No Comment — October 3, 2011, 8:41 pm

The Secret Al-Awlaki Memo

The Washington Post reveals that the Obama Administration secured a legal opinion from the Justice Department stating that the president has the power to authorize a strike abroad to kill an American citizen who is believed to be a leadership figure in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Drawing on this authority, President Obama authorized the strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki and several others, including a second U.S. citizen, Samir Khan, the editor of AQAP’s web magazine, Inspire, on Friday morning. The major questions following al-Awlaki’s death are simple: Why has the Obama Administration failed to make public its rationale for the strike, including the considerations that led it to the conclusion that it can use lethal force against a U.S. citizen under such circumstances? And why has it kept the Justice Department memorandum a secret? I discussed these questions last night on RT:

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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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(1) To need his glasses and be struck by an awareness that they are not at hand, an ordinary enough circumstance for Frederick Douglass, except sometimes it’s accompanied by a flash of extraordinary dread. If not quite panic, certainly an unease disproportionate to a simple recurring situation. Dread that may be immediately extinguished if he locates his horn-rimmed, owlish-eyed spectacles exactly where he anticipated they should be. He sees them and almost sighs. Nearly feels their slightly uncomfortable weight palpable on his nose. Finding the glasses enough to reassure him that he remains here among the living in this material …
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