Home > civil liberties, foreign policy, politics > The Due Process Free Killing of American Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki

The Due Process Free Killing of American Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki

Earlier today US officials announced that, after many failed attempts, American born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen. Despite the fact that he was never indicted for a crime and the doubts about his perceived operational role in Al Qaeda, the US government saw fit to carry out the extrajudicial assassination. Glenn Greenwald reacts:

What’s most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar (“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What’s most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government’s new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government.  Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President’s ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki — including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry’s execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists — criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture.  It not only finds way to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process).  It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.

Image via BBC News

  1. October 2, 2011 at 5:45 am

    It also breaches the 14th Amendment with the right there to due process and trial. How come the Americans could do this sort of thing properly with Nuremberg at the end of WWII, the Israelies could due correctly in 1961 with Eichman (arguably a worse man) or Europe did with Milosovic in 2006? Why does a US President who was in his past a Professor of Constitutional Law for godness sake do this?

    Regards David


    • October 2, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Your absolutely right, David. It’s extremely frustrating to watch, especially based on previous comments Obama made denouncing the power he himself has just exercised.


  1. October 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: