hypocrisy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576392)

As long as you are a Muslim, you are destined to be killed without any legal trial or reason regardless of you are an American or not.

Re:Redefining Hypocrisy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576436)

You are obviously one of them BAD evil terrorists! Why would anyone defend them otherwise!
Expect our killer drones CAST IN THE NAME OF GOD at your door in five minutes. Your AC condition is nothing with out datamining systems...mister [redacted real name of AC here].

Just read the title (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576402)

I didn't think drones had stingers. Did he choke on it or something?

guns don't kill people. (1)

lkcl (517947) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576412)

Drones don't kill people - people kill people

Re:guns don't kill people. (2)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576460)

No, people with drones kill people without drones and drones with people kill people.

Because drones that kill people require people with drones that kill people. You cannot kill people with drones without drones and without people with drones operating drones to kill people.

Can I have a drone? I'll name it Buster, I already got the dronehouse in my yard.

Re:guns don't kill people. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576722)

Guns aren't autonomous. Drones are programmed to be. Just because it's not aware of its actions, that doesn't mean it wasn't the drone doing the killing.

I argue drones *do* kill people (then again I haven't been brainwashed with the whole "guns don't kill people" thing). But just because guns and drones kill, that doesn't mean there aren't people behind those killings which should be held responsible for the killing in question. Now imagine a drone needing instructions from 2 different people before it goes out for a kill. Or 10. Or 50% majority vote. Neither one person that voted for the killing actually killed, as neither individual vote is sufficient to cause a kill. The responsibility got watered down. Yet each one voting for the kill is still partially responsible, not the drone. Fact is none of the people individually can fully be considered killer, but a single killing occured nonetheless, not a million/millionths of a killing. Who did the killing? The drone.

Anyone care to write, or point me to an Asimov-style story of this idea? I'm too lazy to write one myself right now.

"known for his ability to 'couch' extremist views" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576414)

So... he shouted angrily at the tv whilst Fox news was on?

He has been linked? (0)

Bandwidth_ (91035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576420)

None of the "links" to those actions have been heard in a court of law. He was never charged with a crime, and never indicted. In fact when asked about it the Dept. of Justice says that all such evidence are state secrets and we'll just have to take their word and arbitrary assertions as fact.

Re:He has been linked? (1, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576466)

In War there is no requirement to try every enemy soldier before opening fire.

Cool. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576422)

I guess assassination is now a US sanctioned tool for changing the geopolitical landscape. You do realize this leaves you with no right to claim the high ground when one of "them" assassinate one of "yours", right? "Eye for an eye", for eternity, that's what you believe?

Re:Cool. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576656)

Targeting enemy troops in war has always been legitimate.

This is no different than the SOE sending Czech partisans after Reinhard Heydrich in WWII.

One of 'us' (5, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576432)

It's fascinating how many people are worried that the U.S. government assassinated a U.S. citizen, rather than worrying that the U.S. government is assassinating people.

And yes, I understand that there is a legally declared war and that there is a very strong case that this guy was involved with the enemy in that war.

Re:One of 'us' (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576482)

The people aren't actually "worried" because they object to the war itself, and they aren't interested in the difference between military combat and civil policing.

They are simply being deliberately contrarian.

Re:One of 'us' (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576514)

And yes, I understand that there is a legally declared war...

No. There isn't. The US hasn't declared war in a very long time, in fact. I believe, if I remember correctly, that it's classified as a "military action". The US has not, however, declared war.

Well, except the war on drugs and the war on terrorism but I don't think that's what you meant when you said "legally declared war".

Re:One of 'us' (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576664)

I do not find it to be an interesting distinction. "With the permission of congress".

Re:One of 'us' (1)

john.r.strohm (586791) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576666)

Please mod this guy up. He is absolutely correct.

The Constitution of the United States of America says, in so many words, that only Congess may declare war, and Congress has passed no such declaration in this matter.

If memory serves me, the last time Congress passed a Declaration of War was World War II. We have had quite a few "police actions" since then, many of which involved deployment of large numbers of troops and large quantities of equipment, expenditure of large quantities of ammunition, and way too many American soldiers coming home in boxes.

Re:One of 'us' (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576554)

Agreed. However, circles of empathy are not binary - Me | EveryoneElse.

