This will probably go contrary to many of my friends.  But, it is what it is……..

Many years ago, I took an oath to uphold and defend our constitution against enemies both foreign and domestic.  I’ve never recanted that oath. 

In my view, I never believed any of the rights, privileges and protections, expressed and implied by the Constitution of the U.S. ever extended to people that were not or are not citizens.

But to our citizens, <b>all of it always applied.</b>  This notion has been tested.  It still holds true in my mind.

Those scumbags deserved to die.  They deserved to die in a manner I can’t even fathom.  Slow and torturous.  And, I can’t say I’m unhappy that they’re gone.

But, what happened in Yemen was as much wrong as what happened in Waco, and Ruby Ridge.    This isn’t acceptable.

It may be that we should redefine what it is to be a citizen.  I think we should.  I also think we should employ the vehicle expressed in the Constitution for findings of treason and execute the punishment to the fullest.  But, I also think the execution of American citizens without due process is murder.  And I believe the people responsible for such should be held to the maximum punishment allowed by our Constitution and our justice system.

Disagreements are welcomed.  Please make them logical.

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39 Responses to IT WAS WRONG

  1. Mike Davis says:

    Someone that deprives others of their constitutional rights should lose their constitutional rights.
    Someone who leaves the country to fight against the country is declaring they are not longer a citizen of this country and no longer should be protected by those rights.
    People entering the country and the offspring they have here should not have any rights in this country. People that come to visit this country even with a visa for the specific purpose of having their children born US citizens, or even if it is a work visa their children should have the citizenship of the parents country. That is just like children of Americans born over seas. It should follow the Paternal lineage as is the case of the name rather than the maternal lineage because the mother became a citizen of the other country when she married a citizen of that country and should have lost her US citizenship as she denounced that by marrying in a foreign country. Just like US citizens that marry abroad, they renounce their US citizenship to marry in a country as to be recognized as married they should be citizens of that country.
    To become a citizen of the US I think you are still required to denounce any other citizenship you may have. But that may have changed in today’s PC world!
    In some countries you can get a divorce just by proclaiming in public, I Divorce You, three times.

  2. Latitude says:

    I’m thinking about it…………………

  3. Bruce says:

    Complicated. Messy. In WW2 an American working for the Germans in a similar capacity would be subject to an OSS mission or a precision bombing attempt essentially no different to this. Other countries do trials in absentia, as a way to justify such actions. Two words : Apocalypse Now. Neatly covers the dilemma – do you do an Apocalypse Now or possibly suffer from an apocalyse later?

    Easy for me though as Aussie. Our constitution has more wriggle room in it.

    • suyts says:

      It is complicated and messy. The difference in your analogy, is that WW2 was a declared war. The official declaration brings a whole host of different rules.

      • Mike Davis says:

        A war on Terrorism was declared after 9/11/2001! They will be wiped out wherever and whenever they are found. They are the ones that declared the war and we are replying to that declaration.

      • Bruce says:

        The Australian-US alliance was formally activated after 9/11, which is one reason why the Australian Army is still in Oruzgan province and the Aussie SAS is fighting alongside the Marines in eastern Afghanistan. Two Oz SAS guys have won VC’s, with stories similar to the Marine who won the CMH.

        OK Mr al-Awlaki was not in Afghanistan, but he was a member of AQAP possibly the leader. Therefore he was an active member of an ally of AQ in Afghanistan, at war with the USA and allies, and which had committed actual acts of war against US assets and people (the printer-bombs etc).

        As I say, messy, but that guy also would’ve probably nuked New York City if he’d had the opportunity to do so.

        My suggestion – the US allows removal of US citizenship of anyone outside the boundaries of the US by executive order, pending appeal in person by the plaintiff made on US territory (excluding embassies). That would fix this problem – it would then be upon the plantiff to front up at a US Customs post somewhere and defend their rights and face justice if necessary. Whether that is constitutional I don’t know but it would fix this problem.

      • suyts says:

        Certainly sounds like a reasonable solution.

        Our laws establishing citizenry aren’t codified very well and is often left to judicial interpretation. So, it would be likely that writing a law such as that would hold up quite well.

  4. suyts says:

    A trial in absentia, would, in my mind, to some degree, satisfy a due process requirement. But, to my knowledge these guys weren’t even charged with treason. I don’t know that they’ve been charged with anything.

    The problem I’m having isn’t these two scumbags. It is the precedence set.

    • Mike Davis says:

      They have declared their position with broadcast statements and in writing. By their own words they are guilty due process should be reserved for when there may be some doubt of guilt.
      I believe in innocent until proven guilty but these people are proclaiming their guilt and saying get me if you can! They set the standards for due process by sending bombs in packages destined for US cities and admitting they did it. Claiming responsibility for an action is admission of guilt, no charges need to be filed.

      • Mike Davis says:

        The man with a gun, shooting innocent people does not deserve a trial when caught pulling the trigger. Of course he is legally insane as no sane person would do that. The person should never have made it to lockup!

      • suyts says:

        Mike, I don’t disagree with your posits, but let’s at least pass a law stating as such so that the killings can have legal justifications.

