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View Diary: Supremes keep Saudis on the hook for potential 9/11 liability (48 comments)

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  •  and for al-Awlaki apologists, of whom... (6+ / 0-)

    .... there are many on DK, the following quote from the NY Post article:

    http://nypost.com/...

    "Bayoumi and another suspected Saudi agent, Osama Bassnan, set up essentially a forward operating base in San Diego for the hijackers after leaving LA. They were provided rooms, rent and phones, as well as private meetings with an American al Qaeda cleric who would later become notorious, Anwar al-Awlaki, at a Saudi-funded mosque he ran in a nearby suburb."

    "In 2001, Awlaki and the San Diego hijackers turned up together again — this time at the Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center, a Pentagon-area mosque built with funds from the Saudi Embassy. Awlaki was recruited 3,000 miles away to head the mosque. As its imam, Awlaki helped the hijackers, who showed up at his doorstep as if on cue. He tasked a handler to help them acquire apartments and IDs before they attacked the Pentagon."

    In other words, al-Awlaki had an operational role in facilitating the 9/11 attacks.

    "Innocent American citizen and victim of evil drone attacks", my ass.

    He was an agent of a hostile foreign entity, and thereby a hostile foreign combatant and legitimate military target.

    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

    by G2geek on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 02:22:33 PM PDT

    •  And I thought it was ok to blow him up.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites, G2geek, cotterperson

      .....because of the shoe, underwear and copier-cartridge bombs he launched....

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 03:30:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it was OK to blow him up because.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        leftykook, cotterperson

        ... a) he had an operational role in the 9/11 attacks which were acts of war by AQ against the US,  b) he declared his allegiance to a hostile foreign entity (AQ) against which the US went to war, and c) his role in AQ (manager of propaganda) was equivalent to that of a comparably-tasked commissioned officer in a hostile foreign military.

        According to international norms and laws of war, each of those items in and of itself was sufficient to designate him as a legitimate military target.

        Obama and the Generals probably considered all of the details of his case and circumstances before giving the order to proceed.  That's quite a bit more consideration than al-Awlaki and his pals gave to any of the people they set out to murder on that morning in September 2001.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:49:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose that depends on how one feels about (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BradyB, aggieric

      the rule of law, and the relative merits of treating "terrorism" as a military matter, or as a law enforcement matter.

      The whole "military" thing doesn't seem to be working out all that well for us, mostly because "terrorism" is not a military matter  . . .  a lesson that the Brits already learned the hard way in Northern Ireland. Sadly, we Americans prefer to learn our lessons the hard way by ourselves, rather than learning by the experiences of others. Just ask the Vietnamese.

      al-Awlaki apologists
      Interesting. I know of nobody here who has ever defended the guy, or has any love for him whatever. Nobody. N-O-B-O-D-Y. Nobody. Of course, I don't think Charlie Manson should be executed without charges or trial either--which doesn't mean I am a Charlie Manson apologist. (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 07:26:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as we have seen... (0+ / 0-)

        ... from the capture of the Benghazi Guy in Libya, who has already made his first appearance in a US federal court facing terrorism charges:  Obama used law enforcement methods where it was possible to use them.

        Yemen however is a different matter.  Al-Awlaki dug in where there were sufficient numbers of hostiles that it would not have been possible to just send in a half dozen FBI agents protected by a dozen Special Forces, and arrest him.

        For which reason, and the fact that his operational role in 9/11 made him an ongoing operational threat, the drone option was used.

        But keep this in mind.

        It's always preferable to capture than to kill, for one important reason that has nothing to do with "sympathy for the devil."  

        When we capture them alive, we get valuable intelligence.  

        We get whatever belongings they have with them, possibly their computers and cellphones which are treasure troves of good information.  And of course we get interrogation results, which are all the more productive when conducted without torture.  

        Benghazi Guy got interrogated twice.  Once by Marine Corps interrogators seeking military intelligence, for which purpose he did not have a 5th Amendment right because that intel was not to be used in the prosecution.

        The second time by FBI agents, starting with reading him his Miranda rights, and then seeking information that could be used at trial.

        But one of the clever things about doing the interrogation in that sequence is, the person is likely to believe that since they've already given up all the goodies in the first round, they have nothing to lose by giving up the same batch in the second round.  Ha, joke's on them.

        For which reason it would have been enormously preferable to bring al-Awlaki home in handcuffs.  The intel would have been priceless, and a sentence of life w/o parole would have denied him his martyrdom.  

        But since that was not possible, Obama decided to exercise the military option and take him out.  Which in the long run is better than sending ground troops into Yemen or doing nothing.

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:04:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  alas, rule of law doesn't apply only when (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aggieric

          it is convenient.

          Which in the long run is better than sending ground troops into Yemen or doing nothing.
          Executing people without charges or trial is NEVER the better option. Ever.

          In the long run, it destroys democracy and the rule of law.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 08:28:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  combat != execution. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            samddobermann

            Al-Awlaki forfeited his US citizenship as of the moment he swore allegiance to Al Qaeda.  Thus he was not entitled to "US person" rights.

            Killing during the course of military operations is not execution, it's the means used to achieve the objective of warfare, which is to defeat the hostile force's will to fight.  Absent a formal declaration of surrender issued by recognized leadership of Al Qaeda, the only way we'll know that we've defeated them for good is when we can't find any more of them.  

