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Obama's First Full Day as a Tyrant Who Ordered the Assassination of American Citizen Samir Kahn


Guest Tom Scully
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Guest Tom Scully

I think it is gravely important to get mad as hell, and to show it, when a tyrant blooms, when the tyranny is still tentative and there is still a chance of giving the tyrant pause by pointing out that he "kills his own people," the same accusation Bush hurled at Saddam to justify invading and occupying Iraq in 2003. Obama took an oath on 20 January, 2009 to "preserve and to protect the constitution of the United States." The oath was worded that way, in 1789, to eliminate the predicted excuse by the executive that the protections of the U.S. Constitution must be suspended due to the expediency of some crisis or other. The oath Obama took, and broke grievously yesterday and on other occasions, was worded in a way intended to protect us from his excesses. IMO, we are in uncharted territory now, the blood shed by patriots to free our forefathers from the perceived tyranny of George III was shed in vain or must be mingled with the blood of patriots willing to preserve and to protect the constitution, even at the cost of their own lives.

I couldn't put this into more clear and readable form so I defer to these comments to support my points of sadness, outrage, and frustration. The "terrorists" won, there is no longer even a pretense of the rule of law and a uniquely American "Bill of Rights" protecting any of us from government abuses and consolidation of its power over us. Scratch off the guarantee of "life," formerly protected by due process, and "liberty" and "happiness" don't seem all that enticing or certain, do they?

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

Jeff Kaye on September 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm said:

@William Ockham:

This is the official confirmation of what we here have known, but so many people claimed

wasn’t true. Our entire political establishment has accepted the idea that if an

American citizen steps foot outside of the United States, the government can kill

him or her on the President’s orders and nothing else. Whether or not he can kill

us on a whim inside the borders of the U.S. is an open question.

That is true, but on such a solemn occasion, why not say what we also know is true: if they powers that be deem it important enough, they will assassinate an American citizen on U.S. soil, too, be it someone with little power, like a Fred Hampton, a disgruntled insider, like Frank Olson, or someone with seemingly a great deal of power, like a John Kennedy. Perhaps it is time to dust off the faux-conspiracy phobia and just say what is. The U.S. government murders. They have a taste for murder. And the only thing that keeps them from going the whole hog is that they mostly find it, for the time being, an inefficient and socially provocative way to enlarge their political supremacy. (Also, there is that pesky tradition from the Enlightenment and much of U.S. history about fighting for rule of law, and distrusting the power of government, particularly the Executive… ah! how quaint)

But the message of these killings is… seems they don’t find it so inexpedient anymore.

....and

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

Extrajudicial Execution of Samir Khan Arguably More Significant Than Awlaki

Posted on September 30, 2011 by bmaz

....That’s right, not just one, but two, Americans were summarily and extrajudicially executed by their own government today, at the direct order of the President of the United States. No trial, no verdict, just off with their heads. Heck, there were not even charges filed against either Awlaki or Khan. And it is not that the government did not try either, there was a grand jury convened on Khan, but no charges. Awlaki too was investigated for charges at least twice by the DOJ, but non were found.

But at least Awlaki was on Barrack Obama’s “Americans That Are Cool to Kill List”. Not so with Samir Khan. Not only is there no evidence whatsoever Khan is on the classified list for killing (actually two different lists) my survey of people knowledgeable in the field today revealed not one who believed khan was on any such list, either by DOD or CIA.

So, the US has been tracking scrupulously Awlaki for an extended period and knew with certainty where he was and when, and knew with certainty immediately they had killed Awlaki and Khan. This means the US also knew, with certainty, they were going to execute Samir Khan.

How did the US then make the kill order knowing they were executing a US citizen, not only extrajudicially, but not even with the patina of being on the designated kill list (which would at least presuppose some consideration and Yoo-like pseudo-legal cover)?

Did Barack Obama magically auto-pixie dust Khan onto the list with a wave of his wand on the spot? Even under the various law of war theories, which are not particularly compelling justification to start with as we are not at war with Yemen and it is not a “battlefield”, the taking of Khan would appear clearly prohibited under both American and International law. ...

.....And therein lies lies the reason the US killing of Samir Khan may be even more troubling than the already troubling killing of al-Awlaki. There is no satisfactory legal basis for either one, but as to Khan there was NO process whatsoever, even the joke “listing” process utilized for Awlaki. The US says it took care to not harm “civilians”, apparently that would mean Yemeni civilians. American citizens are fair game for Mr. Obama, list or no list, crime or no crime, charges or no charges. Off with their heads!

People should not just be evaluating today’s fresh kills as to Awlaki, Samir Khan should be at the tip of the discussion spear too.

- Bmaz is an attorney in Phoenix, Arizona practicing criminal defense, civil rights and civil trial law. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, both undergraduate and School of Law, and covers legal and political issues for Firedoglake and sister site Emptywheel. ...

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I think it is gravely important to get mad as hell, and to show it, when a tyrant blooms, when the tyranny is still tentative and there is still a chance of giving the tyrant pause by pointing out that he "kills his own people," the same accusation Bush hurled at Saddam to justify invading and occupying Iraq in 2003. Obama took an oath on 20 January, 2009 to "preserve and to protect the constitution of the United States." The oath was worded that way, in 1789, to eliminate the predicted excuse by the executive that the protections of the U.S. Constitution must be suspended due to the expediency of some crisis or other. The oath Obama took, and broke grievously yesterday and on other occasions, was worded in a way intended to protect us from his excesses. IMO, we are in uncharted territory now, the blood shed by patriots to free our forefathers from the perceived tyranny of George III was shed in vain or must be mingled with the blood of patriots willing to preserve and to protect the constitution, even at the cost of their own lives.

