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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

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Johnson, Paul criticize drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki

By Mikhail Zinshteyn | 10.01.11 | 7:10 am

The drone attacks that killed Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen have sparked renewed talks of due process for U.S. born citizens alleged to have been involved in terrorist activity.

al-Awlaki was born in New Mexico, and two presidential candidates, along with a host of civil liberties writers, have called into question the legality of killing a U.S. citizen without a court proceeding.

Former New Mexico governor and current presidential candidate Gary Johnson came out with fellow candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul against the drone attack, which also killed another U.S. citizen during an attack on a convoy carrying the two members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Johnson’s full statement:

Let there be no doubt. We have to be vigilant, we have to protect the U.S. and U. S. citizens from terrorist attacks, and we have to aggressively pursue those who would do us harm. At the same time we cannot allow the War on Terror to diminish our steadfast adherence to the notion of due process for American citizens. The protections under the Constitution for those accused of crimes do not just apply to people we like — they apply to everyone, including a terrorist like al-Awlaki. It is a question of due process for American citizens.”

“I understand that laws may allow these decisions by the President and other officials in regard to al-Awlaki, and I do not in any way want to diminish the skill and dedication of our CIA and military. But, at the same time, it must not be overlooked — and thoughtfully examined — that our government targeted a U.S. citizen for death, and carried out that sentence on foreign soil. To my knowledge, that is a first, and a precedent that raises serious questions.

“If we allow our fervor to eliminate terrorist threats to cause us to cut corners with the Constitution and the fundamental rights of American citizens, whether it be invasions of privacy or the killing of someone born on U.S. soil, I could argue that the terrorists will have ultimately won.

“The world is very likely a better place without al-Awlaki in it, but let us not neglect to ask the tough questions this attack raises and about the laws that allowed it to be carried out.

The Wall Street Journal has this from Ron Paul:

“Nobody knows if he ever killed anybody,” Mr. Paul said after a breakfast at Saint Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics. “If the American people accept this blindly and casually…I think that’s sad.”

Wall Street Journal does point out the congressman from Texas applauded the assassination of Osama bin Laden, who said at the time, “Osama bin Laden applauded the 9/11 attacks. Such deliberate killing of innocent lives deserved retaliation. It is good that bin Laden is dead and justice is served.”

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), denounced the killing of Awlaki, telling CBS News:

As we’ve seen today, this is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts. […]

The government’s authority to use lethal force against its own citizens should be limited to circumstances in which the threat to life is concrete, specific and imminent. It is a mistake to invest the president – any president – with the unreviewable power to kill any American whom he deems to present a threat to the country.

And Glenn Greenwald, a former a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and writer for Salon, took exception to the government’s killing of Alwaki with incendiary prose:

Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt.  When Awlaki’s father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were “state secrets” and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts.  He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner.  When Awlaki’s inclusion on President Obama’s hit list was confirmed, The New York Timesnoted that “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”

After several unsuccessful efforts to assassinate its own citizen, the U.S. succeeded today (and it was the U.S.).  It almost certainly was able to find and kill Awlaki with the help of its long-time close friend President Saleh, who took a little time off from murdering his own citizens to help the U.S. murder its.  The U.S. thus transformed someone who was, at best, a marginal figure into a martyr, and again showed its true face to the world.  The government and media search for The Next bin Laden has undoubtedly already commenced.

al-Awlaki studied extensively in the U.S., earning a bachelors in engineering from Colorado State University and a masters in education leadership from San Diego State University.

Comments

  • Anonymous

    How soon we have forgotten the injustices made upon American citizens even on our homeland, Ruby Ridge and Waco. What other doors will this open for our government to freely execute anyone of us by a similar yet tainted manner

  • Anonymous

    While I agree with the concept that our Citizens rights must be preserved at all costs, especially during war, emergency situations do not justify erosion of our rights, or we are only giving enemies of freedom a victory. However, these terrorists declared WAR on the United States and its citizens. They were in another country, actively spouting off violent rhetoric endorsing the killing of US citizens and military personnel. They themselves were giving no quarter and thus combatants by choice, due no quarter. They deserve only the bare minimum Genevea Convention protections, which for non uniformed  terrorists, not much. 
     As a combatant one is required to wear some identifying uniform, carry arms openly and not use civilians and civil structures as cover, one has to target legitimate military targets. These terrorists do none of these things.

    • Anonymous

      Who are ‘these terrorists’? Do we have names? Concrete evidence? Convictions of crimes? Some of theeople being killed are NOT remotely combatants…how do we justify this? And how do our actions now do anything to lessen the hatred of others who (rightfully) point to our abuse of our tremendous power as the initiation of war?

      • Anonymous

        The story addresses one such individual. My remark is in regards to the context of the article, you are free you read.

