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A lesson in modern Machiavellism. Killings Pose Legal and Moral Quandary [Moral quandry???] ( 0) Printer friendly page Print This
By Elias Davidsson (analysis). Evan Perez and Keith Johnson (WSJ)
Email Transmission (analysis).. Wall Street Journal (fiction)
Monday, Oct 3, 2011

Editor's Note: We received this WSJ article (in black print) via e-mail, with incisive analysis (in color) by Elias Davidsson.

- Les Blough, Editor

Killings Pose Legal and Moral Quandary
Wall Street Journal
by Evan Perez and Keith Johnson
October 1, 2011

Federal investigators needed a judge's permission to wiretap Anwar al-Awlaki, an American who became a leader in Yemen's al Qaeda affiliate. But to kill him in a drone strike Friday, the government could do so unilaterally.

The killing of U.S.-born Al Qaeda leader [so says the US Government] Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen is seen [seen by whom?] as a boost in the U.S. war on terror. But as WSJ's Neil Hickey reports from Washington, it's raised questions about what actions can be taken against U.S. citizens. [the genocide of Jews by the Nazis "raised questions" about what action can be taken against German citizens. How do you like the analogy?]

The case of Mr. Awlaki and his extrajudicial killing [you don't know how to spell the word MURDER?] poses a legal and moral quandary for the U.S. [poor Mr. U.S. having to endure a sleepless night of "moral quandry"] : Can a country that so closely guards the presumption of innocence [and particularly that of the detainees of Guantanamo] take a citizen's life without so much as a court order? [that's really a scandal, don't you think so?]

A federal judge referred to this post-Sept. 11 dilemma in 2010, rejecting a lawsuit by Mr. Awlaki's father, who challenged the legality of the Obama administration's targeted-killing program.

U.S. District Judge John Bates cited the wiretap comparison. But he reached what he called the "somewhat unsettling" conclusion that a president's unilateral decision to kill a U.S. citizen overseas in the interest of national security is "judicially unreviewable." [Thank you WSJ for revealing the name of this judge. We will remember]

Mr. Awlaki in recent years drew a following in jihadist circles with anti-American sermons circulated on discs and the Internet, [Did they teach him how to make these sermons at the lunch in the Pentagon to which he was invited after 9/11?] and became one of the top U.S. targets [a human being is here named "target". Think of what that means!] because of his effectiveness in winning recruits to al Qaeda.

The U.S. hasn't made public any formal charges against him, nor any specific evidence to prove their allegations against him. [Why should they? He worked for the U.S. government, after all] While other Americans have been killed in anti-terror strikes abroad, Mr. Awlaki was the first American to be added to a list of U.S. targets deemed a danger to U.S. security. [is "deemed a danger" now the U.S. standard for assassination? Will now somehow "deem" Mr. Obama "a danger for world peace" as justifying his assassination, referring to the new standard established by that same man?]

By contrast, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires the government to seek permission from a secret court [Aha. So they have also secret courts in the country that wants to export democracy and the rule of law?] to spy on an American overseas, as it likely did in 2009, when the FBI discovered Mr. Awlaki had exchanged emails with Maj. Nidal Hasan, who allegedly carried out the Fort Hood shootings.

The Justice Department says it doesn't comment on the existence of FISA court orders and hasn't acknowledged the existence of the targeted-killing program [so apparently targeted killings (sorry, murder) is not only not an exception, but there is a whole "program" of murder. It's getting better by the paragraph] or said whether Mr. Awlaki was one of the al Qaeda leaders the U.S. sought to kill. But the Obama administration has asserted the laws of war give the government the right to target an American who joins a terrorist group and poses an imminent threat, but is out of the reach of U.S. authorities. [and I, Elias Davidsson, assert that according to international law, Mr. Obama is a war criminal and should be imprisoned for the rest of his life. Who should decide what the law says?]