I couldn't put this into more clear and readable form so I defer to these comments to support my points of sadness, outrage, and frustration. The "terrorists" won, there is no longer even a pretense of the rule of law and a uniquely American "Bill of Rights" protecting any of us from government abuses and consolidation of its power over us. Scratch off the guarantee of "life," formerly protected by due process, and "liberty" and "happiness" don't seem all that enticing or certain, do they?

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

....and

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

Opinion piece from The New York Times Sunday Review:

An Illegal and Counterproductive Assassination

By YASIR QADHI

October 1, 2011

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/opinion/sunday/assassinating-al-awlaki-was-counterproductive.html

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I don't know. It's a real stretch to say that the same political machine that killed JFK was responsible for the assassination of Samir Kahn and Anwar Al-Awlaki in Yemen. I guess its enough to get it placed here rather than under the less read political conspiracy section.

Yes, JFK rejected political assassination as a potential weapon, even though his enemies didn't.

I don't know if Tom knows a tyrant when he sees one. The dictator of Yemen is a tyrant.

But just as Gadhafi promised to send his legions into the rebel cities and kill all those who opposed him, Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Kahn had done the same to all Americans, and therefore lost their right to, as Yasir Qadhi calls it, be "challenged" and have a dialogue over the issues. They were stone cold mass murders who was trying to do it again, and if given the chance, would have, so there was no room to challenge them or bring them to justice.

While Awlaki was pals with some of the 9/11 hijackers and the Fort Hood spree killer, Samir Kahn published the magazine Inspire, that was also posted on the internet and used as a recruiting tool for al Qaeda.

In addition, they were physically located in the heart of the current Arab Revolution that is sweeping the region, and while this democratic revolution is led by "freedom fighters" who have sapped al Qaeda's source of suicide bomber recruits, they are still very strong in Yemen and are a serious threat to the local population, threatened to co-op the revolution there and kill more innocent Americans who travel abroad.

Fortunately Mohamid Bouazizi served more of an inspiration to Arab youth than Kahn, so much so that al-Qaeda is now on the ropes and considered an enemy of the revolution.

But the idea that the United States can operate an unmanned preditor drone above a desolate desert battlefield and a guy sitting at a computer in Tampa can take out a vehicle and or an individual person in Yemen by pushing a button is quite frightening,

They were not Wall Street protesters however, - they were stone cold killers and mass murders who, like Gadhafi, had announced their intentions, so sending in some SEALS to capture them and bring them to justice just wasn't an option.

You don't take a copy of the constitution to a gunfight.

Tom, like those who remained silent about the Arab revolutions until the USA and NATO got involved, are reactionaries, - - merely reacting to one piece of information, and totally ignorant about Yemen, where it is located, its resident dictator, ignorant of the US support for this tyrant simply because of his vocal support for the war against al Qaeda, and ignorant of the revolution currently going on there.

Unlike Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain and Syria, where the people are basically unarmed and attempt to carry out a peaceful revolution, there are many armed groups in Yemen, and some of the army have defected. The dictator was even wounded in an assassination attempt and went to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. If you had read the article I posted on my blog a few months ago (June), you would know this was to be the new policy and something to be expected, and in fact has been an on-going operation that has assassinated other al-Qaeda members, with no knee-jerk reaction by anyone.

Revolutionary Program: Yemeni Youth Guard the Revolution

"...With the current power vacuum, of utmost concern to the West is the threat of al-Qaeda. Political consultant Hopkins believes the US will use this time to selectively target suspected al-Qaeda targets in a unilateral campaign. "It makes sense. In a political vacuum it has been my experience that going on the attack is the best defence," he said. Indeed, this week the US stepped up its covert campaign in the south of Yemen and targeted armed groups understood to be linked with al-Qaeda with remotely controlled drone aircraft and fighter jets. Strikes reportedly killed al-Qaeda operative Abu Ali al-Harithi and several other suspects. Four civilians were also understood to have been killed."

While the US attacks on al Qaeda operatives in Yemen are important, more significant is the revolution going on there, and the future role of the US - as Obama, Tom's American Tyrant is apparently shifting the allegiance of this country from support for the dictators to the revolutionary people, a major change in US policy that no one is paying any attention to.

Revolutionary Program: Yemini Women Lead Revolution

Scott Atran: How Killing Awlaki Affects America, Al Qaeda, and the Arab Spring

An Illegal andCounterproductive Assassination

By YASIR QADHI

Published: October 1, 2011

YasirQadhi, an American Muslim cleric, is a doctoral candidate in the Department ofReligious Studies at Yale. He blogs at muslimmatters.org.

ANWAR AL-AWLAKI, the Yemeni-American cleric who was killed Friday in a C.I.A. droneattack in Yemen,appears to be the first United States citizen that our government has publiclytargeted for assassination.

The accusations against him were very serious, but as a citizen, he deserved a fair trial and the chance to face his accusers in a court of law. Whether he deserved any punishment for his speech was adecision that a jury should have made, not the executive branch of ourgovernment. The killing of this American citizen is not only unconstitutional,but hypocritical and counterproductive.

The assassination is unconstitutional because theFifth Amendment specifies that no person may "be deprived of life, liberty, orproperty, without due process of law." A group of policy makers unilaterallydeciding that a particular citizen needs to be targeted is, by no stretch ofthe imagination, due process.

The assassination is hypocritical because Americaroutinely criticizes (and justifiably so) such extrajudicial assassinationswhen they occur at the hands of another government. We most certainly don'tapprove the regimes of Syria or Iraneliminating those whom they deem to be traitors. In fact, Al Qaeda's ownjustifications for murder stem from the notion that its members are qualifiedto be the judge, jury and executioner of those whom they view as enemies. America'smoral authority is undermined if we criticize in others what we do ourselves.It only reinforces the stereotype that the United States has very little concern forits own principles. Even Nazi war criminals got their day in court, atNuremburg.

It is ironic to note that those who have actuallyattempted terrorist attacks on American soil and been caught were read their Mirandarights and went to trial, even though some were not United States citizens. YetMr. Awlaki, who has never been accused of himself directly attempting anattack, was not given this chance.

