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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 3/11/13

The Targeting of an American for Assassination

Message Dave Lefcourt
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111002 Al-Awlaki death deals major blow to al-Qaeda  | مقتل العولقي ضربة قوية للقاعدة | La mort d'al-Awlaki, un coup majeur porté à al-Qaida
111002 Al-Awlaki death deals major blow to al-Qaeda | مقتل العولقي ضربة قوية للقاعدة | La mort d'al-Awlaki, un coup majeur porté à al-Qaida
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111002 Al-Awlaki death deals major blow to al-Qaeda | Ù...Ù"Ø Ù" Ø Ù"Ø ÙˆÙ"Ù"Ù Ø Ø Ø Ø Ù"ÙˆÙØ Ù"Ù"Ù"Ø Ø Ø Ø | La mort d'al-Awlaki, un coup majeur portà à al-Qaida by Magharebia

As a frequent critic of the corporate media (MSM) with its often inane "happy news" or the latest murders on the city streets, plus its obsession with objectivity, even if one side is spouting self serving propaganda ( think Dick Chaney) where as V.P. he used the N.Y. Times and "Meet the Press" for his own nefarious ends selling the need to take on Saddam Hussein's Iraq prior to Bush launching his preemptive attack in March 2003 ( ah yes the infamous 10 th anniversary coming next week of the worst U.S. foreign policy misadventure since Viet Nam), there are instances when the MSM gets it right.

On Sunday, New York Times reporters Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane did some real investigative reporting, interviewing three dozen "current and former legal and counterterrorism officials and outside experts" doing a thorough job investigating the death of American Muslim cleric Anwar al Awlaki [1]   and the "legal" justifications the Obama administration's Justice Department used to justify killing an American citizen in a drone missile strike on September 30, 2011.

Just like John Yoo, then with Bush's Justice Department wrote "legal" memos justifying "enhanced interrogation" (torture), David Barron and Martin Lederman in Obama's Justice Department were given the assignment "to declare whether deliberately killing Mr. Awlaki, despite his citizenship, would be lawful, assuming it was not feasible to capture him". So they too wrote "legal" memos fror President Obama to target Awlaki, a "legal" precedent no other president would dare consider, the killing of an American citizen on foreign or American soil.

For Obama it was Congress' 2001 authorization giving President Bush the means to pursue Osama bin Laden, presumably behind the 9/11 attacks and the onset of the "war on terror" that Obama used to "legalize" Awlaki being targeted for death by a drone missile strike.

From here the question emerges, if the CIA was capable of locating Awlaki's whereabouts, why not pick him up, charge him with some offense and bring him back to the U.S., stand trial and be given the right of due process, particularly because he was an American.

But the Obama crowd has shown disdain for capturing suspected al Qaeda or other insurgent leaders preferring to target them for assassination rather than the "messiness" of rendition, indefinite detention and due process under the law. And why not, supposedly 70 % of the American people support Obama's use of drones and the killing of "suspected terrorists" presumably because no American is in danger of being killed. All it takes is the drone operator before his console in the Nevada target his "prey" and fire the drone missiles to take out his victim. And if the suspected target wasn't there (usually discovered after the drone strike), there's no problem, just call it "collateral damage" if some innocents are killed and that's all there is to it.

So much for the propaganda telling of the "accuracy" of the drone strikes preventing innocents from being killed in the vicinity. Only there is the evidence that wedding parties and funeral processions were hit (particularly in Pakistan) that blows a giant hole into the supposed "accuracy" of drone strikes that prevent innocents from being struck in a drone attack.

Be that as it may, yesterday's Times article [2] by Mazzetti, Savage and Shane should be required reading. Their article is "on the mark" for great investigative journalism.

So kudo's to them and the Times for giving us the inside scoop on Awlaki's targeted assassination.  

[1] "A U.S. Citizen, in America's Cross Hairs, How the Government Came to Kill Awlaki, without a Trial by Mark Mazzetti, Charlie Savage and Scott Shane, "The New York Times, March 10, 2013

[2] See footnote #1

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