Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Monday, June 23, 2014

A federal appeals court on Monday released a redacted version of the U.S. Justice Department's memorandum of justification for a 2011 drone attack that killed Anwar al Awlaki, an American-born Islamist preacher suspected of having ties to al Qaeda. The memo says that because the U.S. government considered al Awlaki to be an "operational leader" of an "enemy force," it was legal for the Central Intelligence Agency to attack him with a drone even though he was a U.S. citizen.

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Awlaki was killed in what U.S. officials acknowledged at the time was a CIA drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011. Another American citizen, Samir Khan, was killed in the same attack, although U.S. officials have said that Khan was not intentionally targeted.

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Its redacted.

Expect a black sheets of paper with the periods and commas left untouched.
Possibly the letter "a". Anything else and the terrorists will win.

#1 | Posted by aescal at 2014-06-23 04:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

So much for that whole "treat terrorists like criminals" thing I remember hearing Obama talk about.

#2 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-23 04:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

If only Bush had droned him... then it would have been much more Constitutional.

You know. Like Torture.

#3 | Posted by donnerboy at 2014-06-23 07:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

.... "So much for that whole "treat terrorists like criminals" thing I remember hearing Obama talk about"

**** Obama and his CorpoRat Criminal Cabal are the Biggest TERRORISTS on the planet!

#4 | Posted by AntiCadillac at 2014-06-23 08:10 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I'm giving O a pass on this one. Drone away.

#5 | Posted by WhiteDevil at 2014-06-23 08:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

They never proved it in a public court. That makes them murderers. And calling it war was a lie too - its not a war unless there are opposing armies. Video games against selected targets (human beings) doesn't cut it.

#6 | Posted by rerun2 at 2014-06-24 01:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

I'm giving O a pass on this one. Drone away.
#5 | Posted by WhiteDevil

"Hey, what's that buzzing sound?"
Signed,
An American Citizen

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-06-24 02:20 AM | Reply | Flag:

The guy was an American citizen who our leaders decided to assasinate. Instead of telling us what we already know, why not tell us the legal criteria and supporting evidence used to determine he was a legal target for extra-judicial execution. I suspect a strong case could be made in favor of the decision, but it would be really really nice to have this transparent Administration share it with us.

#8 | Posted by moder8 at 2014-06-24 11:57 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

released a redacted version

Meaningless and moot.

#9 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-06-24 11:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

Meaningless and moot.

#9 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-06-24 11:58 AM | Reply | Flag

It probably reads... We have __________ that ___________ based on____________________________
___ will therefore_____________________
_________...

#10 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-06-24 12:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

They never proved it in a public court. That makes them murderers. And calling it war was a lie too - its not a war unless there are opposing armies. Video games against selected targets (human beings) doesn't cut it.

#6 | POSTED BY RERUN2 AT 2014-06-24 01:24 AM | FLAG: BLAH BLAH BLAH

Yeah tell that to the families of wounded soldier whose job it will be to change the diapers of their 32 year old brain damaged - paralyzed - amputee who is now dependent on someone to do that for the rest of their life. I would rather see a drone take out a stupid SFB with big stupid ideas than to see military personal having to do what it takes to target people like that on the ground.,

Seriously I don't get people like you who have this weird ideal of how a combatant should be taken out. By your standards the -------- who make videos swinging some guys severed head by a hank of hair is far more tasteful and courageous than say a Marine sniper beheading someone from 300 yards away,.

Frankly if Bush hadn't played into the Cheney Haliburton nonsense and used more drones instead of operating under the delusions that ground troops and mercenaries are enough. If Bush had turned Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi into a walking drone target like Obama has done with his releasees perhaps bin Ladens number two guy wouldn't be leading ISIS into Baghdad to undo all the work done when he "set the Iraqi's free".

I will take a drone or two over the sending in a squad any day of the week. Either way drones are better at selective targets than a platoon. Not only that we have an entire generation of combat nerds. Just let them wash back those tiwzzlers with some Red Bull and have at it. If you think it is so much better to send them in to do the deed up close and personal... grab your weapon and head right on over.

#11 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2014-06-24 12:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

#11,

Good Post. Ooh Rah.

#12 | Posted by bogey1355 at 2014-06-24 01:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

I think this killing was illegal and I understand the implications that letting this slide can have for the rest of us.

But my problem is that my concern is outweighed by the fact that I'm glad this POS was killed.

#13 | Posted by Sully at 2014-06-24 01:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

But my problem is that my concern is outweighed by the fact that I'm glad this POS was killed.
#13 | POSTED BY SULLY

Prime example of cognitive dissonance, no?

#14 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-06-24 01:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

If the person is an "enemy combatant" then have a public trial and prove it. Otherwise its MURDER. Oh and 'secret' evidence isn't evidence - instead its an excuse that's been manipulated any which way the POTUS has wanted. Nixon tried that too. It may be a shield from public scrutiny - but its not a shield from public opinion.

#15 | Posted by rerun2 at 2014-06-24 01:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

No one is arguing that Al-awlaki was a good guy. But the fact that an adminstration can take upon themselves to determine if an American Citizen is worthy of the rights and liberties afforded to them is what causes concern.

