The 5th Amendment and the Book 'Kill or Capture' by Daniel Klaidman

M G Singh By M G Singh, 22nd Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Society, Politics & Philosophy

The fifth amendment is debated an a book by Daniel Klaidman discusses this aspect with regard to the killing of Awalakhi

The Right to Pre-empt a Terror Attack

It is important to understand what the 5th Amendment is. This was an amendment to the constitution of the United States and was ratified in 1791. It basically deals with the right of accused persons and criminals by providing that action be taken only after due process of law. Many people feel that unilateral action by the US government against criminals abroad, violates the 5th Amendment. In particular the case of an American convert to Islam Anwar al- Awlaki is mentioned.
Anwar al- Awlaki
On September 30, 2011 an American citizen Anwar al- Awlaki who had embraced Islam and Al Qaeda and vowed to kill as many Americans as possible had finished his breakfast and was walking towards his vehicle. Before he could drive away he was killed by a missile fired from a drone. The killing it now has come to light was on the personal order of President Obama. Awlaki possibly never expected that the arm of the US agencies would reach him in his mountainous retreats in Yemen. But he was wrong and paid with hhis life.

Daniel Kidman a former deputy editor of Newsweek has now published a book titled ‘ Kill or Capture’ which delineates the role of President Obama and the volition of the 5th amendment which prohibits an American citizen of his life without due process of law. Daniel Kidman argues that Obama has violated a basic tenet of American law and he appears disturbed by it. Daniel Kidman appears one among many who approach the problem in a idealistic manner, ignoring the hard politics in the world. Men who have vowed to destroy “The Great Satan” , meaning the USA cannot be given the protection of the 5th Amendment. As in some cases an immediate surgical strike if not carried out may well result in the escape of the criminal, with resultant deaths of many even hundreds of Americans.
Understanding Awlaki
One must remember that Awlaki was a murderous character. A viewing of the you tube videos is enough to show what type of man he was and I doubt in case he was brought to trial before an American jury he would have escaped being convicted. In the videos he spits venom against the country of his birth
Justification for Ignoring the 5th Amendment
It is important to remember that when war is declared the rights of the common citizen are always curtailed. The situation is indeed extraordinary as al Qaeda and some extremist Muslim groups have vowed to destroy the USA. In such a scenario an extraordinary situation is created and in case the administration feels that after due evaluation that an American citizen operating in any corner of the world and planning the death and destruction of the USA is proved, than I suppose the primary aim of any administration would be to eliminate that man. Any delay in carrying out this action and talking of the 5th amendment may well mean the terrorist escaping and continuing on his path of killing Americans.
Daniel is Wrong
Daniel is entitled to his opinion, but as a man who has seen the obverse side of how the Muslim extremists operate , I can say with some authority that any administration would be within its right to act and eliminate a prospective destructive element. In fact failure to do this would be in a way treason as that suspect could well cause the death of tens of innocent citizens. Daniel makes much of reported comments of President Obama “I want Awlaki" and "Don't let up on him". I am afraid what do you expect a Chief executive to say for a man who had vowed to kill any number of US citizens as possible. Do you expect him to say anything else?
Last word
Much water has flown down the river since the death of Awlaki. Many Americans now do feel that killing Awlaki was an essential act. The US has continued its drone attacks and many important men have been taken out, all of them inimical to the USA. The 5th amendment is perhaps not applicable in a warlike situation. One must not forget that a life and death struggle with al Qaeda is on and people like Daniel cannot be allowed to derail the battle against terrorism.


5Th Amendment, Kill Or Capture, Right To Kill

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author avatar M G Singh
A man who spent his early years in Air Force. An avid writer with over 6000 articles and 60 short stories published.Two novels on the anvil for publication.

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author avatar viewgreen
22nd Nov 2014 (#)

Informative article... Thank you for sharing this information.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
22nd Nov 2014 (#)

Awesome post and one of a kind writing, cheers!

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author avatar samsul55
22nd Nov 2014 (#)

Fifth Amendment, a book by Daniel Klaidman Awalakhi discuss this aspect of the killing of a debate.

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author avatar Randhir Bechoo
22nd Nov 2014 (#)

Interesting article.

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author avatar writestuff
22nd Nov 2014 (#)

Interesting and informative post.

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