Anwar al-Aulaqi Killed

Here is a bit of good news from the Washington Post and Drudge.

Anwar al-Aulaqi, a radical U.S.-born Muslim cleric and one of the most influential al-Qaeda leaders wanted by the United States, was killed Friday in a CIA drone strike in northern Yemen, U.S. and Yemeni authorities said, eliminating a prominent terrorist recruiter who inspired attacks on U.S. soil.

The strike also killed a second U.S. citizen — Samir Khan, the co-editor of an al-Qaeda magazine — and two other unidentified al-Qaeda operatives, the Yemeni government said. But tribal leaders in the area said at least seven people were killed. They identified one of the others as al-Qaeda militant named Salem bin Arfaaj.

The Washington Post’s Africa bureau chief, Sudarsan Raghavan, reports from Yemen about what Anwar al-Aulaqi’s death means for the Yemens and for the long-term U.S.-Yemen relationship. (Audio)

One of the world's most wanted terrorists has been killed, according to the Yemeni government. U.S. born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi was killed. Tribal leaders say an air strike targeted an al-Qaeda convoy. (Sept. 30)

One of the world’s most wanted terrorists has been killed, according to the Yemeni government. U.S. born al-Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Aulaqi was killed. Tribal leaders say an air strike targeted an al-Qaeda convoy. (Sept. 30)

In Washington, senior Obama administration officials confirmed that Aulaqi, 40, a dual national of the United States and Yemen, and Khan were killed in a drone strike on their convoy.

The strike was carried out by a CIA drone operating from a new agency base on the Arabian Peninsula, U.S. officials said. It marks the first time that the CIA has launched a drone strike in Yemen since 2002, and the first indication that the new base is operational. The Post is withholding details on the specific location of the base at the request of the Obama administration.

This was the man who threatened to kill the cartoonist Molly Norris for daring to suggest Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.

Ron Paul has called this an assassination. I am not sure what his point is.  I am also not sure why this lunatic is considered a credible candidate for President.

That’s twice in one day I have called Ron Paul crazy. I’ll be hearing from the Paulistas now.

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5 Responses to “Anwar al-Aulaqi Killed”

  1. Justin Hoffer Says:

    As strange as this may sound, I’m not sure that I’m in favour of this action.

    Like it or not, Al-Aulaqi was an American citizen, and for the first time ever, the CIA was given the go-ahead to assassinate – and that is what it was, an assassination – an American citizen. While I applaud the target, it sets up a dangerous precedent for future leaders of America who could be even worse than Obama. For the first time ever, American Presidents have a legal precedent to assassinate American citizens.

    While it may seem like a worst case scenario, it is actions like this which tend to allow worst case scenarios to occur. One need only look at the legal system, where precedents have slowly but surely eroded the rights of victims and protected criminals, granting them rights that they don’t deserve.

    The safeguard against government sponsored political assassinations in America is now gone, even if it doesn’t seem like it is just yet. Being an American citizen no longer keeps you safe.

    • David Hoffman Says:

      If al-Aulaqi were in the US or a friendly country, the best option would be to arrest him and put him on trial. As he was in Yemen, where even their government does not have effective control of the country, that is not really an option, especially since he was effectively on a battle field.
      Or ,to put it another way, if US or allied forces in WW2 had discovered an American citizen in battle wearing a German uniform and fighting for Germany, would they have arrested him, or shot him? For myself I will worry about political assassinations it someone proposes an action like this on US or allied soil.

  2. Justin Hoffer Says:

    Don’t get me wrong, this is a far cry from dropping a missile on a Tea Party rally. The issue is that now new safeguards need to be put in place to ensure that such a thing doesn’t happen in the future.

    The main issue here is that it was an assassination. He wasn’t captured in battle, nor was he being fought on a battlefield, where none of his Constitutional protections apply. An assassination is something entirely different.

    • David Hoffman Says:

      The safeguard would be location and circumstance.If a terrorist leader is in a “civilized” country in which law enforcement can reasonably make an arrest, than that would be the course to follow. On the other hand in a country in which the government has no effective control over its own territory and capture would require an invasion, than assassination might be the best option. It would probably be nice to have Congress enact laws to determine precisely when and under what circumstances such activities should take place, but unfortunately Congress is no longer interested in acting as oversight over the Executive Branch. They have delegated much of their power, but that is a whole other subject.

  3. Justin Hoffer Says:

    That’s what I’m talking about by safeguards. Such laws should absolutely be enacted. The fact that they won’t is troubling, and this could one day set the precedent that sees a future American President assassinating political opposition under the guise of national security.

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