As far as I’m concerned, this is a victory.
Mr Obama said that as the leader of external operations for AQAP, Awlaki, born in 1971, had taken “a lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans” and was also “directly responsible for the death of many Yemeni citizens”.
He said the death marked another “milestone in the broader efforts to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates”, and paid tribute to US intelligence and the Yemeni security forces for their co-operation.
“This is further proof that al-Qaeda and its affiliates will find no safe haven anywhere in the world, ” he said.
Naturally, there are critics. Less surprising, Ron Paul is one of them.
“I think, what would people have said about Timothy McVeigh? We didn’t assassinate him, who certainly had done it,” Paul said. McVeigh “was put through the courts then executed. … To start assassinating American citizens without charges, we should think very seriously about this.”
You know what, Ron? The reason is that Tim was an American citizen who acted in America against Americans. Once you join an international terrorist group and start working on the global scale, you’ve waived your rights in terms of Constitutional protection. Bin Laden didn’t get a trial, does that mean our notions of justice change depending on where you’re born?
“I voted for authority to go after those individuals responsible for 9/11,” Paul said. “Nobody ever suggested that he [Awlaki] was participant in 9/11.”
OBL didn’t participate in 9/11 either. He just took credit for it on a video tape. By Ronnie’s own logic, OBL didn’t even get the fair trial McVeigh did. It’s inconsistency of the worst order, and it’s shitting all over what should be a victory: al Qaeda is getting picked apart. Just because this one was born in the USA doesn’t mean he deserves different treatment from the rest.
And you might say “well we don’t know if he committed X, Y, Z,” to which I respond: I don’t care. There’s no such thing as an “innocent” member of Al Qaeda. I don’t care if you’re the head honcho or the guy that gets the coffee, if we find you then the only use you have is information. If we don’t need any info from you, expect a knock at your door from Mr Firebomb. That’s what you get for joining Al Goddamn Qaeda.