Lastly, the assassination is counterproductivebecause it feeds into the martyr mythology that makes Al Qaeda's narrative sodifferent from that of most other terrorist groups.

If our policy makers studied history, they wouldrealize that Sayyid Qutb, a founder of radical Islam, while popular in hislife, only achieved his legendary status after the Nasserregime in Egypt hadhim executed, in 1966. Instantly, his books became (and remain) best sellers.Killing people doesn't make their ideas go away.

Mr. Awlaki was born in New Mexico in 1971 while his father waspursuing graduate studies. Though his parents returned to Yemen whenhe was seven, he later returned to the United States to pursue degrees inengineering and education. Eventually, he became an imam, or leader, of amosque in California andlater in Virginia.During these years, it is alleged that he met multiple times with at least three of the 9/11 hijackers. But for many American Muslims, he was only knownfor one thing: the telling of stories from the Koran. He lectured about thelives of the prophets of God, drawing from traditional Islamic sources (andsometimes even Biblical ones).

His captivating lecture style and copiousquotations from classical sources made him extremely popular, especially amongAmerican Muslim youth. During these pre-9/11 years, these lectures, stillavailable online, became some of the hottest-selling items at some Islamicconferences across America. Atthis stage, he was not publicly associated with any radical views. However,after 9/11, he adopted a more adversarial and anti-American tone, eventuallymoving back to Yemen. Hewas jailed for two years (and rumored to have been tortured).

It was only after his release that he publiclybegan supporting Al Qaeda and issuing messages calling for attacks upon the United States. It was alleged that he cameinto contact with or inspired a number of people to attempt terroristactivities: Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused in the 2009killings in Fort Hood, Tex.; Umar Farouk Abdulmuttalib, accused of trying toset off a bomb hidden in his underwear on a 2009 flight to Detroit; and FaisalShahzad, who tried to blow up a car in Times Square last year.

Mr. Awlaki's ideas were dangerous. His message that one cannot be a good Muslim and an American at the same time was insultingto nearly all American Muslims. His views about the permissibility of killingAmericans indiscriminately were completely at odds with those of mainstreamMuslim clerics around the world. He needed to be refuted. And that is why manypeople, myself included, were extremely vocal in doing just that.

Mr. Awlaki needed to be challenged, notassassinated. By killing him, America has once again blurred the lines between its own tactics and the tactics of its enemies. In silencing Mr. Awlaki's voice, not only did America failto live up to its ideals, but it gave Mr. Awlaki's dangerous message a life andpower of its own. And these two facts make the job of refuting that message now even more difficult.

Edited by William Kelly
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Not to be bum anyone out, but we have to be realistic. Obama knows that he stands no chance of being re-elected, and avoiding America's further slide to third-world status, if he doesn't make the pampered fat electorate feel comfy and cozy at night. If word got out that he knew where Awlaki was hiding, but failed to kill him because of "The Constitution" or some other piece of paper, it would be all over. He'd be denounced as unfit by the bulk of the media--the same jokers that are now questioning his actions--and many independents would be swayed.

Let's remember Jimmy Carter. He TRIED to rescue the hostages held in Iran, but that wasn't good enough. Despite the fact he'd been an officer on a nuclear submarine at the height of the cold war, and Ronald Reagan had merely been an actor in propaganda films during WWII, the right wing, along with their friends in the media, were able to convince the American public he was weak, militarily, and Reagan was strong. Reagan then used this to get elected, whereby he proceeded to pump hundreds of billions into wasteful projects designed to reward his cronies and supporters, while simultaneously cutting taxes on the wealthy. This led us to where we are.

Obama knows this, and is trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. As long as no one running against him would balk at killing Awlaki (outside of Ron Paul) he knows he has to do it.

I mean. given the choice between a dead Awlaki and a President Perry, I'd choose a dead Awlaki. While Awlaki's role in terrorist attacks was never proven, he had plenty of opportunity to denounce violence and Al Qaeda, and refused to do so even though his life had been threatened. May he rest.

Edited by Pat Speer
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Not to be bum anyone out, but we have to be realistic. Obama knows that he stands no chance of being re-elected, and avoiding America's further slide to third-world status, if he doesn't make the pampered fat electorate feel comfy and cozy at night. If word got out that he knew where Awlaki was hiding, but failed to kill him because of "The Constitution" or some other piece of paper, it would be all over. He'd be denounced as unfit by the bulk of the media--the same jokers that our now questioning his actions--and many independents would be swayed.

Let's remember Jimmy Carter. He TRIED to rescue the hostages held in Iran, but that wasn't good enough. Despite the fact he'd been an officer on a nuclear submarine at the height of the cold war, and Ronald Reagan had merely been an actor in propaganda films during WWII, the right wing, along with their friends in the media, were able to convince the American public he was weak, militarily, and Reagan was strong. Reagan then used this to get elected, whereby he proceeded to pump hundreds of billions into wasteful projects designed to reward his cronies and supporters, while simultaneously cutting taxes on the wealthy. This led us to where we are.

Obama knows this, and is trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. As long as no one running against him would balk at killing Awlaki (outside of Ron Paul) he knows he has to do it.

I mean. given the choice between a dead Awlaki and a President Perry, I'd choose a dead Awlaki. While Awlaki's role in terrorist attacks was never proven, he had plenty of opportunity to denounce violence and Al Qaeda, and refused to do so even though his life had been threatened. May he rest.

I agree Pat, and also thanks for your insight into the shirt threads. Much appreciated.

Operation Troy - includes a list of those targeted for assassination.

Revolutionary Program: Preditor Nails Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen

Inspire targets disillusioned Americans and English speaking Europeans.

Inspire (magazine) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Articles like "Make a bomb in the kitchen of your mom."

