Jay Carney said today all the Obama administration drone strikes are “legal, ethical and wise”. If so, then why have they failed to explain the killing of 16 year old American Abdulrahman al-Alawki who was killed in a drone strike in 2011? The closest thing to an “explanation” is the video above, where, in pertinent part between 2:00-3:00, Obama advisor Robert Gibbs says the boy should have had a more responsible father. His father was a suspected terrorist. Yet the son had no association with terrorism and in fact, hadn’t been living with the father for more than two years.
This video shows the clear disdain afforded anyone who dares question the action. What was his crime deserving of death? Having a bad father apparently.
More background on the case via The Atlantic:
Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn’t on an American kill list.
Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninusla. Nor was he “an inspiration,” as his father styled himself, for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he gone “operational,” as American authorities said his father had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American interests. He was a boy who hadn’t seen his father in two years, since his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his father was on an American kill list and who snuck out of his family’s home in the early morning hours of September 4, 2011, to try to find him. He was a boy who was still searching for his father when his father was killed, and who, on the night he himself was killed, was saying goodbye to the second cousin with whom he’d lived while on his search, and the friends he’d made. He was a boy among boys, then; a boy among boys eating dinner by an open fire along the side of a road when an American drone came out of the sky and fired the missiles that killed them all.
How does Team Obama justify killing him?
The answer Gibbs gave is chilling:
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.
Again, note that this kid wasn’t killed in the same drone strike as his father. He was hit by a drone strike elsewhere, and by the time he was killed, his father had already been dead for two weeks. Gibbs nevertheless defends the strike, not by arguing that the kid was a threat, or that killing him was an accident, but by saying that his late father irresponsibly joined al Qaeda terrorists. Killing an American citizen without due process on that logic ought to be grounds for impeachment. Is that the real answer? Or would the Obama Administration like to clarify its reasoning? Any Congress that respected its oversight responsibilities would get to the bottom of this.