The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

Glenn Greenwald on Due Process for U.S. Citizens

Republican Candidate Gary Johnson and Ron Paul have both argued that President Obama’s actions against U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki was both unconstitutional and a sad image for America around the world. Glenn Greenwald from Salon.com argues that al-Awlaki was not tried by any court and that the U.S. was not able to prove his guilt in any of the terrorist threats. He writes:

 It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki.  No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him).  Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even had any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt.

MSNBC reports the words of a senior American military official who says that the death of al-Awlaki will cause al-Qaida’s surviving leaders a sense of doom. This type of response misses the real nature of enemy retaliation. As many have shown, most notably, Robert Pape, militants retaliate mainly because of U.S. foreign occupation. Pape goes through extensive research to prove this point. The very 9-11 commission report makes reference to this point. If the U.S. military believes al-Qaida and others will simply cease their retaliation course because of a vastly unknown figure-head, then once again the U.S. has not learned its lessons, but rather continues to repeat the faults of the Bush policy. Jeremy Scahill observed yesterday that most in Yemen have absolutely no idea that al-Awlaki was dead or who he was to begin with. “He was barely mid-level management,” Scahill said. In many ways, America’s consistent display of arrogance and unconstitutionality is another incentive for foreign attack. I hope this trajectory changes.

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