Death of U.S. teenager in drone strike stokes debate
October 25th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Death of U.S. teenager in drone strike stokes debate

By CNN's Tim Lister

According to his Facebook profile, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki enjoyed watching The Simpsons and the BBC's Planet Earth series.

He read the Harry Potter books and listened to Snoop Dogg. He was also the 16-year-old son of the infamous al Qaeda propagandist, Anwar al-Awlaki.

And like his father he was a U.S. citizen, born in Colorado (where his father studied) on August 26, 1995.

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki left the family home in the Yemeni capital Sanaa late in September to search for his father, who was in a remote part of Yemen.  By then, al-Awlaki senior had already survived at least two attempts by the U.S. to kill him.  But days after Abdulrahman al-Awlaki began his quest, his father was killed in a U.S. drone strike.  Two weeks later, another drone strike targeting and killing a prominent al Qaeda militant, Ibrahim al-Banna, also killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a teenage cousin and several others.  Abdulrahman al-Awlaki's family in Yemen confirmed that he and his cousin were killed by a a drone strike.

It's unclear why the younger al-Awlaki was with al-Banna, but the teenager's death has refocused scrutiny on the U.S. drone campaign, which has grown exponentially since being introduced in 2004 – principally in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq, but more recently in Somalia, Yemen and Libya.  Drones are now a controversial pillar of national security policy.

John B. Bellinger III, who was legal adviser to the U.S. State Department from 2005-09, said of the use of drones:  "The U.S. spends a lot of effort attempting to minimize collateral damage and is abiding by the international law principles of distinction (ensuring a target is a lawful military target) and proportionality (the military case outweighs the risk to civilian life.)"

'Proportionality' is at the heart of the argument. Advances in drone technology have made both the surveillance and targeting of suspects more accurate. According to figures compiled by the New America Foundation on the drone campaign in Pakistan, the number of civilian deaths caused by drone attacks has dropped significantly.

But is it acceptable in law to carry out an attack against an identified terrorist suspect where others in his immediate vicinity - whose identities are unknown - are likely to be killed or injured?

Bellinger, now a partner at the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, said it is acceptable, "provided that civilians are not directly targeted and that the expected damage to any civilians is proportional to the military advantage to be gained."

But who makes that judgment? And who decides which terrorist suspects are eligible for a 'kill list'?

U.S. officials have said they did not know the younger al-Awlaki was with al-Banna. But the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information aboutthe justification for the targeted killing of his father, and said it is deeply troubled by the fact that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and another U.S. citizen, al Qaeda member Samir Khan, have also been killed by drone strikes in Yemen in the last month.

"The killing of three American citizens raises serious and troubling statements about whether the U.S. government was acting lawfully when it placed Anwar al-Awlaki's name on a "kill list" and when it ordered the deadly drone strikes," the ACLU asserts.

The ACLU is demanding the release of a 50-page classified memo drawn up last year by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel that sought to justify the targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki.

A senior U.S. official who has seen the memo told CNN this month that it maintained Anwar al-Awlaki met the definition of a lawful target in Congress' authorization to use force against al-Qaeda enacted after 9/11, even though he was an American citizen.

He said the memo, the product of months of inter-agency discussions, argued that because he was an operational figure in al Qaeda and was planning attacks against Americans, the United States had legal justification to use force to defend itself against him.  It also held that the United States had the right to take unilateral action in Yemen if Yemeni government officials were unable or unwilling to capture or kill him themselves, the official said.
A similar argument was made by President Obama's counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, in a speech two weeks before Anwar al-Awlaki's death.

"Because we are engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the United States takes the legal position that -in accordance with international law-we have the authority to take action against al Qaeda and its associated forces without doing a separate self-defense analysis each time," he told an audience at Harvard Law School.

So important is the classified document to the way the United States carries on its campaign against alleged terrorists who hold U.S, citizenship that many politicians and legal experts have requested its publication - or at least the legal analysis that underpins it.

Jack Goldsmith, legal adviser in the Defense Department in the Bush Administration, argued on the blog Lawfare that "a thorough public explanation of the legal basis for the killing (and for targeted killings generally) would allow experts in the press, the academy, and Congress to scrutinize and criticize it."

"Such an analysis could explain, for example, whether the government believed that (Anwar) al-Awlaki possessed constitutional rights under the First, Fourth, Fifth or other amendments, and (assuming the government concluded that he possessed some such rights) why the rights were not implicated by the strike," said Goldsmith, who is now a Law professor at Harvard.

Bellinger said that U.S. citizens engaged in or suspected of terrorism are not entitled to special treatment. "If a U.S. citizen had joined the German army during World War II, the U.S. military would not have needed to seek criminal charges before killing him."

Even so, he told CNN, "the Obama administration needs to do a better job explaining who is being or has been targeted. What are the procedures being used to ensure the right people are being targeted?"

Harold Koh, current legal adviser at the U.S. State Department, set out some principles last year. "A state that is engaged in an armed conflict or in legitimate self-defense is not required to provide targets with legal process before the state may use lethal force," he told the American Society of International Law. "Our procedures and practices for identifying lawful targets are extremely robust, and advanced technologies have helped to make our targeting even more precise."

But to Bellinger, that's inadequate. "Harold Koh articulated very useful general principles about the law applicable to drone strikes, but did not provide much detail," he told CNN.

"If the U.S. wants to convince its allies and the rest of the world that it is conducting drone strikes in a lawful way, it will need to be more transparent about both programs. It does not need to disclose sensitive details, but it should provide more information about the legal rules and procedures it follows."

Brennan has argued that the U.S. justification for its expanding use of the drone program in an era of asymmetrical warfare was gaining traction. "We are finding increasing recognition in the international community that a more flexible understanding of "imminence" may be appropriate when dealing with terrorist groups, in part because threats posed by non-state actors do not present themselves in the ways that evidenced imminence in more traditional conflicts," he said recently.

Bellinger sees no evidence of that. "It's not at all clear that the international community is coming round to that. We don't see other governments acknowledging that the interpretation of 'imminence' might be more flexible in dealing with the threat of terrorism."

Post by:
Filed under: Afghanistan • Al Qaeda • Anwar al-Awlaki • AQAP • CIA • drones • Intelligence • Living With Terror • Military • Panetta • Terrorism • Yemen
soundoff (538 Responses)
  1. Jaclyn

    To the terrorists, they are right in their eyes, and to us we are right in our eyes. Who's to say who is right and who is wrong? We are all fighting for our own causes. Terrorists have their reasons, we're destroying their country as much as they can be destroying ours. However I think they need not bother us because we're destroying our country better than they could.

    August 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  2. plutosnightlife

    We keep hearing about all the drones killing Americans... What is the United States doing.. People we need to stand and make a voice..

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  9. ?

    when the government that is meant to be protecting us try's to defend its killing of an innocent child (Abdulrahman al-Awlaki) that is the day when all hope is lost.

    February 1, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • fredrick mcdanel abdul aziz

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      February 28, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
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    November 13, 2011 at 10:26 am | Reply
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    November 12, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
  14. swpz

    The Middle East was not always in conflict, they were actually very peaceful, until 1948 – wonder what happened that year? Oh right, British and French troops "occupied" a strip of land in what is now Israel – and... proclaimed the new country of Israel.

    A comparison is the US gets invaded by the Russians in the Cold War, they TAKE OVER part of your country and proclaim a new "democratic people's republic of america" – how will you guys like it? Will you fight them tooth and nail till you beat them and drive them from your homeland?

    These "terrorists" are simply fighting with whatever means they have till they oust those that invaded their homeland in the first place; but of course since it isn't in line with the "exploit every country for resources that we can" line of thought it's "terrorism".

    Funny, they certainly didn't call the actions of the Mu-jahadeen "terrorism", but of course, silly me, that was directed against the Russians not America.

    As for dehumanization for military purposes, done all the time in every war possible. They're only "terrorists" they aren't human. "They're Japs" they aren't human, "They're goons" they aren't human.

    The ignorance is simply astounding.

    November 9, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
    • Fez1984

      Who you callin' ignorent? Palestine had been under British control since World War one, when they took it from the Turks (then as now, the Palestinians had no state). It remained under British control until they withdrew under pressure from Israeli partisans (freedom fighters, terrorists or whatever). The Israelis then tricked the world into thinking they had a great military by routing six of the most incompetent armies on the planet. Additionally your argument that the terrorists (i.e. those non-state actors who employ unlawful and violent means to a political end) in the middle east are merely defending their homeland is flawed. The US was not occupying Saudi Arabia or Yemen or Egypt on Sept. 11th (if you have problems with the US presence in those countries take it up with the governments that invited it).

      November 15, 2011 at 9:00 am | Reply
  15. Houston Swat

    We are going to receive nearly 2,000 of these completely armed with smart small caliber munitions and sidewinder 402K-LXD missiles. The night vision capabilities combined with light scatter chromatagram and x-ray surveillance penetration radar are going to make it almost impossible for the criminals to hide from us and if they run, we will simply blow them up. These also come equiped with LR Taser technology for less dangerous offenders and can accurately hit a target from more than 4,000 feet away. Simply awsome. The operators of these are going to really have some fun. You get the adrenaline rush without danger to life and limb and can deliver awsome firepower to boot. For those interested in the next generation of law enforcement, come join the Houston Police Department.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:48 am | Reply
  16. av8rdav

    I wish these so called reporters would use correct terminology. These are not "drones". They are UAV's-Unmannned Aeriel Vehicles. Drones are UAV's also, but are used as targets to train pilots in live fire exercises. I, as a taxpayer, I would be very upset if the Air Force were using these as drones.

    October 31, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Reply
  17. Jon

    Are we suppose to send notifications out announcing an airstrike? HELLO! I think we made the announcement. Your father is on the Wanted list! Dead or Alive!!!

    Tell the ACLU to go stick it where the sun doesn't shine. The ACLU should be more interested in the civil rights of those killed in the towers. Where were their RIGHTS? The ACLU are nothing but, ambulance chasers!

    October 31, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
  18. jam8canpops

    Lie with dogs you rise with fleas.He should have stayed in the US.We are in a war and unfortunately for him he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.He gambled with his life and lost.Sorry but life is not all fair and there will always be collateral damage like himself.Should not have been there in the first place.

    October 31, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
  19. sjdsh

    "Because we are engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda"
    BS....when convenient they're the cia's armed Arab wing.
    Al Qaeda flag flying high now over Libyan court house now.60,000+ Libyan Dead ,2 mil. homeless,Sharia Law.
    Drone/Amerika Inc.

    October 29, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Reply
    • Gary

      Absolutely correct. Just when Ronnie Raygun backed mujahideen and pre-Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, the US and NATO now sends lethal airstrikes to defend Al-Qaeda in Libya and elsewhere. Al-Awlaki dined in the Pentagon with Rumsfeld, and Osama bin Laden was AT LEAST indirectly supported by the largest and longest CIA covert operation in our history.

      Everyone remembers that we fought S. Vietnamese peasants who were "communists" aka Viet Cong. But when that was lost, the CIA covertly provided money, aid, and weapons to Pol Pot and HIS communist forces, to punish Vietnam and to scare others from joining communist movements opposed to WASHINGTON'S global interests.

      Bush w Bremer and Rice installed Malaki, Chalabi, Allawi and the Dawa Party in Iraq, a ruthless terrorist cult associated closely with Ayatollah Kohmeini and Hezbollah, and a member of Iraqi Parliament who was convicted of bombing and killing Americans in Kuwait. We installed the most brutal enemies of Iraq to rule Iraq, and out soldiers died as martyrs imposing a Sharia Law Constitution on liberal Iraqis, put together by Bush and Shiite Iranian legal experts.

      So supporting Al-Qaeda today while supposedly fighting Islamic radicalism is nothing new in history of US foreign policy.

      October 31, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Reply
      • George

        Show prrof of these allegations in your comments or else stop making them. I don't doubt that there is some truth but without evidence you are not going to sway the average civilian.

