Aug 03 2010

Request to Represent al-Awlaki Should Be Rejected

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today said the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) court challenge to the regulation restricting their ability to contest the Obama Administration’s authorization of a ‘Kill or Capture’ policy against Anwar Al-Awlaki should be rejected.  Graham further stated that the Treasury Department should reject the ACLU and CCR request for a license to provide legal services to Al-Awlaki’s benefit. 

Al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric with strong ties to Al-Qaeda, is believed to be hiding in Yemen.  Al-Awlaki is an American citizen.  

“Al-Awlaki is far more than the ‘Toyko Rose’ of our times,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  “He’s actively engaged in training and encouraging terrorists to kill Americans.  I hope the Obama Administration will actively resist these efforts to challenge his ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ designation.  It is well-deserved designation for Mr. Awlaki.” 

Graham also expressed concern that the ACLU’s effort would ultimately seek to take away the power to use lethal force against imminent threats to our nation from the Commander in Chief and instead have these decisions made by federal judges not trained in assessing military threats. 

“Giving this power to untrained federal judges would be a huge mistake in the War on Terror,” said Graham.  “We are fighting a war and the Commander in Chief needs this tool to protect us from real and imminent threats to our nation.” 

“Al-Awlaki has espoused death and destruction to our country and American citizens,” said Graham.  “He is believed to have ties to the Ft. Hood shooter, the Christmas Day bomber, and the Times Square bombing plot.  He has pledged an oath of loyalty to the leader of al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch and helped create terrorist training camps in Yemen.  He’s been raising money for terrorist activities and recruiting individuals to engage in acts of terrorism.  The Obama Administration’s decision to designate him a global terrorist is amply supported by the public record.” 

“I fear the ACLU’s desire to restrict the battlefield in the War on Terror and limit the Commander in Chief’s options will do great damage to our national security,” said Graham.  “I hope the Treasury and Justice Departments will vigorously resist the ACLU and CCRs actions to micromanage the war effort.”