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

I cannot comprehend or accept the willingness to accept the president's or the government's assertions on their face.....no proof....nada. The lack of any criminal charges supports my incredulity of the label, "mass murderer," when all that is evident are objectionable (repulsive, hateful, intensely inflammatory ) expressions protected in the U.S. under the free speech guarantees of the First Amendment. The examples of murderous pronouncements are illegal in Canada and in European countries, but do not rise to any level approaching a capital crime.

Consider that Jose Padilla, after his rights were trampled and his mental capacity was "reduced" in illegal "extra" jursidictional, military confinement, was ultimately prosecuted because the Bush regime needed to avoid imminent Supreme Court review of the abuses they had levied on Padilla, was not prosecuted for "dirty bomber" related offenses? Consider that one of the government's accusations against Al Alwaki is that he was implicated in the underwear bomber Detroit offenses, but is not even named in the government's submissions to the court related to the prosecution of the Nigerian charged and soon to be tried.

What are the principles for which we stand? Unless someone, most especially a fellow citizen, is too scarey, or the government/decider president tells us he is too scarey, he is guaranteed the rights defined in the constitution intended as protection against the tendency of government authority to infringe on the authority and the rights of the citizenry not (yet) ceded to government authority?

It is not designed or intended to be the other way around. Government authority is empowered only with the powers the people have given up to it, and assassination of a citizen, even if already charges with a capital crime, which is not even the case here, is not a perogitive of the executive and if it happens the order to assassinate is illegal, and at Nuremberg, it was established by U.S. prosecutors that obeying such an obviously illegal order is not a shield from prosecution.

This is the history. I do not understand the inclination to rationalize what President Obama did, or what those who obeyed his illegal order did. When one engages in an attempt to minimize what has happened, how is it different from what the Warren Commission, the FBI, or relevant persons in the U.S. Military and in politics have done in reaction to the assassination of JFK and the cover up? Hasn't the history been rationalization and minimization by the entire political and "journalist" establishment?

Where was the outrage, commencing with the theft of the body of the assassinated JFK from the legal jursidiction, through the exposure of the "shortcomings" related to the WC report, the misconduct of the DPD, Dallas D.A. Wade, the FBI, CIA, and even of RFK?

The JFK/LBJ entourage went off the reservation in a hallway in Parkland Hospital when they thugged the body of the victim out the door, and Obama went off the reservation the other day. IMO, even at the risk of looking like a holier than thou/goody two shoes, if you are inclined to rationalize and to minimize the obvious intent of government authority to move away from the law, you become complicit, to some extent.

How do you sincerely do this work, this research when the controversy at its core was, and still is, an inclination to accept the unacceptable; intentional, official lawbreaking and other misconduct and "lapses" of ethics that influence us to consider most if not all of the Warren Commissioners and key assistant counsels as despicable, or at least disgraced as a result of the roles in the production and still ongoing defense of their WC "Report"?

http://www.juancole.com/2011/10/al-awlaqi-should-have-been-tried-in-absentia.html

Al-`Awlaqi Should have been Tried in Absentia

Posted on 10/01/2011 by Juan Cole

....The problem with declaring al-`Awlaqi an “outlaw” by virtue of being a traitor or a terrorist is that this whole idea was abolished by the US constitution. Its framers insisted that you couldn’t just hang someone out to dry by decree. Rather, a person who was alleged to have committed a crime such as treason or terrorism had to be captured, brought to court, tried, and sentenced in accordance with a specific statute, and then punished by the state. If someone is arrested, they have the right to demand to be produced in court before a judge, a right known as habeas corpus (“bringing the body,” i.e. bringing the physical person in front of a judge).

The relevant text is the Sixth Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

By simply blowing al-`Awlaqi away, the US government deprived him of his sixth amendment rights to trial before a judge and habeas corpus. Note that the German saboteur with American citizenship executed after WW II was tried first. Likewise, enemy combatants in US custody, such as those at Guantanamo, were declared by the US Supreme Court to have the right of habeas corpus. So that Newt Gingrich thinks al-`Awlaqi was a traitor or a terrorist (and this a rare case where I agree subjectively with the Newtster) is irrelevant to his legal status. Unless a judge has pronounced him to be those things after a trial, he was not as far as the US constitution and the US government is concerned.

Some observers have suggested that al-Qaeda is analogous to a band of pirates and that the laws of piracy could be adapted to deal with them. But the US Code says,

TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 81 > § 1651

§ 1651. Piracy under law of nations

Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life.

So even if al-`Awlaqi were declared a pirate because of involvement in the attempt to blow up an airplane, US law would not support dealing with him by drone strike.

It is desirable that the US have some way of defending itself against an al-`Awlaqi. Most legal frameworks for action seem to assume that he should have been arrested. But obviously, capturing al-`Awlaqi in rugged, tribal Yemen would have been a tall order. Is there any way in which he could have been legally killed by drone instead?

Well, let us think this thing through. He could have been tried in absentia.. This step may require a change in the US civil code to allow trial in absentia of someone who was never arrested. The US government could have initiated proceedings against him as an accomplice or as a RICO conspirator in connection with the attempted crotch bombing over Detroit or in connection with the shootings by Nidal Hassan. Nowadays with the internet, we could be reasonably assured that if the US government appointed a court date and publicized it in the Yemeni newspapers in Arabic, al-`Awlaqi could be sure to hear about it. A message might also have been gotten to him via his family.

If he declined to appear in court, he would have waived his right of habeas corpus and the trial could have proceeded in his absence. He could in that way have been sentenced to death if found guilty.

Would it then be all right to send a drone rocket down on him? Only if he was an immediate and concrete danger to others. But signals intelligence is such that the US government might well have been able to make the case that only by killing him could an imminent and specific threat to innocent civilians have been forestalled. At least we’d be beyond some key constitutional issues and in the area of police procedure in dealing with dangerous fugitives already sentenced to death.