            Picking off the hostile force's leadership is a long-understood and legitimate tactic of warfare, and a drone is operationally equivalent to a sniper (sharpshooter).

            For that matter, Benghazi Guy was also not entitled to US person rights.

            And we were under no moral or legal or other obligation to treat Benghazi Guy any differently than Al-Awlaki.

            Obama could as easily and legitimately have decided to take out Benghazi Guy from the air.  But he chose to capture him because it was possible to capture him.

            Say what you like about "convenience," but that's a sophistry and a misleading use of language.  No doubt it would be "convenient" if you could flap your arms and fly to work every day.  But since you can't succeed at flying by flapping your arms, instead you use some form of ground transportation.

            And if you can't succeed at nullifying the threat potential of a hostile foreign combatant by capturing him alive, prosecuting him successfully, and locking him up in a penitentiary for life, instead you use some form of military force.

            We got the future back. Uh-oh.

            by G2geek on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:02:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ok, so you're of the (0+ / 0-)

              "terrorism is a military issue" school of thought. The one that has failed utterly for over ten years now.

              Carry on, then.  (shrug)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 09:39:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, so you're of the... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                samddobermann

                .... "binary thinking" school of thought (everything is a 0 or a 1, black or white, nothing in-between), the one that has failed utterly since Schrödinger's cat and the two-slit experiment in physics, almost 90 years ago now.

                It's both.

                Subnational groups have no national sovereignty, so they have no sovereign immunity from criminal prosecution in domestic courts.  For which reason such prosecutions are possible to carry out, and are the logical conclusion once we've captured a terrorist alive.

                Subnational groups that use military weapons and tactics to commit multiple-casualty attacks are considered to be military threats.  This is no different to saying that construction workers who use hammers and saws, and work with wood, are considered to be carpenters.  It's inherent in the definition.  

                All factors equal, purely on the basis of common-sense national security doctrine, that nobody on this site would disagree with, we prefer to capture them alive.  

                We prefer to capture them alive because we get better intel that way.  We prefer to prosecute them and lock them up because it demoralizes their cohorts more than "martyrdom" would.  

                But where that's not possible, we are fully justified in using military means.

                The fact that a hostile foreign actor is both a criminal and a military threat, means we can deal with them by both criminal justice methods and by military methods.  It does not mean that we are morally or legally obligated to deal with them in only one of those ways.  We are free to use whichever means will have the desired effect of neutralizing the actor's further threat potential.

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Tue Jul 01, 2014 at 11:07:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •   the Constitution, the law, requires (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek

            due process but it doesn't specify what process is due. It does not require trial by jury or even a judge.

            Furthermore, one can expatriate oneself by their actions. It is likely this person was no longer an American citizen.  (The law needs to be updated to specifically deal with non-state declared enemy groups.)

            Executing people without charges or trial is NEVER the better option. Ever.

            It is better than letting them blow you or your family up.

            I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

            by samddobermann on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 04:56:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  (sigh) (0+ / 0-)

              Carry on, then, if you think it's been helping . . . . . .

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 06:14:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  it's like public health. (0+ / 0-)

                When everyone gets vaccines, nobody gets measles.

                "Gee, where'd all the measles go?"

                When everyone gets weekly refuse collections, nobody gets garbage piles with rats in their alleys.  

                "Gee, where'd all the rats go?"

                "Carry on then, if you think it's been helping," is what you hear from people who don't understand how preventive measures work.

                When we take out terrorists either by criminal prosecution or by military means, planes don't fly into buildings and buses don't go Boom.

                The absence of the event demonstrates that prevention is working.  But the only way to be certain, is to stop preventing and see if more "events" occur.

                And in case anyone here is wondering, I'm also happy to spend an extra half hour at airports and take my shoes off etc., if that means that the guy with the loaded pistol wrapped up in some dirty socks in his carry-on, isn't going to be sitting in the seat next to me.  Given the number of loaded pistols TSA plucks out of bags and passengers every year, that's not insignificant.

                We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                by G2geek on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 07:35:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  yes yes yes, the war on terror has been a (0+ / 0-)

                  smashing success.

                  Good job, and carry on.

                  (sigh)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 08:25:13 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  as a matter of fact, it has been... (0+ / 0-)

                    ... a smashing success.

                    How many airliners have been blown up or flown into buildings since 2001?

                    How many bombing plots have succeeded?

                    Zero, and zero.

                    But funnily enough (or not), every time the FBI intercepts one of those bombing plots, substitutes fake explosives, and arrests the bomber as he tries to detonate the newly-neuterized bomb, the usual crowd around here yells "entrapment! entrapment!"

                    And despite all the guns and knives TSA confiscates from people who are trying to board airplanes, the usual crowd around here yells "security theater!" and "inconvenience!"

                    OK, fine, whatever.  Some people complain about having to move their cars for street cleaning, yelling "it's all about the parking tickets!", ignorant of the history of infestations of disease-carrying rats, flies, and mosquitoes from the bad old days before regular street cleaning.  

                    We got the future back. Uh-oh.

                    by G2geek on Wed Jul 02, 2014 at 10:41:00 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

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