ACLU sues to represent suspected terrorist in Yemen

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #1
    LA Times

    Not sure how I feel about this one. I'm all for due process but its just like a terrorist to seek protection from the vary system they are trying to destroy.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    Without due process how do you know he is a terrorist?
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Constitutional claims. :rolleyes:

    They're sooo 20th century.
     
  4. obeygiant thread starter macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    Good point. Although I think the powers that be know a few things about this person as mentioned in the article. And I doubt he would willfully come in to be questioned. How do you affect due process when the person is hiding from you?

    Also as the article mentioned "civil liberties groups' broader goal is to challenge the constitutionality of the U.S. government's policy of targeted killings outside the theater of war," where known terrorist groups exploit the afghan/paki border to protect themselves against attack by moving in and out of the theater of war.
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #5
    So you are willing to grant powers of execution to unaccountable, faceless individuals who have no burden of proof placed upon them?
    Trial in absentia.
    And? Pressure the local government to go after them.
     
  6. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #6
    Seems like if someone instigates or encourages acts of violence against a state, than they have pretty much signed their own death warrant.

    This person gets no sympathy from me....
     
  7. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #7
    Your sympathy is not required, but what is required is a standard of jurisprudence to keep the US government from executing US citizens abroad willy-nilly.

    Yemen is not considered a theater of war—though it may be in the future—and thus the government must prove its case that Anwar Awlaki is a direct threat and moreover does not have Constitutional protections. The state must prove its case which is how democracies operate.

    Your argument is mirrored by people like Joseph Stalin who argued for and engaged in the killing of Trotsky in Mexico, not to mention millions in his own country, for advocating "violence" against the state. Stalin's men "disappeared" thousands of people without cause and such history should be a warning to us that should we engage in killing our own citizens we are following a dangerous path.
     
  8. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

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    #8
    If they do not get adequate representation, then the terrorists have scored a victory.
     
  9. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #9
    I think it is a little naive to compare Trotsky to Awlaki. Trotsky was an anti-Stalinist who knew what Stalin was doing and thought he should be removed from power..

    Awlaki is essentially anti-American and advocates and encourages attacks upon civilians. In essence, he is an Al-Qaeda "advisor" of sorts and assassinating him would be the equivalent of assassinating a high level german advisor or high level officer in WWII.

    The problem with fighting terrorists and terrorist leaders is that they are all essentially civilians, some of whom, such as Al-Qaeda have organized into a military organization without a state. As such, they are still civilians and westerners have the mistaken assumption that they should be treated and handled in civilian courts.

    Seems to me that when people are successful in advocating, encouraging and inspiring the mass killings of innocent people, that is a direct threat and should be dealt with expeditiously.
     
  10. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #10
    Bush and Blair would be on your list then,no?
     
  11. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #11
    Dont be ridiculous.

    We do not send send people out with the specific goal of killing innocent men, women, children and the elderly as our main battle tactic.

    I'll admit that we may have made mistakes with some of our recent military involvements, and I am not blind to the fact that civilians have died at the hands of the U.S. and Great Britain, but to equate Bush and Blair with Awlaki is another ridiculous comparison.
     
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #12
    Trotsky was an enemy of the state according to Stalin and was murdered without trial or outside review—not that such existed in the USSR. Similarly, the US executive branch wants to kill Awlaki without review by the judicial branch. Awlaki is a US citizen and though he may deserve being blown apart by a Predator-launched Hellfire missile, the US should be able to prove such in court.

    That our enemies try to exploit our laws and morals is not a reason to abandon them.

    As for Al Qaeda or other groups, they're not civilians, they're enemy combatants as defined under GCIII, Article 4 or unlawful combatants as defined by GCIII, Article 5. If Awlaki is found, under lawful review, to be a belligerent, then by all means, the US military may kill him in combat operations. However, he remains a US citizen, unless he renounces his citizenship.

    Once again, I'm advocating for judicial review in line with separation of powers and our democracy. You're advocating for an executive branch so powerful it can literally kill you without having to answer for it. Think seriously about the consequences of such a legal arrangement.
     
  13. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #13
    And yet we do such a good job of it.

    I doubt that all the innocent men, women, children and elderly killed and maimed by the U.S. would find much solace over the notion that they weren't the intended target.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #14
    The destruction wreaked by B52s dropping bombs on civilian areas from 50,000 feet is so widespread that the term collateral damage is rendered almost meaningless.
     
  15. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #15

    I understand your point, but I still think there is a huge difference between Trotsky and Awlaki. To me, taking out Awlaki is the equivalent of taking out a top level commander in your enemies military. Taking out Trotsky is more equivalent to taking out your political opponent. There is a BIG difference there.

    Judicial review is great, providing you are able to easily capture and arrest the target without great cost to your own troops. In the case Awlaki, if catching him alive is not easily done, than assassinating him is really the only option. Otherwise he is still out there causing problems.

    Seriously, is it better to get rid of someone like this when you can, or to wait years in order to be able to read him his miranda rights.
     
  16. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #16
    But the action and justifications are still the same. Also, Awlaki is hardly a "top level commander." He's an advisor.

    As FC noted, you can try Awlaki in absentia. The government should still prove its case and moreover, make the case that arresting him would come at too great a cost. They just have to prove their case in court.
     
  17. glocke12 macrumors 6502a

    glocke12

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    #17
    Ok, I'll buy that....
     
  18. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #18
    Not only that, he is always free to give himself up in order to be present at his trial and aid his defense. As it sits, he would be dead before landing on US soil.
     
  19. brianfast macrumors regular

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    #19
    Obama is turning into Stalin. Executing American citizens without a trial? We need a new president as soon as possible. Thank god for the ALCU lawyers.
     

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