Just after 9/11, an emotional President George W. Bush, confronted with the knowledge that it was likely the Al Qaeda head Osama bin Laden who was directly responsible for the carnage, was asked what he meant when he stated he would work to bring bin Laden to justice. The President acknowledged he didn’t care if he was brought in “dead or alive”. This frontier justice remark was immediately seized upon as a prime example of a leader who held a view of international justice devoid of any nuance. It was considered by the opposition and the liberal media as an extremely intemperate remark. Even Mrs. Bush stated she was concerned with the imagery the President’s words projected. This remark however was just the start of a whole series of attacks on the President’s perceived reactionary cowboy justice mentality felt serially responsible for inappropriate ‘lone ranger’ actions resulting in their opinion in the radical mistakes of policy defining Guantanamo imprisonment of unindicted combatants, WMD, Iraq, Abu Graib, and the Surge.
Well it turns out there is a new Wyatt Earp in Town, and this one is the real embodiment of frontier justice. President Obama has determined the court room process and commitment to perpetrator rights he initially felt was so vital to the American psyche as evidenced in his initial determination to try in American courts the 9/11 co-conspirators, has little residual value. He has essentially abandoned his considerations for civilian justice and instead has become a mighty force for vigilante justice. Over the last several years he has become a singular success in finding and eliminating Al Qaeda’s starting lineup, and a court room is the farthest thing from his mind for determining the sentence. The continuous sentence from the sky that is delivered by the Predator drone assumes the sentence is tied to the identification of the perpetrator, and the verdict is, without fail, an immediate execution. The reality of the bin Laden raid was that the justice meted out would be instantaneous, and there was no effort to “bring him back alive” for a traditional court room conviction. Now, in the country of Yemen a similar sentence has been passed on Anwar Al-Awlaki, the notorious instigator of the Fort Hood massacre and director of other significant terrorist attacks, and the justice has again ended with a frontier noose party.
This time, the howling hypocrites on the left are going to have a hard time keeping silent on this act. Awlaki, for all his attempts at mascarading as the next bin Laden, is after all, an American citizen. If there ever was an argument for what the left has been enraged about in the United States actions regarding terrorist combatant’s rights, the execution of an American citizen overseas for an alleged role in a crime without due process is enough to make the Guantanamo and Bush haters gag. The attack against Obama’s ongoing strategy as an extralegal act is bound to pick up steam.
The President is finding out that his reflexive and harsh stance against the previous administration’s legal argument in avoiding civilian court positions himself as a hypocrite of the first order in own recent actions. Awlaki, born and raised in the United States, projected his venom on the internet inciting violence, but the direct link to traitorous acts against the United States is a circuitous one. The actions has led voices as diverse as the liberal Salon eMagazine and presidential candidate Ron Paul to condemn the act. The argument is beginning to be put forth that the presence of views antithecal to the United States is being used as grounds for targeting killing, a slippery slope indeed.
Awlaki’s pathetic persona was more demonic than his ridiculous resemblence to the movie actor Avner Eisenberg in 1985’s movie Romancing the Stone: Jewel of the Nile.
No, Awlaki was not the bumbling well meaning religious figure Avner Eisenberg played in the 1985 comedy – he was every bit the nihilist creep that has seized the Islamic mantle in the name of a fascist vision of the world. There are no tears to be shed because he happened to be an American version of the male fantacists dream of an islamic “holy man”. The truth is that Awlaki was willing participant in the violent conspiracy against modern civilization and ended up as he should have – at the wrong end of an American directed weapon. Good riddance. But the argument, if there ever was one, put forward by the President of the need for due process, died with Awlaki. I dont want to hear even one more little hypocritical squeak from any liberal about this administration’s purified notions of justice any more. This President, like no other, has turned the war on terrorism – into the O.K. Corrall.