Saturday, October 1, 2011

Anwar al-Awlaki: Did the U.S. Government Murder an American Citizen?

Well, not unless you believe that anchor babies are U.S. citizens, which entails embracing the modern "living Constitution" brand of jurisprudence. The concept of birthright citizenship -- i.e., that anyone born on U.S. soil is an American citizen, even if his father was Osama bin Laden, and his mother is Lilith -- comes primarily from a distortion of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Before I continue, let's look at the relevant portion of the Amendment:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

Anwar al-Awlaki's parents were Yemenis who attended school in the U.S., spawned a squalling representative of the natal Jihad, and later returned to Yemen when Pride-of-the-Red-White-and-Blue was seven years old. He returned to the U.S. at age eighteen, reentering on a foreign student visa and attending school at Colorado State University. The Yemeni government paid his college bills through scholarship funds. During his university years, al-Awlaki went to Afghanistan and trained with the mujahideen. I'm sure there's a Will Rogers anecdote in there, somewhere.

Unless you want to argue that Yemeni nationals and their offspring are subject to U.S. jurisdiction, or that the Fourteenth Amendment applies to non-citizens, then dubbing al-Awlaki a U.S. citizen is a non-starter. The Fourteenth Amendment applied to black Americans and the protection of their rights as freed slaves. The whole purpose of the clause "subject to the jurisdiction thereof," was to recognize a distinction between citizens and aliens, not to make aliens born to aliens automatic citizens. Original intent matters, contrary to the opinions of those who think the Constitution makes an excellent litterbox liner.

If one insists that al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen, consistency requires that one also accept a woman's right to murder her unborn child, as per the right that materialized before the astonished eyes of the Burger Court, after spending over two hundred years shyly cloistering itself in the penumbras and emanations of the flatulations of the aberrations of that limbic region known as the Twilight Zone. Imagine the surprise of the Bill of Rights' authors as they turned over in their graves in consternation, having scribbled down abortion rights in unwitting quillmanship code for the delight of a later, more enlightened age.

And now, the patriarchy withers and dies, as women sing: "I can kill my infant, this I know, for the baby killers tell me so."

Shall we add a second verse? "Dropped my brat in the Dar al-Harb, cloaked in red, white, and blue garb."


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