The answer at 1:49.
Land of Opportunity my ASS.
You used to be so strong and stable. What made you fall from grace? I’m sorry that I was not there to catch you. What have the demons done with the luminous light that once shined from your eyes? What makes you feel so alone? Is it the whispering ghosts that you fear the most? but the blackness in your heart won’t last forever. I know it’s tearing you apart but it’s a storm you can weather.
The drone that killed my grandson by Nasser al-Awlaki
July 20, 2013
I learned that my 16-year-old grandson, Abdulrahman — a United States citizen — had been killed by an American drone strike from news reports the morning after he died.
The missile killed him, his teenage cousin and at least five other civilians on Oct. 14, 2011, while the boys were eating dinner at an open-air restaurant in southern Yemen.
I visited the site later, once I was able to bear the pain of seeing where he sat in his final moments. Local residents told me his body was blown to pieces. They showed me the grave where they buried his remains. I stood over it, asking why my grandchild was dead.
Nearly two years later, I still have no answers. The United States government has refused to explain why Abdulrahman was killed. It was not until May of this year that the Obama administration, in a supposed effort to be more transparent, publicly acknowledged what the world already knew — that it was responsible for his death.
The attorney general, Eric H. Holder Jr., said only that Abdulrahman was not “specifically targeted,” raising more questions than he answered.
My grandson was killed by his own government. The Obama administration must answer for its actions and be held accountable. On Friday, I will petition a federal court in Washington to require the government to do just that.
Abdulrahman was born in Denver. He lived in America until he was 7, then came to live with me in Yemen. He was a typical teenager — he watched “The Simpsons,” listened to Snoop Dogg, read “Harry Potter” and had a Facebook page with many friends. He had a mop of curly hair, glasses like me and a wide, goofy smile.
In 2010, the Obama administration put Abdulrahman’s father, my son Anwar, on C.I.A. and Pentagon “kill lists” of suspected terrorists targeted for death. A drone took his life on Sept. 30, 2011.
The government repeatedly made accusations of terrorism against Anwar — who was also an American citizen — but never charged him with a crime. No court ever reviewed the government’s claims nor was any evidence of criminal wrongdoing ever presented to a court. He did not deserve to be deprived of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and killed.
Early one morning in September 2011, Abdulrahman set out from our home in Sana by himself. He went to look for his father, whom he hadn’t seen for years. He left a note for his mother explaining that he missed his father and wanted to find him, and asking her to forgive him for leaving without permission.
A couple of days after Abdulrahman left, we were relieved to receive word that he was safe and with cousins in southern Yemen, where our family is from. Days later, his father was targeted and killed by American drones in a northern province, hundreds of miles away. After Anwar died, Abdulrahman called us and said he was going to return home.
That was the last time I heard his voice. He was killed just two weeks after his father.
A country that believes it does not even need to answer for killing its own is not the America I once knew. From 1966 to 1977, I fulfilled a childhood dream and studied in the United States as a Fulbright scholar, earning my doctorate and then working as a researcher and assistant professor at universities in New Mexico, Nebraska and Minnesota.
I have fond memories of those years. When I first came to the United States as a student, my host family took me camping by the ocean and on road trips to places like Yosemite, Disneyland and New York — and it was wonderful.
After returning to Yemen, I used my American education and skills to help my country, serving as Yemen’s minister of agriculture and fisheries and establishing one of the country’s leading institutions of higher learning, Ibb University. Abdulrahman used to tell me he wanted to follow in my footsteps and go back to America to study. I can’t bear to think of those conversations now.
After Anwar was put on the government’s list, but before he was killed, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights represented me in a lawsuitchallenging the government’s claim that it could kill anyone it deemed an enemy of the state.
The court dismissed the case, saying that I did not have standing to sue on my son’s behalf and that the government’s targeted killing program was outside the court’s jurisdiction anyway.
After the deaths of Abdulrahman and Anwar, I filed another lawsuit, seeking answers and accountability. The government has argued once again that its targeted killing program is beyond the reach of the courts. I find it hard to believe that this can be legal in a constitutional democracy based on a system of checks and balances.
The government has killed a 16-year-old American boy. Shouldn’t it at least have to explain why?
Quinten Douglas Wood, a 15 year old disabled child and resident of Midwest City Oklahoma, passed away on January 4, 2013, due to blatant negligence….
Please take five minutes to sign this, or at least reblog it so others can. <3
I want to help.
This will make you think about life.
1) The day my sister got back from the hospital after a suicide attempt. I didnt let go for about an hour.
2) Kid just found out his brother was shot and killed.
3) A Russian war veteran kneels beside the tank he spent the war in, now a monument.
4) Man sobbing at animal shelter. After being jailed briefly and his dog Buzz Lightyear impounded he couldn’t afford the $400 to get his pet back.
5) A firefighter gives water to a koala during the devastating Black Saturday bushfires that burned across Victoria, Australia, in 2009.
6) Alcoholic father with his son
7) Robert Peraza pauses at his son’s name on the 9/11 Memorial during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center.
8) Greg Cook hugs his dog Coco after finding her inside his destroyed home in Alabama following the Tornado in March, 2012
9) After two double lung transplants and years of battling cystic fibrosis, my good friend passed away last Saturday. This was one of the last pics taken with his mother.
These are so powerful.
WATCH: Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman threw the first pitch at the Red Sox game on Tuesday night. He was being honoured at Fenway Park along with his rescuer, Carlos Arredondo on Tuesday night.
Bauman, who lost both legs in the blast, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia before the Red Sox game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Arredondo pushed him out to the mound in a wheelchair and threw out a first pitch to Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. (Photos: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
This makes me feel good.
I just wish…nevermind.
When there is overwhelmingly bad circumstances, you can always find overwhelmingly good people. Kindness is a beautiful thing.
In a case that drew national attention, officials say no charges will be filed in the death of a 26-year-old with Down syndrome who was restrained after refusing to leave a movie theater.
A grand jury determined Friday that no crime was committed in the case of Robert Ethan Saylor. He went to see the film “Zero Dark Thirty” at a Frederick, Md. movie theater in January and wanted to watch it again after the showing was over. Three off-duty sheriff’s deputies who were working security at the venue were alerted when Saylor would not exit. They ultimately restrained him and Saylor was dead just a few minutes later.
A medical examiner found that Saylor died of asphyxia and ruled it a homicide, but ultimately the grand jury determined that charges were not warranted and that the deputies acted in accordance with their training.
In a statement, the state attorney for Frederick County said that all 17 witnesses to the incident made written statements — including the 18-year-old caretaker who had been with Saylor at the movie.
Saylor was “verbally and physically resistant,” the statement said, adding that the deputies did not hit, kick or use force near the man’s head or neck.
Saylor was handcuffed on his stomach for one to two minutes before he died, but the restraints were removed as soon as those nearby noticed he was having a health problem, officials said. At that time, an ambulance was called and CPR was administered.
The case drew broad concern from families and advocates in the disability community, many of whom said the tragedy highlighted the need for more police training on how best to interact with individuals who have developmental disabilities.
This is so shameful. Just terrible.