Author Topic: al-Awlaki's family files suit  (Read 1425 times)

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Offline El Barto

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al-Awlaki's family files suit
« on: July 18, 2012, 10:47:19 PM »
Awlaki family files suit against US government over drone strikes

Quote
Relatives of three U.S. citizens killed in drone strikes in Yemen last year, including radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, are suing the U.S. government for targeting the terrorism suspects "without due process."

The wrongful death lawsuit, filed Wednesday, claims that the killings of U.S. citizens al-Awlaki, his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and operative Samir Khan were unconstitutional. Khan was the publisher of the terror magazine Inspire.

The complaint, prepared by the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Constitutional Rights, was filed against four senior national security officials: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, CIA Director David Petraeus and senior commanders of the military’s Special Operations forces, Adm. William McRaven of the Navy and Lt. Gen. Joseph Votel of the Army.

The lawsuit says: "The U.S. practice of 'targeted killing' has resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, including many hundreds of civilian bystanders. While some targeted killings have been carried out in the context of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, many have taken place outside the context of armed conflict, in countries including Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, and the Philippines."

"These killings rely on vague legal standards, a closed executive process, and evidence never presented to the courts. ... The killings violated fundamental rights afforded to all U.S. citizens, including the right not to be deprived of life without due process of law," the lawsuit says.

Anwar al-Awlaki, though, was considered a dangerous enemy of the United States linked to several attempted attacks and plots.

President Obama said after his death that Awlaki "took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans."

Al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico, and Khan, a naturalized U.S. citizen whose family lived in Charlotte, N.C., were killed Sept. 30, 2011, during a U.S. drone strike in Yemen. Al-Awlaki's teenage son, Abdulrahman, who was born in Colorado, was killed in a separate strike on Oct. 14.

This could be pretty interesting.  Unfortunately it won't be.  It'll float around for years in various courts until either nobody is deemed to have standing, or Obama declares executive privilege.  Nevertheless, the principles involved are pretty damned interesting.  Whether he needed to be whacked or not, he was certainly denied due process. 

Much more interesting are the other two, though.  Whether or not it's true, we've been hearing for ages that ole Anwar was a pretty bad guy, so it's hard to be real sympathetic to him.  Add to that, as far as I'm concerned, he pretty much relinquished his citizenship.  But then you get to the next guy,  Samir Kahn.  Born in Charlotte, and alleged to be a propagandist.  At least Anwar was alleged to be an operational guy.  Kahn published a magazine.  Ordering him whacked seems a little more hard to rationalize.  Maybe he was a bad guy, but there's a reason why citizens are guaranteed due process under the law.  This was a plainly extrajudicial killing of a citizen, and the idea that he posed a direct threat seems a little weak.  Worse still comes the third guy, al Awlaki's 16 year old son, who appears to have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This was a kid from Colorado who was blown up by accident, and like all the others, nobody from this country will say anything about it.  It just get's sleazier and sleazier around these parts.

Here's the article about the son: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-airstrike-that-killed-american-teen-in-yemen-raises-legal-ethical-questions/2011/10/20/gIQAdvUY7L_story_1.html
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Offline rumborak

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 07:41:25 AM »
This won't go anywhere, and tbh rightly so. I used in a different thread the analogy of a guy running amok in a busy center. Would it be nice to have him alive so he can be put on trial? Sure. But at some point when it's not feasible you just have to take him out to protect the rest.
I think if your guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt, you're not easily accessible for apprehension and you're continuing to endanger people, it's perfectly permissible to just bring you down.
The other two, well, collateral damage. Would have been nice to apprehend, but if they're mingling with terrorists in Yemen they obviously were fine with endangering their lives. I guess a gamble that didn't work out.

