Due process. The person on death row was given a trial, fair or not. Of course, the rules are different with "war."
So Art, all things being equal (like if there were more fairness in the system) you would be more for the execution than the drone attack? The quotes around "war" sound like you're saying it isn't justified to do the drone attack because it isn't really war. I'm still sorting this one out, but I tend to think it IS a war thing - that al-Awlaki presented an imminent threat so it was a defensive action to kill him. You would have to accept the premise of war being about protecting the country, and that we are at war with terrorists to agree with this, so I don't know if that's true for you. I wasn't ever against us invading Afghanistan after 9/11 - I was adamantly against Iraq for a host of reasons but I believe we need a Dept.of Defense and I feel like drone attacks to take out terrorists have the advantage of minimal collateral damage. I have a feeling you're going to rip me to shreds for this, and I want to hear it because I really still need to think on this some more.
First of all, I am totally against the death penalty. Even if the system was fixed (if that is even possible) and we could guarantee that no innocent person was ever executed, I would still be against it. I am just morally opposed. I do not think that killing is right, even if the government is doing it. I am generally uncomfortable with giving the government that power over one of its citizens.
The drone attack is a different thing. I am opposed to most wars. I can see the argument for Afghanistan, though it has been mishandled. I am still not 100% sold on it. But if we are going to be at war, then I guess we have to kill. Better to have drones do it than put ourselves in harms way. But then this guy was a US citizen. Why does he not deserve due process. Yes, he is a bad guy, but so it a murderer and rapist and I do not believe they should be killed at all, even with due process.
Nice blog, Julie!
So, on a slightly different tack, I'd like to reference something that I believe Chris Hedges brought up recently, namely that the drone attacks are morally no different than the torture carried out under Bush, which Obama criticized so vociferiously during his campaign. It's inevitable that lots of innocent people are either killed or seriously injured (I think they call that "collateral damage") with the very convenient drone attacks. Does it even matter whether they're at the hands of "investigators" at Guantanamo, or the untold "black sites", which by the are continuing under the current administration or maimed by a drone? Which is morally more defensible? Or is there even a scale for such things?
Thank you Keith!!
I just keep thinking that we have to be able to engage in self-defense. I know that there would be those who would say that torturing terror suspects is necessary to gain actionable intelligence, which is about self-defense. Setting aside the fact that research has not borne out the theory that it actually works in that way, illegal interrogation methods are certainly further removed from defense than killing a combatant with intent and means to cause imminent harm. I just feel like that is something we have to do protect ourselves against terrorists, but I'm not saying it doesn't confuse me and challenge me.
Part of the argument for the drone attack was that it would have not been easy or convenient to capture these guys. I am still searching for the section in the US Constitution that allows ANY POTUS to have American citizens murdered without due process, regardless of the convenience. As far as I am concerned, Obama in all of his self-righteous glory is every bit as much a criminal as those US citizens that he had asssinated... Since when is it OK to pick and choose when to abide by the constitution?
OH BTW, nice blog, Julie!
Thank you so much, Greg, and thanks for coming by!
Who made the argument that the attack was easy or convenient? I know it was pointed out that fewer civilians were killed and he was in a place they couldn't get to with ground troops, but that's a little different.
I know you're against the death penalty Greg, so appreciate the consistency here. This is issue is interesting to me because reaction to it doesn't seem to break down along usual ideological lines.
I'm just wondering if there aren't times when we have to take someone out because they are a threat?
I must admit I haven't read all the comments but I just wanted to make a comment. Our constitution states ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL no all American men. Why do we as Americans deserve more rights than someone who was by the luck of the draw unfortunate enough to be born in a Muslim country with a valuable natural resource under them??
Hmm... does this mean that women were not created equal? My wife is here to tell you otherwise. LOL And what is this "created" biz? You liberals need to get to work on having this revised to, "All humans evolved equal". Oh, now that is funny!
Greg I'm prrretty sure Lloyd was simply quoting the phrasing used in the Constitution.
But I wanted to tell you I received your comment re: a discussion of Obama's war policies and I think it's a good conversation to have - do you want to copy it on to this thread or want me to start a new one at some point?
I think that the topic deserves its own discussion, if you don't mind starting a new thread...
Oh, and I said all of that to Lloyd tongue-in-cheek, my dear...:-) I hate it when no one appreciates my attempts at humor :-(
Great site, was just reading and doing some work when I found this page