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Kenneth Ellman Comments WSJ: Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

  • Story:
    Drone Kills Top Al Qaeda Figure

    Comment: From Kenneth Ellman,
    Reply to- Mr. Paul Gallagher and Mr. Terry Patrick
    October 1, 2011
    Thanks to Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Patrick for reading my comments and responding.
    Mr. Gallagher states:
    “Mr. Al-Awlaki is not a nation, and not a citizen of one that has declared war on the U.S.”
    First I dispute that since I believe the attacks upon the United States were a combination of efforts including aid from nation states. However that is not necessary to be determined to address you points.
    You are under the misunderstanding that the United States can only go to war with a
    “Nation” as that term is commonly understood. I am not sure where you obtained that belief.
    The United States can go to war against any group that makes war against the United States.
    In the past there is the interesting case of the “Barbary Wars” where the United States Navy and all necessary military forces would wage war against the Barbary Pirates. In fact those pirates apparently even made agreements with other Nations and then would break such agreements.
    The Pirates captured were considered by the United States to be Prisoners of War. The Pirates did also capture and imprison and mistreat out military forces.
    This may be an interesting area for research as it is well documented having been considered at the time of the Barbary Wars by the Supreme Court and having been periodically used as legal argument such as in the case of Salim Ahmed Hamdan where such is discussed in the Brief of Lawrence M. Friedman to support his particular Amici argument.
    I have no doubt that those waging war against the United States are military forces, even if unconventional military forces and that they must be destroyed in total by the United States.
    The analogy to the Barbary Wars may be useful for certain legal authority and precedent.
    The fact that the deceased Mr. Al-Awlaki was a United States citizen is of no moment. The rights accorded to Americans by our Constitution, including the Bill of Rights to protect us from our government, do not apply to those waging war against the United States. Mr. Al-Awlaki was treated as an enemy soldier which he was and his rights as an American do not include protection from killing by our military forces when he is waging war and part of a force waging war against the United States.
    To Mr. Terry Patrick: Thank you for your comment. I of course agree with you.
    Kenneth Ellman