        As it stands now, I don’t see how it did. And, if the federal government can wield such power as to arbitrarily pronounce who they can kill without due process, then we’ve lost.

  5. Latitude says:

    I’m thought out…….
    I agree about the precedence, but how do you deal with that when you can’t ever get to them. It’s different when someone is arrested, you have them in custody. When you can’t even get to them to arrest them, and you know they are plotting something…
    …I say have at it

    Then there’s a small part of me that says “you can run, but you can’t hide”………

    • suyts says:

      True, that’s why I say a trial in absentia would satisfy some part of the due process. Give a summons, if he shows to defend himself from the charges so be it. If not, continue without him.

      Or, perhaps enforcing or creating a law stripping people of their citizenship.

      Remember how the current administration was going to try the Guantanamo detainees in New York……with our Attorney General insisting that our judicial system can adequately handle those people? Well, it can’t. But it can’t because they are not subject to our laws. And because they are not subject to our laws, the constitutional guarantees can’t apply either.

      But in the case of the treasonous bastards blown to hell, this reasoning doesn’t apply. There is no official declaration of war. He denied telling the bastard at Ft. Hood to do those things as well as the undie bomber. His words, in my mind would be enough to assert treason. But, others may not see it that way.

  6. The best analogy would be the 1860s. Lincoln did was not required to try the individual Confederates prior to having the Union soldiers fire upon them. Additionally, the Union soldiers were not constrained by such silly tactics as waiting for Confederate troops to fire first. Nor were Confederate collaborators subjected to every legal remedy before being shot.

    This is not to say that no Confederates were captured, or that there was some moral imperative to summarily execute them, but there was no moral or legal necessity to put them to trial or provide habeas corpus before firing upon and killing them, either directly in battle or in areas remote from battle, including within their homes.

    I believe that at the point Awlaki walked into a foreign country with the intent to foment terrorism against the United States he ceded the right to Constitutional protection, though this does not preclude such protection being extended in another case.

    • Mike Davis says:

      That is the way I see it.

    • suyts says:

      That’s a nice analogy. There are differences, though. But, the most obvious problem with the analogy, is that there is no legal justification for the Union aggression, either. And so, it is much the same and much different. I’m glad it happened, but we should operate under the laws and constitution of our nation. If we can’t, then we should change the laws and/or the constitution to reflect the new realities.

      Further, much of what you described were two entirely different conditions. On the battlefield, of course there are no legal remedies, only battle. But, in the other scenarios, just because Union forces did commit atrocities (Confederate forces did also) in the past and did circumvent the Constitution doesn’t justify actions today.

      I also believe Awlaki’s actions should be seen as ceding his rights to Constitutional protection and citizenship. Now all we have to do, is make our laws reflect this posit. We can’t have a federal government arbitrarily deciding life, death, and liberty of U.S. citizens.

      If this is seen as a legal precedent, then it reduces the print on the Constitution to simply words and guidelines to follow when convenient. I’ve come to think the Constitution is much more than words and guidelines.

      • Now all we have to do, is make our laws reflect this posit.

        The problem with laws against terrorism is that most of the physical acts (such as bombing subways, or flying airplanes into buildings) are of course covered by myriads of already existing laws. But when it comes to things such as recruitment & psychological support you’re already infringing upon people’s rights of free speech, which would mean passing laws that directly violate the constitution.

        Not that we don’t already have many such laws, but again, you’re either arguing principle or reality, not both.

      • suyts says:

        I was specifically referring to the justification for executing American citizens without due process. I’m arguing principle and reality should be made to more closely reflect one another.

        I believe our constitution adequately provides for such, and I think we lose much in exchange for expedience.

  7. Me says:

    Were you ever in the military?

    • Me says:

      it’s the same Me that is on real science.

      • Me says:

        Personally, it doesn’t matter about the moderation here because we can just as easily chat at real science if you like.

      • Me says:

        But, it’s late now and and was so when I posted here earlier, I figure you are counting sheep and isn’t/wasn’t awake when I first posted here.

    • suyts says:

      Yes, regular Army.

      Sorry about the moderation. Once I approve one comment from you, the rest of your comments will just go through now.

      • Me says:

        OK, I was thinking of why I was making this comment here. Now, why, I asked if you were military, is because I am Ex military too, Air Force, and the oath you took can be twisted into what they and the government wants to make it out to be.
        Ethics is a twisted issue. Just about everyone that I know, who thinks of ethics, thinks it is like morally right, and family values to do right on to others as you would have them to do on you sort of thing. But you being military you have the ethical comradely of brotherhood with your fellow soldiers that will never die, no matter what.
        But now it gets twisted, because the powers to be will use ethics on you as a tool, because their ethics is to use you protect them or serve their agenda, even if it is domestic. What I mean is your main purpose as a soldier is to serve and obey orders of your CO’s and of your government. And just as you stated here sometimes the orders and commands just doesn’t seem or feel right.
        But just remember, there are unlawful commands and directives pushed down, but your ethical dilemma is you are to serve them, do your duty. That’s what they trained you and me to do.
        But I don’t I can shoot one of my own citizens unless they pose a direct harm \ threat to me, or one of my friends or fellow soldiers.
        Now you have to ask you self as to why the Military likes to send you about as far away from home as possible. I’m not sure if that is the case with you but, it is most likely that if they have a domestic problem in such or such an area. And with a soldier that has no attachment or family in that area of their own country, would not feel as sympathetic to the public and more likely to follow whatever orders were given.
        I’m not sure if any of this is making any sense to you, but I know that a lot of times the directions we were being turned to just didn’t set well with me.

