Anwar al Awlaki is believed to have been born 40 years ago in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He attended Colorado State University in the early 1990s. While at the university, he applied for a US passport in 1993, the same year terrorists bombed the World Trade Center.
Al Awlaki drew attention from authorities after they learned he had listed Yemen as his country of birth when he applied for a social security number. Technically this was passport fraud. However, then assistant US attorney Dave Gaouette approved the withdrawal of a warrant for al Awlaki’s arrest in 2002.
Gaouette told The Denver Post there wasn’t enough evidence. Considering al Awlaki had placed false information on his application, Gaouett’s position was rather disingenuous.
When the warrant was withdrawn, the Post noted that ABC News reported a Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego was “outraged.”
Government officials and legacy media have asserted that Al Awlaki eventually became a key actor in Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, influencing lone wolf types like Maj. Nidal Hasan who slaughtered 13 people in 2009 at Ft. Hood.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the US government on behalf of al Awlaki in 2010. The government had placed al Awlaki on a hit list and had frozen the suspected terrorist’s assets.
ABC News said, “Awlaki’s father Nasser Al-Awlaki asked the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights to challenge the government’s placement of his son on a list of U.S. citizens who can be assassinated by U.S. forces and intelligence services for ties to terrorism.“
Various media have reported al Awlaki’s role from his headquarters in Yemen where he allegedly inspired terrorists and called for lone wolf attacks on American civilians. No international organizations have expressed outrage over such calls, and no concerns have been expressed about assaults on human rights for US victims.
Obama’s presumed approval of the takedown of al Awlaki contradicts numerous pledges the president made during his 2008 campaign. Obama frequently criticized the Bush administration for interrogation policies and many supporters of Obama called for Bush to be tried before the International Court of Justice.
Obama’s State Dept. legal adviser Harold Hongju Koh said during a press conference in 2010, “This president of the United States said that torture and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment will not be used going forward with regard to interrogation practices. So there has been a clear turning of the page.”
How will Koh and Obama defend their current position on killing an American citizen who had no trial, considering their positions on “torture and cruel and inhuman or degrading treatment” during the administration of President George W. Bush? Thus far no media have questioned this glaring reversal in Obama’s policy.
Little has been said about al Awlaki’s odyssey from American college student who once committed passport fraud to an alleged terrorist mastermind inciting others to kill civilians. Al Alwaki is believed to have been an American citizen, but in the murky realm of national security, what is perceived as truth is not always true. The imam was never placed on official terrorist lists at the US State Dept. or the FBI websites.
Numerous leftwing groups clamored for Obama and Koh to prosecute Bush. Koh has been a vocal cheerleader for undermining US sovereignty and he has opened wide a door to power for the International Court of Justice.
What will Koh and his fellow leftwingers say now that al Awlaki has been taken down by a left of center president who is a Democrat? Will legacy media note Obama’s sharp reversal on policy?
Is death by jet or drone more humane than harsh interrogation techniques?