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Tom wrote: How do you sincerely do this work, this research when the controversy at its core was, and still is, an inclination to accept the unacceptable; intentional, official lawbreaking and other misconduct and "lapses" of ethics that influence us to consider most if not all of the Warren Commissioners and key assistant counsels as despicable, or at least disgraced as a result of the roles in the production and still on going defense of their WC "Report"?

Tom, I don't know if you are talking to me here, but it's not a two sided fight - us against them, as there are many sides to the story and many people involved at different levels, some on the inside of the game.

I approach it like I approached the new Arab Revolution in early February, when I decided it was significant enough to start a chronology of events associated with it, and try to keep track of the participants - identify who the dictators were, who the protesters and revolutionaries were, how it all got started and what were the leading attributes of the revolts in each country.

When I started the blog Revolutionary Program, it was originally started to be a sort of sports program you buy when you go to a game - listing the players, their numbers, positions, and what their records and strong and week points are, tactics and strategies used, etc.

While I wanted to be neutral, I quickly realized that the dictators were wrong and the revolutionaries were right, and that the events were getting totally out of hand, so I backed off trying to follow all of the events in every country involved and sort of just concentrated on Libya, where I knowledge of the history and had previously started a blog years ago on historic US-Libya relations.

One of the things that bothered me about the revolution in Libya was that I tried to call people's attention to it from the get-go but nobody cared until the USA and NATO got involved and the people I knew and worked with on previous issues - JFK, RFK, MLK, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., all came down against NATO and on the side of Gadhafi, so that put me at odds with them.

Now its easy to say that the USA should not engage in assassination at any time at any place, but if you read the article that I posted from the British paper they tell you exactly how the USA is involved in the conduct of this Preditor assassination campaign and have a list of people they intend to kill, and in fact have been doing it since before June when I first reported about it Operation Tory - on my blog.

I too would like to see the USA capture and bring these people to USA for trail and American justice - just as I would like them to get Gadhafi, and not lynch and kill the black mercenaries in Libya, but that's out of my hands.

Are the people who killed JFK despicable? Yes, should we try to identify them and figure out how they did it? Yes. Should we try to kill them? No, but they are probably all dead by now anyway. But that shouldn't stop us.

Bill Kelly

US-Libya History: Remember the Intrepid

Arab Revolt Revolutionary Program

Real Boardwalk Empire Realboardwalkempire

Edited by William Kelly
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Guest Tom Scully

Bill,

I tried to explain I am not trying to lecture or preach to/at you, or any other member, but I also posted that I risk coming across as if I am. I don't believe the Warren Commission Report was coherent, and I don't believe the removal of JFK's corpse from Parkland Hospital by federal employees with no legal jurisdiction was a coherent act, it certainly was an illegal and an obstructive offense.

I do not believe I am the one permitting emotion to cloud the coherence of my assessment of what the president and his team did to two American citizens. I am not the one who is posting opinions that tend to minimize the justification for continued spending to maintain our criminal courts. If the president is now the accepted prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner in the instance of these two citizens, is he not also qualified to at least determine the innocence or guilt, and the sentencing of all non-citizens arrested or awaiting trial?

I looked into the precedent of a U.S. President's death by assassination outside the District of Columbia, and I examined the aftermath of McKinley's lingering death on 14 September, 1901, in Buffalo, NY. An autopsy was performed in Buffalo, thus it was the precedent ignored by LBJ and the JFK entourage.

http://www.doctorzebra.com/prez/z_x25autopsy_t.htm

http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FA0A10FE355D12738DDDAC0994D1405B818CF1D3

THE PRESIDENT DIED OF GANGRENE POISON; Autopsy Shows Entire...

New York Times - Sep 15, 1901

This is the official declaration made by all the physicians who attended Mr. McKinley and by others who to-day assisted in performing the autopsy.

Compare the record of LBJ's non-concern over his part in commanding the aircraft that illegally removed the assassinated president from Texas, with his concern over the minute particulars and legalities related to his own swearing in "ceremony". ...

So if you take a coherent, consistent approach to study of the official behavior in anticipation of what light it might shed related to investigation and conclusions about the Kennedy Assassination, why would any member here abandon or become removed from coherence to support this sort of absurdity, a government acknowledging that it did not have grounds to legally proceed to remove the citizenship of the same person it argues that it was legally justified to assassinate? So, it is coherent to claim the assassination was not legal. What was it, then, but a murder order against two American citizens by the President of the United States?

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2011/09/174857.htm

Victoria Nuland

Spokesperson

Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

September 30, 2011

…QUESTION: So, you mean to tell us that Awlaki was not stripped of his U.S. citizenship, although he committed high treason?

MS. NULAND: You know, it’s interesting; I looked into this with our lawyers before coming down here. You might be interested to know that there is no law currently on the U.S. books that allows for the revocation of U.S. citizenship based on one’s affiliation with a foreign terrorist group. Now, an American can be stripped of citizenship for committing an act of high treason and being convicted in a court for that. But that was obviously not the case in this case.

QUESTION: But there is precedent. I think, just chess master Bobby Fischer was stripped of his citizenship, I believe, at one time.

MS. NULAND: I can’t speak to any comparison here or there. I’m simply giving you the current state of U.S. law.

Andy.

QUESTION: But you called him an operational figure. Doesn’t that imply action?

MS. NULAND: Under U.S. law, there are seven criteria under which you can strip somebody of citizenship, and none of those applied in this case…”

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I think it is gravely important to get mad as hell, and to show it, when a tyrant blooms, when the tyranny is still tentative and there is still a chance of giving the tyrant pause by pointing out that he "kills his own people," the same accusation Bush hurled at Saddam to justify invading and occupying Iraq in 2003. Obama took an oath on 20 January, 2009 to "preserve and to protect the constitution of the United States." The oath was worded that way, in 1789, to eliminate the predicted excuse by the executive that the protections of the U.S. Constitution must be suspended due to the expediency of some crisis or other. The oath Obama took, and broke grievously yesterday and on other occasions, was worded in a way intended to protect us from his excesses. IMO, we are in uncharted territory now, the blood shed by patriots to free our forefathers from the perceived tyranny of George III was shed in vain or must be mingled with the blood of patriots willing to preserve and to protect the constitution, even at the cost of their own lives.