        November 5, 2011 at 3:16 am |
  20. M551

    One less terrorist in the world, end of story.

    October 29, 2011 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • Phlawed Logic

      Tyrannical Dictator that can destroy all opposition with robots and the support of his people under false guises, begin story...

      November 1, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  21. lindseyc

    Yes, he was an american citizen with a terroriest father, who left the U.S. to go following in the footsteps of other terrorist leaders....does that make him less of a U.S. sure does. it should be AUTOMATIC if you are caught doing terrorist acts against the country you live in (i.e. jihad jane) you should be deported to that country of which you are supporting. I am a veteran, I have been to the muslim based countries and let me tell you its not pretty for women in those areas.
    I think the questions that should be raised here inst about the drones and the death that occured, but more so about why or how did these people come to spend so much time on U.S. soil and when are we going to stop it?

    October 29, 2011 at 7:19 am | Reply
    • ikhlaas

      I'm sorry but he went in search of his father, not to follow in his footsteps. Even if your father was the most hated man in the western world you would still go looking for him if he was missing wouldn't you.

      May 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  22. too sad

    I agree that the killing of an American teen by drone strike is not a favored act, however, you have to realize that he was in harms way and was with those that required targeting. Would it hav made any difference if actionable intelligence said he was there?? Who knows. Drones at this time seem to be the only tangible weapon that the insurgents, islamists, and terrorists actually fear. The realization that the US, however diminished, still has the ability to reach out and touch you silently, and I cannot see this as a bad thing.

    October 28, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  23. Ha, Ha, he fell funny

    I wonder if the Hellfire missile set off all their suicide vests all at once, like a combo-explosion.

    Let them know - the sky has eyes and it's always watching. From time to time, it's also shooting you with bombs.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Reply
    • amust

      and yes, there is another eye beyond infinity who is also watching the killing machine US has become. soon these drone will be countered with .....anti-drones

      October 28, 2011 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  24. Mike

    What a garbage article. My son is on the front lines, we want more drones not less, its what the insurgents fear most. How about drones on the ALCU.

    October 27, 2011 at 10:01 am | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      The ACLU is not the enemy. ACLU protects everyone's rights, not just the rights of people they like. They protect your rights. Every American should be glad the ACLU exists. View anything the ACLU does from the perspective of logic, not emotion, and it all makes sense. Drone strikes are a necessary thing, but it still makes sense to remind ourselves of the unintended consequences of using them. We can't pretend and live in a dream world. ACLU helps keep us grounded in reality. That's a good thing.

      October 27, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
      • ChuckFromAl

        For the most part I support the ACLU and think they do good work, but in this case I think they are wrong. Anwar al-Awlaki’ was a self proclaimed member of Al-Queda and a high ranking on at that. he was at war with the US and he got what he deserved. As for his son, if you hand around with terrorists you risk getting killed too. I have no pity on him at all.

        October 27, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • Earnan

        The ACLU has never met an enemy of the United States that it wasn't eager to embrace and support.

        Traitors all. They deserve a rope.

        October 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  25. rob


    October 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • Rule of Wolves

      The same can be said for Vietnamese children living in villages infiltrated by the VC, or the Native American children at Sand Creek. This is just a reactionary justification for child murder. Just say what you mean. Little terorists become big terrorists or, as John Chivington put it, "nits make lice. Keep waiving that bloody shirts.

      October 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      @Rob: actually, yes, it was the drone strike that killed him. His father was at fault for exposing his son to that danger, yes. Terrorists just don't make very good fathers.

      October 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  26. Matt

    If the kid liked all that Western and American Stuff, why didn't the terrorist daddy just kill him. If American Citizenship can be granted, why not revoked? Colateral Damage will always occur, WWII was an example. This was is not being played on XBoX360 or a PS3, but many of us think that we can have the magic bullet that only kills the bad guy we want, not so. If you don't like America then move out, and hopefully you won't get killed when you try to killl your fellow Americans from the cave that you live in.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Reply
    • rob


      October 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  27. useyourhead

    Think of it this way. Typically when there are "civilians" killed as collateral damage, they knew they were with/near a terrorist. Maybe if they start to realize that if they are near one they could get killed, people will stop harboring terrorists. Besides, if we worry too much about the people near the terrorists, all they will do is make sure to keep a "civilian" close and use them as human shields. In my opinion, if you are that close to one of these high up Terrorists (which kill more civilans than they do military) yuo deserve what you get. Yuo knew who you were associating with.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Reply
    • Igor the Magnificent

      Then cannot the same reasoning be used to justify the killings at the WTC? Specifically, the people working in the twin towers knew they were supporting government officials that have outstanding warrants against them for crimes against humanity. the purpose of the WTC personenl was to continue propegating the Amercian point of view over others in the world and to the possible detriment of others through potentially illegal acts.

      Pretty touchy situation when we try to justify our killings of innocents and try to loudly condemn others killing of our innocents.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:10 pm | Reply
      • wagnert in atlanta

        Let's see you post a link to just one of those "outstanding warrants" or to any sort of evidence that anyone in the Twin Towers was specifically "supporting government officials."

        October 27, 2011 at 10:04 am |
      • ernest descartes

        what the hell are you talking about "IGOR".... THAT KID IS A CLASS A TERRORIST CANDIDATE PERIOD.

        October 27, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
      • Bob

        Warning to Igor – Incoming Drone Attack Imminent. Send your children elsewhere.

        November 17, 2011 at 11:13 pm |
  28. comecleanOK

    Every soldier who kills should be able to look the person they are willing to kill, in their eyes. And watch the life force expire, any less is cowardice plain and simple. Any soldier who has, lives to regret it. We have a long, long way to go.
    To depersonalize killing is immoral. But then whoever said the US is moral?

    October 26, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • D Hansen

      I guarantee you have never served a day in your life! So shut your fucking pussy ass liberal mouth, you haven't got a leg to stand on when it comes to this issue. Go over to Afghanistan and fight next to your Taliban friends you slice of shit!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • PJRG

        Is this what the army means when they you'll get disciplined?

        October 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
      • Igor the Magnificent

        Is this a prime example of America's willingness to debate issues or what? Mr. Hansen seems to be all 'my way or the highway'.

        God it must be nice to be so righteous.

        October 26, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
      • D Hansen

        Not my way or the hi-way, just my way of voicing my opinion. here's what I have for you... What have you ever done for this country besides complain about it? ever serve a day in your life? My guess is that your some shitty cunt who has never been outside a college classroom. So I don't care if you think I'm self righteous or not. Thankfully people like you are not making policy, so we are still able to take the fight to the enemy.

        October 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm |
      • Yousuck

        What a well-reasoned and justified argument. (Actually no. You are a sociopath.)

        October 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • yourdumb

      You should be put on the front lines. Idiot.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Reply
    • rob

      dont talk about things you know nothing about

      October 26, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  29. Bobby Dee

    Sorry, I ain't crying no tears over this kid. It sucks that his dad was a scumbag but them's the breaks.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:33 am | Reply
  30. Dark Marcsun

    While collateral damage is unfortunate, I really don't understand why we're even debating over the minutiae of civilian casualties in a time of war. Considering the carpet bombing we did of places like Dresden, Tokyo, Berlin, etc, drone strikes that incur civilian casualties are much more of a precise instrument than anything we've used in history in terms of eliminating the enemy. The fact that we're even trying to mitigate civilian casualties is a testament to the fact that the U.S. has some restraint in this matter, despite over a decade of putting up with these nations who overtly harbor terrorists.

    October 26, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  31. D Sherman

    Well, the US GOVT should've revoked his citizenship called him a traitor then killed him. It is a sad thing trying to decide whose life is expendable and I myself would never want to decide that but have empathetic concerns for these people who live in a culture that lacks critical thinking and a different system of values..

    Violence is the only thing these people understand and respect.. They're hate usually stems from envy as does most crimes in the US, i.e., a mugging for money.

    Let's face it i won't shed a tear and i didnt shed one either for WTC victims; There are plenty of people on t his earth to replace the few that parish.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:43 am | Reply
  32. George

    First of all, whether he was a U.S. citizen is a non-issue. If you kill someone in our country, you can still be put to death no matter what your citizenship is. So this applies to Anwar al-Awlaki...
    Second of all, the arguments about due trial are ridiculous – Anwar al-Awlaki had plenty of opportunity for trial but instead chose to flee to where he couldn't be found. Enemy combatants (which he was) on a battlefield do not get pulled in front of a judge and jury before they are shot at. This killing occurred in the middle of a war and it was unfeasible to be trying to try him in person before killing him.
    Finally, the son was not the actual target. Unfortunately, he decided to hang out with people who were targets. And this article makes it clear that he and his cousin were killed 2 weeks AFTER his father. In other words, he was NOT looking for his father at that time. Gee, wonder what he was doing hanging out with a known terrorist then? Regardless, even if you naively believe him to be innocent, the reality is that common sense would tell you that a "civilian" shouldn't be hanging out next to a combatant in the middle of a war. Ever notice how civilians tend to leave war zones when fighting erupts?

    October 26, 2011 at 10:02 am | Reply
    • Igor the Magnificent

      The problem is we are just as busy trying to kill them. Actually, we started killing them long before they attacked us. Why can Americans kill will impunity while everyone else not American had better abide by our thoughts of the international laws?

      What is good for the goose will surely be practiced by the gander.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Reply
      • SoulCatcher

        unless the gander is dead.

        October 27, 2011 at 3:51 am |
  33. Micah

    Quit the coverups CNN. You, along with all the other news outlets, said he was 21 years old in the October 15th reports and said he was a militant who was in hiding.

    Abdulrahman was the target, and the story was changed only after his true age was revealed, the fact that he was NOT in hiding and was NOT a militant.

    October 26, 2011 at 10:01 am | Reply
  34. Micah

    Tell the truth CNN and quit making spins. At least call into question the authenticity as to whether U.S. was really targetting these other Al Qaeda names that got thrown into the equation AFTER Abdulrahman's true age and identity came to light. From what I read from the October 15th reports, the only person mentioned in the attack, and the target of the attack, was 21 year old AQ terrorist Abdulrahman al-Awlaqi and you all got it wrong. U.S. isn't shy about naming who is targeted and killed in drone attacks. So where is any mention of these other Al Qaeda names in the initial October 15th reports.

    The media will always spin it in a way that pleases our gov, and history will never have the truth...
    Abdulrahman was the target, and you have all bought into the Egyptian Al Qaeda coverup angle.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Reply
  35. Bobby G.

    Oh boo hoo. Dad knew he had a bull's eye on his back and should have sais"Son, I love you, but stay away for now."

    October 26, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
  36. RV1982

    There will always be unintended casualties in war. The fact is, using drones to target the leaders of terror groups reduces total casualties for both sides of the equation, and consequently is morally justified. I would suggest that NOT using drones in war is immoral.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:03 am | Reply
    • Micah

      Yes, keep believing the lies. Before you assume you know what your talking about, how about you read the October 15th reports which described Abdulrahman as the main and only target, 21 year old militant in hiding.

      The other AQ "leaders" got thrown into the equation after it was revealed that Abdulrahman was 16 years old, not a militant and certainly NOT in hiding. Quit being gullable. USA screwed up and now they are trying to change the story

      October 26, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
      • Showstopper

        If the US wanted to cover up their "mistake" then they would have stuck with the story that he was 21 and a militant leader. Why would they say he was 16 and was not in hiding and not a target if they were trying to cover up their "mistake"?

        October 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
    • Gary

      don't you remember we're at war with civilians FOREVER. Cheney and Rumsfeld said so and they were not lying about that. There's a deep well of people on the planet opposed to Washington's policies, including Americans, WHITE people, Liberals, Christians, you name it. Anyone that Washington deems a "terrorist" or "linked" is all the license they need to kill. And we the people WANT THIS? MORE? Bush was right, the Constitution really is just a piece of shitty toilet paper. Whatever founding principles used to DEFINE "America", those are obviously in the trash can -- which means "America" is already dead. Whatever we have left now is what we see, a violent secretive lying totalitarian global state corporate system.