#16 | Posted by aescal at 2014-06-24 02:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

Who was Anwar Al Awlaki and why did the U.S. government kill him in a 2011 drone strike, despite his U.S. citizenship?

The latter question has been answered with the court-ordered release of a Justice Department memo justifying the action. Awlaki, held "operational and leadership roles" in Al Qaeda in Yemen and "continue[d] to plot attacks intended to kill Americans."

The first question – who he was – is one many in the media won't be too eager to revisit, because they got it spectacularly wrong for a long time.

Al Awlaki was a New Mexico-born Muslim cleric who once served as imam of the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Northern Virginia, the same place that attracted many of the 9/11 hijackers and, later, Major Nadal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter.

But before and certainly after 9/11 the media were desperate to find and hype moderate Muslim voices. Awlaki played along. A New York Times article from Oct. 19, 2001, listed Al Awlaki as one of the Muslim leaders who were "calling on their colleagues to tone down the incendiary anti-American messages that have long been a staple at some Muslim events." The Baltimore Sun and NPR were similarly taken with the moderate who wanted to "solve the problems without violence." Awlaki NPR reported, "sees himself as a Muslim leader who could help build bridges between Islam and the West."

Unsurprisingly, The Washington Post was the most useful of Awlaki's useful idiots. In Nov. 2001, just two months after the 9/11 attacks, the Post did a video profile of Al Awlaki and hosted him in an on-line Q & A session with readers. "[T]he greatest sin in Islam after associating other gods besides Allah is killing an innocent soul," the bridge-builder told questioners.

Just a few years later, Al Awlaki was praising Nadal Hasan (with whom he had corresponded) as "heroic," saying "may God richly reward him." Another of Al Awlaki's protégés tried to detonate his underwear in an airliner over Detroit.

#17 | Posted by afkabl2 at 2014-06-24 09:29 PM | Reply | Flag:

#17.

Sounds a lot like Chalabi's spiel to McCain and the Bushies about how Iraq would celebrate them as liberators and give all their oil to Israel, all the while working for Iran.

Talk about useful idiots...
Then again, Bush was pretty useless.

#18 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-06-24 10:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Since terrorist acts are considered criminal acts (UN Res 1566) and not acts of war. How is this not a death penalty being carried out upon an American Citizen pre-conviction ??? If they can do this to him, how could this not happen to any other American Citizen??

#19 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-06-24 10:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

I default to Abraham Lincoln's argument, when he suspended habeas corpus for the Confederates: that you cannot seek to destroy the government of the United States and its Constitution, then embrace it again when convenient. This "American citizen" was at war with the United States. No different than if he had put on an SS uniform in 1942. Paint a bullseye on his forehead, and make him an example to others.

#20 | Posted by WhiteDevil at 2014-06-24 11:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

Since terrorist acts are considered criminal acts (UN Res 1566) and not acts of war. How is this not a death penalty being carried out upon an American Citizen pre-conviction ??? If they can do this to him, how could this not happen to any other American Citizen??

#19 | POSTED BY LARRYMOHR

I don't agree with the UN on this and we are not subordinate to the UN as a sovereign nation.

Having said that, I too had a HUGE problem with this kill, but for a different reason. My problem is that he was an American citizen and should thus be afforded due process.

From an objective standpoint, this guy was a traitor and an active enemy of this country and personally engaged in activities with the intent to harm this country. He was still a citizen though. My biggest concern is echoed in your last question - "If they can do this to him, how could this not happen to any other American Citizen??"

Amen.

When this happend, Moder8 created a thread about it that focused exactly on that question. At the time, his point was that while he trusted Obama not to abuse this, he couldn't trust a future GOP president to not abuse it and once the precedent was set, it could be abused in the future.

#21 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-24 11:38 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I default to Abraham Lincoln's argument, when he suspended habeas corpus for the Confederates: that you cannot seek to destroy the government of the United States and its Constitution, then embrace it again when convenient. This "American citizen" was at war with the United States. No different than if he had put on an SS uniform in 1942. Paint a bullseye on his forehead, and make him an example to others.

Posted by WhiteDevil at 2014-06-24 11:34 PM | Reply

And the Supreme Court summarily rebuked Abe Lincoln's suspension of habies corpus. They declared only congress has that power NOT the president.

www.history.com

#22 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-06-25 12:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

Larry,

Your typing and grammatical skills have noticeably improved.

Obviously you've worked at it and it's paid off.

#23 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-06-25 12:07 AM | Reply | Flag:

Thanks Jeff. It's called diagonal typing.

#24 | Posted by LarryMohr at 2014-06-25 12:09 AM | Reply | Flag:

My personal feelings on this are ____________ and __________. While I _________ the choice to ___________, I must also ___________ the __________. Of course I believe ____________ and ____________, but I also feel ______________.

Signed,
__________________


I hope this makes it as clear as this recent release has.

#25 | Posted by kanrei at 2014-06-25 11:13 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

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