There are gradients, ranging from rocks and inanimate material to your family. One border is the "kill people" distinction. Kill People Trying To Kill You is normally permitted, regardless of who the person is. The issue here is "Government Killing People" and in this case, as the government is (theoretically) the will of the people, do the people have the right to kill people individually as they are a perceived harm or threat, and do they have the right to kill people who are also part, by birthright, of the polity that is doing the killing, i.e., may the polity kill its own without regard to trial and the rights of jurisprudence normally guaranteed to its citizens.

Your point, does the polity have the right to selectively murder people in foreign lands, is another issue altogether. Obviously, the answer is no - that is called Terrorism, in this case State (USA) Sponsored Terrorism. However, one life versus thousands is only a distinction of scale, not principle. The brutality visited upon the people of Iraq, for instance, can be seen as State Sponsored Terrorism scaled wildly. While the assassination of a specific person in a specific country (and the collateral murder of associates) is a root issue, it is operating at a more exterior circle of empathy than the question of whether or not a polity can murder its own without trial.

So, I am not disagreeing with you, I'm just pointing out the differences that make for these differing arguments.

We live in a degenerate world.

Re:One of 'us' (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576678)

This was merely "precise warfare", not "murder".

The target was an enemy troop who repeatedly and thoroughly demonstrated hostile intent. The force use was proportional.

The citizenship of the enemy soldier was not relevant.

If the dude was so worried about his due process.. (1)

voss (52565) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576714)

He could have turned himself in sometime in the last 4 years in between making videos bragging about his connections to the underwear bomber attempting to murder american citizens and advising Major Hassan that it was okay to assassinate his fellow american soldiers. He could have turned himself in to the government of yemen who did have an arrest warrant out for him. He considered himself at war with the United States, he publicly acted as a member of a group at war with the United States, he was killed as an enemy combatant.

The only thing the US could have done that it failed to do was strip him of his citizenship for his service in al-queda(enemy armed forces).

War /= civil process. (-1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576452)

No one seriously argues that Awlaki wasn't an enemy actor, therefore there is zero logical argument against killing him. His citizenship couldn't be less relevant because the rules of WAR apply in WAR.

He was an active member of a hostile force.

He demonstrated hostile intent.

Attacking him was a "necessity" because there was no other way to interdict his activities.

Force used was "proportional" because it was sufficient to decisively counter a hostile act or hostile intent, but reasonable in intensity, duration and magnitude.

Re:War /= civil process. (5, Insightful)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576490)

There's no war between the US and Yemen. And fighting organized crime is not a "war". Even the worst criminal has a right to a fair trial. It's a fundamental right, it cannot be revoked by anyone. Whoever ordered this murder should now be put on trial for it.

Re:War /= civil process. (0, Troll)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576544)

There's no war between the US and Yemen.

So, it's a good thing we didn't attack Yemen. Yemen would definitely know if we attacked Yemen.

Even the worst criminal has a right to a fair trial.

Not if he's in the middle of ranting about his demands and slowly shooting the people he's holding hostage in the bank he's trying to rob, or on the airplane he's trying to hijack, etc. We definitely don't give criminals in the middle of conducting a crime a trial before shooting them in the head if that's the appropriate way to stop the murder they're in the middle of conducting. And Awlaki has been in the middle of conducting murder for some time now, and promising to conduct more, at every single opportunity. He's the guy in the bank with the gun pointed at his next victim, and the special forces who just took him out are the SWAT team outside the bank window.

Whoever ordered this murder ...

You need to re-think your notion of "murder." Murder was Awlaki's history, and stated purpose. Stopping him is not murder.

Re:War /= civil process. (1, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576578)

Your choice to equate asymmetric WARFARE with "organized crime" is amusing.

The US didn't attack "Yemen", it attacked enemy personnel IN Yemen.

Re:War /= civil process. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576604)

No there is not a war in Yemen but there is a war against al qaeda. Since the al qaeda do not just occupy one country it is impossible to keep the war confined to just to one country we must take the war wherever they are. For that reason this is a very difficult war to fight.

Re:War /= civil process. (1)

aminorex (141494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576540)

This is Big Lie propaganda. There is no war. Moreover, the victim in this case was not a combatant.

Re:War /= civil process. (5, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576580)

No one seriously argues that Awlaki wasn't an enemy actor, therefore there is zero logical argument against killing him.

Actually, a lot of people do seriously argue that point. The one thing that is not in dispute is that al-Awlaki advocated violence against the US government, but that has been ruled protected speech [wikipedia.org] - if it hadn't been, people like William Piece (author of the Turner Diaries) would be up on charges. What has never been proven in a court of law, and is disputed by many folks who actually know what they're talking about in Yemen, is that Awlaki had anything to do with planning and executing any actual terrorist attacks.

