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This diary will be brief but to the point.  President Obama acted within his authority as Commander-in-Chief in ordering the death of known enemies of the United States of America.  Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen.  He was also a terrorist and a traitor to this country.  He got what was coming to him, what eventually comes to all traitors.

The Free Dictionary defines traitor this way:  

The betrayal of one's own country by waging war against it or by consciously or purposely acting to aid its enemies.

While the definition of treason was somewhat overbroad back in old England, the Founding Fathers gave it much more specificity in Article III of the U.S. Constitution:

Under Article III, Section 3, of the Constitution, any person who levies war against the United States or adheres to its enemies by giving them Aid and Comfort has committed treason within the meaning of the Constitution. The term aid and comfort refers to any act that manifests a betrayal of allegiance to the United States, such as furnishing enemies with arms, troops, transportation, shelter, or classified information. If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

Under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment. Persons who play only a peripheral role in a conspiracy to levy war are still considered traitors under the Constitution if an armed rebellion against the United States results.

Word is Awlaki never actually personally killed an American or attempted to.  But he advocated it, and he did it from the perch of a leader exhorting a known terrorist organization (al-Qaeda) to do just that.  And one of the penalties for treason is death.

It's pretty simple folks.  Wage war against your own country as the inspirational leader of al-Qaeda terrorists or al-Qaeda sympathizers - while we as a country are at war with al-Qaeda - and you risk getting popped.

I don't understand the people who think the POTUS and the country did anything wrong busting a cap on Awlaki, who has committed some well-documented traitorous acts.  This wasn't a guy who was going to surrender (why was he on the run if he had surrender in mind?) to U.S. authorities and come back for a trial after which we could execute him the normal way?  

He went over to the other side, looked forward to 76 virgins, and got what he wanted.

Good job, Mr. President.  Thank you for protecting us from a scumbag who didn't hesitate to inspire or train gullible young men to blow themselves up to kill innocent American civilians and military personnel.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We are not the judges! (10+ / 0-)

    But this wasn't a trial. He was actively fighting a war against the US, and instigated at least 4 real attacks (including Fort Hood and underwear bomber) in the last couple years. He wasn't some leader who was talking about politics, he was at war against the country. That's what makes this justifiable.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:01:11 AM PDT

    •  WHAT (4+ / 0-)

      evidence do you have for that assertion?

      The US government has developed an unfortunate habit of hiding all its evidence as 'state secrets', which means that no one, including the judges, ever finds out if they even HAVE any evidence of the crimes being alleged.
      In Awlaki's case, all we really know is that he spoke against the government. SPEECH is protected under the First Amendment. Which you should know. This means that while it can be used against him in court, it is NOT treason. And the government, in its great wisdom [/s] decided not to give him a day in court.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:00:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's crazy... (7+ / 0-)

    That so many on this site are attacking POTUS for killing this piece of shit.  I guess they expected us to read him his Miranda rights, give him a court-appointed lawyer and a trial by a jury of his peers?   WTF???

    In order not to believe in evolution you must either be ignorant, stupid or insane-- Richard Dawkins

    by sandav on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:13:13 AM PDT

    •  WHY NOT (5+ / 0-)

      It's what we did for the 1993 WTC bombers. Clearly it's possible.
      You just have to, you know, indict and arrest and try and convict them.

      Clearly the US government has decided it's much easier to just kill people it doesn't like or doesn't want, even if they're legally innocent.

      I'm wondering how long it's going to be before it starts disappearing people it doesn't like or doesn't want around. Like left wing bloggers and actual reporters.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So left-wing bloggers... (0+ / 0-)

        Are as much a threat to the US as Al-Qaeda? Or someday will be?  And will be taken out?  How naive...

        In order not to believe in evolution you must either be ignorant, stupid or insane-- Richard Dawkins

        by sandav on Mon Oct 03, 2011 at 07:30:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If Obama believed this (4+ / 0-)

    where was the effort to seek an indictment?

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:29:31 AM PDT

  •  no different than killing Confederate soldiers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    samddobermann, DEQ54, BarackStarObama

    who were also by and large US citizens by birth.

    Scientific Materialism debunked here

    by wilderness voice on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:30:02 AM PDT

    •  Quite different, actually. (10+ / 0-)

      One thing to kill someone armed and charging you on a battlefield.  Quite another to secretly sentence someone to death.

