December 29, 2012
Re “ Yemen strategy is risky for U.S. ,” Dec. 25 The article states: “A 2011 drone attack killed Anwar Awlaki, an American-born Muslim preacher and militant recruiter. Weeks later, a U.S. airstrike killed Awlaki's 16-year-old son, who tribesmen and relatives say had no links to terrorism.” Although President Obama wept for the loss of 20 children in Connecticut, he acts as if he never weeps for the many children killed by U.S. drones in Yemen and Pakistan. Paul Krassner Desert Hot Springs More letters to the editor ...
February 17, 2013 |
In 2011, Anwar Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, was reportedly targeted and killed by our government in a drone attack. Ever since, a chorus of scholars, lawyers and civil and human rights activists has been asking about due process. Now we know they were right to be concerned. The Obama administration's lawyers have gotten it wrong. The Justice Department "white paper" leaked early this month raises many troubling legal, ethical and policy questions, but none is more fundamental to our democracy than the way it deals with the 5th Amendment's admonition: No American citizen shall "be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law. " The administration memo concludes that there are no due process problems with a drone program that targets Americans, and it relies primarily on Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld, a 2004 Bush-era Supreme Court decision, to justify that conclusion.
February 8, 2013 |
It is certainly not what he hoped or intended, but one of President Obama's biggest legacies in foreign affairs may prove to be the proliferation of drones as tools of war, assassination and terror. Obama is not the first to use drones to strike enemy targets, but the 300 attacks that have occurred on his watch are six times the number carried out under President George W. Bush. A new set of guidelines that give the president broad discretion in approving execution by drones, coupled with the current congressional hearings on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director, have brought the drone debate front and center. Civil libertarians and activists on the left see the use of missile-firing drones to take out suspected terrorists as a threat to the rule of law. They are particularly concerned that American citizens, such as Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Awlaki, have been killed in drone strikes without a finding of guilt and sentencing in a U.S. court.
March 14, 2013 |
In the divided world of American politics, it's not easy to find an issue on which the legal affairs correspondent for the Nation and the former chairman of the American Conservative Union agree. But we've found one: the crucial importance of transparency in government, especially when the president claims the power to kill us without charges or trial, by directing the launching of a remote-control drone. As this is Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open government, what better time for the president to make good on his promise to lead the most transparent administration ever and tell us what's up with the drone policy?
April 30, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's top counter-terrorism advisor Monday defended using drones to launch missiles against militants in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, saying the growing use of armed unmanned aircraft had saved American lives and caused few civilian casualties. The comments by John Brennan, coming shortly before the first anniversary of the U.S. Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, marks the first time a senior White House official has spoken at length in public about widely reported but officially secret drone operations.
January 28, 2013
There are reasons to be relieved by - and concerned about - the reports that the Obama administration is preparing a "playbook" of rules for targeted killings of suspected terrorists abroad. If drone-strike assassinations - which have already killed more than 2,000 people in Pakistan and elsewhere - are to remain an important element of counter-terrorism strategy, it's preferable that there be formal criteria to guide the program. At the same time, the codification of rules further institutionalizes a policy that is morally problematic and may ultimately be self-defeating.
October 30, 2010 |
The interception of two explosive devices shipped from Yemen comes as U.S.-trained Yemeni special forces have intensified their hunt for leaders of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, including Anwar Awlaki, the radical American-born Muslim cleric targeted for assassination by the Obama administration. Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch was allegedly behind the failed Christmas Day bombing of a U.S. airliner and the attempted assassination of a Saudi prince. U.S. investigators also believe that Awlaki was the inspiration for the attack at Ft. Hood, Texas, last year in which Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan is charged with killing 13 and wounding 32. The group has shown that it can launch terrorist strikes in Yemen despite increased pressure from that country's special forces.
October 12, 2011 |
The federal trial of the so-called underwear bomber came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday when the defendant, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, pleaded guilty to charges of trying to blow up an international flight heading for Detroit. Abdulmutallab entered his plea to all eight felony counts before U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, court spokesman Rod Hansen said in a telephone interview. Edmunds set sentencing in the case for Jan. 12. The Nigerian faces a sentence of life in prison on the charges, which include conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, attempted murder and attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
October 20, 2011 |
President Obama paid tribute to the Libyan people for ending the regime of Moammar Kadafi with his death on Thursday and promised the U.S. will be a “partner” as they build a new and just society. “Today belongs to the people of Libya,” Obama said. “This is a moment for them.” The remarks in the Rose Garden came shortly after administration officials determined the reports of Kadafi's death were credible. PHOTOS: Moammar Kadafi | 1942 - 2011 There are still conflicting reports about how Kadafi died, and U.S. officials did not disclose whether a NATO airstrike was part of the operation.
December 8, 2010
A federal judge conceded Tuesday that the case of Anwar Awlaki, the American citizen (and Al Qaeda operative) who has been targeted for killing by the U.S. government, raises "stark and compelling questions. " Nevertheless, U.S. District Judge John Bates dismissed a lawsuit brought by Awlaki's father aiming to prevent his son's assassination. The judge's ruling was based on two points. One was that Awlaki's father lacked standing to sue, partly because there was nothing preventing Awlaki from surrendering and filing suit himself.