      • suyts says:

        Yes, I think every one in the armed service of this nation at one level or the other has thought of those issues you brought up.

        I don’t believe the order to kill the 2 U.S. citizens was a lawful order. But, yes, it presents a moral dilemma. (We should recall that this was a CIA operation.) Two scumbags are gone from the earth, and humanity is better off without those two scumbags. But, now we have a precedence where the U.S. can indiscriminately kill U.S. citizens. I don’t think the geographical location effects that precedence. Remember, the only evidence against him that I’ve seen is that he used the religion of our enemies to extoll their actions. He had denied any direct involvement in the Ft. Hood shootings and the underwear bomber.

      • Me says:

        I hear ya.

  8. Mike Davis says:

    Hello Me! You ME not Me me! 😉
    This sand box is probably more fun the Steven’s sand box.

  9. Bruce says:

    Christopher Hitchins has an opinion piece out today covering this area. Although he doesn’t address the consitutional issues, he goes close by saying:

    “So now we have the phenomenon of an American citizen, able to whisper directly into the ears of people living here, but until recently being able to do so from a geographical location where our laws cannot reach him. There is no precedent, however remote, for a legal and moral challenge of this kind, let alone for a political or military one.”

    • suyts says:

      Interesting take. He’s correct, and he’s wrong at the same time. His conclusion is his money quote, …….“As we engage with the horrible idea that our government claims the right to add its own citizens to a death list that is compiled by methods and standards unknown, we must concede that no government on earth faces such a temptation to invoke what I suppose we could call a doctrine of pre-emptive self-defence. Those who share my alarm at the prospect of this, and of the ways in which it could be abused, are under a heavy obligation to say what they would do instead.”

      I agree that we should be alarmed at this prospect. But we’re under heavy obligation to say what they should do instead? They should do what has always been required of our government………… to operate within the constraints of the law. Nothing else is acceptable. And so, if it is going to be true that our government can execute its own citizens, then a legal vehicle must be built before we do as such. Oh, wait, we have one already……. its called our justice system. Or, create and engage a vehicle to strip citizens of their citizenship, and then kill them.

      • Bruce says:

        As I say, complicated. I note that the Presidential oath of office requires the President to swear to defend the Constitution but not swear to defend the country! Usually that is not a problem. But in this case it is.

        Well I’ll leave it to the USA to sort this out: although it might be unfortunate if someone forces the Supreme Court to make a judgement in a case like this one.

    • suyts says:

      Stark, I understand the argument and precedence, but now this guy is declaring Alwakiwaki…whatever… an enemy combatant. Was he? If so, please provide the rationale for that description. BTW, his examples fail. The Civil war was never constitutionally tested and I don’t believe the founding fathers intended the federal government to compel the various sovereign states to be part of the union against the will of the states. But, that’s for a different discussion.

      • Again, the argument about the Civil war (above) is merely about the President’s power to wage such a war, without trial, upon US citizens (hint: Lincoln believed that the Confederates were US citizens even during the war. He still had the Union Army shoot them without trial.).

        Second, yes. Awlaki openly declared that he was fighting a war against the United States. He also openly recruited for Al Qaeda, whom the President has been authorized by Congress to shoot. He also directly instructed such people as Hasan to kill American citizens.

        Again, Lincoln did not need trials to shoot at Confederate soldiers. As that article points out, we knowingly killed American prisoners who were being held on Japanese supply ships. We sank British ships whom we knew to be carrying American citizens in the War of 1812. If there was a case to be made, it would have been made.

      • suyts says:

        Right Stark, but I don’t believe that Lincoln had that authority. I believe he simply usurped it. I’m glad he did, but I don’t believe he had that arbitrary authority as defined in the constitution. Though, he did have the backing of congress, which puts him in a better position than Obama. But, just because it happened before, doesn’t make this any more or less correct.

        But, more to the current events, Awlaki had denied he instructed Hasan to kill Americans. Or anyone else specifically. If that’s correct, then that puts him pretty close to the same company as Obama’s pastor Wright.

        And then there’s that trivial constitutional requirement that congress be the ones that declare war. This war on terrorism moves much to the realm of abstract.

        We may end up agreeing to disagree, but I reject the notion that the POTUS can arbitrarily decide which American citizens live or die. If we are going to say this is special because we’re at war with terrorists, then these special circumstances will apply in perpetuity, and the special circumstances won’t be so special and could be generally applied to the entire populace.

        Would it have been that difficult to try him as a traitor and then kill him?

  10. Pingback: Are We Finally Going To Have A National Discussion On Killing American Citizens? I Doubt It | suyts space

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