The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

They Told Glenn Reynolds …

Posted on | September 30, 2011 | 78 Comments

… that if he voted for John McCain, Americans would be executed without trial — and they were right!

The due-process-free assassination
of U.S. citizens is now reality

American Citizen Anwar al-Awlaki
Assassinated in Yemen

Big Gator notes that Anwar Al-Awlaki has the right to remain silent.

Da Tech Guy wonders if Glenn Greenwald and David Dayen would extend their human-rights concerns to certain other . . . uh, critics of U.S. foreign policy. (Should I be insulted by the analogy?)

Meanwhile, human rights advocates must condemn that bloodthirsty neocon warmonger Dick Cheney Andrew Sullivan.

UPDATE: Donald Douglas calls attention to another typical reaction from British international relations expert Stephanie Carvin:

I’m no fan of Awlaki and I will certainly not mourn his passing, (really – he seems like a total jerk) but this raises serious questions about the targeted killing program, who is being targeted and why. Presumably, in the case of targeted killing, its important there is evidence BEFORE the killing, rather than a scrabble now to piece together a case, after the fact.
I hope there is evidence that he actually materially supported terrorism.

“I hope there is evidence”? Under what rock have you been hiding, lady? But what stuns me is Professor Carvin’s evident need to stipulate that she is “no fan of Awlaki” — which is, I’m sure, a welcome reassurance to Scotland Yard and the Home Secretary — before she proceeds to “serious questions about the targeted killing program.” It’s one of those noticeable tics of liberalism, the telltale flinch of a confused and guilt-ridden mind, and as such almost impossible to parody:

I’m no fan of Martin Bormann and I will certainly not mourn his passing . . .

I’m no fan of James Earl Ray and I will certainly not mourn his passing . . .

I’m no fan of the Green River Killer and I will certainly not mourn his passing . . .

Where do they find these people? Are the parents of students at the University of London aware that their children are under the tutelage of this bewildered idiot?

UPDATE II: The passing of one of Al-Awlaki’s comrades tempts John Hitchcock to satire:

Editor Of Popular Internet Magazine Dead At 25
Samir Kahn, 25, was born in Saudi Arabia but grew up in New York. He later returned to the Middle East and began publishing the popular e-zine “Inspire” in an effort to educate English-speaking youth in world politics by speaking in their own vernacular. . . .


78 Responses to “They Told Glenn Reynolds …”

  1. Richard Mcenroe
    September 30th, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

    The notion that due process applies to war operations is as baffling as the suggestion that, if an American abandons his country and takes up arms against it, we are somehow obliged to shoot around him to get at our “real” enemies.  How did this problem not somehow arise in WWII when hundreds of Italian-Americans visiting Italy when the war broke out were conscripted into Mussolini’s war effort, and ended up fighting against invading GI’s?

  2. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:26 am

    So if the Allies had had a chance to take out Hitler, they shouldn’t have done it because it would be an “assassination”?

  3. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:27 am

    He is a Paul supporter, if that tells you anything.

  4. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:27 am

    He’s welcome.

  5. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:28 am

    Better be careful, Joe. You don’t want people to think you’re an Obama supporter do you?

  6. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:29 am

    Yeah, I did. Typical Paul- open mouth, out flies idiocy.

  7. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:30 am

    No, he was on the battlefield planning and ordering attacks and engaging in recruiting more traitors just like himself.

  8. The Wondering Jew
    October 1st, 2011 @ 1:10 am

    TPT, the point is that we need formal legal standards in rules.  I’m not just going to hand over power to Obama– or anyone else to use at the whim of the President.

  9. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 1:15 am

    The constitution is the only legal standard I recognize, and it says our government has a duty to defend us “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. What more do you need? 

  10. Thomas Knapp
    October 1st, 2011 @ 1:52 am


    Thanks for the blessing 😉

    The last time I took up arms was on behalf of the United States government (specifically, the Marine Corps).

