STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Ron Paul Is Out of the Mainstream on Awlaki Killing
By Staff News & Analysis - October 05, 2011

Ron Paul (left) Continues His Controversial Comments … Ron Paul shows no sign of backing off his controversial views, a trait which endears him to his admirers but makes him less acceptable to more orthodox Republicans. – US News and World Report

Dominant Social Theme: If you are not orthodox, you are not presidential material.

Free-Market Analysis: This is one of the wackiest articles we have read yet. US News and World Report just posted an article explaining that because libertarian congressman Ron Paul, now running for US President, found last week's killing of Anwar al-Awlaki unconstitutional and reprehensible, he's "outside" of the normal GOP perspective.

Paul has stated a position, actually, that is not outside of mainstream punditry at the moment. The supposed killing of Awlaki (now forcefully denied by those close to him) has raised profound questions about the legitimacy of the Obama administration.

The questions are clear-cut. If Awlaki was guilty of a crime, he should have been charged and a man-hunt launched to capture him to "bring him to justice." But because he was beyond American law, the administration decided to kill him instead. The issue is one of US constitutional justice. An American citizen has a right to due process. Since Awlaki was not charged with a crime, who decided that he ought to be killed – and for what?

Awlaki was said to have aided al-Qaeda in its propaganda efforts, thus helping in a war effort against American fighters. But since he was never charged or convicted, the statements of the administration regarding Awlaki are opinions, not legally binding.

Apparently, Obama received a Justice Dept. memo giving him legal cover to target and kill Awlaki. But increasingly, the US Justice Dept. seems to be justifying all sorts of extra-constitutional methodologies. The erosion of rights in the US is not alarming anymore – it is an unrolling catastrophe. Not only that, but mainstream media apologists continue to justify what is occurring. Here's some more from the article:

The Texas congressman and Republican presidential candidate is now raising the prospect that it might have been an impeachable offense for President Obama to order the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who U.S. officials say was a terrorist plotter.

Paul, a libertarian, didn't directly endorse the impeachment of Obama. But when asked at a Manchester, N.H. town hall meeting yesterday about last week's killing of the al Qaeda leader, Paul said the impeachment of Obama would be "possible" and he wanted to know more about the case. Paul added that the killing was a step toward "tyranny" and said, "I put responsibility on the president because this is obviously a step in the wrong direction. We have just totally disrespected the Constitution."

Paul's comments are the latest example of how his views on foreign policy and national security seem outside the normal positions taken by GOP politicians. No other Republican presidential candidate has opposed the targeted killing of al-Awlaki even though he was an American citizen and did not receive due process.

Some GOP candidates, including former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota have endorsed the killing.

What's astonishing about this squib of an article is the way it glibly announces a new standard of rationality for GOP congressmen. It is the "get along to go along" standard. Paul's comments are the "latest example of how his views on foreign policy and national security seem outside the normal positions taken by GOP politicians."

The implication is that because Paul's stated beliefs are not shared by other GOP "leaders," his enunciated positions are somehow less valid. If others shared them, presumably Paul's perspectives would be seen as more legitimate. Lost in this formulation is the idea that Paul's ideas are drawn from the US Constitution and that his positions are not subject to his popularity with others, inside his party or out.

The article also states that, "No other Republican presidential candidate has opposed the targeted killing of al-Awlaki even though he was an American citizen and did not receive due process." This is supposed to show us that Ron Paul is marginalized? The article should be focusing on the lack of due process rather than Ron Paul's congruence or lack of it, with his opponents.

That such a specious and even vicious perspective could appear in a mainstream US journal is far more of a comment on the state of American journalism today than Ron Paul's views on American justice – perspectives that seem absolutely justified, as a matter of fact. The mainstream media is a relentless carrier of the meme of the Great American Middle Class.

Most Americans are moderate, the US media reports over and over. Thus if Ron Paul is out of step with the moderate middle there is something wrong with HIS views, not with the electorate or the views of other candidates that hew to such perspectives. Lost in this babble is the important point that moderation and fundamental civil morality may have little or nothing to do with each other.

After Thoughts

In this case, unfortunately, US media wants to conflate moderation with murder. The lawlessness of the American executive branch continues to expand and apologists for its malevolence grow bolder every day.

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