Friday, October 7, 2011

The killing was justified

All this upset about the rule of law over the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki is nonsense. How does the rule of law require that we deal with a Yemen-based terrorist who is waging war on us and is a U.S. citizen any differently than how we deal with a Yemen-based terrorist who is waging war on us and is not a U.S. citizen?

Answer: A non-citizen terrorist and a citizen terrorist get treated the same. If they both have operational roles in waging war against the U.S., they are both potential targets. What is substantively true and important about Awlaki is not that he was a United States citizen, but that he was an enemy of the United States!

Anwar al-Awlaki was more than just someone with an opposing political viewpoint. He wanted to destroy the United States. In his many online sermons (Youtube), he declared war against the U.S. He was actively engaged in waging war against the U.S. – as shown in the several plots he was involved in: the attempted Times Sq bombing, the attempted Detroit Christmas bombing, and the Ft Hood shooting where 13 Americans were killed and 29 wounded on American soil. Investigations before and after the shooting discovered e-mail communications between Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter, and the Yemen-based cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, who quickly declared Hasan a hero for "fighting against the U.S. army – an Islamic duty."

To those who say that just sending email back and forth with Hassan does not make Anwar al-Awlaki guilty of murdering Americans: Bin Laden did not ‘pull the trigger’ either. He was not in those airplanes that hit the World Trade Center. The emails show Major Hassan asking permission to kill American soldiers on American soil and Anwar al-Awlaki giving the permission. This is no different than what Bin Laden did – just on a different scale (for now).

Since the Ft. Hood shooting, the U.S. classified Anwar al-Awlaki as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist; and the UN considered Awlaki to be associated with al-Qaeda. As such he was an enemy combatant and could be designated as “capture or kill.”

When you cast your lot with our enemies, you become our enemy and should expect to be treated the same as them. We have the right to defend ourselves. The President was carrying out one of the most fundamental obligations in his post: to defend America against all enemies foreign and domestic.

To those who say the killing was not legal: The government did not just "think" this guy was a danger. Anwar al-Awlaki happily announced, admitted, and took great pride in plotting against America. This man went on Youtube and admitted to being a terrorist – not once, not twice, but over and over. He admitted his role in Major Hassan shooting many tens of Americans at Fort Hood – and openly admitted that he would like to see more killings. He provided material support to make that happen. How many times does it take for someone to say "I'm going to kill Americans" and prove out their words with actions until our killing them is justified? Was he ever going to stop unless he was killed? No.

Drone-based killings of jihadists have been going on steadily since the start of the Obama administration – hundreds more than under Bush. Did you ever complain about these killings before? No. The killing of Awlaki (plus the unplanned but welcome killing of his jihadist pal and fellow U.S. citizen Samir Kahn) is simply a part of that campaign which presumably most Americans have welcomed and supported. So, again, what relevance does Awlaki's U.S. citizenship have to this issue? None. He was an enemy waging war on us and seeking to mass murder us.

Our government has not suddenly started "killing U.S. citizens," which is the way those who are against this killing are painting it; rather, the government is continuing to do what it has been doing all along, which is killing Al-Qaeda jihadists.

I am not going to lose sleep over the death of a traitorous man who made terrorist threats and took terrorist actions against our country. Yes, he was an American citizen – but there was an imminent danger of Anwar al-Awlaki contributing to further attacks on U.S. citizens around the world and on American soil. Killing him was clearly justified in an act of American self-defense – to protect thousands of American lives.

Ron Paul is wrong. The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki was justified.

Case closed.