Friday, September 30, 2011

Mission Accomplished

Awlaki has been assassinated.

Or at least until we get a report that, no, after all, he wasn't, and the evil devil is still out there. (Or maybe has actually been dead for quite some time.)

An al-Qaida leader regarded as the terror group's most potent threat to western interests has been killed in Yemen, defence officials in the capital, Sana'a, say.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a dual US-Yemeni citizen, is believed to have been killed at 9.55am on Friday morning at a site 90 miles (140 kilometres) east of Sana'a between the provinces of Marib and al-Jawf in what is believed to have been an air strike.


The CIA and the US military have used drones to target al-Qaida officials in Yemen and had placed Awlaki near the top of a hit list. The US 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.

UK Guardian

You remember him. He’s the cleric that the Fort Hood killer claimed to have been inspired by. That’s not all they’re blaming him for.


Awlaki is credited with inspiring or directing at least four plots on US soil in recent years – a shooting inside the Fort Hood military base, the failed Times Square bombing, the failed underwear bomber and a parcel bomb hidden inside a printer that also failed to explode while inside a passenger jet.

Yemeni authorities previously and erroneously reported that Awlaki had been killed in 2009.


His death could be a boon for Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, clinging to power despite months of popular protests, factional violence and international pressure.

It was not immediately clear if Yemen had carried out the raid or if Awlaki had been killed by a U.S. drone strike. A U.S. drone aircraft targeted but missed Awlaki in May.


A senior U.S. official confirmed Awlaki's death, but gave no details. "I can confirm he's dead," the official said.


"The terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki has been killed along with some of his companions," the Yemeni Defense Ministry said in a statement texted to journalists, but gave no details.


Well, I’m glad that not just one, but two, presidents will get a boost in their ratings for this man’s death. Score two points.


"If he is dead, Awlaki will be difficult to replace," said Jeremy Binnie, a terrorism and insurgency analyst at IHS Jane's in London. "It's a blow for AQAP's international operations. Awlaki has helped the group build its international profile.”

Complete and utter bullshit.

It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki. No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was "considering" indicting him). Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt. When Awlaki's father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were "state secrets" and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts. He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner.


After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it was the U.S.). [...] The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world.


What's most amazing is that [US] citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government's new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government.


From an authoritarian perspective, [...] the genius of America's political culture [is that it] not only finds way to obliterate the most basic individual liberties designed to safeguard citizens from consummate abuses of power (such as extinguishing the lives of citizens without due process). It actually gets its citizens to [...] celebrate the destruction of those safeguards.

Glenn Greenwald


Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has condemned an attack on US ambassador Robert Ford, after his convoy was pelted with eggs and tomatoes by supporters of the Syrian president when the envoy and his colleagues met an opposition figure in Damascus.

"We condemn this unwarranted attack in the strongest possible terms," Clinton said on Thursday. "Ambassador Ford and his aides were conducting normal embassy business and this attempt to intimidate our diplomats through violence is wholly unjustified."


In Washington, Clinton said the United States has raised the attempted attack on Ford at "the highest levels" in Damascus and demanded that Syria "take every possible step to protect" US diplomats.

Clinton also spoke of an "ongoing campaign of intimidation" against not only US diplomats but those from other countries.

Clinton's deputy spokesman Mark Toner said the mob tried to attack Ford and other embassy staff while they visited the opposition leader, seriously damaging US vehicles and "pelting" the visitors with tomatoes.

  Raw Story

Feel free to compare and contrast.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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