Killed with Mr. Awlaki was Samir Khan, also American, who helped produce the Yemen-based group's English-language magazine, Inspire, which regularly promoted its "exclusive" interviews with Mr. Awlaki. [So says the government which invited Al-Awlaki for lunch in the Pentagon after 9/11. Yes, yes. Just google Al-Awlaki and the Pentagon and find yourself the invitation]

The White House declined to talk about the propriety of killing the men because it wasn't discussing the manner in which they were killed. [Why are they so shy telling us about how they killed him? Did they use secret chemical weapons? Did they cut him into pieces? Did they fry him alive?]

Mr. Awlaki made clear through his many Internet missives in recent years that he rejected the U.S. and didn't claim any of the protections that come with citizenship. [How does WSJ know that Mr. Awlaki put "missives" onto the internet? Was the journalist sitting beside Awlaki, as he typed on his computer?]

Many lawmakers welcomed the killing [Many? How many? Why are no names mentioned, so we can hug and kiss them?], deferring to President Barack Obama on the effort to eliminate someone considered a threat. [I thought that calling murder "elimination" ended with the defeat of the Nazi regime. Sorry. I was wrong]

The Hunt for Al Qaeda

The death of Anwar al-Awlaki, one of the U.S.'s most-wanted terrorists [by U.S. the WSJ probably means the criminal cabal called United States Government], is the latest blow to al Qaeda's leadership. [What "leadership"? You presstitutes always maintain that Al Qaeda is no organisation, but a loose network. Make up your mind! It's time that we be provided with the truth. See who's still at large, and take a look back.]

However one lawmaker, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, told reporters in New Hampshire he was troubled by extrajudicial killing of Americans. "If the American people accept this blindly and casually…I think that's sad," he said. [Yea, very very sad. Did Ron Paul perhaps say something more, something more substantial?]

Legal scholars have debated the constitutional issues. [Yea, in the United States of America it is apparently a "constitutional issue", whether the government can murder U.S. citizens in cold blood without even charging them of any crime. And so American highly paid "legal scholars" are now "debating" this terribly complex "constitutional" issue, forgetting totally the international ban on murder]

Robert Chesney, law professor at the University of Texas, doesn't believe U.S. officials violated the Constitution by targeting Mr. Awlaki because they lacked the means to arrest him and considered him a threat to the country. [I wish to declare hereby that I am, too, a "threat" to the United States. There are quite many of us, including Prof. Noam Chomsky, Prof. David Ray Griffin, Prof. Richard Falk, and lesser luminaries. Note that the WSJ is quoting a "law professor" who "believes" that...]

But he added: "I think we should all be uncomfortable" with the questions raised by the killing. [So that eminent professor suggests that we should feel uncomfortable, not because a person was murdered, but because the "questions raised by the murder" are a "moral quandry". So apparently was the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaky, the Vietnam War, and other such crimes of empire, that left millions dead but American scholars with a "moral quandry".]

"Awlaki is sort of an easy case. But what about the next case, in which it's someone we've never heard of and all the government's information is classified?... What if they've got the wrong guy?" [So, the WSJ has it all sorted out. Al Awlaki was clearly deserving to be killed. He was a bad man, although he was not accused of any crime. The boss just decided that he is bad. And that's it. Bang bang. Thank you WSJ for your frankness]

Some have argued for a requirement that the government seek court review like that required for wiretaps before targeting Americans overseas.

Jameel Jaffer, the American Civil Liberties Union lawyer who argued Mr. Awlaki's father case before Judge Bates, said Friday:

"It is a mistake to invest the president—any president—with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country."

[Perhaps instead of investing THE president with the power to kill people without trial, the solution should be to require the president to discuss the matter with THREE advisors before giving his order. It would be far more democratic and will relieve the president from a bad conscience (a "moral quandry").]

Sources

Original Fiction - Wall Street Journal

Debunked in Pink: Received at Axis of Logic via e-mail.

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