Federal Judge to Anwar al-Awlaki: If You Don’t Want Us To Kill You, Voluntarily Come to a U.S. Court
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
That’s the takeaway I am getting if this AP report is accurate (big “if” there):
A federal judge on Tuesday threw out a lawsuit aimed at preventing the United States from targeting U.S.-born anti-American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki for death.
U.S. District Judge John Bates said in a written opinion that al-Awlaki’s father does not have the authority to sue to stop the United States from killing his son. But Bates also said the “unique and extraordinary case” raises serious issues about whether the United States can plan to kill one of its own citizens without judicial review.
And of course the ACLU revealed its usual hard-nosed and practical approach to the powers of war:
The cleric’s father, Nasser al-Awlaki of Yemen, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights, argued that international law and the Constitution prevented the administration from unilaterally targeting his son for death unless he presents a specific imminent threat to life or physical safety and there are no other means to stop him.
War is the arbitrary application of force. A battle is thousands of American agents going out and issuing the death penalty to anyone they think might be the enemy. The arbitrariness is demonstrated by the persistent tragedy of “friendly fire”—that is, killings so arbitrary that if we knew who we were about to kill, our agents (soldiers, etc.) would have refrained from killing.
And the ACLU and this terrorist’s father want to do away with that. They would have us storm the beaches at Normandy and then arrest the German soldiers. And read them their rights, I suppose.
I am sure our government will try to capture him. He is probably more valuable to us alive than dead. But if he wants to guarantee his live capture, he has a very simple solution: turn himself in.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]