I couldn't put this into more clear and readable form so I defer to these comments to support my points of sadness, outrage, and frustration. The "terrorists" won, there is no longer even a pretense of the rule of law and a uniquely American "Bill of Rights" protecting any of us from government abuses and consolidation of its power over us. Scratch off the guarantee of "life," formerly protected by due process, and "liberty" and "happiness" don't seem all that enticing or certain, do they?

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

Jeff Kaye on September 30, 2011 at 6:01 pm said:

@William Ockham:

This is the official confirmation of what we here have known, but so many people claimed

wasn’t true. Our entire political establishment has accepted the idea that if an

American citizen steps foot outside of the United States, the government can kill

him or her on the President’s orders and nothing else. Whether or not he can kill

us on a whim inside the borders of the U.S. is an open question.

That is true, but on such a solemn occasion, why not say what we also know is true: if they powers that be deem it important enough, they will assassinate an American citizen on U.S. soil, too, be it someone with little power, like a Fred Hampton, a disgruntled insider, like Frank Olson, or someone with seemingly a great deal of power, like a John Kennedy. Perhaps it is time to dust off the faux-conspiracy phobia and just say what is. The U.S. government murders. They have a taste for murder. And the only thing that keeps them from going the whole hog is that they mostly find it, for the time being, an inefficient and socially provocative way to enlarge their political supremacy. (Also, there is that pesky tradition from the Enlightenment and much of U.S. history about fighting for rule of law, and distrusting the power of government, particularly the Executive… ah! how quaint)

But the message of these killings is… seems they don’t find it so inexpedient anymore.

....and

http://www.emptywheel.net/2011/09/30/extrajudicial-execution-of-samir-khan-arguably-more-significant-than-awlaki/#comment-323061

Extrajudicial Execution of Samir Khan Arguably More Significant Than Awlaki

Posted on September 30, 2011 by bmaz

....That’s right, not just one, but two, Americans were summarily and extrajudicially executed by their own government today, at the direct order of the President of the United States. No trial, no verdict, just off with their heads. Heck, there were not even charges filed against either Awlaki or Khan. And it is not that the government did not try either, there was a grand jury convened on Khan, but no charges. Awlaki too was investigated for charges at least twice by the DOJ, but non were found.

But at least Awlaki was on Barrack Obama’s “Americans That Are Cool to Kill List”. Not so with Samir Khan. Not only is there no evidence whatsoever Khan is on the classified list for killing (actually two different lists) my survey of people knowledgeable in the field today revealed not one who believed khan was on any such list, either by DOD or CIA.

So, the US has been tracking scrupulously Awlaki for an extended period and knew with certainty where he was and when, and knew with certainty immediately they had killed Awlaki and Khan. This means the US also knew, with certainty, they were going to execute Samir Khan.

How did the US then make the kill order knowing they were executing a US citizen, not only extrajudicially, but not even with the patina of being on the designated kill list (which would at least presuppose some consideration and Yoo-like pseudo-legal cover)?

Did Barack Obama magically auto-pixie dust Khan onto the list with a wave of his wand on the spot? Even under the various law of war theories, which are not particularly compelling justification to start with as we are not at war with Yemen and it is not a “battlefield”, the taking of Khan would appear clearly prohibited under both American and International law. ...

.....And therein lies lies the reason the US killing of Samir Khan may be even more troubling than the already troubling killing of al-Awlaki. There is no satisfactory legal basis for either one, but as to Khan there was NO process whatsoever, even the joke “listing” process utilized for Awlaki. The US says it took care to not harm “civilians”, apparently that would mean Yemeni civilians. American citizens are fair game for Mr. Obama, list or no list, crime or no crime, charges or no charges. Off with their heads!

People should not just be evaluating today’s fresh kills as to Awlaki, Samir Khan should be at the tip of the discussion spear too.

- Bmaz is an attorney in Phoenix, Arizona practicing criminal defense, civil rights and civil trial law. He is a graduate of Arizona State University, both undergraduate and School of Law, and covers legal and political issues for Firedoglake and sister site Emptywheel. ...

I think that the U.S. should have risked the lives of its special forces to arrest the fine, upstanding U.S. Citizen Mr Anwar al Wacko, or at least prevailed upon our trustworthy ally, Yemen, to arrest him for us. Then we could have gone through the lengthy, contentious, extradition process to bring him back to his beloved homeland, the United States of America so that he could receive his precious DUE PROCESS and be tried by a jury of his PEERS. What a joke.

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Guest Tom Scully

.........

I think that the U.S. should have risked the lives of its special forces to arrest the fine, upstanding U.S. Citizen Mr Samir Khan, or at least prevailed upon our trustworthy ally, Yemen, to arrest him for us. Then we could have gone through the lengthy, contentious, extradition process to bring him back to his beloved homeland, the United States of America so that he could receive his precious DUE PROCESS and be tried by a jury of his PEERS. What a joke.

The executive branch could think of no legal means to execute Al Awalki, so a premeditated, calculated, cynical, and with extreme prejudice, avoidance of filing any criminal charge that could legally be pursued, became their strategy. Filing a charge resulting in only a 15 year potential prison term was avoided because it would actually protect Al Awalki from inclusion on their assassination list.

It is reported they claim they were watching Al Awalki for the past two weeks and made an effort to avoid killing Yemenis when they attempted to kill him, but they targeted him while he was in the proximity of another American who they tried but failed to criminally charge, a year ago.

"...The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command had al-Awlaki under surveillance for at least two weeks, but were awaiting an opportunity to kill him without causing civilian casualties or damage, an administration official said...."