    Fortunately doing so didn’t end up requiring me to kill any US citizens, although there was quite a bit of that going on at the time.

  11. Richard Mcenroe
    October 1st, 2011 @ 3:28 am

    “Scarymatt, would you feel differently if the people targeted for assassination were say, some American militia members who were guilty of “clinging to their guns and religion” and saying some not-nice things about  President Obama?  Sorry, but that’s not a sort of precedent I want to set.”

    That precendent was set in the Clinton Administration.  Twice, as  Irecall.

  12. Anwar Al-Awlaki: Prostitutes In San Diego Were Part Of His 'Uneventful' Stay - The POH Diaries
    September 30th, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    […] a bit of time in San Diego with prostitutes. Anwar Al-Awlaki, the American born Al-Qaeda leader who met his demise earlier in the day, was twice arrested for soliciting the company of ladies of the night in his […]

  13. Bob Belvedere
    October 1st, 2011 @ 3:58 am

    You’re being too modest, Stacy: we all know your lawyer is.

  14. The Wondering Jew
    October 1st, 2011 @ 5:01 am

    You’re absolutely right, Richard.  And it’s that sort of thing I am talking about.  The level of straw man arguments her are disturbing.  I am not saying I am against the targeted killing.  I am for it, just within a legal standard.   A lot of people on this board just seem to be willing to trust Obama’s judgment. . .

  15. Adjoran
    October 1st, 2011 @ 6:25 am


  16. Adjoran
    October 1st, 2011 @ 6:30 am

    There is no question of “due process” for those engaged in hostilities against the United States on foreign soil.  The fact he was a citizen just makes him a traitor; it does not confer rights of criminal defendants under the Constitution to hostiles in martial actions – without respect to their citizenship status.

    For instance, there were thousands of summary executions of Southerners, who the United States never recognized as anything but US citizens, for aiding rebellion in the Civil War. 

  17. ThePaganTemple
    October 1st, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    It’s a pretty sad statement that a man who served in the military has the attitude that he was taking up arms “on behalf of the United States government”. That’s the liberal/leftist/progressive mindset in a nutshell. It’s also tantamount proof as to why they are a greater danger to America than any Islamic radical could ever come close to being.

  18. Quartermaster
    October 1st, 2011 @ 8:33 pm

    I don’t think we need an opinion from the 9 black robed scofflaws on this or any other subject. All of them have been pretty sorry when it’s come to the law, at one time or another.

    I hope that such killings do not become emotionally routine. But, given Awlaki’s activities unfriending him with a Hellfire does not disturb me. He didn’t exactly present himself at the Embassy to turn himself in.

    Ironically, if he had turned himself in, we would have been forced to put him on trial and he might be next door to Lindh instead of being fertilizer.

  19. Ron Lewenberg
    October 1st, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    I happen to believe that if you declare war on America and help attack it,
    you lose any and all privileges protections and rights as an American.
    And so long as you operate on a foreign field and are involved in
    attacks on America, you will be treated like any other enemy combattant
    and leader.

    Had Al-Awlaki wanted to contest the charge and to act as an American, he
    had every chance to go to the American embassy in Yemen and turn
    himself in. Barring that, he could have reached out to the media or
    simply uploaded videos to youtube where he denounced Jihad against
    America and Americans and re-affirmed his loyalty to America. He did not
    do this, because he was at war with America. And he died an enemy of
    America. His status as a traitor should have a been a shield and he
    never used it as such.

  20. Quartermaster
    October 1st, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    Anarchy doesn’t work because man is not perfect, nor is he perfectible in his fallen state. One of the founders put it quite well, “because men are not angels, we have government.” OTOH, you go seriously wrong when you allow Government out of its cage. You end up with Lincoln, Wilson, FDR, Clinton, and Obama, and a government that kills and enslaves.

  21. Quartermaster
    October 1st, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

    Tell that to Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger. When some one is a threat to the citizens of the US and you can’t capture them, then you kill them by any means you can. I don’t like the fact that we killed a US citizen with benefit of a trial, but under the circumstances, I could have pulled the trigger with a clear conscience.

