American-born Islamic scholar and leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, was reportedly killed by the American military earlier today. This was by the direct order of U.S. President Barack Obama. Awlaki was believed to be a member of the al-Qaeda group, plotting terrorist attacks against America.
The matter of Awlaki’s assassination has caused much discussion and controversy in the U.S. because Awlaki, although from Yemeni descent, is a U.S. citizen whose assassination was ordered by the U.S. President. Glenn Greenwald, an American constitutional lawyer, says that this goes against the very constitution by which America is governed.
It is reported that in January last year, Awlaki was added to President Obama’s hit list — and this without any due process to determine whether or not he is guilty of the accusations against him. Awlaki was neither indicted nor was there any definitive evidence against him before his assassination. So the questions arise: Does Obama really have the right to have his own citizens killed without any due process? Does he, as the President of America, have the right and the power to be some sort of trinity — judge, jury and executioner?
Awlaki’s unconstitutional murder is applauded by his fellow American citizens. Greenwald writes on Salon.com:
From an authoritarian perspective, that’s the genius of America’s political culture. It not only finds ways to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process). It actually gets its citizens to stand up and clap and even celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.
I wonder how these same Americans would feel if the Mighty and Powerful Obama ordered their non-Arab, non-Muslim brother or father to be killed without any substantial evidence or any trial in court.
Share your thoughts with me below. How do you feel about the death of Anwar al-Awlaki?