Collaborating With the Enemy in the War on Terror

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) have injected themselves into the war on terror as never before, leaping to the defense of the man often described as the spiritual leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula: Anwar Al-Awlaki. There’s little doubt that Al-Awlaki provided aid and inspiration to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian “underpants bomber,” and to the Times Square bomber, Faisal Shahzad. He has also called for the murder of civilians like Salman Rushdie and the young Seattle cartoonist who initiated “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day.” Yet, despite the danger that Al-Awlaki continues to represent to the free world, the ACLU and the CCR filed suit in federal court to protect the radical cleric’s “rights.”

Al-Awlaki’s father, Nasser Al-Awlaki, asked the two groups for help after he learned that the Obama administration has targeted his son for assassination. Because the cleric was born in New Mexico, the ACLU and CCR maintain that he is entitled to due process in America’s legal system. Defending his organization’s decision to defend Al-Awlaki, Vincent Warren, the executive director of the CCR, said:

That’s what we do. We file lawsuits. …[W]e don’t believe the US should be wreaking violence for political reasons. It should be up to a court, not just the US government, to decide whether al-Awlaki poses a threat. The US should not be conducting the killing of US citizens outside the legal process, far away from any battlefield.

The proposition that the US is “wreaking violence for political reasons” is patently ludicrous. The United States is at war with a determined enemy and the fact that this particular conflict involves asymmetrical warfare does not relieve the president of the United States from his duties as commander in chief. Al-Awlaki isn’t “far away from any battlefield” because he and his fellow terrorists have defined the battlefield as the whole planet earth. Furthermore, the congressional war resolution passed on September 14, 2001 remains in force. That resolution authorizes the president to use “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, organizations or persons that he deems to have helped bring about the 9-11 attacks and to use such measures to prevent future acts of international terrorism. Thus, when Al-Awlaki decided to join forces with al-Qaeda, he not only became an enemy of America, he forfeited his rights as an American. He’s a combatant.

Al-Awlaki is no more entitled to legal protections in a time of war than a Confederate soldier was in 1863. What the ACLU and the CCR are suggesting is the equivalent of requiring Union soldiers to obtain writs from a judge approving each and every target wearing a grey uniform before pulling a trigger at Gettysburg. In time of war, it is both the president’s right and his duty to decide how to prosecute that war and where to attack the enemy.

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  • Robert Laity

    Obama "collaborates" with Terrorists:
    See 18USC,Part 1,Chapter 115,Sec.2381

  • Lee Poteet

    The ACLU has not drifted far to the left. It was founded as a Communist front organization and has continued to do the work of destroying the Constitution and infringing upon the actual religious liberties of the citizens of this country. If it is being aided and abetted by CCR then both are now by their alliance "combatants."

  • So Cal Mike

    It's really too bad we can't target the ACLU and CCR for assassination.
    The Left just doesn't feel comfortable if they aren't helping or doing something beneficial for those trying to mass murder us.
    It's just how they are. It's an inextricable part of their being.

  • chiquelets

    Al-Awlaki is a traitor, and thus subject to the death penalty. He should be adjudicated guilty in absentia…then, have his sorry a## obliterated from the face of the earth.

    • noway2no

      Agreed! A short rope is what he deserves.

      Now if he is a traitor are the ACLU and CCR guilty of treason for defending him?

  • Mike in VA

    Al-Qaeda declared war on the United States over a decade ago, and Anwar Al-Awlaki is a high-ranking officer in that organization – we're well past the point of questioning whether or not he is an enemy soldier/combatant. The ACLU and CCR can sue all they want, but that doesn't mean they have a legitimate case.

    • Fred Dawes

      When you cut right to the point al awlaki head needs to be cut off before he kills more little kids.

  • USMCSniper

    The article said: "Al-Awlaki’s father, Nasser Al-Awlaki, asked the two groups for help after he learned that the Obama administration has targeted his son for assassination."

    Ahhhh…errr…. hmmmm… I would like to know from where his father heard this,because if a "covert ternination" was authorized, I am sure it was above top secret. Anwar Al-Awlaki is simply on a terrorist list and if he resists arrest then he gets his 72 virgins next!

    • SeaMystic

      First inject him with pigs blood or perhaps we need bullets with a drop of swine blood in it, to ensure an impure death and no Bordelo in the sky for Muslims.

      • Rifleman

        I was reading a few years back where scientists had genetically modified some pigs so they had human compatible blood (to eliminate reliance on donors). I was thinking it would be a great interrogation tool. I'd tell them if they didn't talk, we'd transfuse them straight from one of those pigs and after a week, execute them and send their body back to desecrate their family cemetery plot. Call me Mr. cultural sensitivity.

        • SeaMystic

          Right On, great Idea. I further suggest that a cloud of Pigs Blood be detonated over Mecca, and let them know that Mecca will be destroyed, just as a start to our War against Islam.


  • tweedledee

    well well well… as usual, RWers only want to stand up for the constitution when it's convenient and fits into your agenda. The ACLU has defend all kinds of people (not just leftists) when their rights to free speech, practice religion, meeting, protesting, or been unlawfuly searched and siezed by the government. Including, recently, a NJ transit worker who has fired for burning a Koran. So hold your horses there with the "commie" accusations… from a constitutional stand point, the U.S. government does not have the right to target people for "assassination", only a court can issue a "death sentence" after a fair trial. It's pretty clear cut, Al-Awlaki, foul as he may be, is not a soldier serving in an army or for a nation that has formally declared war on the U.S.A. therefore. Allowing the U.S. government to target people they consider a threat here and abroad would sent a horrific precedent, where even people like you and me (citizens who may or may not agree with the government) could be assassinated for so much as showing up at a meeting.

    • Fred Dawes

      Most Americans understand that al awlaki is in fact not a real American and also understands that The ACLU Will only defend some agenda not a person that is not about right or wrong but about the ideals not only of the left or right but of the ideals behind that for justice of a idea.
      This battle of political ideals not the right or wrong of that idea IS IN FACT BS. In other words its all for the show and nothing about right or wrong.

    • Bobzilla

      You are an idiot. “Death sentence” is for criminals, not war combatants. ACLU rarely (and that is being generous) defends anyone that cannot further their left wing commie agenda. You really need to read more – Huffington Post DOES NOT COUNT. America needs to deport all liberals like you to Iran or Cuba or N. Korea, We’ll see how long you morons are allowed to live in one of your chosen lands. Please move right away!

    • Mike in VA

      Contrary to what you claim, it is clear cut that Anwar Al-Awlaki IS an enemy combatant in an organization that has formally declared war on the United States, February 23, 1998 to be precise.

    • Rifleman

      Illegal combatants have no constitutional rights.

      The aclu was founded by Roger Baldwin, Unitarian Socialist; Norman Thomas, leader of the Socialist Party of America; and Elizabeth Gurley, future chairwoman of the American Communist Party. Delude yourself they aren't commies, but they are. That's why you'll never see them defend the 2nd, 9th, or 10th Amendments.

  • Fred Dawes

    It would be normal for the ACLU To help our enemies after all the ACUL Was setup by the Red political party to do just that destroy the bill of rights.

  • Malcolm

    Surely there's an obvious solution here: Al-Awlaki can give himself up! Once he does, he is sure to receive a fair trial. The ACLU can even represent him/