The Obama Administration is clearly developing a taste for executing American citizens in an extrajudicial fashion and hardly a peep is coming out of the mainstream media. Abdulrahman al-Awlaki the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, himself executed by drone on September 30th, was killed in a drone strike in Yemen on October 14th, reportedly while having dinner with his friends. Eight others were killed in the attack. The US government claimed that the younger al-Awlaki was twenty years old and a “militant.” The al-Awlaki family released his Colorado birth certificate demonstrating that he was only sixteen. Including the teenager’s killing, the US government assassinated three American citizens in Yemen in the space of two weeks. No one outside the government knows who else is on the White House death list.
In what is apparently shaping up as another great victory in the War on Terror (aka the War on the United States Constitution), a federal judge in Virginia is preparing to hear the case of Syrian born Mohamad Soueid of Leesburg, who was arrested on October 11th and charged with “making false statements to federal agents, being an unregistered foreign agent, and making an illegal purchase of firearms.” What Soueid actually did was making videos and audio recordings of anti-regime Syrians demonstrating in Washington and selling them to the Syrian Embassy. A Syrian opposition leader congratulated the FBI on the arrest, saying “I want to thank the authorities for the arrest today and for ensuring our freedom of speech and liberty in America.”
I freely admit that I don’t know who the “good guys” are in Syria (there might not be anyone who fits that description), and I rather suspect that the videos will indeed be used to identity dissidents and put pressure on their families back home, but since when is videoing in a public space a crime? Particularly as films of the demonstrations are also available on YouTube? And it is doubly ironic when a Syrian dissident congratulates the US government’s defense of “freedom of speech and liberty” by arresting someone who was not doing anything illegal. I would bet the FBI was also filming the demonstrations and identifying the participants.