US PRESIDENT Barack Obama’s attempts to reach out to Muslims have been an "utter failure" given his broken promises on several issues including closing Guantánamo Bay detention facility, former inmate Moazzam Begg has said.
Begg, whose organisation, Cageprisoners, recently expanded its work to include the highlighting of extra-judicial killings, particularly the use of drone strikes, argued little had changed despite Obama’s promises. "We say that Bush was the president of torture, but Obama is the president of extra-judicial killing.
Begg said Cageprisoners was still campaigning against Awlaki’s targeting by the US, but it was distancing itself from his calls for the killing of civilians. "I have said many times that I don’t and we don’t support the killing of civilians full stop, whether it is by B-52 bombers or suicide bombers; whether it ordered by Obama or Awlaki."
The issue of US extrajudicial assassination, now being heard by the US Supreme Court, puts the entire American concept of judicial due process at extreme risk.
If the Supreme Court sides with the administration, it will then be open season on anyone who even has the most peaceful, mildest (and logical) disagreements with the policies of this, or any subsequent, administration.
I absolutely abhor what Anwar al-Awlaki has allegedly said.
But at the same moment, I do have the faith that it is still possible that the US judicial process, fairly applied, can provide justice, even for a person like Awlaki.
This country is either a country of laws, or a country of people: it cannot be both.