  • Anonymous

    Obama keeps doing the exact opposite of his campaign “promises” and showing his true colors.. he’s confirmed to be just a dem version of Bush.. anti-american, anti-constitution, a murderer and a liar. He knows full well what his “drones”, (which are basically just copies of the unmanned rocket attacks that Hitler sent to terrorize London sixty years ago) are doing in several countries.. murdering groups of innocents children and families almost every day, in a few cases killing some tribal foot soldiers and preachers but at the same time creating thousands of patriotic militants who have vowed to fight against American oppression. For the Nobel Peace Prize and child killer Obama to be reelected would be a tragedy for the world.

  • Anonymous

    I believe all Terrorists not born in this country that commit act of violence against the US or its Allies should be killed BAMN. Terrorists that are born in the US that commit acts of violence to the US and it’s allies should be tried then killed. So it’s not a matter of what to do, it’s a matter of sequence. So the President got this one backward. Oh well. Next time we’ll get it right. Ask GW about on the job training. In the mean time, support your President as you who look to be elected would like to be supported.

    • Anonymous

      Your point? world is better off declaring war on the US since the US has proven time and time again it’s a dangerous, violent, renegade nation that thinks it has a right to kill everyone for greed, including  its own citizens. All the US thinks it has to do to get away with its crimes is call the millions it slaughters “insurgents”. America’s pathetic babbling about constitution, democracy, justice and morality is a sick joke and a very weak copy of Hitler’s propaganda tactics.

      • Anonymous

        “Where In The World Is MarkDonners?”

    • Anonymous

      It’s the lack of due process that is raising the objections. When the US feels it can abandon its own laws and execute without a trial, it’s past time to rein in the government. Especially when the president ordering the killings stands to gain…sadly, in this case, he’ll probablt gain in popularity.

  • Anonymous

    It might be time to address the issue of dual citizenship. If under some new U.S. law al-Awlaki, by choosing Yemeni citizenship, had to forfeit American citizenship then the question of getting rights under American law would be moot.
     Does anyone reading this think that dual citizenship makes sense?

  • Anonymous

    Oh give me a break, all credible evidence and factual data prove that this man attempted to kill his own citizens, and has continued to plot killings on a MASS scale to ANY Western countrys’ people. Such individuals are already guilty and should be terminated.

    Jimmy
    Liberal

    • Anonymous

      Anwar was just one radicalized preacher among hundreds of thousands that have been radicalized by American war crimes and only listened to because of American caused misery and suffering. The USA has deemed it can kill anyone in orgies of mass murder including children and families (which it does daily with its Obama “drones”) and is guilty of global crimes beyond anything seen by the world since Adolf Hitler, for instance illegally invading Vietnam, slaughtering 2 million Vietnamese, illegally invading and destroying Iraq with its terrrorist “shock and awe” that slaughtered over a million there, illegally invading Afghanistan with a hundred thousand slaughtered there (with the side benefit for the US of turning it into the world’s opium provider). Don’t forget the countless other US bombings around the the world, US installed and supported dictators, CIA supported death squads, etc and CIA instigated civil war. There is really no doubt, America has become the top terrorist state and is firmly installed in that position thanks to child killer Obama. America is a renegade threat to peace and civilization and spreads misery and suffering wherever it goes.

  • Anonymous

    Why is it that Gary Johnson and Ron Paul
    haven’t stood up and said something about this fine American citizen
    that was killed before now. He has had an arrest warrant, a capture or
    kill order for over two years. It’s a public list of our worst enemies.
    It was put together by a congressional committee and approved by the
    justice department before it was signed by the President. That’s the way
    we do things. Why hasn’t the great Republican congress attacked this
    list if it’s such a bad thing. A list of individuals that would rape you
    wife and daughter, cut their throats and cheer about it. You might even
    be lucky enough that they chopped off your head before rather then
    after the days of rape and abuse. I’ll leave out blowing up building,
    ships and planes. This citizen had declared war on the citizen of
    America.
      I believe this piece of pig dung was the one that planned and ordered
    the attack on the USS Cole.  So you good do gooders continue to support
    the terrorists that want to kill you. How about we take up a collection
    and fly you and your family to Yemen or Iraq so you can praise them and
    support them. Take an American flag with you so they can wave it in
    support of their constitutional rights.  We can all watch your head
    bounce down the road on you tube. 
        You continue to support the people of Ruby Ridge and Waco. They were
    good American citizen also. It’s okay that they had a large cash of
    illegal weapons and drugs, and that they were planning attacks on
    America. Disregard that they were raping little girls daily possibly
    even their own daughters. It’s unfortunate that the police and Military
    were lead by some real stupid individuals and the resulting deaths took
    place but don’t make these kinds of individuals heroes. If they were
    soon innocent why didn’t they just go to jail and to court instead of
    starting a gun fight?
    Can this just be another cheap attack on the President. NAaaaa  The very
    rich and large corporations would never attack the President. Think
    about it.

    • Anonymous

      Bringing up Waco and Ruby Ridge is not the same as supporting child rapists. Some of us think those abused children shouldn’t be jeopardized and killed, just because some gungho idiots feel like shooting stuff.

  • Citizen Kane

    I am concerned with expansion of power, but in this case hard to say the world isn’t just a little safer. I myself think we need to address the legal aspects this poses though. At least put some criteria for these actions?

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