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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mailbag: Oct. 12

    Let courts decide the facts

    In response to “Terrorist acts negate constitutional rights” (Oct. 10 issue):

    I won’t attempt to argue with Mr. Segall’s title premise about which actions can negate one’s inalienable rights. I would, however, like to take issue with the writer’s statements about what Anwar Al-Awlaki has or hasn’t done to merit government action on his life.

    Segall states, “Al-Awlaki has been linked to nearly a dozen different cases of attempted terror plots,” and goes on to describe many of these. Unfortunately, I can’t believe a single thing said about Al-Awlaki’s connection to the “underwear bomber” or Fort Hood Army Base killings for one simple reason: none of it was ever proven in a court of law. And as an American citizen, I respect my duty to believe nothing about another American citizen until it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The government can attempt to retroactively draw connections between Al-Awlaki and other known terrorists to justify its actions, but such suspicions are hardly axiomatic enough for the government to act upon them without respecting the due process of law.

    The irony is that Segall claims Al-Awlaki was killed to keep the American people “safe” from the threat of terror. We are allowing a government agency to arbitrarily sentence a citizen to death, and this is supposed to preserve America? What greater threat is there to life and liberty? Perhaps I’m paranoid, but via the new government standards, we all have reason to fear for our lives. None of us knows which of our activities or acquaintances might raise a red flag within the CIA and now we are being told that there will be no peer review on these “facts” before drastic government action is taken on our persons and our lives.

    There is a long history of wartime being used as justification for the suspension of basic human rights. We must not stand complacently by as we witness history repeating itself.

    — Jacquelyn Oesterblad, anthropology and Near Eastern studies freshman

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