A year ago, Tom....read it!:

(BTW, did you ever imagine, when corporatism marched into town, you would be posting on here like a drum majorette, leading the march in to assume the reins of the "new order"?)

http://politics.salon.com/2010/09/15/assassinations_6/

Wednesday, Sep 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland, Chapter 12:

“Let the jury consider their verdict,” the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.

“No, no!” said the Queen. “Sentence first — verdict afterward.”

“Stuff and nonsense!” said Alice loudly. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

“Hold your tongue!” said the Queen, turning purple.

“I won’t!” said Alice.

“Off with her head!” the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.

Scott Shane, The New York Times, April 6, 2010:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . . It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said.

The Associated Press, yesterday:

September 14, 2010

"The Obama administration is considering filing the first criminal charges against radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in case the CIA fails to kill him and he is captured alive in Yemen....

....Another option, given al-Awlaki's increasingly violent sermons and his collaboration with al-Qaida's propaganda efforts, would be charging him with supporting terrorism. But that charge carries only a 15-year prison sentence, leaving the administration open to questions about how the president can authorize the CIA to essentially impose the death penalty for such a crime.

Al-Awlaki had been under scrutiny for years by FBI agents in San Diego, where he lived in the late 1990s. He also lived in northern Virginia before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Both areas are seen as prosecutor-friendly districts for national security cases. As a U.S. citizen, he cannot be prosecuted before a military commission.

.....If the Justice Department decides to charge al-Awlaki, it's likely he would not be indicted. Rather, charges are more likely to take the form of an FBI complaint. That's because an indicted suspect automatically gets the right to an attorney if he is captured, making it harder for authorities to question him.

The Justice Department used a similar strategy last week when it announced a criminal complaint against the self-proclaimed emir of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud. He is accused of planning a deadly December 2009 suicide attack on a CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan."

So at least eight months after the President imposed the death penalty on this American citizen without charges — Dana Priest reported back in January that “Bush gave the CIA, and later the military, authority to kill U.S. citizens abroad”; “the Obama administration has adopted the same stance”; and “the CIA list included three U.S. citizens, and an intelligence official said that [Anwar] Aulaqi’s name has now been added” — the Obama administration is now “considering” filing criminal charges against him. If it were Obama’s goal to replicate the mentality of the Wonderland Queen as completely as possible, could he do a better job than this: I, the President, hereby unilaterally sentence Anwar Awlaki to death . . . (8 months later): we shall now consider charging him with a crime, giving him a trial, and obtaining a verdict. “Sentence first — verdict afterward,” said the Queen.

The "joke" is on you. The two now assassinated American citizens were ordered assassinated by the President of the United States, BEFORE the filing of ANY indictment or any criminal charges.

Please post an apology or explain on what criminal charge or other basis these mythical, "brave troops on the ground," you fantasized an inference of my indifference to the risk of harm or, said Americans in harms way would arrest and attempt to capture these two now assassinated American individuals, FOR?

You are either misinformed, or you are expressing extremist sentiments. Please do not post in a taunting manner unless, at the very least you know what you are posting about. Al Awaki was also placed on a U.S. assassination list sans any indictment.

What do you stand for, what is your design for the rule of law in the American tradition? Does it collide with any of this? I prize my now vanishing rights to a degree I would never surrender them on such a low, propagandized justification as you seem so enthusiastic in agreeing to do.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129263809

Grand Jury Focuses On N.C. Man Tied To Jihad Magazine

August 18, 2010

by Dina Temple-Raston

....A federal grand jury in Charlotte, N.C., convened to consider evidence against Samir Khan, a 24-year-old North Carolina man who is thought to be the editor of Inspire, a new al-Qaida online magazine.....

....Charges Being Considered

Sources close to the case tell NPR the grand jury convened Tuesday to see if there was evidence enough to charge Khan with terrorism offenses. Among the charges people close to the case said the grand jury is considering: material support to a terrorist organization and conspiracy to commit murder overseas. The FBI, for its part, declined to confirm or deny whether there is an investigation. And the grand jury is unlikely to come out with any decision in the case for weeks. Grand jury deliberations are secret until indictments are announced.....

http://hosted2.ap.org/COGRA/APWorldNews/Article_2011-09-30-ML-Yemen-Al-Awlaki-Timeline/id-f0f3249310b44f99bf4f3e7812e2d02b

Sep. 30, 2011 7:37 AM ET

A look at the life of al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki

...After Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, al-Awlaki was interviewed at least four times in two weeks about his dealings with three of the hijackers aboard the flight that slammed into the Pentagon. The Sept. 11 Commission report said al-Awlaki was also investigated by the FBI in 1999 and 2000. None of the investigations led to criminal charges against him....

....— In April 2010, President Barack Obama makes al-Awlaki the first American placed on the CIA target list....

Edited by Tom Scully
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Mr. Tom "Beautiful Mind" Scully,

It should be obvious to you by now that I am CIA. I take my orders from David Atlee Phillips, through a cutout in Raleigh, North Carolina, who has a special "connection" with Phillips, who, when WE last checked, was still residing in Hades, Arkansas...

Regarding the topic of this thread, all I can say is "Get a room", i.e. move it to a more appropriate venue. Last time I checked, this particular forum was dedicated to "debating" the JFK assassination...

Edited by Thomas Graves
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Tom, I think you are dealing with one aspect of a systemic problem that has plagued humankind for a very long time.

While I doubt many would understand the following, no doubt there are some who can put it far better.

IMO:

It is a battle between weaknesses.

A society, group or the world as a whole is defined by how it treats its weakest elements.

The more control that needs to be exerted, the more the fragility of the controllers is revealed.

In essence it is a matter of moral decrepitude.

Given (imo) that the law is asinine it seems futile to expect it to be otherwise.

These moral dilemmas will persist unless there is a systemic change.