      Some kooks over-hype the idea of a fascistic corporatist "New World Order" that sounds like some sci-fi novel, but it's more disturbing seeing all these citizens openly embrace this project and defend it with vigor. Thomas P.M. Barnett's "Globlogization" lays it out pretty clearly, even in the glossary section. Welcome to the Future.

      October 31, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  37. Ben

    It is unfortunate that the young man lost his life but is the United States to blame? Is it the United States fault that this young man was riding along with a known high ranking member of one of the most violent terrorist organizations in the world? Did the United States place him in that situation or was it his father who decided his fate? Let's look at this case in a more domestic light. What if a young man who was a good kid, a great student, and a citizen of this country was hanging out with gangbangers-and his parents knew of his whereabouts- on one of our city's streets. He isn't doing anything but socializing and along comes another group of gangbangers who is at war with the group he's hanging with. Gunshots are fired and he's killed. Or his friends decide to get into a shoot out with the police. Who's fault is it?

    October 26, 2011 at 4:37 am | Reply
    • Micah

      Lol, how about you read the October 15th reports, and then maybe you will start to question this entire fabrication. ABdulrahman was the prime target, and was mistakenly described as a 21 year old militant in hiding.

      The Al Qaeda guys got thrown into the equation after the truth of Abdulrahman and his age was revealed. Have fun being fed the truth you gullable chimps.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:07 am | Reply
      • Earnan

        Stick with the "grassy knoll" and "aliens probed my ass" theories, Micah.

        You're nothing but a pathetic tool of islamist criminals.

        October 29, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
      • Gary

        Hello Micah,
        No less than FIVE sources of expert foreign policy wisdom operating in conjunction with Congress and the Pentagon published statements on the necessity of some kind of major attack on American soil, from 1997 to 9/11/2001. Afterwards, many similar sources stated that the events were unfortunate, but some kind of "blessing in disguise". However this "blessing" was defined prior to 9/11, the blessing of a go-ahead with a new conception and configuration of the Pentagon and aggressive foreign policy. One national security expert called a hypothetical future "Pearl Harbor event" "lucky" and "providential". THAT IS NOT A THEORY.

        The point was that a massive terrorist attack would wipe out vestiges of "Vietnam Syndrome", public aversion to imperial wars, in their own words.

        Machiavelli on Modern Leadership – Michael Ledeen, AEI (AEI a parent of PNAC "project" and linked to Heritage Foundation) ("we could always get lucky ...")

        Apathetic Internationalism – James M. Lindsay, CFR, Brookings (a terror attack might "do the trick")

        The Grand Chessboard – Z. Brzezinski, CFR, Foreign Affairs (many statements on how imperialism hits barriers in a democratic society, "EXCEPT in the instance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.")

        Rebuilding America's Defenses – PNAC "project" of AEI, primarily Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Richard Perle, Gary Schmitt
        150 signers/members, including Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, others (four years of statements pressuring to invade Iraq) (most people know about the "new Pearl Harbor" quote)

        Senate Armed Svcs Cmte, hearings, by Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments and CFR ("a latter-day 'Pearl Harbor' of sorts")

        That's the five I know about because they were published and recorded. Who knows how many more candid secret statements and discussions exist along these lines?

        October 31, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
      • Gary

        So there's a list of criminal enterprises and individuals. I wonder how many of our military will stick to principles and go after those terrorists. I know there are SOME who are aware and willing, but not too many.

        October 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
  38. Sick-of-this

    To all you military personnel out there... No thanks for your service, get a real non-murderous job, stop taking 60% of the budget, and get an education so you have a career choice other than ehich branch to join.

    October 26, 2011 at 4:19 am | Reply
    • D Hansen

      Go join AQ so we can kill you then, bitch!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
      • Gary

        See above. If you know of an American who stated that an attack on US soil would be "lucky" and "providential", would you target him for assassination? What if he was one of our "national security" consultants or advisors, and if other member of his org, Robert and Frederick Kagan, were the source of the strategy for the Iraq War and "Surge"? Would you have the guts to call for them to be killed?

        "... of course, we can always get lucky. Stunning events from outside [a devastating TERROR ATTACK] can providentially awaken the enterprise from its growing torpor, and demonstrate the need for reversal, as the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 so effectively aroused the U.S. from its soothing dreams of permanent neutrality."

        Michael Ledeen, of AEI
        Machiavelli on Modern Leadership : Why Machiavelli's Iron Rules Are As Timely and Important Today As Five Centuries Ago
        published in 2000, referring to public opinion opposed to imperial war and the "dream" of peace. This was Ledeen's solution to the sickly state of Vietnam Syndrome, aversion to needless military conflict. Ledeen is a big fan of Mussolini and the Waffen SS too.

        October 31, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • rob

      don't ever forget the only reason you get to say that is cause of veterans you gutless pu$$y

      October 26, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Reply
    • Eric

      You make me laugh internet tough guy. You'll get more of an education in the first year of military than you ever did in whatever alcohol soaked, worthless money pit you matriculated from.

      October 27, 2011 at 12:13 am | Reply
  39. free thinker

    I work in a civilian area with UAV's everyday. Yes, they are controlled by people. All, or most anyway, of the comments on here are valid concerns. Lets examine the issues...
    Yes, a teenage young man was killed by a UAV, or more precisly by the person controlling the machine. This is in much respect like that in WWII with the fire bombings of Dresden or the atomic bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki. These events killed tens if not hundreds of thousands of civilians, but we were at war with a specific country, not an "idea" like terrorism against the United States.

    If anyone believes that a "War on Terror" can be won, they are not idiots, but I do believe that they have been misinformed. Terror is just that, unexpected, quick, grabs you by the seat of your pants. ANY of us could potentially be a terrorist. We do not have to sign a card or swear an allegiance to be a terrorist, but just do an act that would qualify.

    It is unfortunate that this young man was killed, and some might say "Guilt by association", but there are many in this world that could be counted along with that in different situations that should be executed but are not.

    Right wing, left wing, military, non-military, tough ass or a tree-hugger, we are all people. Terrorism is something that will always be lived with, from the times of the Romans and Greek empires through today with Sein Fein and al Qaida.

    And please, never ever discount a person due to religious beliefs. "Islamic" terrorists would be comparable to the Catholic priests and Jesuits that came into South America with the Spanish centuries ago. I would not count all Catholics as terrorists due to the fallacies of a small group of their people. The Islamic traditions and faith have been around for 1500 years, which is a lot longer than if you are a Lutheran or any other of the Protestant faiths.

    So, it was unfortunate that this young man was killed. Yes, he was around those that were targets by the US military. But when does compassion for another end and the need to subdue a threat begin? This is grey line that no one leaving a message on this website can accurately answer. I just hope that those who respond to situations like this do so with intelligence and an evolved state. Otherwise, are we no better then those that we seek to destroy?

    October 26, 2011 at 3:08 am | Reply
    • Igor the Magnificent

      How come what we do doesn't cause terror?

      October 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  40. jim

    Dear ACLU. I am all for personal civil liberties and all that. Now listen carefully. If the US will adopt the policy that it will not use drone on any terrorist that has a child under 15 in the house then all terrorists will become foster fathers and there is plenty of children under 15 to be adopted. Think.... duh.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:49 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      You are clearly not for civil liberties. Go read a book, I reccomend the federalist papers, two treatises on government, and then read the constitution again and call me in the morning.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:24 am | Reply
  41. randy

    Who cares he still was related to a teorrist and I think it said he watched to simpsons and listen to snoop dog there yeah go

    October 26, 2011 at 2:48 am | Reply
  42. Khaled

    Violence begot violence in the past and it will beget violence now and in the future. Unfortunately US Government acts like colonial powers when they used to subdue and destroy any resistance by the indigenous population.

    American taxpayer's money is being wasted on new colonial wars and assassinations that will bring no gains for the American people except losses and regrets. It is either the American people should soon revolt against the US government or merely accept the consequences of further violence in the core.

    The worst reality is when the American people become passive. However the "Occupy Wal Street" movement is on the right path and hopefully it will be able overcome the forces of greed and evil and wickedness in the White House, Congress and Senate. Congressmen, congresswomen and Senator are no more than witches and bitches.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:43 am | Reply
    • randy

      If the middile east wasnt a s*it hole of the world maybe they might not be fighting like they do so why should we give A rats butt about the middle east the only thing they have is oil and one day we will no longer need to get it from them

      October 26, 2011 at 2:50 am | Reply
      • Sick-of-this

        Buy a plane ticket, go to the middle east, travel a bit, then come back when you have any basis for your opinion.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:31 am |
      • D Hansen

        Randy, gotta agree with you, been to Iraq, total shit hole! oh and I didn't have to pay to go, just used tax payer dollars : D
        Also, if anyone disagrees, just go live there.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  43. Sid

    When one of your own gets killed, you wake up and smell the coffee
    Great going 2 faced U S of A

    October 26, 2011 at 2:32 am | Reply
    • puff

      hmmm...i do have friends whose daddy chants "death to america" on youtube, i don't think you should either if you're an american.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:51 am | Reply
      • Sick-of-this

        So you are advocating that we all avoid associating or befriending anyone who is against the policies of the US government or else we could be justifiably killed by our government. Wow. Why don't we just elect a new hitler, gas the Muslims, assign people jobs, and starve select groups of the population while we are at it you jackazz.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  44. Why Use Facts

    The ACLU is filing suits to say that illegal immigrants in the US must be given the same rights as citizens, and now it is upset that US citizens aren't being given special rights. I guess the government shouldn't do anything without clearing it with the ACLU first since they are obviously the only people capable of understanding the laws.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:31 am | Reply
  45. topper

    you people should be happy not upset, we clearly know that both daddy, son and friends were converted and extremist islamists that rejoiced all mention of death to america. if anything they would only use their citizenships as ways to attack us from within. i'd really love to see policies against the immigration of muslims into the western and european countries. i mean how naive can we be, we clearly see these people only come here to use us for work and a better life for them, but clearly hate us at the same time and do not integrate normally since the cultural and religious differences are unbreakable to most of them.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:28 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      We clearly know? Do we have access to any of the evidence against them? Nope, everything related to these guys is completely classified so how the hell could you clearly know anything about this. Your burden of proof is lighter than a helium balloon.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:34 am | Reply
      • rob

        hey dumb@$$ al whatever was on TV that how we know.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  46. southern_gent_from_mississippi

    These drones that our military so happily uses to murder indiscriminitely (similar to the car bombs the rebels there use) are now being manufactured in china and many of the eastern bloc countries. Lets see if everyone who commented here is so understanding, a few years now, when OUR enemies use them to target OUR MILITARY SERVICEMEN (for the war crimes committed in foreign countries) on american soil and their families accidentally get killed too. Hey, Im sure those families will also know what their husbands and dads were doing overseas. Very soon, these cheap weapons will be available to any country or organization who can afford them.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:21 am | Reply
    • Cool technology but...