Attacking him was a "necessity" because there was no other way to interdict his activities.

Sure there was:
1. Present evidence to a judge sufficient to demonstrate probable cause for arresting him.
2. Work with the Yemeni authorities, who are allies of the US, to attempt to capture him and bring him to the US for trial. If he attempts to resist arrest, by all means shoot back.
3. Indict and try him, and if he is guilty, lock him up forever or execute him.

Force used was "proportional" because it was sufficient to decisively counter a hostile act or hostile intent, but reasonable in intensity, duration and magnitude.

Awlaki posted hostile videos on Youtube. The US and Yemeni governments fired cruise missiles that killed not only Awlaki but several others nearby. Tell me exactly what 'proportional' means to you.

Re:War /= civil process. (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576728)

"Actually, a lot of people do seriously argue that point" all of who are enemies of the US and de-facto supporters of Jihad or just being contrarian for domestic political reasons.

It was reasonably likely that the target and associates were enemy personnel. An enemy propagandist is no different than a conventional psyops operative. Incitement to warfare against the US clearly made him a combatant.

There is no logical reason to risk US forces in combat to capture such an enemy live. The value of own-side forces is customarily considered greater than that of an enemy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anwar_al-Awlaki [wikipedia.org]

Name the only candidate that would stop this.. (5, Insightful)

mwasham (1208930) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576456)

If you value liberty you need to suck it up and admit that Ron Paul is right and quit playing this dems/reps game. They are one and the same.

Re:Name the only candidate that would stop this.. (0)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576536)

Ron Paul would just have us trade one tyranny for another, that of moneyed interests against "the rest of us" which is going on as we speak, but even more so.

You're fooling yourself if you think he's on "our side"

--
BMO

Re:Name the only candidate that would stop this.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576616)

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate on our side. All other candidates will continue the wars, continue the collapse of the economy by printing money, continue to take away our civil liberties. Isn't it time to put an end to all this?

Re:Name the only candidate that would stop this.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576628)

Ron Paul would just have us trade one tyranny for another, that of moneyed interests against "the rest of us" which is going on as we speak, but even more so.

You're fooling yourself if you think he's on "our side"

--
BMO

I think he's for real - really.

Which is why he will never - ever - be nominated for President; regardless as to how well he does in primaries or polls. The powers that be don't want him there.

Or look at the media - they treat him like a joke.

And yet, wacko-nutcase-morons like Perry, Bachman and others that spew shit that's incredibly whacked get plenty of air time and serious consideration from their parties.

What the fuck does that tell you about our whole system: media, politics, political parties, government, campaign, .....

Why isn't the media and other politicians saying "Hey! Paul does have some great points!" I disagree with a few things that Ron Paul says but to treat him the way he's being treated? Something is not right.

Re:Name the only candidate that would stop this.. (0)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576592)

Attacking enemy troops on the global field of battle has zilch to do with my liberty.

Now that Ron Paul demonstrated he doesn't know the difference between the Law of Armed Conflict and civil policing I'll be sure to bring up this example often!!

Let's get a couple things straight, here. (0, Flamebait)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576474)

First, "Drones" don't kill anyone. Saying so is like saying that "Close Quarters Battle Rifle Kills Osama bin Laden." Special forces personnel, supported by the people who operate the drones and the Air Force pilot(s) who flew the fighter that was also involved, all under the command of the leadership running that show, and all under the direction of the C-in-C are what what killed "Mr." Awlaki. And all of that happened because he made it his full-time job to not only inspire and recruit for terror attacks, but to become directly involved in planning and operations.

Second: all of the handwringing over due process (really, Ron Paul?) is absurd. This clown explicitly removed himself fromthe protections of due process through his actions, his ongoing condemnation of the very system that provides that due process, and his physical removal to and operation within a region he and his movement selected specifically because it is unpoliced/unpoliceable and where any attempt to actually apprehend him would involve combat operations. That putting military people into harm's way would be required to lay hands on him - as he continued in his outspoken and unhidden efforts to kill westerners, including his avowed embrace of WMD to that end - is exactly the reason that this wasn't a "law enforcement" scenario. It's a fight, and the fight was taken to him and some of his buddies in a direct and effective way.

Killing him was self defense, and a reasonable approach to dealing with his ongoing attacks and prep for more of them. Ron Paul's assertion that Bin Laden's killing was "different" (enough so to make that assault OK, but this one not) is just embarassing. Please stop, Ron. This didn't happen in Cleveland, where the FBI could have cordoned off ten city blocks while agents moved in on him at their leisure, with an eye towards placing cuffs on him.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576528)

>Killing him was self defense.