  22. Quartermaster
    October 1st, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Dave Your historical precedent does not hold water. The south was fighting for its independence, and the north was fighting to prevent it. Mencken pretty much demolished Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address for the emotional nonsense it was.

  23. Thomas Knapp
    October 2nd, 2011 @ 1:17 am


    Well, when I joined the Marine Corps, I took the oath seriously and thought I was taking up arms to defend the Constitution against enemies foreign and domestic.

    By the time I got out (10 years and one war later), my main involvement was in “counter-narcotics” missions under the supervision of Joint Task Force Six, which I ultimately judged to be incompatible with said oath and said Constitution. The straw that broke the camel’s back was a direct order — even after I requested mast to dispute it — to violate not only the mission’s stated rules of engagement but the Posse Comitatus Act, in the same area where I later learned the cops I was working with had murdered a property owner only a few months before.

  24. ThePaganTemple
    October 2nd, 2011 @ 3:09 am

    The straw that broke the camel’s back was a direct order, etc,

    Then you see more than most of us the dangers of too much big government, because you’ve experienced it directly. So what’s all this about anarchists versus statists? There’s a big difference in believing in small government that limits itself to its constitutional mandated duties, and a belief that the state should regulate and control everything, or at least large, significant areas of the economy.

    But conducting war and securing our borders is one of the prerogatives of the federal government that is clearly defined. That’s why I just don’t see what the fuss is about over this guy. What kind of slippery slope are you worried about that we haven’t already slid down into?

    I’m far more worried about the US taking a back seat and deferring to NATO, the EU, and the UN, and potentially other internationalist bodies, than I am of them killing some traitorous active insurgent they clearly had a constitutional right to kill.

  25. ThePaganTemple
    October 2nd, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    Actually, the constitution does not “step aside” it empowers the government to kill such people whenever possible and practical, and this case is a perfect example of such a domestic enemy.

    What you have to bear in mind when you are debating these points is many of these people are approaching the problem of Al-Awlaki as though he were a law-enforcement problem, not a military one.

    That was a good point about the Civil War, where the Union were fighting a whole region of people who were, technically speaking, traitors. Of course, the vast majority of them were Democrats, so what the fuck else is new?

    There were a lot of innocent civilians who died as a result of that conflict as well, I might add, on both sides, but probably a lot more in the South. It was sad and tragic, but how many people agonized over the rightness or wrongness of it? I don’t think you’re going to see many leftists today call for compensation for the descendants of southern white civilians.

  26. ThePaganTemple
    October 2nd, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

    And that’s why Mencken is such a well-beloved, honored and admired figure to this very day. Who was he again?

    Have you ever even read the Gettysburg Address? It’s been a while since I have, admittedly, but as I recall there wasn’t a lot of vitriol and hatred in it directed at the south, it actually sought to honor all the men that gave their lives. It was a dedication of a freaking cemetery for the people that died in that battle. Of course it was emotional, but nonsense?

    It was meant to be a step toward the long process of healing the nation. I’m not one of these Lincoln worshipers who hold that he did no wrong. I don’t think he was the President Washington was, but he was still great and probably did save our asses. I think you need to go back and re-read the Gettysburg Address with an open mind.

    It always amuses the hell out of me when I hear bullshit about a slave society fighting for its freedom.

  27. ThePaganTemple
    October 2nd, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    We don’t have any choice. Like it or not, he is still the president. I don’t like that any more than you do, but I’m not going to do anything to potentially hamstring a future president just because I don’t like this one, especially over one of a very few situations where he clearly did the right thing.

  28. Secret panel can put Americans on ‘kill list’ | Conservative Heritage Times
    October 6th, 2011 @ 10:25 am

    […] who cheer President Obama when he ignores the Constitution to launch wars and smite Muslims might want to start paying attention to where this is leading: American militants like Anwar […]