      One is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  No until sentenced to death by executive fiat.  Murder is a crime, regardless of who orders it.

      •  Al Quaida is at war with the US (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hkorens, fizziks, FG

        and surely lives of soldiers would be put at risk trying to "arrest" him in unfriendly territory.

        Scientific Materialism debunked here

        by wilderness voice on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:41:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're declaring "this person is guilty and must (10+ / 0-)

          die".  There's no oversight, can be no defense.  How different would things be if our legal system was run by the prosecutor's office?  Who needs defense attorneys, who needs judges?  There is no independent investigation of evidence.  Innocent people have been sentenced to death by the judiciary before.  How can you think the executive would fare any better?

          •  So, what you're saying is, it doesn't really (0+ / 0-)

            matter which branch makes the decisions. Innocent people get caught up.

            "TEABAGGER=Totally Enraged About Blacks And Gays Getting Equal Rights."

            by second gen on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:52:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  by your logic (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam AZ, auapplemac

            Confederate generals should have been immune from attack since they were not actually "charging you on a battlefield."

            Scientific Materialism debunked here

            by wilderness voice on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:59:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Or the many Confederate soldiers (4+ / 0-)

              ambushed by union troops over the course of the war.

              The idea that we're hamstrung against prosecuting a war by legal technicalities is ridiculous.

              Americans who sided with the Nazis in WWII were shot dead, bombed from above, etc. without any regard to where they happened to be born.

              •  I don't care about citizenship. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PJEvans, Odysseus, JohnnyBoston, Johnny Q

                Whether or not someone's an American should be completely irrelevant, as far as I'm concerned.  A life is a life.

                I don't care about "legal technicalities" so much as sentencing someone to death.  If you try and capture him, he fights back, and you kill him, I can live with that.  But if you're going to sentence someone to death, as was done in this case, and have no due process, there's no way I'm going to support that.

                I'd still disagree with it if there were due process, for a number of reasons (Starting with opposition to the death penalty), but the lack of it is what I find the most egregious issue here.

                •  This is where we disagree (3+ / 0-)

                  You seem to believe that we could have just gone and caught this guy. No way.

                  Where he's hiding, such an action would have been incredibly risky and with very little chance of actually working.

                  And while we're trying to develop somewhat decent operational plans to go and get him, he's actively working to kill Americans.

                  Do you object to us killing Bin Laden?/ What about al-Zarqawi? One of my biggest criticisms of George Bush leading up to the Iraq War was that the Pentagon came up to him several times, telling him that we had Zarqawi in our gun sights. Bush wouldn't let them take the shot because he needed that guy to help justify his war in Iraq.

                  How many tens of thousands of Iraqis would still be alive, how much stronger would the new Iraq look (and how much more favorably disposed to us) if we had done things like this instead of Shock and Awe?

                  Alwaki wasn't so much sentenced to death as he sentenced himself to the fate of an armed combatant waging war on the US. If they could have gone in and grabbed him, great. But that wasn't going to happen - and there would almost certainly have been more collateral damage in such an attempt, and we very easily could have lost Seals.

                  I'm glad they took him out. I'm glad every time an Al Qaeda guy gets killed.

                  •  I object to killing Bin Laden, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    greeseyparrot

                    and found all the celebration over his death, even here, more than a little disturbing.  I don't deny that he may have been deserving of death, and do not mourn his loss, but I do not think he should have been killed.  I'm not familiar enough with the case of al-Zarqawi to comment.  I'm no activist, and often don't keep up with current events.  Fairly ignorant, in a lot of respects, actually.  But if it was a targeted killing, then yes, I'd object to it.

                    You sound like an old friend of mine who was very much in favor of targeted killing of terrorist leaders (He was a Pakistani-born Muslim, amusingly enough).  He was of the opinion that the large amounts of bloodshed our current tactics cause just give rise to more violence, so decapitation is a much better way to go.  I agree in principle; I just don't think the decapitation should go beyond the metaphorical.

                    I don't empathize or sympathize with most of these guys, but I don't targeted killing like this is moral or should be lawful.  Too much room for abuse and misuse, without even going into the whole mistaken identity issue, both with who is "sentenced" and in terms of whose house you break into and shoot in the head.

