Last April, President Barack Obama placed al-Qaida terrorist and unabashed American traitor Anwar al-Awlaki on the CIA's "capture or kill" list. Obama's authorization means Awlaki can be killed by U.S. security agencies, with the likely bullet a laser-guided Hellfire missile fired by a CIA Predator as it flies over Awlaki's hideout somewhere in Yemen.
The president determined Awlaki poses a clear and present danger to America. Awlaki is a skilled terrorist motivator and recruiter, a malignantly gifted fanatic who dupes susceptible minds with vicious propaganda then turns his brainwashed minions into mass murderers. For example, Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square terrorist, told police Awlaki inspired him to launch an attack.
Awlaki, however, doesn't just talk the talk, he walks it. U.S. intelligence says he has played a key operational role in planning several attacks. He helped orchestrate the attempted Christmas Day terror attack on a Detroit-bound airliner. He spiritually advised Ft. Hood terrorist and fellow traitor Nidal Hasan. Spiritual adviser in this case is a euphemism for operational handler.
Awlaki was born in New Mexico, so by birthright he is a U.S. citizen. He certainly despises the U.S. Constitution and particularly disdains free speech. In July, Awlaki demanded the death of Seattle-based cartoonist Molly Norris. Norris had promoted the "Everyone Draw Mohammed Day" project as a public demonstration of free expression. Norris is now in hiding. She fears assassination.
You would think American civil libertarians would treat Norris as a heroine. You would expect civil libertarians to commend the president for taking action to protect her life. She is, after all, an artist silenced by death threats issued by a savage killer espousing a rigid, tyrannical ideology.
Scotch those thoughts and expectations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defends Awlaki. In a case filed on behalf of Awlaki's father, the ACLU questions the president's right to sanction a Predator attack on an American citizen. The fact Awlaki is voluntarily engaged in hostilities against the U.S. under the aegis of an enemy power gives the ACLU little pause. One hyperbolic ACLU lawyer claims Obama is "imposing the death penalty without trial."
Austin Bay is the author of three novels. His third novel, The Wrong Side of Brightness, was published by Putnam/Jove in June 2003. He has also co-authored four non-fiction books, to include A Quick and Dirty Guide to War: Third Edition (with James Dunnigan, Morrow, 1996).
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