November 09, 2010

Awww: Awlaki's Dad Begs for Son's Worthless Life

I think the argument against killing al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's spiritual head Anwar al-Awlaki is pretty pathetic. It's slippery slope reasoning: if the President can order the assassination of an American, then why can't he order your killing?

Scary, scary stuff.

But also, idiotic. Idiotic because no legal principle can ever be constructed whereby the innocent are always protected and only the guilty targeted in war. It just can't happen. To protect all innocents in war is to say that all war is always bad since mistakes can and will be made in war. This is inevitable.

Soldiers are asked every day to determine which people are enemies and which are not. They use a number of criteria for that. Carrying a weapons is only one of those criteria. For instance, a guy driving a car full of enemy soldiers is also assumed to be an enemy combatant -- even though he doesn't have a gun.

And, if an enemy combatant shoots at you then drops his rifle and runs away -- he's still considered fair game.

The ultimate decisions in war are left to not only our military, but also our politicians. Not because politicians are morally superior to those in the military -- obviously, this isn't the case. Our Commander in Chief doesn't earn the rank, he's elected to it.

Soldiers in the military are accountable to their superiors for life and death decisions.

The Commander in Chief is accountable to his superiors -- the people -- for those same life or death decisions.

If the President started ordering civilian assassinations against those who were not really part of a terrorist organization -- as the slippery slope argument claims he might -- we could always: a) elect someone else with better judgment b) impeach him.

The remedy to such Presidential findings are political and not judicial.

Clearly this case is a political question and not something that the Courts have any business of being in. If Congress or the people are outraged then let's have hearings.

What's that? Oh, the sound of crickets. That's because all agree that Anwar al-Awlaki is a terrorist and should be killed.

Except the ACLU, of course. And Awlaki's father. But does that surprise any one since the ACLU always finds some excuse for defending known terrorists and fathers are, well, fathers? Not wanting your kid killed is just what fathers do.

Awlaki doesn't carry a gun but he is an enemy combatant. He has something much more powerful than a gun: a microphone. Just yesterday he encouraged Muslims everywhere to kill all Americans -- ironic given that he himself is an American.

I have no problem with President Obama ordering the man killed. Bombing Awlaki is no different than bombing Osama bin Laden. I know of no instance in which bin Laden personally pulled the trigger of any weapon that led to the death of any one (not even the Soviets). The fact that you are born in New Mexico does not exempt you from the rules of war. When Awlaki began to speak on behalf of al Qaeda he legitimized his own death at our hands.

Further, I'd really like to see the Court order the President not to kill al Awlaki. Then, when we kill him, we'd send a strong signal to the courts reminding them who the "least dangerous branch" really is.

Thanks to HMF.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 04:31 PM | Comments |