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enger2's Comments

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The Assassination of Al-Awlaki, American Citizen and al Qaeda Martyr

The Assassination of Al-Awlaki, American Citizen and al Qaeda Martyr

Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 11:24:50 in World

“The assassinations of bin Laden and Al-Awlaki are the logical consequence of the attempts of Eric Holder and Obama to try terrorists in the criminal courts. I recall with embarassment the "assurances" of both of these men that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be found guilty in the Manhattan Criminal Courts. Such assurances are the ultimate display of injustice: they betray the fact that this would be a show trial and a farce -- after all he was judged guilty before the criminal trial. Where is the constitutional guarantee of impartial judges? These statements were meant to reassure the public, but in fact they sounded more like guaranteed injustice than solace.

Even with these assurances Obama knew that the possibility of acquittal was present in the criminal justice system. Hence we see displayed the logical consequence: assassination of all future key terrorist leaders -- to avoid the risk that the criminal system might fail to convict. One consequence is the loss of valuable information that might come from intense interrogations. All of this is given up to preserve the sham of treating terrorists as criminals. What is the ultimate injustice? Treating terrorists as terrorists, or assassinating the leaders of terrorism out of fear that they might escape justice?”

Stoopid American on Oct 7, 2011 at 03:00:15

“The circular logic trap that you illustrate is resolved, indeed made irrelevant, by a central tenet of the rule of law: courts exist to decide matters of truth and to apply justice. That is their function. They may be imperfect, and they may be slow, but they are the instrument by which civilization prosecutes crimes.

Summary execution of someone, however heinous and evil they may be, undercuts the foundation of the rule of law. This is not an abstract problem. If we do not have rule of law, then we have rule of individuals, and we do not want to open that can of worms.

I suppose with bin Laden, we can take solace in the fact the man was not an American citizen and was killed on Pakistani soil. So maybe (maybe) one could argue the Constitution does not apply. But in al-Awlaki's case, I have a great deal of trouble understanding why there is no due process. A great deal of trouble indeed.”