      I completely agree with this scary and likely vision of the future. Targeting our military will be one problem. Targeting our civilians, politicians, and soft targets will be another. Small, cheap, deadly, hard to detect and hard to stop. Not a good combination. But hey, we're Americans and we're showing the world the way of the future through our leadership.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:28 am | Reply
      • diego

        Actually, US UAVs, UCAVs, and RPAs are all made in the United States. Other countries are still trying to catch up to the UAV technology America has. Dont be naive and think that if another country has an airframe that they are equal. its the technology and communications that make them unique. How the UAV can be controlled real time accross the world and communicate with ground forces and other aircraft digitally. That reality is why you believe other nations will use them to attack us, not plausible. Also, you forget we spend a lot of money on fighters that can easily take out a UAV. "Drone" is a bad terminology the media has proliferated and of course the masses follow.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:06 am |
    • vitillo1331

      It look like that you dont have any experiences in the servicing in the military. Soldiers are order to go to a combat area to defende and survive the situation that elected politician maked. We dont like it but it is our job. You need to understand the meaning of terrorist and why is clasiffy as so. If any type of weapons is use to murder someone when you have the knowledge that is civilian, no matter is the accuser is a terrorist or soldier, it is punishable under International Law and is branded as War Criminal. Now two questions you have to ask are 1. What the young man was doing with a group of terrorist knowing that was dangerous and 2. What is the different between an American Terrorist and a Foreign Terrorist.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:51 am | Reply
      • Sick-of-this

        Learn to write.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:37 am |
    • lifer

      The only reason drone strikes are so effective in countries liek Iraq, Afgahnistan and in the Horn of Africa is that we have freedom of flight .... a foreign country will never have that kind of freedom in the skies over the US.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:03 am | Reply
      • diego

        Absolutely, air superiority is of essence.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:09 am |
      • Sick-of-this

        Uhh yeah they could, stealth technology makes it pretty hard to track. Or they could use satellite based weaponry, or anything else. Jesus, use your brain and be creative.

        October 26, 2011 at 3:21 am |
      • Cool technology but...

        Actually, you're wrong. A small UAV launched by hand within a mile or two of a target could easily hit it in less than a minute. There's no defense against that unless you know the target and timing in advance. These things don't have to loiter or climb to altitude where they might be detected, they only have to fly for a few seconds and hit something to be effective.

        October 26, 2011 at 11:32 am |
    • Northern_gent_from_Michigan

      Drones – Armed and unarmed are made by General Atomics out Of San Diego. Unless you go by the mason dixon line. Then they are made by the terrorist yankees in the northern bloc of states. Just sayin..

      October 26, 2011 at 3:20 am | Reply
  47. hans1056

    it is acceptable, "provided that civilians are not directly targeted and that the expected damage to any civilians is proportional to the military advantage to be gained."

    Please, anybody near the target (who must be a highly regarded target for a drone strike) is very highly likely a sympathizer at minimum and and a contemporary conspirator at best, so those unidentified individuals should not be to very concerned. They probably know the person tzrgeted is a targeted person and just being around the person is dangerous.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:17 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      OMG you are so right. Just like if your neighbor in your apartment complex 3 floors up was a drug dealer you must be one too. Or if you are in an electronics store that has sex slaves chained up in the back you must be a slaver too. Maybe the guy living on the otherwise of your wall at your townhome watches kiddie porn... must mean you're a pedo too right?

      In any if those cases a drone strike would likely kill you too.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:44 am | Reply
      • IM-SICK-OF-YOU

        Yeah cause ALL of those people you labeled are enemies of the state right? If you associate yourself with people who think it OK to murder innocent people, why should you be given any special treatment? Its not like he didnt know what the guy next to him was. He must have known why daddy died, and all of the things you mentioned implies that you could be killed because you didnt know what you were next to.

        October 26, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
      • Loves-this

        cool story...needs dragons

        October 26, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
  48. Alex

    I don't understand why so much is made of US Citiznship of these recent terrorist fatalities. It is undisputed that the constitution does not differentiate between citizens and non-citizens in its bill of rights, it talks about "persons". And it is only valid on US soil. So Osama bin Laden has the exact same constitutional rights as yours truly. If he is a terrorist in a war zone, his behind can be blown to smithereens, if you are, you're not a bit better off.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      Take a college level law course so you can understand how ignorant you look.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:47 am | Reply
    • Eric

      Well Alex, as much as it pains me to agree with this other a**hat, you are a moron. It's the Constitution of the United States, meaning it applies to the United States. Pretty sure it starts off by saying "We the people of the United States..."

      October 27, 2011 at 12:27 am | Reply
  49. dc_firebrat

    Why in the world are people upset that this 16 year old was killed???? HE WAS HANGING OUT WITH A KNOWN TERRORIST!!!! You don't want to be killed...don't hang with terrorist. Let's do the math...His dad was a terrorist+ he was hanging out with terrorist= HE WAS PROBABLY A TERRORIST HIMSELF. Simple math...

    October 26, 2011 at 2:11 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      Judging from your comment you are "probably" a retard who hates the rule of law in my opinion. That should give me the right to come castrate you then, to prevent you from passing on your defective genes, right, simple math, right? Do you even consider the implications of the logic you subscribe to?

      October 26, 2011 at 3:51 am | Reply
      • Loves-this

        you mad bro?

        October 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
    • Micah

      Lol, no he wasn't you moron. Read the October 15th reports, and then maybe you will begin to see the fabrication that this is. Im sick of explaining it. Do your own research.

      October 26, 2011 at 10:11 am | Reply
  50. Selmers

    I call this a win!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:10 am | Reply
  51. joey

    poor little muslim

    October 26, 2011 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • frontgate

      good one less terrorist

      October 26, 2011 at 2:13 am | Reply
  52. rb

    This fault of this kid's death lies entirely with his father.

    October 26, 2011 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • Tom

      This is the first logical response I've seen to this article.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:47 am | Reply
    • rob


      October 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Reply
  53. Name*king

    Yeah let's get rid of drones because one punk kid gets killed, when he damn right knew his dad was a target. This way if we get rid of drones less terrorists will die and we can loose more american lives. Sound like a great idea!

    October 26, 2011 at 2:02 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      Read the story, he wasn't killed with his dad, he was killed 2 weeks later. It is called reading comprehension.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:53 am | Reply
  54. Cool technology but...

    Cool technology, but what goes around comes around. Sophisticated drone technology is spreading and is now available for free on the internet. Add to this mix the anger and hatred for America we incite every time we use a drone.

    How would Americans react if an enemy drone landed anywhere in our country? Hmmm? Worth thinking about because it likely won't be long before some terrorist does exactly that. We need to stop and declare drones unacceptable, much like we did with land mines. I doubt it will happen, but that's what we should do - before it's too late.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • Dantx10

      Other countries copy our technology. Don't be surprised when their drones stop working in mid flight because they are running a pirated copy of windows xp.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:54 am | Reply
    • Name*king

      You are stupid. A drone is controlled its not on its own killing people at random. Wish the kid would of got shot then the debate would b should we take away firearms from are military and give them waterballons to fight the war

      October 26, 2011 at 1:56 am | Reply
      • Cool technology but...

        Oh, I see. There's obviously no room for debate when new types of weapons arrive. Like perhaps nerve gas or neutron bombs. We can use whatever pops out of the labs without considering the consequence. We are Americans damn it, so we have a god given right to do whatever we want. Please forgive me.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • joey

      they dont need drones, they use the airlines

      October 26, 2011 at 2:05 am | Reply
    • dc_firebrat

      Landmines were not declared unacceptable...they just changed how they functioned so they don't sit idle for 50 years. Landmines are still very actively used by the U.S.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
      • Cool technology but...

        Sorry, you are correct. While America still uses landmines, most of the civilized world has banned them for obvious moral reasons. But we are Americans damn it! And we wonder why people don't like us...

        October 26, 2011 at 2:14 am |
    • frontgate

      yeah, have to agree with the others, you are an idiot

      October 26, 2011 at 2:14 am | Reply
    • Igor the Magnificent

      Just because we have the right to drone attack others DOES NOT MEAN THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO ATTACK US.

      If the world would just understand this fact of life we would be much more secure.

      October 26, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Reply
    • Gary

      Drones will be used against Americans on American soil, or as Thomas P.M. Barnett and Henry Kissinger have stated/hinted, ANYONE opposed to the Pentagon's corporate globalization project is considered an "enemy" and a "terrorist". ANYONE is a wide latitude.

      October 31, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Reply
  55. truth

    meh a couple people dead for our freedoms why should obama care.....his country is already in the shit; ww3 nuclear fallout coming in spring 2012

    October 26, 2011 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • Dantx10

      The only heads up you will have on the end of the world is a 15min commercial form the govt. No prophet needed for that.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
      • Dantx10

        form = from. sorry. i responded from a phone.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:52 am |
  56. Spc. Magee

    Okay, its like this, this man "used" to be a US citizen, he is now an enemy conbatant, thats called treason people. also his son who obvioulsy was well aware of his fathers activities and probably wanted to be just like his super cool dad was also a traitor, yes just because you were born in the US does not make you loyal to the US, so his son was killed in the cross fire, BOO-FREAKIN HOO... my mom used to say, when you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas.. you do the math on that one....

    October 26, 2011 at 1:35 am | Reply
    • Sam Crawford

      A complete falsehood. This was the extrajudicial killing of a U.S. citizen. Your writing that he wasn't a citizen doesn't make it so. Even more disturbing is your embrace of killing someone for merely being the son of someone the government decides it needs to get rid of. Your handle indicates you are a member of the military. If so, thank you for your service. But remember that the Constiution you swore to uphold guarantees due process.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:47 am | Reply
      • frontgate

        hey jerk face, one less terrorist.
        what don't you understand about that.
        Do you fret over baby rats being killed?

        October 26, 2011 at 2:17 am |
      • James

        Mr. Crawford,

        Your incorrect thought process may well lead to the demise of this country. You are naive if you think the teenage son wasn't complicit in his father's crimes. In Arab culture a boy becomes a man at puberty, not at 18. So don't get mislead by the headline that this was some poor innocent kid.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:47 am |
      • Earnan

        al Awlaki got the same "due process" that an armed robber holding a gun gets when he refuses to surrender.

        Nothing unlawful about his killing.

        Good shooting. Let's see more of 'em.

        October 29, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • hilo, HI

      I agree. I am unaware of where this boys stood politically, but it was his father who got him killed.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • O

      What math am I supposed to do here? Your post is based purely on assumptions. What if a terrorist wanted to kill you, but instead, went after your kid because hell, he must want to grow up and be in the army just like his mom/dad, and want to kill bad people just like his mom/dad. So he should be taken out now. Some people's rationale simply astonish me.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • IggyV

      Hey – you pays your money, you takes your chances.

      You choose to hike along the border of Iraq instead of, as Letterman points out, in Yosemite... you might end up in an Iranian prison. Why should we care or come to the rescue?

      Same thing: if you hop a ride with known terrorists (and the kid KNEW they were anti US, pro 9/11 types being targeted) you might get a drone up the exhaust pipe. TS.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:03 am | Reply
    • dc_firebrat

      Well said Spc. Magee

      October 26, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • bttmstr

      Agree. Sorry, I'm with the gov on this one too. I really don't care for islamists and other insanely religious people that pray several times a day facing a particular city somewhere on this earth. They are clearly mental. Freedom of religion is great, but we've seen what these lunatics will do for the purpose of their delusional "martyrdom" and now it's time for us to act in advance and stop being so naive like we were on on 9/11. So GOOD JOB AMERICA!

      October 26, 2011 at 2:13 am | Reply
      • Igor the Magnificent

        How are you with fanatical Christians?

        October 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
  57. RonnierReagan

    Listen – that these 2 jokers are even Americans is the result of our outdated immigration policies. When it was included in the Constitution that anyone born here would become a citizen, the idea was not in the authors heads that those people born here were going to try to BLOW US UP. Likewise, when Lyndon Johnson and JFK as liberal as they were, opened the borders to non-Europeans they also did not have the idea in mind that the people coming here would be coming here to BLOW US UP, and seek protection as a so-called citizen.

    We need to shore up our immigration policy. That's what this is about.,

    October 26, 2011 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • hilo, HI

      I agree. Senator Howard, who wrote the 14th, said perfectly clearly in May, 1868, that this was in NO WAY to apply to 'tourism births' -ppl who just happened to be in US for birth. There is NO MISUNDERSTANDING the intent of the abused 14th.
      Also, the ACLU is No Friend to America. They distort The Constitution for their own purposes. I can't believe CNN gives them so much space here as no one takes them seriously any more.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • Blue

      So non-Europeans are dangerous and Europeans are harmless? Because I seem to remember a certain European that authorized the murders of 8,000,000 people...

