Good questions that require consideration:
A major manhunt has been underway in the Los Angeles area for Chris Dorner, the former LAPD officer, Navy reservist, and trained marksman who is the prime suspect in the murder of three people, including the daughter of an LAPD captain (who previously represented him in a disciplinary proceeding) and her fiance. A lengthy Facebook message attributed to Dorner vows that he will continue to kill not only members of the LAPD but also their children and spouses until he receives a public apology for what he believes was his unfair firing…
Here’s my question: if the surveillance drones detect his location, should the lives of law enforcement agents be risked, along with other civilians, in an attempt to apprehend this highly-trained warrior? Why shouldn’t an armed drone instead be immediately dispatched once his location is ascertained and simply kill him?
For those of you who believe it’s possible to know someone’s guilt without a trial, there is very little doubt about his guilt. Nobody has contested the authenticity of the confession posted in his name, nor the threats of further killing. He admitted and justified the killings on his Facebook entry.
For those of you who believe there is a clear definition of “terrorism”, Dorner meets it easily. LAPD chief Charlie Beck today said that Dorner was engaging in “domestic terrorism”. That’s because he has not only threatened to kill random LAPD officers but also their children and family members in order to terrorize the department into publicly apologizing to him. He vowed to wage what he called “unconventional and asymmetrical warfare” in pursuit of his goal. As intended, the entire community is in terror. If that’s not “domestic terrorism” under the conventional defintion, then nothing is.
If we are willing to accept Obama’s authority to kill American citizens overseas whose “future crimes” pose a threat to America, why shouldn’t we accept California’s authority to kill a man without due process when he has already confessed to the crime and said he’ll kill more?
If he is engaged in an attempt to kill others, sure. But if he’s like 16 year old Denver native Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who the government said was “at the wrong place at the wrong time,” meaning he’s just oblivious to the drone overhead, would it be all right to kill him?
If yes, then why is one ok, but not the other?
I look forward to your comments.