              •  Please cite (3+ / 0-)

                evidence for that assertion. Because I think you're jumping sharks there. (I seem to recall that Lindbergh wasn't 'shot dead, bombed from above, etc' and he very publicly sided with the Nazis, at least until Pearl Harbor.)

                (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

                by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:08:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  legal, actually (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Adam AZ, DEQ54, hkorens, fizziks

            5th amendment:

            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

            We are at war with Al Quaida and Awlaki was doing his worst to create public danger.

            Scientific Materialism debunked here

            by wilderness voice on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:10:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's al-Qaeda today (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Johnny Q, greeseyparrot

            it could be Black Panthers or a union group tomorrow
            This is a dangerous precedent

      •  Hey, goat, it wasn't a secret. It was announced (3+ / 0-)

        often enough. Or do you think he was a Yemeni goat herder who never heard of TV or the internet?

        Awlaki said he was in favor of killing Americans, even innocent Americans. He was working on recruiting Americans and supplying material.

        When was the last time there was "someone armed and charging you on a battlefield?"

        World War II iirc. Do we really have to wait until we see the whites of his eyes?

        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 Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:04:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Just to be clear, it was no secret that (0+ / 0-)

        al Awlaki was targeted by the Obama administration. It was announced in May 2010.

        Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

        by RJDixon74135 on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:36:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Killing an enemy in war is not murder. nt (0+ / 0-)

        Hey dumb dumbs, if tax cuts created jobs, we would have so many jobs that we would glady let the illegals come in.

        by hkorens on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:32:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Quite different. (8+ / 0-)

      No declaration of war.

      No charges filed.

      No evidence presented to a court of law (and such courts to consider evidence in secret do exist for such purposes).

      No warrants issued.

      Perhaps you should get more facts about this case before you jump to such conclusions.

      In fact, Awlaki's Father filed suit to prevent the Administration fro seeking to assassinate his son and seek due process, the Obama Administration counter-filed to assert Executive Privilege asserting no court had jurisdiction over it and no right to interfere with an executive order, and the first court to hear it turned down a ruling asserting Congress should act.

      Now the point is moot; the administration took it;s opportunity to take him out and settle the dispute with a drone not legal process.

      Kick back and enjoy the show as your Constitutional rights, checks and balances are eroded by a succession of Republican and now Democratic Chief Executives that continue to stretch the bounds of executive powers.

      Dick Cheney is vindicated on this thread. Disgusting.

      Can you imagine a President and Justice Department pursuing due process by presenting evidence and obtaining a warrant before acting that would be subject to the checks and balances of specified in the Constitution?

      History.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:25:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  by your own account (0+ / 0-)

        this matter was put before the court and the court declined to intervene against the administration.

        Scientific Materialism debunked here

        by wilderness voice on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:33:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NO, it (4+ / 0-)

          was put before a court which was told BY THE GOVERNMENT that Awlaki would have to present himself in person - after the US government had said publicly it wanted him dead. His father was denied standing to sue.
          So Awlaki NEVER got a day in court, and NO evidence was ever produced against him.

          And the government now has the ability to kill anyone it wants, anywhere, and at any time, just by saying that its target was a terrorist. No evidence required. No legal proceedings required. No appeal allowed. And tough luck if you're close by and die too: you're just 'collateral damage'.

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:18:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You misunderstand (4+ / 0-)

          The process I refer to and that of the Constitution.

          So let me clarify so we don't confuse the two.

          The Constitution grants citizens basic rights including due process, Habeas Corpus, etc. Limiting or revoking those rights can only be done under certain conditions subject to due process and this includes, in fact, any legal action to try and convict a citizen for treason should that be the case.

          Key points: Presumed innocence; protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, Habeas Corpus, right to a speedy trial; requirement that law enforcement present due cause to obtain arrest warrants (which allow some temporary limitation of freedom under arrest pending actions by the judiciary).

          The correct process would be for the Administration (Justice Dept.) to present evidence to obtain an arrest warrant and prefer charges, and then seek apprehension and arrest, a legal process subject to the checks and balances of the Judicial Branch.

          And in the case of war (should they chose to take that route) requirements to seek a declaration of war from Congress within a proscribed period (another Constitutional law the Administration has disregarded in the case of Libya).

          For example, the Bush Administration did prefer charges and obtain a warrant to arrest Osama Bin Laden which the Obama Administration correctly executed (not without controversy but certainly pursuing due process).