      October 26, 2011 at 2:06 am | Reply
      • topper

        no, he probably meant the rest of the world are either muslims, atheists..or just otherwise not christians, hence it is a kind of a problem to mix all these different religions and try to live happily together in peace in one country. and yes hitler was crazy...but those were different times and it was really initiated by hatred for the jews which the whole nation of germany seemed to despise at that time as well. this is just the history, not that i excuse anything at all they did.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • JTaylor

      I agree. RonnierReagan and all of his anti-immigrant buddies should not be U.S. citizens just because they were born here. They should go back to europe or whatever continent or country their ancestors immigrated from.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:29 am | Reply
  58. Red

    What bothers me is the Pentagon recently warned that Hackers could face military action. Does this mean they are going to justify using drones on hackers who would otherwise be prosecuted in court? Is the penalty for Hacking death too?

    October 26, 2011 at 1:27 am | Reply
    • RonnierReagan

      Listen – the problem is with our immigration policy, not the drones. The government should not have a policy that allowed those 2 jokers to become citizens to begin with. They are citizen in name only.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:30 am | Reply
      • ohmygod50

        So right!! Who cares about the Mexicans? They love the US!!!!!

        October 26, 2011 at 1:35 am |
      • JDAM112

        & what makes you a U.S citizen if not papers? Idiot..

        October 26, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Dantx10

      It should be.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:31 am | Reply
  59. western digital

    no trial for terrorists...

    October 26, 2011 at 1:26 am | Reply
    • ohmygod50

      Agreed. You take the risk of retaliation against you and yours when you decide to engage in terrorism. You lose your rights.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:29 am | Reply
      • Klaark

        Yeehaw! git them terrurists!

        Just hope your trailer park doesn't wind up on a liberals secret death panel list. You might change your mind about the US being able to kill US citizens then. How many guns do you own? Not enough to support terror, I hope, otherwise no trial for you, even if you are white.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • hilo, HI

      Klaark, you forfeit all credibility by your racism.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:57 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      If the don't get a trial how do you ever prove they are terrorists. Need I remind you that all evidence against them is classified?

      October 26, 2011 at 4:07 am | Reply
      • Eric

        Yes please remind all of us simpletons how vastly superior you are. You bring up the law in a lot of your posts, I would imagine in an effort to make us think you ae some kind of lawyer. I would doubt that . My guess is you work at convenience store or maybe a line cook in some crappy restaurant. After you get off your crappy job and get back to your mom's basement, you like to go online and pretend your life isn't the pathetically worthless existence it is.

        October 27, 2011 at 12:40 am |
  60. Walt

    Too Bad, So Sad. Look it is simple that everyone one is quilty by association and if they are out near known terriosist activity well then they get whacked too.

    Should be how we handle all wars starting tomorrow. Tell all these puppet governments in these flea bitten regions of the world. If we have to come back we are nuking you back to the stone age and then do it. Only thing these terrorists will ever understand. This region of the world has been fighting since the begining of time and will continue to do so 3 days after the world ends.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • Sick-of-this

      You are right, we should just nuke the 30 million people in Iraq because you have a small penis.

      October 26, 2011 at 4:00 am | Reply
      • Loves-this

        meh, some people over compensate with big cars and house while others use nukes

        October 26, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Gary

      See above. "Terrorist" is a designation. It may have nothing to do with bombing people or frightening people, which Washington does all the time. Henry Kissinger told Charlie Rose that the term "terrorist" really means ANYONE opposed to globalization. Period. That is, anyone opposed to global corporatism. Don't be cryin about Chinese corporations or Saudi corporations or Israeli corporations harming your life. That's what global corporatism means. No national boundaries for corporations, only for people.

      Can everyone "see" the invisible bars of that cage, bars of surveillance, bars of legal restrictions and "crime" as well as "pre-crime", bars of international corporate property rights, govt restrictions on energy and food and outlawing whatever personal freedoms infringe on corporate profits? That makes for a lot of outlaws, aka terrorists.

      I'm not a big fan of Alex Jones, too much wild hyperbole and "Illuminati" stuff, but he described this trend under Clinton long before 9/11 as a total electronic control grid, a global plantation of worker-slaves. The Left would call it global serfdom. Same difference. Like Stalin or Hitler, only way worse, way more comprehensive and intrusive than the SS or KGB. It's quite visible taking shape right now, much moreso than in 1999.

      That's what this so-called "war" is about, not literally "terrorists" as we think of that term. That's why Cheney said it would last "beyond our lifetimes".

      October 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  61. jwcolter

    I think that other countries should have drones over the US–then US citizens will know what we do to other countries.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:17 am | Reply
    • Dantx10

      Try it. they do not have drones because they are weak.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • ohmygod50

      We have drones over the desert areas where savages train to kill the infidels......the dare to let women behave as though they have brains. I hope that they target those who kill little girls for going to school...or throw acid in their faces' for going to school....need I go on?? Who really gives a shit about these 'people' who breed such hatred? They are worse than the Nazis ever were.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:33 am | Reply
      • Dantx10

        Try it over U.S. soil and you will see how bad things can get for you.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:42 am |
      • Gary

        ohmygod50: where savages train to kill the infidels......the dare to let women behave as though they have brains. I hope that they target those who kill little girls for going to school...or throw acid in their faces' for going to school.
        You are describing Washington's allies. They literally called Saddam "infidel" for running a non-Muslim govt, and the people WE backed like Allawi literally blew up school buses and movie theaters for the CIA. They backed Ayatollah Khomeini calling Saddam "infidel". "Death to Saddam" along with "Death to America". Same reasons.

        NOW it is THAT GROUP the Dawa Party that is the Shiite ruling govt in Iraq, imposing Sharia Law on the liberal Sunni and liberal Shiite population, with our military backing. Remember the purple thumbprints? Bremer and Rice installed them.

        Gulbideen Hekmatyar whose men throw acid in womens' faces is partially allied with "our" govt in Kabul. That's who we are backing in Libya too.

        Thats why William Grigg formerly of the John Birch Society said the US soldiers were unwittingly martyrs for Sharia, and even many Muslims don't like Sharia. So why does Washington like Sharia so much? Why did Bush state that he supported Sharia for Iraq?

        October 31, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  62. Ken in NC

    Father was a target. Son knew it and was aware of the danger of being injured or killed at anytime he was in a close proximity to his father. He took a risk that didn't pan out. It is sad but it has happened. Maybe other parents that do not wish to see harm come to their children will opt to keep them out of harms way.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • RonnierReagan

      exactly – and furthermore, though they were citizens, they were not AMERICANS in the true sense of the word. We need to shore up our immigration policy. Good riddance.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:31 am | Reply
      • Klaark

        The natives of this continent (Not white people, hint) are probably thinking the same thing.

        Better hope you're American enough for the death panels. If being born her isn't enough, I'd hate to see how poorly certain political stripes would do on a citizenship test.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:50 am |
      • Gary

        Now there's photos and YT videos of the Al-Qaeda flag flying over govt buildings in Libya. Thanks to NATO. Liberals killed, Al-Qaeda rules. How 'bout it? Is that what you're cheering for?

        October 31, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
    • Sick-of-this

      Read the article again and then post a comment. The son was not with his father at all and was killed 2 weeks after his father. Christ you are dumb.

      October 26, 2011 at 4:04 am | Reply
  63. vero

    thank you to most of the posters here for proving, once again, that cnn has the most idiots posting of any other website.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:11 am | Reply
    • Dantx10

      Takes one to know one.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:13 am | Reply
    • ranger 830

      F vero Beach and all the old retired farts!Sorry the 50,s , jimcrow and segregation are not coming back!!!!!!! Vero Beach Jesuses waiting room!!!!!!

      October 27, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
  64. texasgreenacres

    War is hell and people get killed, young and old, where they are from isn't a issue. being in the wrong place at the wrong time doesn't help.But he knew what his father was doing and chose to try to find him.knowing he would be in danger.we enlist young people as young as 17 ot fight so being 16 doesn't matter.his country of orgin doesn't matter, his father was a terriost and he knew it, so he followed him to his grave,his choice.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:58 am | Reply
  65. Dantx10

    That is called Collateral damage.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:56 am | Reply
    • Dantx10

      Example: If you do not want to be arrested during a drug raid. Do not hang out at a known crack house. If you do not want to be killed by a drone. Do not hang out with known terrorists. Very simple.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:08 am | Reply
  66. Riclk

    This is only a "controversy" among some brain-dead libtards.
    If you live with an enemy terrorist, you might get killed.
    It won't be fair. Boo Hoo.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Rookie


      October 26, 2011 at 1:05 am | Reply
    • Mavent

      I'll bet when you're not busy being a hate-mongering idiot Online, you refer to yourself as "a Christian".

      October 26, 2011 at 1:07 am | Reply
    • Mavent

      Ironically enough, I posted my message before Rookie chimed in with his blissfully retarded "amen".

      October 26, 2011 at 1:08 am | Reply
      • Deash

        Hopefully one day you and your children will be hit by a drone as well.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:51 am |
    • Klaark

      Careful, conservative. Libtards are in the White House and Senate. They might think your trailer park has one to many guns to be considered American and they might just decide you're planning something. Bet you think being white will save you...tell that to the Branch Davidians, assuming you've got the brain power to recall that.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:52 am | Reply
    • burnz

      You're a punk.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:57 am | Reply
  67. Ron

    I can't feel sorry for him. His father was a target. What is he doing going out to the desert to find him. Sounds like he felt old enough to join up. He's HARDLY a child. 16 is old enough to be a terrorist. He's hanging out with people on kill lists.

    Guilty by association. He should've stayed w/his momma.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
  68. Jim

    Nation-states exist as "citizens" in a world without a superior soverign–unlike citizens of a nation-state, they have no overarching governing body which is the arbiter of disputes. So... Don't come to a tank fight with muskets, or a naval engagement with a row boat, or an air engagement with a Cessna, or a drone fight with a Toyota pickup. Don't try to blow up our airlioners, embasseys, buildings in our cities, and expect to ride around in your Toyota Hilux without getting a hellfire missile through rerar window.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • Gary

      speaking of bombing embassies, the man responsible for organizing those was named Ale Mohammed. He was a right hand man of Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri.

      Unfortunately for neat stories, he was also a US Army Sgt at Fort Bragg, a member of Muslim Brotherhood, and in close contact with FBI and CIA the entire time. He even went AWOL for a month to go fight with the mujahideen and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, but was never punished for going AWOL. His CO thought he was "protected". He got an honorable discharge "with honors", and went to work for US defense contractors in some capacity.

      Some of his stolen papers were found in an apt related to the 1993 WTC bombing.

      He was eventually "arrested" by FBI with his consent (under Robert Mueller, I think) and pled guilty to "conspiracy to kill Americans everywhere", but was never sentenced. A former Naval Intelligence guy who used to post on News with Views as "Patrick Briley" stated that he was given a new identity and released in upstate NY.

      At one time, the State Dept had an article on him on their website, The Terrorist who Never Went to Trial or some such. All been erased.

      October 31, 2011 at 7:00 pm | Reply
      • Gary

        correction: ALI Mohammed.

        October 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
      • Gary

        there's a new biography of him now on the Defense Human Resources Activity (DHRA) website. It confirms this much, no sentence but supposedly serving a life sentence, calling him a "double agent" and "sleeper" who was SECRETLY working for Al-Qaeda, but nobody knew:

        The trial of others involved in the embassy bombings began in January 2001. Mohamed had been expected to be a key government witness against his four co-conspirators, but—for reasons unknown—he never took the stand.8 Larry Johnson, the former State Department counterterrorism official, reportedly believes the government kept Mohamed off the stand because his testimony would have unearthed material extremely embarrassing to the government.1 Mohamed’s plea agreement with the government remains secret. As far as we can determine, there has been no public announcement of his sentence. There is speculation that he disappeared into a witness protection program.3 According to the DSS investigator, however, Mohamed is presently serving a life sentence without possibility of parole.

