Attack of the Drones: The Proliferation in the Use of Drones Overseas and at Home Threatens Timeless Principles of Constitutional Liberty, Including Due Process and the Prohibition of Unlawful Searches and Seizures

By J. D., Joe Wolverton, II | The New American, October 8, 2012 | Go to article overview

Attack of the Drones: The Proliferation in the Use of Drones Overseas and at Home Threatens Timeless Principles of Constitutional Liberty, Including Due Process and the Prohibition of Unlawful Searches and Seizures


J. D., Joe Wolverton, II, The New American


As he sat enjoying a roadside picnic L, in Yemen with a few second cousins and their friends--most of whom the young Colorado native had never met before that day--the teenager and all his companions were killed by two Hellfire missiles fired from a Predator drone.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The finger that pressed the button launching the lethal ordnance was American, and so was 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the target of the strike.

A question that has never been answered by President Barack Obama--the man who authorizes such assassinations is what law authorized the murder of 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, son of the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also killed by Hellfire missiles fired by a Predator drone. Both men were U.S. citizens, and neither was ever charged with a crime.

Some in the Obama administration, including the president, have argued that such sudden strikes are justified in the face of a credible threat posed by the victim. No such claim has been made in the case of the younger al-Awlaki. He posed no threat to the national security of the United States, but he was killed without opportunity to defend himself before an impartial judge in a court of law.

Denial of Due Process

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed in October 2011, and to date the Obama administration has never informed the country of any wrongdoing by this teenager, other than being related to a man (his father) who posted on the Internet anti-American videos that allegedly influenced others to commit crimes. A government-sanctioned assassination of such an individual is repugnant to all those who cherish life, liberty, and the due process that protects them.

An additional denial of due process came from the fact that no known attempt was ever made to capture this young man and take him into U.S. custody. Of course, that could be because he might actually have ended up in a court of law if he had been apprehended; and President Obama, a former lawyer, knows that trials can be long, messy, and unpredictable. It is much quicker and cleaner just to launch a missile and kill someone without going through the hassle of due process.

Finally, with regard to civilian casualties, not even the White House claims that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a member of al-Qaeda or any associated group believed to pose a threat to the United States. He was quite literally killed for being associated with one who was allegedly associated with those allegedly associated with al-Qaeda.

As Tom Junod wrote in Esquire:

  But Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn't on an American kill list.
  Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
  Nor was he "an inspiration," as his father styled himself,
  for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he
  gone "operational," as American authorities said his father
  had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American
  interests.

  He was a boy who hadn't seen his father in two years, since
  his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his
  father was on an American kill list and who [sneaked] out
  of his family's home in the early morning hours of September
  4, 2011, to try to find him.

Not only was the target of the night-time drone attack a civilian, but so were the boys sitting with him when two U.S. missiles lit up the area and killed them all. Being merely near a person related to someone accused of being associated with a group allegedly affiliated with an alleged al-Qaeda network is apparently sufficient provocation for becoming "collateral damage" in the U.S. "war on terror."

Tragically, the unjustified killing of these boys only added to the ever-increasing tally of victims of the death-by-drone program. As of press time, the death toll of people killed by the United States in the Middle East by drone strikes is rising. During the first two weeks of September, for example, 34 Yemenis were killed by missiles fired from U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Attack of the Drones: The Proliferation in the Use of Drones Overseas and at Home Threatens Timeless Principles of Constitutional Liberty, Including Due Process and the Prohibition of Unlawful Searches and Seizures
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.