          In this case they did not. In this case, and American citizen was put on a hit list for assassination and an extra-legal public relations campaign promoted to advance the assertion that Awlaki was an Al Qaeda "Operative" (an important distinction to justify marking him for assassination since otherwise he was merely legally exercising freedom of expression posting videos to the Internet).

          The Administration did not, I repeat, DID NOT pursue charges against Awlaki or present evidence to obtain an arrest warrant, but rather, purposely pursued an extension of the Bush Doctrine of Executive Privilege to declare him an enemy combatant and assassinate him on foreign soil.

          In legal context, there is no other word for this but assassination. This is the point legal scholars are raising and will challenge, and it is correct

          The Obama Administration has pushed to bounds of executive privilege building on the excesses of the Bush Administration but taking it one step further.

          Was Awlaki guilty of treason?  Perhaps, but if so, this is a legal judgement that should be made by a legal process otherwise you have an extra-legal process where the President becomes Sheriff, Prosecutor, Judge and Executioner by executive fiat.

          Should that matter? Only if you think the US Constitution matters.

          Why? Because it was designed to prevent exactly such concentration of power.

          And I have to say, from the legal standpoint there would appear to be the same case for an impeachment process against Obama as there was against Bush/Cheney - the reasoning and methods are the same, taken one step further.

          It really pains me to say that. Obama should know better.

          THey could have taken the other route to obtain a warrant, and the process to do so is secret in such cases so there is no reason not to do so UNLESS THERE WAS NO CASE.

          Now, that question has to be asked and will be asked.

          Again, it only matters if the Constitution matters, this is ultimately a question of the use or abuse of Constitutional powers, rights and process.

          Your thoughts?

          What about my Daughter's future?

          by koNko on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:54:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The point that seems to be missing here (16+ / 0-)

    is that we killed a United States citizen without due process. That is a real problem, not that we killed someone who has been espousing terrorism against us.

    All the hairy chested, breast thumping in the world about he deserved it does not change the fact that we killed him extra-legally.

    Yemen is not a US war zone, unless you accept the specious idea that the AUMF grants the president power to kill anyone anywhere in the world if we suspect that they are fomenting terror against us.

    This is a very real blow the rule of law. If you want to be happy that a murderous fuckwit is dead, I can't fault you there, but how he was killed matters as well and just asserting that the president can do it without consequence is a further normalization of the same lawlessness that has lead us to torture without legal consequence.

    Don't kid yourself that it is any different, lawlessness is lawlessness no mater how much one likes the outcome.

    Getting Democrats together and keeping them that way is like herding cats that are high on meth, through L.A., during an earthquake, in the rain -6.25, -6.10

    by Something the Dog Said on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:33:33 AM PDT

  •  This is so obvious that it's almost in bad taste.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...to say it, but that doesn't make it any less true.  The people who have a problem with this might as well be speaking in a language I never had the time or inclination to learn. I'd say "Chinese" but then someone might point out that well over a billion people speak it and maybe I ought to learn.

    The Rent Is Too Damn High Party feels that if you want to marry a shoe, I'll marry you. --Jimmy McMillan

    by Rich in PA on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 06:41:14 AM PDT

  •  Can a Club Be the Enemy of a Nation? (3+ / 0-)

    The Mafia's bigger than Al Qaeda. They've killed more people and cost us more too (not counting what we decided to cost ourselves by our choice of response.)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:03:00 AM PDT

  •  You Don't Need to Convict an Enemy Combatant (5+ / 0-)

    He/she convicted themselves by their acts.  Awlaki wasn't some American simply protesting US policies.  He "joined" the enemy.  He was one of their most important and influential LEADERS!

    That, my friends, convicted him.

    •  So, by that logic you are fine with us (6+ / 0-)

      torturing detainees? Their apparent action convicted them.

      Even though a couple of dozen were released when it was found there was no action. This is why we have courts of law, to determine the facts, not just act on them because we think we know what is going on.

      You're view of the law makes assertion proof and suspicion guilt. You might want to win this argument but you don't want to live under that kind of legal regime. If we did 1/2 people who post here might have been arrested and convicted during the Bush administration.

      Don't let your joy that a murderous fuckwit is dead make you argue for a total destruction of our system of law. You want and need it to be strong for your own protection.