        October 31, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  69. Brian

    " it is acceptable, "provided that civilians are not directly targeted and that the expected damage to any civilians is proportional to the military advantage to be gained."....................This is the kind of argument the Inquisition made in the 15th century when they tortured "heretics" to death.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • clearfog

      The war on terrorism is exactly the same as the Inquisition? Brilliant. In both instances, there was something at stake.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
      • Mavent

        It's difficult to understand willful stupidity at the level you display, clearfog.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:11 am |
  70. stan

    so let me get this right. terrorist knowingly give up their life for their cause, using airplanes to kill people and we call them cowards. the united states employs civilians to operate remote controlled airplanes to kill people, sometimes even our own citizens, where the people doing the fighting on our side are NEVER in any danger and would be considered illegal combatants under international law – and we are the good guys?

    October 26, 2011 at 12:38 am | Reply
    • clearfog


      October 26, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
    • Jim

      Actually we employ our Air Force to operate drones as well.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:42 am | Reply
    • Jim

      How do you classify United States uniformed military personnel as unlawful combatants? If you're an enemy, and I can throw a rock at you from farther away than you can throw a rock at me, I'm in no danger... that makes me better than you and increases my ability to defeat you. You have choices: don't pick up rocks, try to get really close before I bean you, or hide. I recommend not picking up a rock in the first place–then we can have lots of philosophical debates and economic arguments... oh wait... you think if I bean you you'll be a martyr and that's good for you (or if you're Christian that you'll go to heavan). Crap–it's tough to fight religious dudes. hey, maybe that's why we push religion on our military guys?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:48 am | Reply
      • stan

        uniformed airforce is one thing, civilian CIA is another.
        how many drone operators have we lost?
        so? unless they presented a clear threat at the moment, they should have been arrested, not assassinated. these are NOT battlefield killings.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:55 am |
    • will

      You see, we try to minimize death as much as possible, they try to maximize it. BTW plenty of our guys are dead so you should probably shut you mouth before you piss someone off.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
    • Tony

      Yes we are the good guys.Your analogy is missing the fact the guys killed were plotting to kill Americans.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:49 am | Reply
  71. Jim

    the kill method is irrelevent. Can the US kill an American national who has taken up arms against the United States under the laws of armed conflict? In WWII we kiled Americans who left the US to fight for Germany as soldiers. We killed Americans who left he US to fight for Japan. The rule is simple–if you enter into hostilities during a recognized conflict you become a target. If you fail to wear a uniform you are an unlawful combatant. Here's the simple rule–don't enter into armed conflict with the United States, especially abroad. We will kill you.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:35 am | Reply
    • zombie kid

      CNN talks about a debat - there is no debate; nobody cares. This is a non-debate about war. War is seldom clean and clear. This kid was fighting for the other side. End of story. Somebody pass the cheese dip...

      October 26, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
      • Riclk

        It is a "debate" if you write for the Communist Newspeak Network

        October 26, 2011 at 12:52 am |
    • Bilbo

      Hey Jimbo, there's no war on...remember only Congress can declare war, therefore what we have here is a small group of people labeling individuals enemy combatants and knocking them off...the whole situation is ripe for abuse if you can see past the end of your nose. Better stay on the governments good side lest a drone buzz your house someday.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:57 am | Reply
  72. Killermed

    I'm just saying.....if you don't try to hang out with terrorist you won't get blown up.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
    • Timothy Williams

      Everyone (including myself) makes it sound so complex. I like this statement because it is true, right to the point, blunt, and simple!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:51 am | Reply
  73. Johnny V

    Some perspective is needed here. The bombings we conduct with these drones is virtually surgical in nature compared to what was militarily possible in the past. Granted, the loss of any civilian innocents is tragic,. However, in just one raid on a German city in WWII, Dresden, we destroyed the entire city and killed a minimum of 35,000 civilians. This type of slaughter was commonplace at that time and occurred regularly.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:31 am | Reply
    • RonnierReagan

      Thank you for adding some perspective. The drones actually SAVE lives.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:35 am | Reply
  74. JA

    Civilians die in military conflicts. It's a fact that more civilians are killed than military personnel during wars and conflicts. Sure, I feel bad for the teen getting killed, but such is warfighting. If we stopped and tried to prevent every last civilian death from happening, we could never fire a missile or mortar round again.

    Now before someone goes and says "And wouldn't it be a wonderful world if no one went to war?", yeah, it would. But until the rest of the world shares that mentality and can find peaceful solutions to conflicts and issues, war will be a part of human nature.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:27 am | Reply
    • nyc_washington heights_86

      yes.. exactly the point. "never fire a missile or mortar round again."

      thats what the ultimate goal is here. im sorry, this isnt liberal bullshit im speaking of. the common human goal of prolonged existence is peace through diplomacy. we are making that in general terms an idea which exists only superficially. the most powerful government that ever existed is proposing the idea that you can be all for it in theory, but you don't have to actually follow it in practice.

      the moral questioning at issue here collectively by the great thinkers in America is a significant evolution in the mushy little brains us warring earthlings have here.

      to push away from the idea of war as answer, and of war in general, should be at the focus. not if what you use to conduct war is humane. otherwise, society perpetually destroys itself, and humanity is one giant sadistic cancer.

      god bless this country, and god bless the world. theres no need for war...

      October 26, 2011 at 1:23 am | Reply
  75. Brad

    It is an interesting article, however; the line seems to be getting blurry the longer our government does these drone attacks. When a person becomes a "suspect" terrorist, it seems they can be targeted for execution ( drone attack) without trial is a dangers game. I believe we are seeing the erosion of civil liberties here in our time. It seems to me if a de-scenting voice speaks of change to our government can those in power label anyone a "terrorist' and thus be set for execution?

    October 26, 2011 at 12:25 am | Reply
  76. scriss

    Teenagers are not "stupid". This kid knew his dad was a target. He should have stayed in school. Truancy can kill!

    October 26, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • Joshua Ludd

      Maybe he was foolish enough to believe that being a US citizen... as was his father, he was exempt from summary execution by the US government. Or to put it a slightly different way... do you believe that YOU are still exempt from summary execution by the government?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:33 am | Reply
      • will

        As long as I don't openly take up arms against them, sure.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:51 am |
      • Dave

        As long as I dont join Al Queda....I should be fine.........

        October 26, 2011 at 12:58 am |
      • fak

        If I engaged in activities with an organization that is known to have declared war upon the United States, I wouldn't expect to be able to walk freely.

        October 26, 2011 at 1:08 am |
  77. nik green

    Recall how Hitler assumed power in Germany in 1933? A group of Nazi henchmen set fire to the German Parliament Building, the "Reichstag", which was destroyed. Hitler blamed communists for the atrocity, and the unquestioning German public failed in their duty as citizens to question the lie, and believed the party line without a question.

    As a result of this act of "false flag terrorism", Hitler assumed dictatorial powers, suspended the Constitution, and we all know what followed. A "preemptive strike" against Poland (the Nazis claimed that Poland had attacked first and the Nazis responded)... and then most if Europe went the same way. US corporations such as Ford, IBM and others were of massive help to the Nazi war effort, supported by the likes of the Bush and Harriman families (Prescott Bush was busted twice under the "Trading With The Enemy Act". We all know whose side *he* and his family was on. Allied bombers were even forbidden to strike at US corporate facilities in Germany which were essential to the Nazi war effort.

    Fast forward to 2001....

    October 26, 2011 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • clearfog

      More lies, nik. Citations to authority for ANY of your "factual" statements regarding US corporations and prohibitions against bombing. You failed to respond to my last challenge. This time too? Bombing was so inaccurate in WWII that most bombs did not fall within 1/2 mile of the target, but somehow the US prohibited bombing of particular factories? Liar.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:31 am | Reply
  78. agathokles

    I don't understand the preoccupation with the fact that some of these killed Al Qaeda guys were American citizens. A life is a life, regardless of nationality. It bugs me that, whenever there's a catastrophe (e.g., a plane crash), the media immediately want to tell us how many Americans were on board. But, equally, a terrorist is a terrorist, regardless of nationality. When it comes to terrorists, I'm happy to see 'em taken out by drones, regardless of citizenship. If al-Awlaki (Sr.) wanted "due process," he should have turned himself in to our justice system. He was a fugitive from justice, armed and dangerous. And al-Awlaki (Jr.) chose to hang out with Al Qaeda folk known to be on a "hit" list. People pay for their own bad choices all the time. And so he did.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • Timothy Williams

      Thank you. People tend to forget that even Timothy McVeigh was an US citizen and even was a soldier. He also got what he deserved. You are not innocent because you are an US citizen.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:26 am | Reply
      • Common Sense

        You're not innocent but you deserve a fair trial!!!

        October 26, 2011 at 12:29 am |
    • Ben Evolent

      He was a teenager! What is the cut off age where you are no longer allowed to be naive or politically ignorant? That kid's choices weren't the problem; the cowboys playing God and the ignorance of the populace that allows them to are the problems.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:04 am | Reply
  79. Jd

    1. If Yemen and the Arab world would clean up its act and denounce terrorism and eliminate terrorism from its culture then the U.S. would not have to go there with drones. Right now Yemen and other Arab countries play this two face double speak game of lies, they pretend to denounce terrorism when talking to the west, but when talking to their own people they support and cheer on the terrorist.

    2. If you are dumb enough to live in Yemen or any war zone then you assume the risk. If you sleep with dogs you might catch fleas.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • lifer

      The Yemeni government is renouncing terrorism and actually helping the US target terrorists within their borders. Hence the reason we are able to fly drones over their country. They ASKED us for this capability and AID us in using it.

      October 26, 2011 at 3:22 am | Reply
  80. matt

    vote Ron Paul and this won't happen

    October 26, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • Panties

      I agree with you. Ron Paul is the man for the top job.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • Earnan

      Just another reason I will NOT be voting for Ron Paul.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  81. S.

    Are drones an emerging, opposite form of the "Barnhouse Effect"? Physical and martial rather than psychic and pacific?

    October 26, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
  82. TheOtherView

    I think the problem would be if such collateral damage becomes part of long term policy. That is, if US okays killing its own citizens as they have turned traitors, what would stop heads of states in Africa and the Middle East using same tactics against their own citizens? Would US then intervene to protect citizens of other countries from their govts? No, it has no way reached that point, but it could be a slippery road.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • smirk

      very good point, would Iran hunt down dissidents in the U.S. and hit them with drone strikes (if they had them)

      October 26, 2011 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • Timothy Williams

        They have every right to do so but lack the capability and a US counterattack would be 10x worse.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:30 am |
  83. Al

    What the problem IS everyone is that these two people were American citizens. They were executed, that's right executed, by our government without due process of law. The administration prioritized this correctly when stating 'Kill or Capture' because kill is what was done first. Who's to say what they did or did not do because it was/is not open to the public, through the use of the Judicial branch, to convince me one way or another. As I recall, the last time we trusted the government with our trust we went to war in Iraq, so forgive me if I'm just a bit skeptical.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • Timothy Williams

      Enemy combatants have no right to due process. If they were in the US and arrested that will be a different story. As soldiers we do kill or if possible capture. An unmanned drone is incapable of capturing anyone. In basic training we are trained to kill not wound or capture. If we can do so safely we detain other than that he's a dead man walking.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
      • Temperance1

        "Enemy combatants have no right to due process. If they were in the US and arrested that will be a different story. As soldiers we do kill or if possible capture. "

        Thank you. No one understands what combat really means these days. Not to mention that collateral damage, no matter HOW much we try to avoid, will ALWAYS be a necessary consequence. Judge it? Never. Mourn it? Yes. Feel guilty about it? Ask a soldier, not me. But I for one will never judge a soldier for it, or the decision of a military commander.

