Sunday, May 20, 2012

Truest statement of the week II

We represented the father of  Anwar al-Awlaki and that was, of course, at a time when the president or -- somehow they had leaked out the kill list, on an assassination list.  I don't know if they leaked it out because they wanted a test, because they wanted to send fear into people, etc., but it was one of the cases that we knew in advance that they were aiming to kill him in Yemen.  And we didn't know, we didn't -- I mean, it's not the issue whether we suspected him of doing something involving terrorism or not but he was known as a militant, fiery preacher. He did happen to be an American citizen. Now what's interesting about the case is that we got a fair amount of support even from people that I  wouldn't expect it from because he was an American citizen.  And they said, 'How can you kill an American citizen outside of any war zone without some kind of due process from a court saying he's being killed because?'  The because we admitted in our briefs, the only because is if he were actually about to put his finger on a trigger and launch some kind of missile into the United States.  In other words, the only way the president can take action against anyone is if it's eminent -- really eminent destruction about to be visited on the United States.  And there's no case -- no one says that's what the case was with Anwar al-Awlaki. Short of that, you have to have due process, you have to have a way in which -- Why should the president and think about it  -- The president can just decide on his own that, 'Today I'm going to kill al-Awaki?' who's not even in a battle zone?  'Tomorrow, I'm going to kill X.  Maybe I'm going to kill this guy sitting in the Montana mountains tomorrow because we consider him a danger. There has to be some check on the president doing that or basically he's say -- he is saying that, 'I can assassinate anybody in the world.'

--   Law and Disorder Radio  co-host Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) speaking to Cindy Sheehan on this week's Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Poll1 { display:none; }