I don't expect you to show any outrage when the other side are killing Americans using the same "logic" then.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576588)

I don't expect you to show any outrage when the other side are killing Americans using the same "logic" then.

Thanks for putting "logic" in quotes when referrring to Al Queda, so that didn't have to.

The other side, in this conflict, is basing its notion of self defense on flawed premises, support for retrograde medieval theocracy around the world, and the express, stated purpose to kill civilians for the sake of killing civilians in an attempt bring about the sweeping cultural regression they demand. They consider rational things (like representative government, allowing daughters to read and work, etc) to be evil, and justification to kill those that support them. They think that burning a school teacher alive, and shooting a woman who's taught her daughter to read, to be "logical." And that is what you're defending.

Their logic is built on a philosophical house of cards, and their actions are not self defense, but a cruel and twisted offense against which their more sensible countrymen and the rest of the world are very reasonably defending themselves and each other.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576652)

It is not possible for him to "explicitly removed himself from the protections of due process through his actions". Due process applies irrespective of your actions.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576706)

Due process applies irrespective of your actions

No, it most certainly does not. If you had left the US a few decades ago and were known to have joined up with, say, German sailors crewing a submarine that was out hunting for US freighters, the need for due process would not (and should not) have stopped a US Navy commander from sinking your damn u-boat on sight. Do you really think said commander should have risked his own people to try to disable that boat, board it, and arrest that one guy in person? No.

Awlaki's u-boat was his attempt at unmolested operation from unpoliced outback of Yemen. Otherwise, not a bit different. You place yourself in those situations while shouting your violent plans from the rooftops, and demonstrate an ongoing pattern of killing, you sure do waive your right not to be stopped on sight by the handiest means available.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576674)

Give a government the ability to assassinate anyone outside the rule of law only leads to a slippery slope. Those that are against the US assassinating anyone understand this. Just look at how anything the government does once a certain power is assumed, the bar is continually lowered in it's use.

But due process is overrated, if people in power don't like you because of something you said or did they can just have you killed as you deserve it because of your lack of respect, making them jump though some silly hurdles like a trial or having to present actual evidence, is silly right?

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576676)

Indeed. Kill them all. For the Lord knows them that are His.

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (1)

Slashdot Assistant (2336034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576692)

First, "Drones" don't kill anyone. Saying so is like saying that "Close Quarters Battle Rifle Kills Osama bin Laden." Special forces personnel, supported by the people who operate the drones and the Air Force pilot(s) who flew the fighter that was also involved, all under the command of the leadership running that show, and all under the direction of the C-in-C are what what killed "Mr." Awlaki.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr_Logic [wikipedia.org]

Re:Let's get a couple things straight, here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576708)

What kind of "special forces" can't do a felony stop of a car on a highway? They must be very special indeed.

watch out for those links (4, Insightful)

burris (122191) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576484)

Watch out for those links to suspects, they'll get you and everyone in your immediate vicinity killed without warning by a missile fired from a robotic aircraft controlled by foreigners hundreds of miles away. There is no point in building a case against someone, capturing them, and having a public trial where the evidence is subject to intense scrutiny and the outcome is determined by disinterested peers. That kind of thing is messy and time consuming, and there is no telling what the outcome might be. After all, 20-25% of the victims in this instance were linked to someone who is suspected of carrying out some horrible crime.

Re:watch out for those links (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576684)

Watch out for those links to suspects, they'll get you and everyone in your immediate vicinity killed without warning by a missile fired from a robotic aircraft controlled by foreigners hundreds of miles away.

Oh, boo-hoo.

English speaking American? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576566)

an American-born [...] with sparkling English

This is the REAL news.

Now please bomb the shit out of that guys country,
I would say we must invade it and liberate it from its oppressors. Well, this probably would mean we will be at war with Greenland in the end.

Other Countries Can Do This Too, You Know... (4, Insightful)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576576)

Suppose Iran decides that someone in this country is an "enemy of the state", and launches drones from their "warships" off the coast of the US? Or they get "government approval" from someone in Mexico, and do the same? Heck, they won't even have to launch from that close.

North Korea has already been caught using poisoned needles to take out people they consider to be "enemies".

Just to be clear, I have no objection to taking this asshole out once and for all?

But I won't be standing atop the Mountain of Purity, wearing white robes and singing hosannas, either. Dirty pool goes both ways, folks.

