Log in

No account? Create an account
Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood.

via delong.typepad.com

What's weird about statements like these is that homicide rates are generally low in most muslim countries. Low, most certainly, than rates in latin America and non-Northern Africa. Given the violence in Latin America is it appropriate to say that Catholic life is cheap?

Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual US-Yemeni citizen, has been one of America's top targets in its fight against al-Qaida. His firebrand rhetoric had become renowned on jihadi websites and is thought to have inspired many more followers. With a blog, a Facebook page and numerous YouTube videos of his sermons, he had increasingly been regarded by the US as one of the most dangerous al-Qaida leaders.

President Barack Obama authorised a request to target Awlaki in April last year, making him the first US citizen to be a legal target for assassination in the post-9/11 years. He was one of two US citizens killed in the strike. Samir Khan, US-born editor of Al Qaeda's online jihadist magazine, was also killed in the attack, according to Yemeni officials.

Faced with accusations from critics on Friday afternoon that the administration had authorised an "extra-judicial murder", White House officials sought to justify the strike on Awlaki officials as "self defence."

via www.guardian.co.uk

Citizen or not, I do not understand how this is self defense. Is it the case that this person was advocating violence on a website against the US? It's entirely unclear to me why the only resort that the US government has in response to the mere advocation of violence is an extrajudicial killing.

The only other claim that is made public by the government is some vague, murky claims that some people think he might be materially involved in failed plots against the US. This is exactly the sort of thing that the public needs to know about in order to accept the governments claim that it was acting in defense. This is why we need trials or even just government transparency.

I do not accept that I must just take the government at it word. Maybe it's because I have some kind of lack of imagination that prevents me from conceiving of a case where such information would cause irreparable harm to the nation. But even in light of that failure, I cannot see how such risks outweigh the benefit of due process.