NPR gives the tiniest blip of airtime to dissenting views of the blatantly anti-Constitutional and illegal assassination of US citizen, and terrorist suspect, Anwar al-Awlaki. Most of NPR's coverage is decidedly favorable US security establishment - such as Friday afternoon's summary by CIA spokesperson Dina Temple-Raston and Pentagon Sock Monkey, Rachel Martin's Saturday defense of the murders of al-Awalki and Samir Khan.
Friday afternoon and evening's 5-minute news summary featured Abu Ghraib
criminal interrogator/and trainer for the Iraqi Torture Interior Ministry - Professor Matthew Degn - plugging the glorious successes of the endless War on Terror:
[Jack Spear] "In what US officials are deeming a significant blow to al-Qaeda's most active affiliate...the man believed to directed the attempt to blow up a plane over Detroit on Christmas day among other plots was killed in a missile strike in Yemen today. Matthew Degn is Director of Intelligence Studies at American University he says the attack is significant in the ongoing war with al-Qaeda. [Degn] 'You win a war by defeating its leaders. You win a war by defeating the organization, and to do that you have to eliminate its leaders - capture or kill the leaders and that's what we're doing right now in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere around the world.'" [Now you know WTF we are doing in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere!]
The little squeak of dissent permitted occurred during Friday's ATC promisingly titled piece "Debate Erupts Over Legality of Awlaki's Killing." Carrie Johnson ran the briefest little clip of Hina Shamsi from the ACLU:
[Shamsi] "The government should not have the unreviewable authority to carry out the targeted killing of any American, anywhere whom the American president deems to be a threat to the nation."
That was it for the dissenting viewpoint on Johnson's report. The rest of the time was given to apologists for the assassination. First was the Justice Department who Johnson tells us "responded that Awlaki wasn't just any American....[but] an operational leader who helped equip terrorist plotters with bombs." Next was Bushist lawyer, John Bellinger, who weighed in with this brilliant analysis: "The requirements of the Constitution with respect to due process for killing an American are not clear." [I swear I'm not making this crap up.] To deliver a coup de grace to the concept of due process, Johnson found Ken Anderson, a professor who, according to Johnson, "says the analysis starts with whether Awlaki amounted to a lawful target, U.S. citizen or not."
Probably the most grotesque defense of the assassination came from Rachel Martin on Saturday morning with Scott Simon. Scott opens the discussion with an evidence free conviction of al-Awalki: "he was a key operative for al-Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen," and it's downhill from there. Here are quotes from Martin - essentially her talking points - and they are indistinguishable from those of the Obama administration, the CIA, and the Pentagon:
- "...this was a man directly linked to several high profile terrorist attacks over the last couple of years."
- "...part of why he was so important - because he INSPIRED others to violent action with his message."
- "...he was the architect of that plot [Xmas day underwear bomber] against the United States. This is what al-Awalki was all about...
- "one one side there is an argument that he is a US citizen, he has legal rights...but the US government is clear here Scott, they say this was legal..."
- "the US government argues that when someone, even an American citizen, joins the enemy in an ongoing war against the US that person becomes a legitimate target."
As our Constitution withers in the face the assaults of US corporate/security state with its promotion of endless war, NPR has made it clear which it is on. To anyone still supporting NPR with donations, you do so at your own peril...