        Yes, it's sad. No, this teenager didn't get his "trial." And I feel bad for him. I mourn him. But such is the nature of these kinds of endeavors. I'm a pragmatist, in these situations, no matter how fundamentally it hurts me as a Buddhist.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:29 am |
      • Panties

        I prefer the "dead man walking" scenario.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:44 am |
      • Josh

        "Enemy combatants" is, by definition (and not the new definition that the Bush administration invented in order to justify its military operations), "members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war." We have not declared war since WWII. Therefore they are not enemy combatants. There goes your theory.
        Furthermore, they are (were, because we killed them) American citizens. The process is to give them due process.
        If you think denying the law and killing US citizens (without due process) and calling it "collateral damage" is constitutionally justifiable, then you have your work cut out for you.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:49 am |
      • 1nd3p3nd3nt

        the reason why there's so much confusion is due to the fact that we're fighting terrorists, not a state. It's an organization, not a country. Countries have their militaries wear uniforms for a reason. The terrorists do not wear uniforms.

        the rules have changed, you cannot hold the U.S. accountable because their enemy isn't following the rules.
        if someone joins a terrorist network they become a valid target. War is messy, a tragedy, the failure of all other options.

        October 26, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • clearfog

      Executed. To kill somebody as part of a legal or extralegal process. Notice the OR part? They're called enemy combatants. Just like all of those US citizens who joined the Confederacy in the Civil War with the goal of insurrections again the lawful goverment of the United States, in part to propogate slavery. Perhaps you think that "executing" them was wrong.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:16 am | Reply
    • Joe M.

      US citizenship does not convey immunity from being persued and shot on sight if the citizen is armed and dangerous.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • mark o. worrell

      Sorry, folks, its called war. He wasn't sitting around St. Louis when this happened, and 16 year olds can be terrorists, too; ask any Vietnam vet. You don't get trials when you are on the other side. Wish it were a different world; they didn't.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • Josh

        This kid is "collateral damage" for killings that should not have taken place in the begin with! Read the constitution! The 5th amendment says that "No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law." Al-Awlaki was a US citizen. Do the math. This is why we ought to follow the rule of law. It should worry you people that the executive is running things well beyond its power, while the people have become virtually powerless in running the country.
        The founders would be ashamed of us.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:28 am |
      • Timothy Williams

        Yes! Speaking of that we arrested 17 year old terrorist in Iraq. The people he killed were just as dead as if a 30 year old killed them.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:28 am |
      • clearfog

        Quite the contrary, the Founders would have supported Abraham Lincoln in killing Confederate soldiers without trial to preserve the Union and, BTW, end slavery. The 5th Amendment did not protect them and does not protect any enemy combatants. Your ignorance of the Constitution is monumental.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:37 am |
      • Josh

        Your ignorance of history is monumental!
        You're right that it didn't protect the Confederates, because they formally seceded and were therefore *not citizens*. The al-Awlaki's still are. You would therefore treat them the same as you would Timothy Mcveigh or a serial killer or any such person.
        And the founders absolutely would have supported the Confederate states' right to secede, and therefore would not have supported Lincoln. Read the constitution before 1860! (And you call my ignorance of the constitution monumental? Yikes.)
        Furthermore, they're not enemy combatants (the al-Awlaki's). An enemy combatant is by definition (and not the new definition that the Bush administration invented in order to justify its military operations), "members of the armed forces of the state with which another state is at war." We haven't declared war since WWII. Therefore, these guys are NOT enemy combatants. They ARE US citizens, and they get due process. Read the constitution!

        October 26, 2011 at 1:03 am |
    • Earnan

      These two "citizens" had fled the US to avoid facing a fair trial in a US court.

      They were bearing arms against the US, actively "aiding and abetting" this country's enemies, when the missiles turned them into cheap crow-feed.

      They were killed lawfully. No different than an armed robber being shot dead when he attempted to flee arrest.

      October 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  84. Anchorit

    This is basically just outright murder. Drones are the modern equivalent of Operation Phoenix. They're also cowardly. A "well meaning" or at least well controlled program of war crimes that got out of control. I have a feeling basically Americans don't care what happens to you if your name starts with "bin" or "al". Pretty racist. Years from now when it will be considered as anti-Semitic to hate Arabs/Muslims as it is to hate Jews, everyone will pretend they have always defended them, but right now their lives are not valued as human beings.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply
    • Joe M.

      How is Ayman Al Zawahiri bombing a muslim wedding in any way morally superior to the NATO effort to end terrorism???

      October 26, 2011 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • Timothy Williams

      I don't think drone attacks on military targets are cowardly. I think attacking civilians at work or executing women and children is though. I work at the 9/11 memorial so everyday I am reminded of the definition of the word coward when I read the 2700 names of the victims of terrorism.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:22 am | Reply
    • clearfog

      I don't call minimizing risk to yourself while conducting operations in the vital national interests cowardly. I call it smart. Perhaps you adhere to the Boshido code. You know, those guys who crashed airplanes into ships and did suicide charges rather than surrender. Would it make you feel better if we had a pilot on board?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:25 am | Reply
    • mark o. worrell

      Tie yourself to that anchor before you drop it: war–we didn't start the fire, dude. Drones are 1000% preferable to roadside bombs blowing the legs off our kids. When I think of the terrorist acts, outside of a few things in Great Britain the IRA pulled off, guess who is behind nearly all other acts of terror worldwide. Want respect; stop blowing people up. When are one of the clerics going to issue a Fatwa declaring that these terrorists need to be stopped and are the problem? Dennis Miller said it first, I'll say it last. No one in the Muslim sector is doing anything about that little difficulty. Instead, its "we are being picked on" whining. Since when? No one blows up your aircraft with traveling civilians on them....restaurants...marketplaces...except other Muslims. ooops, reality.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
    • hmmm

      It is not racist. You think it is because muslim seem to be because it catch media attention when a muslim does a terrorist act. Far more terrorist than muslims in the wolrd and they die just the same. For the kid it got killed in the act, well he should not have been there. It would be like me going to visit a realitve on americans mosted wanted and expect not to get caught in the middle of it. lol... If I go there is either A) I would want to follow in their foot steps B) must really love them and try to sway them but it would not a smart idea. (pss do it over the phone) C) just want to see them (skype)
      For future kids or anyone else that wants to hurt/kill/anything not right to another human. Just you wait 90% time you crimes catch up to you.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
    • Kevin

      Cowardly? How much time have YOU spent on the front lines of a war? I love the people who gain their sense of honor from the movies. Newsflash: Real war has nothing to do with honor. There's a saying we have in the military. "If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, someone screwed up". Members of the military perform a duty, and anyone who has fought overseas will tell you that real honest to goodness war, is dirty, bloody, exciting, terrifying, and without any sense of glory and chivalry like you would love to pretend it is.

      October 26, 2011 at 2:18 am | Reply
    • Earnan

      I'll "pretend to value" muslim lives when they start valuing them themselves.

      Over 90% of the "civilian deaths" in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been muslims killed BY MUSLIMS.

      The US and Coalition forces are not the ones setting off car bombs in mosques, markets and the villages of other muslim sects. The US wasn't snatching religious opponents off the street and sawing their heads off in front of TV cameras.

      Until muslims start assigning a bit of "value" to their coreligionists' lives, why should I?

      October 29, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  85. Erich

    Too bad, so sad, Yaaaawn

    October 26, 2011 at 12:04 am | Reply
  86. XD

    If you don't want to risk getting bombed, then don't hang out with people who are likely to get bombed.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Reply
    • Hamsa

      Yeah like when the US a killed a man becuase he looked like osama
      bin laden

      October 25, 2011 at 11:59 pm | Reply
    • Someone's Mother

      yeah because teens have a 'choice' to hang out with parents... moron!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:01 am | Reply
      • Jimbo

        Uhh...the article clearly states that he went out in search of his father. "Abdulrahman al-Awlaki left the family home in the Yemeni capital Sanaa late in September to search for his father, who was in a remote part of Yemen" So...yes, I'd say he definitely had a choice in the matter.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:11 am |
      • Eric

        Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but are you saying he was forced to be with his parents and that is why he was killed? Cuz it says in the story he went looking for his father that was hidden away up in the hills where the US was looking for him. It wasn't a family function down at the rec center when the cruise missile came in and took them out. If I'm wrong about what you were saying I am sorry, if not then you are the moron.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • Tom

      Wrong place, wrong time.....oh well...shouldn't be hangin with the terrorists.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:02 am | Reply
    • Joe M.

      Why do these questions never come up when Al Qaeda and the Taliban force a child to wear a suicide vest and approach a NATO outpost or when Ayman Al Zawahiri executes a bombing at a muslim wedding? Why are moral questions only aimed at those trying to stop the self-defined terrorist jihadis???

      October 26, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply
      • Temperance1

        Why are moral questions only aimed at those trying to stop the self-defined terrorist jihadis???

        Because that is the fundamental nature of America's superiority complex, and the democratic system. I'm not saying that to bad-mouth this nation, only that it is a side-effect of our own propaganda. It's human nature, at it's fundamental core values.

        When one goes beyond that norm, and sees from other's perspectives (hence the racial marches of the 60s and 70s, and the current GLBT movements of today), does one rise above this absolutism and realize that we all bleed the same color, and nothing matters except living together and insuring our neighbors have the same freedoms that we do ... as well as the same honors in death.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:18 am |
      • AshevilleJeff

        Ditto! Thank you for making this point. It's hilarious how many 'patriots' come out of the woodwork to defend civil rights yet fail to hold the same people who they're seemingly defending accountable for their actions....

        October 26, 2011 at 12:22 am |
  87. Jerad

    The kid would still be alive if he hadn't been hanging out with Al Qaeda operatives.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply
    • Dick

      Right on! I hope we never end these strikes!

      October 25, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Reply
      • Hamsa

        The strikes will come to an end with the US collapses, which will be soon, America should woory about its own problems and not Oil

        October 26, 2011 at 12:01 am |
      • Baron

        He deserved it

        October 26, 2011 at 12:11 am |
      • Timothy Williams

        The US will not collapse in our lifetime. We've been through worse and overcame and we will rise again.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:46 am |
  88. Anni

    The only debate this should stir is why we are not out of there. Don't try to make this one kid more important than the other thousands of U.S. citizens, our children, in the military who have been killed or maimed in the name of... I don't even know. The fact is We the People never wanted to be there so don't start slinging accusations and making us seem like the perpetrators. We the People have said all along NO to Iraq and Afghanistan. You want to be angry, point it at the White House because We the People are just as victimized in this as anyone else, possibly more so.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • clearfog

      I would appreciate it if you did not use the We so carelessly. I and not part of your We, nor do I want to be. If you don't like the way the government acts, vote. If you lose, don't claim that the We part did not prevail.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
      • Eric

        Yeah, what a bunch of crap. We the people should never have pulled out of the area in the 90's and finished this then. Wiping out that regime two decades ago could have had a major impact on what happened to get us back there 10 years later.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:07 am |
    • Vince

      Say what you will, but the American public voted for Bush on consecutive terms...

      October 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Reply
      • Al

        The American Public did NOT vote for G.W. on consecutive terms. Must I point out Florida for one and Ohio/Diebold for the second.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
    • Dick

      Anni, feel free to count me as a, "We"!

      October 25, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Reply
    • XD

      How in the world do we look like the instigator? Al-Qaeda started it when they attacked us on our own soil!

      ...or have you already forgotten that important detail?

      October 25, 2011 at 11:58 pm | Reply
      • Vince

        XD, you're an idiot. This thing started before Sept. 11th, please read up on history before making a biased/uninformed comment,

        October 26, 2011 at 12:02 am |
      • fishtank

        Vince, you're the one who brought up 9/11. Pay attention to what you're complaining about before you mouth off.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:21 am |
      • Timothy Williams

        Actually XD this did start on 9/11. The war on terror started after 9/11 after the Taliban failed to hand over bin laden. We were after bin laden since the Clinton administration but there was no invasion and constant bombing to this extent.

