The Assassination of an American Teenager

With all the outcry over Trayvon Martin, I’m curious… where is the outcry for Abdulrahman al-Awlaki?

If you’re like any number of Americans, you probably just said “Who?” aloud.

As reported by David Kretzmann:

On October 14, 2011, Abdulrahman Al-awlaki was killed by U.S. airstrikes in Yemen. Al-awlaki was a 16 year old American citizen who was eating dinner with a group of his teenage friends when U.S. airstrikes took their lives. Al-awlaki, born in Denver, Colorado, was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki. Anwar al-Awlaki, of course, was the U.S. citizen suspected (but never prosecuted) of working with Al Qaeda; Awlaki was assassinated by the U.S. on September 30, 2011.

I briefly touched on the administration’s willingness to forgo due process and kill American citizens in the name of the “war on terror” in a previous article.

So while everybody is up in arms about Trayvon Martin being killed, almost nobody is mentioning Abdulrahman. I’m guessing 99% of you had never even heard of him. I’m betting the same percentage of you had no idea that this young man was, like his father, an American citizen, who was assassinated by his own government on foreign soil.

“But… but… His dad was a scary terrorist man!” Well, that may be. But as Mr. Kretzmann already noted, he was suspected but never charged or prosecuted.

Assuming his father was indeed a big scary terrorist, what did that have to do with this 16 year old boy? What was he charged with? Again, like his father, he was charged with nothing.

AntiWar.com had this to say:

The extra-legal assassination of New Mexico cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was certainly controversial in its own right, but reports about the assassination targeting some sort of terrorist convoy seem to be crumbling under evidence and the number of children killed in the attack.

Among the slain was also Abdel-Rahman Awlaki, Anwar’s 16-year-old son, one of his cousins Ahmed Abdelrahman Awlaki, and several of their friends, who were all teenage boys.

And despite the stereotype, the teenage boys weren’t out “doing terrorism” in some vague non-specific manner in the Shabwa Province. According to a statement from relatives, they were out to dinner, eating “under the moon light” when US missiles landed.

Though the Obama Administration seems pretty comfortable with assassinating the elder Awlaki, even though he was a US citizen and not charged with any crimes, the killing of the assorted other people, including several teenagers, seems considerably more suspect. Killing children with missiles isn’t exactly new to the president, of course, but Abdel-Rahman’s status as a natural-born US citizen who was never even suspected of a crime is likely to make it difficult to sweep his assassination under the rug.

It seems to me, however, that it has been pretty easy for this administration to sweep this under the rug. The mainstream media is complicit in all of this, as well, by refusing to cover it.

Let’s assume for a moment that Anwar al-Awlaki was indeed a terrorist (many of you will look at his picture to the left and say “yep, that thar is a terrorist all right!”). The fact that he was an American citizen and was killed by his government without being charged with a crime is disturbing to say the least.

Now I know, many of you will immediately point out that we’re at war with “terror.” Whatever that may be. You will point out that he was engaged in terrorist activities against the United States and therefor forfeited his citizenship.

Well, luckily for me that is an easy point to address. First, if he was indeed engaged in terrorist activities against the US, why wasn’t he charged? He’s been on the CIA ‘hit list’ since April 2010. “But we’re at war! We don’t have to charge a war criminal!” Umm, he’s an American citizen. And the state department never revoked his citizenship. Nor did he ever renounce it. So, let me make this statement again. And I want you to really think about it, without holding on to any prejudices you have in your mind. The US Government assassinated one of its own citizens, without formally charging him with a crime, and without them having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of his peers his guilt of said crime.

But this commentary isn’t on Mr. al-Awlaki. It is on his son. Let me make another statement that should disturb you. The US Government assassinated one of its own citizens, a mere teenager, and several of his friends, who were eating dinner, without formally charging him with a crime, and without them having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of his peers his guilt of said crime.

Even if you can justify in your head that the government killed Anwar al-Awlaki on the suspicion of terrorism, how could you possibly justify the killing of his 16 year old son and his friends? Simple: You can’t.

What is most disturbing about this assertion, that the government can assassinate its own citizens at will merely on the suspicion of terrorism, is that one day you might be the ‘terrorist’ the government is targeting.

“But… but… I’m not a terrorist!” Are you so sure about that? Perusing this document quickly yields that just about anybody could be considered a ‘terrorist.’ “But my government would never do that to me!” Are you willing to bet your life on it? The government did it to Anwar al-Awlaki. They did it to Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. They can do it to you too.

Doesn’t that concern you just a little?

Further Reading

Aaron Graves

Aaron Graves

Aaron Graves is a veteran and a staunch libertarian, consistently breaking ranks with his Conservative friends on social issues, and with his Liberal friends on economic issues. He is also the guy that wrote the crap that you just read. Sic Semper Tyrannis

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