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Ran across this little bit of info in browsing the Internet that may apply:

---

AL-AWLAKI ASSASSINATION RAISES THE QUESTION: IS OBAMA INSANE?

As more and more details come out on the premeditated

extra-constitutional assassination of American-born Anwar

al-Awlaki and a second American citizen in Yemen, in a CIA drone

attack on Friday, the issue of President Obama's urgent

impeachment is really now center stage. But beyond the issue of

impeachment, a second urgent question, raised prominently by

Lyndon LaRouche in his Friday night address, is also before us:

Is President Obama insane and therefore subject to immediate

removal from office under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment? How

long can the nation survive as a Constitutional Republic if a

mentally unbalanced President is running around with the

self-proclaimed authority to order the military and the CIA to

hunt down and assassinate American citizens, with no due process

and no public accountability?

The assassinations of al-Awlaki and the second American

citizen, Samir Khan, were in gross violation of the Fifth and

First Amendments, putting President Obama, who authorized the

assassinations, in violation of the Constitution and subject to

immediate impeachment. Lyndon LaRouche decried the killings as

``Hitler-style operations,'' and urged a serious review of

President Obama's mental capacity to serve as President. ``There

is a pattern of evidence that suggests that President Obama is

not mentally fit to serve as President. With the assassinations

on Friday in Yemen of at least two American citizens, this issue

takes on a degree of deadly urgency. It cannot be ignored for

another moment without putting all Americans at risk.''

From a variety of public sources, it becomes clear that

President Obama assembled an assassination list, including

American citizens, as early as January 2010. A month later,

then-Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair told

a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that in the

event that direct action against terrorists involved killing any

Americans, the intelligence community would be sure to first get

permission. In April 2010, President Obama approved a ``kill on

sight'' order targeting al-Awlaki. The effort to hunt down and

kill al-Awlaki was even given a code name: ``Objective Troy.''

The first failed attempt to kill al-Awlaki came in May 2010, when

an early rocket attack against him failed.

By late in 2010, the issue of the Obama Administration's

plans to assassinate the New Mexico-born cleric had become so

public that al-Awlaki's father filed a Federal court suit in

Texas seeking an injunction against his son's assassination. In

December 2010, Federal Judge John Bates issued an 83-page ruling,

dismissing the case on technical grounds, arguing that this was

first a matter to be taken up by the executive and legislative

branches. The ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights, the

organizations representing al-Awlaki's father, next filed a law

suit under the Freedom of Information Act, to obtain the secret

documents prepared by the Obama Administration to authorize the

killing. The Obama Administration's lawyers, defending the hit

order, had invoked ``State Secrets'' in refusing to disclose the

basis for the assassination order.

According to the scant news coverage of the Obama

Administration's arguments justifying the killing of American

citizens without due process, the Office of Legal Counsel at the

Justice Department prepared a classified finding at some point,

arguing that an assassination of al-Awlaki would constitute

sufficient ``due process in time of war,'' citing American-born

Japanese who fought against the United States in World War II.

According to several news accounts, ultimately, Obama cited the

Sept. 14, 2001 ``Authorization for Use of Military Force,''

signed by President George W. Bush right after 9/11, as the

justification for the assassination.

While the assassination of al-Awlaki and Khan on Friday was

carried out by a CIA-deployed drone, operating from a newly

established secret base somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, news

reports indicated that U.S. Air Force planes were also involved

in the operation and were prepared to launch missile strikes if

the drone attack failed. The lines of separation between

military operations and intelligence operations are now also

being willfully blurred by the Obama Administration.

No matter how you cut it, LaRouche is absolutely right in

calling this a ``Hitler-style operation,'' and demanding Obama's

removal from office by impeachment or invoking of the 25th

Amendment.

----

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This is London LaDouche's take on the killing.

LaDouche is the one who is insane.

Obama will not be impeached, especially if it people like him calling for it.

No wonder your thinking is so convoluted.

And the secret base isn't so secret -

CampLemonnier

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camp_Lemonnier

Of course you wouldn't know anything about Djibouti or where it is located or why it is strategically important, but you can quote other idiots with authority.

Ran across this little bit of info in browsing the Internet that may apply:

---

AL-AWLAKI ASSASSINATION RAISES THE QUESTION: IS OBAMA INSANE?

As more and more details come out on the premeditated

extra-constitutional assassination of American-born Anwar

al-Awlaki and a second American citizen in Yemen, in a CIA drone

attack on Friday, the issue of President Obama's urgent

impeachment is really now center stage. But beyond the issue of

impeachment, a second urgent question, raised prominently by

Lyndon LaRouche in his Friday night address, is also before us:

Is President Obama insane and therefore subject to immediate

removal from office under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment? How

long can the nation survive as a Constitutional Republic if a

mentally unbalanced President is running around with the

self-proclaimed authority to order the military and the CIA to

hunt down and assassinate American citizens, with no due process

and no public accountability?

While the assassination of al-Awlaki and Khan on Friday was

carried out by a CIA-deployed drone, operating from a newly

established secret base somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, news

reports indicated that U.S. Air Force planes were also involved

in the operation and were prepared to launch missile strikes if

the drone attack failed. The lines of separation between

military operations and intelligence operations are now also

being willfully blurred by the Obama Administration.

No matter how you cut it, LaRouche is absolutely right in

calling this a ``Hitler-style operation,'' and demanding Obama's

removal from office by impeachment or invoking of the 25th

Amendment.

----

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Well Mr. Kelly,

I have about zero knowledge on this particular issue, and just ran across that and tossed it out for folks to read. Thought Mr. Scully might find it interesting, since he is very concerned.

I didn't comment on it one way or the other.

It was just another article. If you don't like the author's views, take it up with them. I didn't make the content and can't comment on it one way or the other.

You need to cut out your attacks. Totally non-professional, not sticking to the content of the article and so forth.

Edited by Jim Phelps
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