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Offline rumborak

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 07:42:53 AM »
That said, it would be good to put this on legally solid ground.

rumborak
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Offline El Barto

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 08:05:16 AM »
This won't go anywhere, and tbh rightly so. I used in a different thread the analogy of a guy running amok in a busy center. Would it be nice to have him alive so he can be put on trial? Sure. But at some point when it's not feasible you just have to take him out to protect the rest.
I think if your guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt, you're not easily accessible for apprehension and you're continuing to endanger people, it's perfectly permissible to just bring you down.
The other two, well, collateral damage. Would have been nice to apprehend, but if they're mingling with terrorists in Yemen they obviously were fine with endangering their lives. I guess a gamble that didn't work out.

rumborak
I don't think that argument would fly with the 16 year old.  He's not old enough to smoke, drink, vote, join the military, or get laid, but old enough to get blown up for visiting his kin in their home country because of their alleged relationship to terrorism?  Not sure about the publisher, either.  Like I said before, al-Awlaki was an [alleged] operational terrorist.  Producing a magazine is a different story. 

And to be clear, I'm not even saying that they were necessarily wrong to do so (although it certainly seems they were).  I'm saying that some questions should be asked, and that some people have a right to answers. 
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline rumborak

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 12:32:36 PM »
I definitely agree that questions need to be asked. Drone attacks will become more and more prevalent, and the willingness to take people out with zero own loss will only increase.

rumborak
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Offline ohgar

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2012, 08:21:52 PM »
I think if your guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt

Whose reasonable doubt? This is why we have a court system. It's dubious at best to suggest the targeted assassination of non-Americans is justified, but American citizens? If our legal system still has any integrity left then the plaintiffs will win this lawsuit. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Either way, thank God for the ACLU, the only organization left that gives a shit about the Constitution (much to the anger of the tyrannical majority).
Iam pridem, ex quo suffragia nulli vendimus, effudit curas; nam qui dabat olim imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat, panem et circenses.

Offline Orthogonal

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2012, 10:34:57 PM »
I think if your guilt is established beyond reasonable doubt

Whose reasonable doubt? This is why we have a court system. It's dubious at best to suggest the targeted assassination of non-Americans is justified, but American citizens? If our legal system still has any integrity left then the plaintiffs will win this lawsuit. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Either way, thank God for the ACLU, the only organization left that gives a shit about the Constitution (much to the anger of the tyrannical majority).

Precisely, so the US is the Mafia now? Putting out hits on folks? And a US citizen no less. The actions of the US are no more justified than any alleged terrorist actions he has committed, even if there was no collateral damage in taking him out.

Offline El Barto

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 10:18:32 PM »
As expected, the case was shot down quietly a couple of weeks ago.

From her judgement:
Quote from: Colleen McMahon
I can only conclude, that the government has not violated FOIA by refusing to turn over the documents sought in the FOIA requests, and so cannot be compelled by this court of law to explain in detail the reasons why its actions do not violate the Constitution and laws of the United States. The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful and extensive consideration, I find myself stuck in a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules—a veritable Catch-22. I can find no way around the thicket of laws and procedures that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our Government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusions a secret."

Like I've said before, these last two presidents have truly fucked us. Hard. They've created secret law which nobody outside has standing to even know about. Where does that leave us?

Equally disconcerting is that Obama has nominated one of the architects of this whole deal to head the CIA*, giving our elected representatives a golden opportunity to find out just WTF is going on. So far one senator has had the cojones to ask pertinent questions. The most pathetic part of it all is that Congress is getting trampled on just as much as the rest of us. In matters of security they've been completely castrated. Amazingly, at this point, they don't even have the balls anymore to prevent further emasculation. They're like Andy Dufresne with the sodomites. Really quite pathetic.


*As a potential CIA head, John Brennan's resume is impeccable. That's one of the things that's so annoying about this. He's a perfect candidate, but quite possibly evil incarnate, and nobody will inquire about the latter due to his extraordinary professional qualifications.
Argument, the presentation of reasonable views, never makes headway against conviction, and conviction takes no part in argument because it knows.
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Offline antigoon

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Re: al-Awlaki's family files suit
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 11:22:54 PM »
That the Hagel nomination has drawn more controversy than the Brennan one is all that needs to be said, really. I would imagine the resistance to a guy like this would be much greater had Obama been thrown out of office. Drone architect and extraordinary rendition and torture supporter/facilitator.

Seems like a perfect choice, actually.