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The Fifth Amendment and American Terrorists Outside the USA

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MG, an air warrior, a health freak, and Sportsman with wide experience.



The Fifth Amendment

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 rights of accused persons and criminals by providing that action be taken against them 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 his life.


Book by Daniel Kidman

Daniel Kidman a former deputy editor of Newsweek had 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 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.

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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?

The sad story now

The sad story now

Last word

Much water has flown down the river since the death of Awlaki. Many Americans do feel that killing Awlaki was a 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 Islamic terrorism is on and people like Daniel cannot be allowed to derail the battle against terrorism.

The last case of significance involving a drone attack was the killing of General Sulieman, head of Iranian militia in Iraq. This was done on the orders of President Donald Trump. One only hopes that Joe Biden will pull up his socks and not kneel before the very men who vowed to destroy the USA-The Taliban, and he will find a way to counter this hydra. Time alone will tell if he has the capability and strength to do it.


MG Singh (author) from UAE on July 30, 2021:


MG Singh emge from Singapore on July 30, 2021:

Tom, thanks, a lot of interesting information. Osama was given refuge by Pakistan army. Absolutely shameless. yes, Indian intelligence poor.

tom on July 30, 2021:

cut the head of the snake ,india poor intel ,osama was living in the house owned formerly by ltgen pn hoon ,who is father in law of nawaz sharifs neice

MG Singh (author) from UAE on July 30, 2021:

Bill, great comment, I am with you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 30, 2021:

I have no problem with waving the 5th Amendment when dealing with terrorists. No problem whatsoever. If you declare yourself to be an enemy of this country, and you act on that declaration, then we take off the kids' gloves and play for real. End of story!

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