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View Diary: "Anwar al-Aulaqi was assassinated for what he said, not what he did." (89 comments)

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  •  words or actions (13+ / 0-)

    there's this thing called due process. we are a nation of laws or we are not.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:28:45 PM PST

    •  Laws apply to the commoners (9+ / 0-)

      and due process was revoked after 9-11.

      look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

      by FishOutofWater on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:33:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  once upon a time (4+ / 0-)

        we seemed united in trying to restore it...

        The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

        by Laurence Lewis on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:41:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Just curious... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird

          ...was due process applied when the FBI killed the AL prepper hostage-taker after they determined "imminent threat" to the boy hostage? If they acted appropriately in that situation, who is the arbiter of "imminent threat" when it's international and outside the jurisdiction of the FBI and without the heartwarming ending of a Southern white boy being reunited with family? Serious questions about where and how the line is drawn.

          •  that was on my mind too today (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird

            where IS the line?  the kid would likely be dead if the FBI hadn't acted.  should they have risked their lives to grab the guy without killing him knowing that the guy stood and shot a bus driver to death who was barring his way to the children on the bus?

            Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

            by AntonBursch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:05:17 PM PST

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          •  i don't know the details (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LaEscapee, tardis10, marina

            but yes, all uses of lethal force should be fully investigated as to imminent threat. in well run police forces, all use of lethal force are. but if someone is merely plotting an attack, no police officers are entitled to just go kill them. al-awlaki didn't have a gun to anyone's head.

            The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

            by Laurence Lewis on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:09:13 PM PST

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            •  I'm not referring specifically to al-Alwaki... (0+ / 0-)

              ...but more generally. Given the sophistication of global intelligence-gathering, it's not a stretch to imagine those in the inner circle are aware of situations that go beyond "merely plotting." And it's not a stretch to assume that some of those situations develop hundreds of miles from the nearest "well run police force."

              The speed of global communications and the reduction in size of "imminent threats" from cumbersome land armies with horses & tanks down to nimble cells with satellite phones & motorcyles & backpack bombs has changed the landscape faster than international & domestic law has been able to keep up.

              I'm not well-enough informed to be able to argue the merits (or lack thereof) in the handling of the al-Alwaki situation. I can say pretty confidently though, that even the best run law enforcement agencies have instances of errors in judgment, and they often have shown marginal ability to police themselves when those errors occur. It's a high stakes world these days. As much as I'd love to be firmly planted on the moral high ground, the sands there can sometimes seem to shift under the feet. In other words, I'm not able to reduce this to simplistic right/wrong black/white. Too many shades of gray...

            •  but what if you have suicide bombers? (0+ / 0-)

              are Americans in danger of terrorists with guns or terrorists willing to kill themselves to kill Americans?

              what's worse than a man with a gun at a school?

              a man with a bomb attached to himself at a school.

              you don't need to be holding a gun when you have suicide bombers.

              and when you are the kind of religious leader who can warp the minds of followers into committing suicide to kill Americans then you are about as evil and dangerous as it gets

              so, do we just wait until that kind of guy has a gun to go after him?

              Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

              by AntonBursch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:49:45 PM PST

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          •  Interesting you should bring up "imminent threat." (3+ / 0-)

            Notice how The Memo frames it with imminent in quotes:

            “The condition that an operational  leader present an ‘imminent’ threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future,” the memo states.
            That's the typographical equivalent of a wink.

            "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

            by nailbender on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:42:21 PM PST

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            •  I have not read the memo... (0+ / 0-)

              So your quoting it is the first I've seen of it. Does it provide any examples or further define what would be considered imminent?

              I used the term "imminent threat" after seeing it used as justification for the FBI taking action in the AL hostage situation. Apparently, they saw the prepper with a gun, so the threat was deemed to be imminent although one would have to assume that a prepper's bunker would be armed to the teeth. Someone had to make a judgment call based on fairly established domestic legal precedent. My point (or question) is whether that legal precendent has been established in the constantly evolving international arena.

    •  some words are action (0+ / 0-)

      our entire system of authority (from parents to judges) is based on that truth

      i don't understand why someone who blogs about politics would argue with that

      Wouldn't you like to be a pepper too?

      by AntonBursch on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:47:44 PM PST

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    •  It's a matter of which laws (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Susan G in MN, sebastianguy99

      The law seems inadequate to the task of how to deal with people who are neither peaceful civilians nor members of a state's armed forces.  I think that it is a reasonable argument that such folk, if engaged in violent action outside the borders of the US, should be treated more like members of opposing armed forces than than like civilians, even if they are American citizens.  The problem with the detainees at Guantanamo Bay was that they were treated like neither.  In the long run, I think there is a need for a new Geneva Convention dealing with non-state perpetrators of violence with a different set of rights than either military or civilians.

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