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October 23, 2012

Obama Adviser Robert Gibbs Blames Denver Teen’s ‘Terrorist’ Father for His Drone Death

Posted in: Drones

Former press secretary and now Obama re-election campaign adviser Robert Gibbs was asked after the second presidential debate about Obama and how he would defend the “secret kill list” during the foreign policy debate:

ROBERT GIBBS, Obama advisor: This president has taken the fight to Al Qaeda.

LUKE RUDKOWSKI, We Are Change: Does that justify a kill list?

GIBBS: When there are people who are trying to harm us and have pledged to bring terror to our shores, we have taken that fight to them.

RUDKOWSKI: Without due process of law?

GIBBS: We have taken that fight to them.

RUDKOWSKI: Without a court of law, illegally, against the Geneva Conventions…

GIBBS: I think I know where you are on this issue. I am just trying to answer your questions without you doing it. But, if you want to answer my questions…

LUKE: I am just trying to deal with the spin…

Gibbs’ answer was a variation of former President George W. Bush’s we have to fight the terrorists over there so America doesn’t get attacked or have to fight them here in the United States.

Sierra Adamson, also of We Are Change, was able to ask a follow-up question:

ADAMSON: You said it is important for the president to do what needs to be done in terms of members of al Qaeda and people who pose a threat. Do you think that the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki’s son who is an American citizen is justifiable?

GIBBS: I’m not going to get into Anwar al-Awlaki’s son. I know that Anwar al-Awlaki renounced his citizenship…

ADAMSON:…His son was still an American citizen…

GIBBS:…Did great harm to people in this country and was a regional al Qaeda commander hoping to inflict harm and destruction on people that share his religion and others in this country. And…

ADAMSON:…It’s an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he’s underage. He’s a minor.

GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business. [emphasis added]

It is sixteen year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki’s fault that he had a father, who was a Muslim extremist. He should not have been born to this man if he wanted to live to see his seventeen birthday.

Fact is the killing of Al-Awlaki’s son was unlawful and inhumane. The Obama administration has proffered no reasonable justification or explanation for his death. And the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Constitutional Rights have filed a lawsuit challenging his killing:

…Abdulrahman was not engaged in any activity that presented a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury; nor was he directly participating in hostilities.  If he was killed because the government was targeting another individual, his killing was unlawful because, upon information and belief, Defendants authorized and directed the strike without taking legally required measures to avoid harm to him.  Even in the context of an armed conflict, the government must comply with the requirements of distinction and proportionality and take all feasible measures to protect bystanders.  Upon information and belief, Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi was killed because Defendants failed to take such measures…

Moreover, Anwar Al-Awlaki’s death was not necessarily justified or lawful either. Both the ACLU and CCR challenge the decision to kill him without judicial process:

At the time of the killing, the United States was not engaged in an armed conflict with or within Yemen. Outside the context of armed conflict, both the United States Constitution and international human rights law prohibit the use of lethal force unless, at the time it is applied, lethal force is a last resort to protect against a concrete, specific, and imminent threat of death or serious physical injury. Upon information and belief, Anwar Al-Aulaqi was not engaged in activities that presented such a threat, and the use of lethal force against him was not a last resort. Even in the context of an armed conflict, the law of war cabins the government’s authority to use lethal force and prohibits killing civilians who are not directly participating in hostilities. The concept of “direct participation” requires both a causal and temporal nexus to hostilities. Upon information and belief, Defendants directed and authorized the killing of Anwar Al-Aulaqi even though he was not then directly participating in hostilities within the meaning of the law of war.

Gibbs’ answer is another shade of sociopathy. It perhaps is not as bad as Time Magazine contributor and Obama supporter Joe Klein’s latest remarks on “Morning Joe” where he said, “ The bottom line in the end is – Whose 4-year-old get killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.” It is not necessarily as bad as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, a Democratic Party leader, claiming she knows nothing about a kill list. However, putting blame on Abdulrahman’s father removes responsibility from the United States and gives the country cover to excuse violating international law or committing a war crime.


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