Re:Other Countries Can Do This Too, You Know... (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576646)

Dirty pool goes both ways, folks.

Careful, your odd notion of moral equivalence between North Korea and modern constitutional democracies is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

Re:Other Countries Can Do This Too, You Know... (1)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576686)

modern constitutional democracies

Hmm? What's that? I'm sorry, the explosions from drones violating the laws of our Constitutional Democracy have drowned out what you were saying...

Re:Other Countries Can Do This Too, You Know... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576710)

violating the laws of our Constitutional Democracy

Which would be a good point if it weren't actually incorrect in every sense.

retarded (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576596)

This is just dandy. We kill an idiot (evidence: botched detroit flight bombing -- you better believe if I was in charge, shit wouldn't get botched. Some people are more competent than others. fact.), and in his place we inspire the next generation, which will certainly aspire to greater heights. And we spend ever increasing tax payer dollars on fueling an ever more sophisticated terrorist regime. What's the solution? Give them no reason to be terrorist. Pull out of their countries. Live by our motto, liberty and justice for all. And then the numbers will likely dwindle. Simple.

Response from US Gov't (1)

Pete Venkman (1659965) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576620)

The drone's controllers were aiming at the guy beside Al-Awlaki. It's just too bad that this US citizen was collateral damage.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576644)

invading 2 countries, soldiers and (too) many civilians dead, no WMD, 10 years of shit.

And now RC controlled drones find Osama and kill another important guy in less than 2 months.

Next time it will again 10 years of paying tax money for shit and the mission will be accomplished by cheap RC controlled drones?

He is not the interesting one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576648)

The interesting one that we got out of that is Ibrahim al-Asiri. By getting the 3 that we did, we just got a HUGE hit against AQ. This was devastating to AQ than taking out OBL. These 3 were the new top leaders in AQ.

Now, as to the killing of these 3 terrorists, many idiots are all over the net screaming that we killed citizens. Yes. We did. And We have killed terrorists of Saudi, Iraqi, Libyan, Iranian, Pakistani, Indian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, Indonesian, British, and other citizenship. The fact is, that we are in a war with terrorists and are killing them REGARDLESS of citizenship. That some of you think that we should treat differently those who have declared war on the world, have plotted, and killed some amount of ppl in the name of their war based on citizenship, well, you need to re-think it. I would have preferred that we brought OBL and all of these ppl, but in a war, it is difficult to do so.

Re:He is not the interesting one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576730)

America, like many developed nations, has a serious issue with illegals. But this is more so in America. We have a number of illegals who then have children born here. Per the 14th, they are considered Americans and can run for president. Well, back in the 1800,when ppl moved to America, they almost always stayed. As such, they were raised to think of that country as their own. Nowadays, Chinese are coming to America pregnant and lying about status and then staying long enough to have a child. They then go back to CHina to raise the child. We have granted these children the right to be a president. The same is true of al-Awlaki. He was born here, but raised in Yemen. So to him, he is Yemeni, not American.

A number of nations have changed their definition of citizenship, which is something that America and other nations really need to consider. Basically, it seems that a child should be born to one or two parents that legal to be there. In addition, they should be RAISED in that nation. If they are not, they are not likely to have any more loyalty to them then somebody who visited another nation. That is actually a pretty logical argument.

mod dowN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576694)

don't ffel that

Bieber, you're next! (5, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 2 years ago | (#37576718)

>Mr. Awlaki was known for his ability to couch extremist views in ways that appealed to Western youth.

The due process arguments are idiotic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37576734)

A lot of people on here are shouting about how we should have arrested this guy and put him on trial, anything else is a violation of his rights. These people have not thought these statements through.

How were they supposed to arrest him? Without using magic, what kind of plan to arrest him does not involve a military operation that would result in more people being killed? Instead of a drone strike killing 4 people, we'd have an assault force killing many more just to get to him and hoping beyond all reason that he miraculously doesn't have a gun and decides to surrender peacefully. Does anyone in their right mind think that was a possibility? Why would you risk your own soldiers lives to cause more damage and deaths?

They took the only course of action that didn't involve him remaining free and cost the least amount of lives. Like it or not, he was a member of al Qaeda, which has attacked the US several times now. They are who the US is at war with, and rightly so. If you are a leader in that organization, you know exactly what that means and exactly what you are getting into, this wasn't some innocent patsy they killed. Even if he had nothing to do with the attacks, he still is an enemy soldier.

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