The day before he’s set to address the nation on national security, President Obama, Wednesday, formally acknowledged that the US had assassinated a known terrorist with American drone strikes. The main target, a Muslim cleric named Anwar al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen in September of 2011 for actively plotting attacks against the USA. Three other casualties of drone strike were mentioned (who were not targets): Samir Khan, killed in the same strike as Awlaki; Mr. Awlaki’s son Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also killed in Yemen; and Jude Mohammed, killed in a strike in Pakistan.
The plots ranged from: attempting to bomb a Detroit-bound air plane on December 25, 2009; plotting to bomb cargo planes destined for the US in October 2010; and, various other plots towards western interest.
Anwar al-Awlaki’s death was announced on September 30, 2011 but was only confirmed to be a result of American drone strikes today (before today’s news, it was only reported that Awlaki death was the result of US intelligence).
The Obama administration came under slight criticism from a white paper leaked earlier this year (but released to Congress last year), which essentially laid the groundwork for the US government to kill anyone, including US citizens (without due process), if they posed an “imminent threat of violent attack” and whose capture is infeasible. The language in the paper was so vague that it opened the doors for attacks against US citizens anywhere in the world.
Based on the killings of these four American’s who happen to be both arab and muslim, the rationale behind the new policy is that terrorist are exploiting the United State’s open society, and therefore benefiting from its open path to citizenship.
But, sometimes the exploited become the exploiters.
This new policy is worse than martial law could ever be, based on the implication of a never-ending battle with enemies without, and enemies within. “The Obama administration continues to claim authority to kill virtually anyone anywhere in the world under the ‘global battlefield’ legal theory and a radical redefinition of the concept of imminence,” said Zeke Johnson, an official with Amnesty International.
As a result, the collateral damage is spreading. After the white paper was leaked earlier this year, the Obama administration never fully denied the possibility of using drones on American soil in the future.
We’ve gotten lost in the mire of the war on terrorism. We forgot where we came in and we don’t know how to get out.
Terrorist who exploit our free society have set off a domino effect in their favor: not only has the American government consistently revoked rights from American people (starting with the Patriot Act), but as a result of governmental fear (something lost on the American people themselves), and American’s apathy towards the global war–the rights and freedoms that made America exceptional in the world are now fading away like a distant memory.
So we are left to ask, where are we headed?
Written By: Cedric Hines
Sources: Source 1