        I think someone missed your point completely. If you disagree with someone's point simply state your own if you think it is better. Calling someone an idiot because of their opinion is just immature. Little kids stop playing on the internet and go to bed.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:41 am |
    • Temperance1

      The only wise words I've read in this blog.

      Thank you!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:07 am | Reply
      • Temperance1

        That was in reply to this:

        I would appreciate it if you did not use the We so carelessly. I and not part of your We, nor do I want to be. If you don't like the way the government acts, vote. If you lose, don't claim that the We part did not prevail.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:08 am |
    • Josh

      Haven't you read the end of the Gettysburg Address? You know, about the government "of the executive, by the executive, and for the executive."
      I think that's how it goes.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:22 am | Reply
    • Earnan

      You sure as hell don't speak for me, Annie.

      This little piece of "We the People" noticed that our elected representatives voted for action in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

      This little piece of "We the People" personally re-enlisted in 2003 to do his part in the military actions that were authorized by both houses of Congress and the President.

      So here's some advice, Annie: Shut the fuck up. *You* don't speak for "We the People."

      October 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  89. chris owen

    how would a airplane with a pilot carriyng out this strike saved the life of this bystander was that pilot going to look out his window from thirty thousand feet and see this kid down there

    October 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • crangrape

      a pilot did carry out the strike. if she/he were actually sitting in the plane, he/she'd have used a targeting pod and maybe even have a better video than what the remotely piloted aircraft pilot( et al) was looking at.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • kevin in the military

      um thats an unmanned aircraft buddy.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • ummm....yeah right!

      And how, by seeing this kid would the air strike have been stopped? A teenager sitting at the table of a known terrorist is not going the be the reason we don't drop a bomb. As far as we know, he is there to get instructions to go blow up a preschool or something! Point is, if you are a terrorist, you are a target. If you are innocent and want to stay alive, don't hang out with terrorists!

      October 26, 2011 at 12:30 am | Reply
  90. db

    Who cares, another dirtbag terrorist trator dead that will not pick up a gun and shoot one of our soldiers.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  91. JOHN L

    He's lucky he wasn't in one of the WTC TOWERS ON 2011.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:44 pm | Reply
  92. Bob

    Once he decided to go to Yemen he ceased to be a "U.S. teeenager" in my book. He became a dog returning to its vomit.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Reply
    • logic

      so when you go home at night are you just a hillbilly returning to his I mean wife?

      October 26, 2011 at 12:05 am | Reply
    • Josh

      It's always terrible to see a biblical reference used for the sake of evil. Do not both Paul and Peter say to "submit to the government" (Romans 13, 1 Peter 2:13-14)? And what does the "government" say? "No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law" (5th amendment).) Shouldn't we "submit" to this? (That is, if you are in fact a Christian. And if you aren't, then you're saying we ought not to obey our constitution).
      You say, "Once he decided to go to Yemen he ceased to be a "U.S. teeenager" in my book."
      He is still a U.S. citizen, no matter what your "book" happens to be feeling at 12:30 am.

      October 26, 2011 at 1:34 am | Reply

    I marvel at the way we fight "wars" today. A few days ago, the Military Channel had a segment on our bombing of cities in Japan during WWII and said that in one bombing run, nearly 70,000 civilians were killed. Now, we have the ACLU getting involved because a US citizen teen was killed when he went in search of his terrorist father. In another example, I believe it was on a CNN news report where an embedded reporter was with a Marine squad that came under attack from folks firing from a cemetery. The Lt. had to request permission to engage the enemy, but because they were in a cemetery and near a Mosque, his request was denied. One heck of way to fight a "war."

    October 25, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Reply
    • db

      The ACLU is a liberal communist organization that exploits our laws and Constitution for the benefit of the criminals and minorities. They are the preverbably lease on the tail that wags the dog. This is a democracy and suppose to be ruled by the majority, not the minority. Have you ever looked at one of the ACLU personnel, worthless yuppies that look for the opressed and cause trouble.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Reply
      • Temperance1

        This is a democracy and suppose to be ruled by the majority, not the minority.

        Wrong. A democracy is a rule of the majority, but NOT at the expense of the minority. Go back to government classes and learn what our founding fathers had to say about minority segments of society, because they WERE the minority during that era.

        October 25, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
      • Al

        You sir do indeed live up to your monikor.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:03 am |
      • Gary

        The ACLU is a liberal communist organization that exploits our laws and Constitution for the benefit of the criminals and minorities. They are the preverbably lease on the tail that wags the dog. This is a democracy and suppose to be ruled by the majority, not the minority.

        That is precisely the idea behind the "dictatorship of the proletariat" in the USSR, where the government got its mandate to do ANYTHING on behalf of "the people" who were represented by The Party.

        It's a bit think when ultra-conservatives state "the US is a republic, not a democracy" because republic is the *form* while *democracy* is supposed to be the substance (majority rule, not the rule of a tiny elite of banksters and their reps), but the ultra-conservatives say that to emphasize "individual rights" vs. "communism" or "totalitarian democracy" in which there are no inherent rights for the individual if the majority (Party, Govt) does not like them.

        So ironically, people calling themselves Conservatives have become flat-out Communist lackeys and Stalinists, while they complain about "communists" at the American Civil Liberties Union. American civil liberties *ARE* American, not communist.

        Now I can understand what Soviet dissidents were complaining about. It wasn't the free health care or education or free vacations on the Black Sea. It was the lying news media and the daily terror that the govt might target you and kill or imprison you for some arbitrary reason, with or without "show trials".

        October 31, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
    • Mark

      I was thinking the same thing, and people used to say that people were so much better back then. Nothing like fire bombing an entire city to destroy one factory in the old days. I also am shocked when we have been at war in Iraq for almost 10 years and have lost less lives then in on day of one of the bigger civil war battles on just one side.

      Somehow the ACLU do not realize that the terrorists want to kill us.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:28 am | Reply
  94. Harry532

    So his father was the biggest terrorist in the region. The kid is then in the exact same location as another big time Al Qaeda leader when a hellfire missile drops on his head. They say you are judged by the company you keep. This kid was associated with at least two wanted dirt bags. Is it too much of a stretch to think that MAYBE Junior was following in Daddy’s footsteps of being another bad man?? Who cares he liked Harry Potter?? Adolf Hitler had a dog that licked his face—doesn’t mean hes a good person

    Chalking this kid up as collateral damage is stretching it.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • db

      The dog or Hitler?

      October 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  95. CPT America

    The ACLU does have its place, and that is trying to ensure the civil liberties of people in the United States. The ACLU, however, is a victim of its own success. The Jim Crow era is long past and America has become a multi-cultural and multi-racial success story, where anyone can become President no matter what the color of their skin may be.

    Moreover, U.S. Citizens now enjoy freedoms that were unheard of just 30 years ago. Think I am wrong? You can go poop on the American Flag today and the police can’t even issue you a ticket for doing so. A few decades ago, you would have been beaten senseless and tossed in jail by the cops for desecrating the Flag.

    Thus the ACLU’s raison d'etre has vanished and they are no longer a relevant force. Relevant in America that is. So what to do? Take the operation overseas to give aid, support and succor to self-declared terrorists.

    Anwar al-Awlaki’s civil rights were not violated. He left this country to join al-Qaeda. He was instrumental in the murder of dozens of U.S. soldiers at Ft. Hood, Texas. He sent the underwear bomber to blow up an airliner over the Midwest. He inspired the Times Square Bomber. And he directed or lent support to countless other al-Qaeda plots that would have resulted in hundreds of dead civilians.

    What would the ACLU have done to bring Anwar al-Awlaki to justice? NOTHING! At most, they would have issued a bench warrant for his arrest, and hoped that al-Awlaki would to take a vacation to Las Vegas so he would come within our jurisdiction. HELLO…al-Awlaki was hiding out in terrorist training camps in a terrorist controlled region of a failed third world nation!!!

    Word to the ACLU. . .and al-Awlaki’s father who sued the U.S. Government to try to prevent his mass murdering son from being brought from justice: If al-Awlaki was really innocent...if this were all just a big misunderstanding…he could have easily turned himself in and returned to the United States. Instead, he decided to remain in hiding with his al-Qaeda terrorist buddies and continue to plot the death of countless innocents.

    So ACLU…go ahead and advocate for the right of people who would stone women to death…would throw acid in the faces of young girls who try to go to school…who would pass laws to prevent anyone with two X chromosomes from voting, driving, holding a job, or going to the market without a male relative as a chaperon. Yes ACLU go ahead and help safeguard the rights of a group of pathological misogynists who are hell bent on taking every civil right away from half the World’s population.

    As for his teenage son who was inadvertently killed when a group of al-Qaeda terrorists were killed in an air strike: HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF HISTORY? If this was 60 years ago, we would have had to have carpet bombed the Hell out of entire cities and towns just to get the baddies. Thankfully, today, we have precision guided missiles and smart bombs. Thus, rather than having 5,000 innocents killed in a single bombing, the collateral damage limited to near Zero.

    ACLU…make yourself useful. Why not run an Alex’s Lemonade Stand and raise a few bucks to cure cancer instead of running around the third world trying to serve restraining orders on our soldiers as they try to keep us from being killed at home.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
    • The Voice of Reason

      Spot on Captain America!

      October 25, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • db

      Three cheers, hip hip hurray! A man who tells it like it is. The truth was never spoken any better.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Reply
    • crangrape

      to play devil's advocate here, all those things were not proven in a court of law right? some unknown entity is judge, jury, and executioner (and intel guys have never been wrong, right). everyone knows that the aclu always, always, always stands up for the folks who no one else would dare stand up for, so this should be no surprise. i think the aclu, as an, albeit extreme, watchdog over civil rights, wants to ensure that judge, jury, and executioners are legit.

      October 26, 2011 at 12:32 am | Reply
  96. John

    I'm sorry about the Kid, but he new who he was around and he most likely new that they may be attack at any time. If these Terrorist didn't want the kid to get hurt than they shouldn't have him around them.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Reply
  97. Miguel

    Tim Lister, you are a JOKE! What on earth could possess you to write an article about a US citizen that was among terrorist when killed? He liked to watch Simpsons and listen to Snoop Dogg was the best you could come up in debating whether the US should use Drones or not. Few in this world are able to put a face to a word. Not anymore, JOKE = Tim Lister.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Reply
    • clearfog

      Listening to Snoop Dogg is itself justification for termination.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
      • Blue

        Your kid probably listens to Snoop Dogg so yeah...

        October 26, 2011 at 2:18 am |
  98. gtrails

    funny – in the US media if you are 17 years old and you are killing people or de-capitating "infidels" you are a "teenager". But in the rest of the world at 17 years old you usually have had 2 or 3 kids and you have been a "man" for a few years. hey CNN – stop being such a US-centric hollywood rag. In the real world you don't become an adult when your daddy takes your X-box away, you become an adult at 14 when you kill your first enemy in some stupid blood feud, welcome to the real world, CNN.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm | Reply
    • Teri B

      gtrails: where are you getting the idea that the kid ever killed anyone? Even his father was accused of spreading propaganda at most, and had not killed anyone.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Reply
      • Jerad

        Yeah, and all Joseph Goebbels did was spread propaganda as well. Nobody would have complained about dropping a bomb on him.

        October 25, 2011 at 11:50 pm |
      • Timothy Williams

        If he didn't he damn sure tried and damn near succeeded. I'm sure he killed or is responsible for many being killed. But in court you cannot convict him on killings you assume he committed. He definitely conspired to commit murder via terrorism.

        October 26, 2011 at 12:11 am |
    • clearfog

      Aiding and abetting is the equivalent of actually murdering. Get an education in the criminal liability arising out of overt acts in furtherance of a conspiracy before posting.

      October 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm | Reply
  99. jeff

    I do not think he would be less dead if there was a person in the plane.

    October 25, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Reply
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