      Getting Democrats together and keeping them that way is like herding cats that are high on meth, through L.A., during an earthquake, in the rain -6.25, -6.10

      by Something the Dog Said on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:14:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do you believe in the Constitution? (10+ / 0-)

    Simple yes or no will do.

    Due process denied. No charged filed, no evidence presented, no warrants issued, just summary execution.

    What Obama has approved far exceeds the over-reach of the Bush Administration who faced call of impeachment from the Left for acts a mild as wiretapping, monitoring emails, extraordinary renditions and torture.

    Mid-east experts dispute what you accept without question.

    Parting question: do you support Rick Perry on Capital Punishment?

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:11:19 AM PDT

    •  Article 1 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, Viceroy

      Section 8 "To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations"
      Section 9"The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

      Amendment 5 "...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"

      •  Random nonsense (4+ / 0-)

        There is no case meeting your terms above.

        The Administration had the choice to seek an arrest warrant to prosecute Mr. Awlaki using due process and deliberately decided  to take the extra-judicial route pioneered by Mr Bush and Mr Cheney.

        Perhaps it would be wise for you to acquaint yourself with the facts of this case before throwing out fragments of law at random that do not apply.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 10:16:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nonsense! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hkorens, fizziks

      What you are assserting is nonsense.  Mid-east experts? This has nothing to do with the Mid-East.  Like I said, Awlaki could've been on the moon.  The fact remains, he SAID he was at war with the USA.  He deliberately and with malice aforethought urged, preached, coached and supported malleable minded individuals to kill innocent Americans, as a part of a terrorist campaign against our country.  He's not some teenager protesting on the steps of Columbia or Berkeley.  

      And what's up with the mention of Rick Perry? Non-sequitur. But if you want to know, I have no problem with the principle of capital punishment.  Some mofos deserve to put out PERMANENTLY.  The Timothy McVeighs, the John Wayne Gacys, etcs.   But I disgree with capital punishment because it is administered inconsistently, unfairly, and discriminatorily.  But and eye for an eye, I have not problem with on principle.  BTW, I don't like Rick Perry or any of the GOPers.

      •  Nonsense back to you. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnnyBoston, Johnny Q, greeseyparrot

        The Administration had the option to pursue due process by obtaining an arrest warrant, seeking his apprehension and arrest and prosecuting him, with said warrant issued by a court in secrecy based on the presumed national security sensitivity of the case.

        If you were actually familiar with the law and process you would understand that, but if you need help, the pursuit of Osama Bin Laden and others was done accordingly, hence there is no question of the legality.

        In this case they chose not to do so, but rather, to pursue an extra-judicial process of assassination that relied upon the same tactics and reasoning by the Bush Administration to execute extraordinary renditions and torture, but taking it one step further.

        If you would like to stand by the actions of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney on the same grounds you defend Mr. Obama here then I will give you points for consistency, agree to disagree and leave it at that.

        Your arguments have no basis in law; you are merely stating your personal belief Awlaki is guilty and got what he deserved and that's fine as your personal opinion but does not cut it as a legal argument if that is what you are trying to present.

        Last question was a matter of curiosity intended to probe your attitude toward executive powers to decide upon the execution of other.

        At least in the case of Texas, we can say some degree of due process was exercised before the executions; I'm afraid we cannot say the same for the case of Awlaki.

        Please also refer to my comments elsewhere elaborating points I have not included in the above.

        What about my Daughter's future?

        by koNko on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 10:12:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They're either with us or against us, or (5+ / 0-)

    sometimes they're with us and against us, or with us and against us later.  
    GWOT is a sham, a excuse for imperialism.  Cheer the killing all you want, for another ten more years at least.

    S.A.W. 2011 STOP ALL WARS "The Global War on Terror is a fabrication to justify imperialism."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 07:14:48 AM PDT

  •  There were Germans who thought trying to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hkorens, SouthernBelleNC49

    kill Hitler was wrong.  Puuuuleeeeze.  

    Awlaki wasn't Hitler, but he was a traitor. An avowed traitor. An admitted traitor.  One of the penalties for treason is DEATH.

