ACLU Outrage: ACLU Sues for 'Right' to Represent a Terrorist


ACRU Staff


August 9, 2010

The facts for this article, but not the legal conclusions, come from an article in the Los Angeles Times on 4 August concerning an ACLU case just filed. The ACLU and one of its fellow travelers, the Center for Constitutional Rights, have asked a federal judge to get them around the prohibition in federal law that, absent permission from the Treasury Department, the ACLU lawyers are not allowed to represent terrorists.

Say what? Yes, the ACLU is seeking the right to represent the father of Anwar Awleki, an American who is now in Yemen and a key leader of and spokesman for Al Qaeda. Ultimately, the ACLUs want to go to court on behalf of this terrorist’s father to seek a court injunction against any drone strikes to kill this person.

The political prejudices of the LA Times are revealed in the subtitle on the article which says “A federal judge is asked to clear the way for a broader challenge to the US military’s use of ‘targeted killings’ far from the battlefield.”

Doesn’t anyone remember World War II? It was in all the papers. We cracked the Japanese naval code and identified the whereabouts of Admiral Yamamoto, architect of the attack on Pearl Harbor. We equipped our best fighter planes with extra fuel tanks to extend their range. Those planes went “far from any battlefield” to blow out of the sky the plane containing Admiral Yamamoto.

Would the ACLU have sued during WW II on behalf of Admiral Yamamoto’s parents to seek to prevent his “targeted killing”? The ACLU existed during WW II, but it raised no such objections at the time. Perhaps that was because at the time we were “allies” with Josef Stalin and the USSR. One should recall that the ACLU was founded by Communists who approved of the actions of “Uncle Joe” Stalin.

Today, there is no reason for ACLU hesitation. It is now comfortable with presenting its efforts to benefit the enemies of the United States, during a time of declared war. (Anyone who doubts that we are in a declared war should read the approval for “the use of military force” included in the PATRIOT Act. Compare that with the authority Congress gave to President Jefferson to attack the Barbary pirates “across international borders.”)

According to its Executive Director, the ACLU is concerned that, “The government is targeting an American citizen for death without any legal process….” The ACLU has conveniently forgotten Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose. These were English-speaking radio broadcasters who sought to break the moral of GIs with their broadcasts. (Actually, there was no Tokyo Rose. She was an amalgam of several different women.)

In any case, would the ACLU have sought to protect these broadcasters from targeted attacks? Or, after the war, protect them from trial for treason if they were American citizens? Of course, as we have noted before, two of the eight German saboteurs convicted in the Quirin case (1942) were American citizens; their trials and sentences were approved by a unanimous Supreme Court.

In short, the ACLU is seeking to help people who are killing, or seeking to kill, Americans. Remember that Awleki has been implicated in the attempted Christmas bombing of an airliner above Detroit among other efforts. Worse yet, the ACLU is asking a federal court to help terrorists kill Americans. Worst of all, the ACLU may find one federal trial judge, who is willing to do that.

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