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Gary Johnson: Killing Of U.S. Citizen Raises Questions

September 30, 2011Posted in Blog, Gov. Gary Johnson

September 30, 2011, Santa Fe, NM — Responding to the killing in Yemen of AnWar al-Awlaki an American citizen, presidential candidate Gary Johnson released a statement this morning pointing out that the attack may be the first time a U.S. citizen has been specifically targeted for death in the “War on Terror”, and raises questions about American citizens’ rights to due process under the law.

Johnson said, “Let there be no doubt.  We have to be vigilant, we have to protect the U.S. and U. S. citizens from terrorist attacks, and we have to aggressively pursue those who would do us harm.  At the same time we cannot allow the War on Terror to diminish our steadfast adherence to the notion of due process for American citizens.  The protections under the Constitution for those accused of crimes do not just apply to people we like — they apply to everyone, including a terrorist like al-Awlaki.  It is a question of due process for American citizens.”

 ”I understand that laws may allow these decisions by the President and other officials in regard to al-Awlaki, and I do not in any way want to diminish the skill and dedication of our CIA and military.  But, at the same time, it must not be overlooked — and thoughtfully examined — that our government targeted a U.S. citizen for death, and carried out that sentence on foreign soil.  To my knowledge, that is a first, and a precedent that raises serious questions.  

“If we allow our fervor to eliminate terrorist threats to cause us to cut corners with the Constitution and the fundamental rights of American citizens, whether it be invasions of privacy or the killing of someone born on U.S. soil, I could argue that the terrorists will have ultimately won.

“The world is very likely a better place without al-Awlaki in it, but let us not neglect to ask the tough questions this attack raises and about the laws that allowed it to be carried out.”

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