Al Qaida Agrees with Ron Paul Killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki Contrary to American Law

COMMENTARY | According to the Washington Post, Ron Paul, liberal civil libertarians, and opponents of the war on terror have a new ally in decrying the killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, two American citizens and terrorist operatives.

The Al Qaida affiliate in Yemen, in announcing the death of the radical cleric, has denounced it as a violation of American law. “Where are what they keep talking about regarding freedom, justice, human rights and respect of freedoms?!” the statement said.

The spectacle of an organization that has slaughtered thousands of people, including innocent non combatants, and even fellow Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, lecturing another country about adherence to its own laws is precious, in my opinion. While one reading of the Koran forbids the killing of innocents, including enemy noncombatants and fellow Muslims, according to Jihad Watch, there are other interpretations.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, an Egyptian cleric and mentor of Osama bin Ladin, stated that the killing of innocents could be justified if it advanced the cause of Islam. That is the basis of Al Qaida’s willingness to commit what otherwise would be considered murder in the advance of its cause.

Interestingly, Al Qaida does not acknowledge the right of the United States to interpret its own laws to justify the killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan by military action. The Obama administration believed that it had the legal right to kill both terrorists as part of the execution of the war on terror.

The person who should be worried about Al Qaida’s invoking American law to decry the killing of two of its operatives is Rep. Ron Paul. R-Texas. Paul has maintained that the killing of American citizens, even if they are members of an organization that had taken up arms against the United States, is unconstitutional. Neither Al-Awlaki or Samir Khan were given their civil rights. They should have been arrested and put on trial, following Paul’s logic.

The next Republican presidential debate occurs in New Hampshire on Tuesday. It is possible that the question of the killing of Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan will come up. Someone is going to mention that Paul and Al Qaida are in agreement on the question. This is not a place where anyone in American public life should want to be. Paul’s invoking his understanding of the Constitution will not alter that fact.

Source: Al-Qaeda joins those questioning legality of U.S. killing of citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, Jason Ukman, Washington Post, Oct 10, 2011

Sheikhs debate whether killing Muslim non-combatants is permissible, Jihad Watch, July 11, 2005

Ron Paul: Al Awlaki Should Have Been Given His Day in Court, Mark R. Whittington, Sept 30, 2011

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