Former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about a 16-year-old American boy, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was killed by an American drone attack, authorized by Barack Obama, callously said that he "should have (had) a far more responsible father."
The Huffington Post reports,
A 16-year-old American boy killed in an Obama administration drone strike "should have [had] a far more responsible father," Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs says in a new video released by the group We Are Change.
Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al Qaeda propagandist killed by a U.S. drone a year ago. But the child was killed in a separate strike some two weeks after his father was killed. Gibbs wasn't entirely familiar with the situation, and didn't know that al-Awlaki's son was killed two weeks after his father was killed, a person familiar with his thinking at the time he was interviewed told HuffPost. We Are Change bills itself as a non-partisan media organization "working to expose corruption."
"I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don't think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business," Gibbs, the former White House press secretary, told the interviewer from We Are Change, when asked to justify "an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial -- and, he's underage, he's a minor."
At first Gibbs was not interested in talking about Awlaki. "I'm not going to get into Anwar al-Awlaki's son," he said. "I know that Anwar al-Awlaki renounced his citizenship, did great harm to people in this country."
However the reporter noted that Awlaki's son has not renounced his citizenship and was underage. Gibbs answered in a callous fashion, "I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don't think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business."
Esquire magazine tells the story of the son claiming that he was unlike his father and pointing out the the son was not killed in the same drone strike as his father, but in a totally separate one. Tom Junod writes,
"When he was killed, on September 30, 2011, President Obama made a speech about it; a few months later, when the Obama administraton's public-relations campaign about its embrace of what has come to be called "targeted killing" reached its climax in a front-page story in the New York Times that presented the President of the United States as the last word in deciding who lives and who dies, he was quoted as saying that the decision to put Anwar al-Awlaki on the kill list -- and then to kill him -- was "an easy one." But Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn't on an American kill list."
"Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninusla. Nor was he "an inspiration," as his father styled himself, for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he gone "operational," as American authorities said his father had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American interests. He was a boy who hadn't seen his father in two years, since his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his father was on an American kill list and who snuck out of his family's home in the early morning hours of September 4, 2011, to try to find him. He was a boy who was still searching for his father when his father was killed, and who, on the night he himself was killed, was saying goodbye to the second cousin with whom he'd lived while on his search, and the friends he'd made. He was a boy among boys, then; a boy among boys eating dinner by an open fire along the side of a road when an American drone came out of the sky and fired the missiles that killed them all."
Gibbs nevertheless defends the strike, not by arguing that the kid was a threat, or that killing him was an accident, but by saying that his late father irresponsibly joined al Qaeda terrorists. Killing an American citizen without due process on that logic ought to be grounds for impeachment. Is that the real answer? Or would the Obama Administration like to clarify its reasoning? Any Congress that respected its oversight responsibilities would get to the bottom of this.
The danger is that now we have a presidential kill list, it is openly talked about without shame, and even the federal government claims it has authority to execute and assassinate anyone it claims is a terrorist, including and American citizen. Obama even appointed an assassination czar. America is quickly becoming a very dangerous place.
Watch Gibbs reaction and hear the words from his own mouth below: