The Grey Lady, America’s newspaper of record, reports on the recent accidental killing, by Navy SEALs, of eight year-old Nora al-Awlaki, daughter of the previously executed Anwar al-Awlaki. Awlaki’s father, Nora’s grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, is quoted in the piece:
Nasser al-Awlaki, the girl’s grandfather, gave NBC News a different version of events of what took place. “My granddaughter was staying for a while with her mother, so when the attack came, they were sitting in the house, and a bullet struck her in her neck at 2:30 past midnight. Other children in the same house were killed,” he said. Nora died from her injuries two hours after suffering the gunshot wound, he said. The grandfather went on to say that the SEALs burned the home after raiding it, and that Nora’s mother escaped the raid with only a minor injury. The U.S. has also killed Anwar al-Awlaki’s father and son in previous drone strikes. source
I know I’m a nitpicky, mean-spirited motherfucker, but the Times concludes the paragraph above by reporting that the man who spoke to NBC news about the recent killing of his granddaughter had been himself killed in the drone strikes of 2011.
We presume the Times will print a correction, if a reader writes in to point it out. Who has the time? Who really cares about such a seemingly insignificant detail? There are larger issues of accuracy and credibility to concern their editors.
In a larger sense, the Grey Lady may have had it right. It might very well feel true for Nasser al-Awlaki, that he was already killed by American drones several times over. His petition to save his son Anwar from Obama’s kill list was thrown out of court. His son was soon thereafter killed by a drone strike. Two weeks later his 16 year-old grandson Abdulrahim was killed by another American missile strike, also remotely launched from a Predator drone.
Those two killings may have, metaphorically, killed Nasser al-Awlaki. One can only imagine how troubling to his dead body the gunshot mutilated little corpse of his eight-year old grand-daughter must be.
But in fairness, and truly, America, who really gives a fuck about some family’s tragedy in far away Yemen? Anwar al-Awlaki (you will read everywhere but in Scahill’s Dirty Wars) wasn’t a dissenting American citizen forcefully exercising his First Amendment right to oppose government actions he found hateful. He was a dangerous terrorist, pure and simple, a powerful recruiter for hateful, murdering fanatics, the President said so. He was very highly placed in al Q’eada when he was put on the Presidential Kill List, you can confirm that with the New York Times and NPR as well as on Fox, CNN, MSNBC.
Chances are they all hate our freedom over there anyway, isn’t that right? As for the beautiful little girl bystander left to die slowly in that raid, an American bullet in her spine, without medical treatment, remember that every terrorist was once an adorable eight year-old.
Move along now, America, nothing to see here. USA! USA!!!!