Fighting Terror with Terror
Poisoned in the UK
Russian former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned with polonium 210 in a posh London hotel in 2006. In a plot that could have come from a le Carre novel, Litvinenko was mysteriously taken ill after meeting former cronies for a drink. The revelation that he was poisoned led to the tracking of the substance all the way back to the airliner from Moscow and the realization that the long arm of Russian state terror was behind his painful and lingering death.
Now the Brits are seeking the extradition of one such crony, Andrei K. Lugovoi to face murder charges, sort of. But they have blocked their own authorities from engaging in an open and thorough investigation. Why: fear of upsetting the Russian Bear. The New York Times reported on Saturday that this was the first such admission by Great Britain. Of course, it could also be that the UK fears divulging facts that would be embarrassing or damaging (or both) to themselves.
“Droned” in Yemen
In an apparent act of reporting serendipity, the Times also reported on Saturday about attempts by the family of 16 year-old US citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki to gain justice after his killing by an American drone in Yemen. Awlaki was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, the Al Qaeda operative. He had no connections to terrorism.
The venue was a courtroom in Washington, DC, before Federal District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer who also serves on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA).
Brian Hauck, a deputy assistant US attorney general representing the Obama Administration asserted that, “…Americans targeted overseas do have rights, but he said they could not be enforced in court either before or after the Americans were killed” making the value of such rights rather dubious. Hauck also said that, “Courts don’t have the apparatus to analyze such issues”, further drawing the ire of Judge Collyer who must routinely deal in such affairs in her FISA role.
Like Trayvon Martin, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed without knowing who his attacker was.
The State as Citizen Murderer
Russia and the United States, legal obfuscations aside, are exactly the same: they murder their own citizens in other countries under the guise of some greater good. It is false to suggest that the Russians are engaged in a more nefarious or secretive endeavor as the US drone program is itself shrouded in secrecy with revelations about it both scant and recent.
Great Britain and Yemen are willingly complicit with the Yemenis reliant on the US for military support and the Brits kowtowing to the Bear over some unstated imperative need.
How the Brits have fallen! From world rulers to Kremlin suck-ups who deprive their own citizens of justice over the need for (fantasy) comity with Russia. As we know, Russia has a history of respecting the weak and timid.
According to the Times, “Mr. Hauck said decisions about targeted killing should be reserved to the “political” branches of government, the executive and legislative, not the judiciary.” I’ll bet that’s the Russian line, as well.
Call me crazy but I’ll take my “targeted killing” with a healthy dose of judicial review, thank you.
Judge Collyer had this to say in reply: “The court still has a role to play in adjudicating whether or not a citizen’s rights have been violated.”
Thank the Lord for Judge Collyer.
The killing of 16 year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki and others proves that the CIA are effectively Qaeda accomplices in their mission to destroy democratic principles and cherished freedoms, all on the altar of post 9/11 national security, with President Obama acting as high priest as George Bush did before him.