    •  Yet there is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Johnny Q, greeseyparrot

      Article III Section 3 which I reference above. It is clear that the Constitutional definition of treason requires more than a declaration of intent.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:10:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Assertion without proof (3+ / 0-)

      You keep saying Awlaki was a traitor.
      This assumes facts not in evidence.
      You need more than just 'because I said so', even if it's someone in government saying so.

      What you are arguing is that THE PRESIDENT IS ABOVE THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAW.
      Now think about what that really means: it makes him, for all intents and purposes, a king. or an emperor.
      Most of us didn't sign up for that, and we have the right, even the duty, to oppose it.
      Now are you going to call us traitors?

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:42:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From Article III, Section 3... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RonV
    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.
    The larger question, which is seldom addressed, is this: was this guy, and others like him, a military combatant, or a common criminal? Or something in between?

    If military, what nation does he fight for? What army is he a member of? If he is a military leader, what state gave him his commission and his authority? Is he covered by Geneva or other accords that delineate how combatants, even combatants from non-signatory nations, are dealt with?

    If he's a criminal, who has jurisdiction over his acts? The US? The nation he's currently living in? An international court?

    Until we come up with some answers to these and other questions, we will continue to have these arguments. The law has yet to catch up to the reality of stateless, globe trotting freelancers engaging in random acts of political terror.

    I have no issue with this guy getting what he (apparently) deserved, but there has to be a controlling set of standards applied to these cases. "The President said" is not good enough.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:05:42 AM PDT

  •  If one believes in suilly little things (4+ / 0-)

    like the rule of law, one then recognizes that whatever crime a person may be charged with, simply bringing a charge does not constitute a finding of guilty.  Only a court of law, and no executive individual, no matter how Unitary that Executive individual may be, is competent under our system of law to make such a determination.

    But hey, who really cares about the rule of law in the US anymore anyway?  Laws are just things used to round up protesters, really meaningful people like banksters and torturers know that there's no such thing as the rule of law in the US anymore, and now partisan Dems are joining the huzzahing for the end of the rule of law (except of course, gotta keep those laws for rounding up protesters who might step into a street on the books so they cahn be beaten, maced and jailed.)

    "The existence of a good thing is no evidence of its being enjoyed by the working class." ~ Daniel DeLeon

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:33:37 AM PDT

  •  In short form (3+ / 0-)

    It's okay to ignore the constitution when you don't like what someone says, or does, or is.

    Seems to me that you missed most of your government and civics classes.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 08:35:46 AM PDT

  •  This is why I consider myself to be a Democrat, (0+ / 0-)

    but NOT a liberal.

    If Awlaki would have come back, allowed himself to be arrested, tried, convicted, then executed, that STILL wouldn't have been OK, because some people will never allow capital punishment, in any circumstance.

    Sorry, I don't agree with that. Some people really DO need to be killed. Awlaki and his fellow terrorists, along with tried, convicted, and OBVIOUSLY guilty serial killers/mass murderers such as Anthony Sowell and Jared Loughner do not deserve to continue breathing the same air as everyone else.

    While we are on the subject, other traitors such as Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney and Pvt Bradley Manning should be tried and punished to the fullest extent of the law. If that sentence should be death, too bad. Nobody put a gun to their heads and forced them to become traitors.

    To anyone who thinks Dick Cheney is NOT a traitor, imagine what would happen to you if you outed an undercover CIA agent during a time of war.

    “Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.” – Agnes Sligh Turnbull

    by A Man Called Gloom on Sun Oct 02, 2011 at 09:14:33 AM PDT

  •  while I mostly agree with you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, Johnny Nucleo

    I do see the argument that 'traitor' is a legal classification that certainly has not been proven, in any judicial sense, against this guy.  Sure it is obvious that he was, but obvious is not a legal standard, and I understand peoples' fear of a slippery slope.  It might be 'obvious' to the next Republican president that Michael Moore is a traitor.  Then boom, extrajudicial assassination with no oversight.

    •  I Get it...but... (0+ / 0-)

      The Michael Moore example is rather extreme and frankly doesn't fit.  He's not advocating killing American men, women, and children.  He's not preaching to his audience that killing Americans is a good thing and must be done. He's hasn't moved to a foreign country and joined a movement that considers itself at war with The Great Satan.  Michael Moore is simply not an analogy.   You posited a false equivalence.  There isn't a true equivalence.  

      I think the concern while sincere is somewhat the product of overactive imaginations.

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