Trump Fulfills Another Campaign Promise: Kills 8-Year Old American Girl

Back on December 5, 2015, Donald Trump said that if he were elected President, he would take out the families of terrorists.

The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,

He repeated the promise to kill terrorists’ families later on the campaign trail.

On Sunday, Trump made good on that campaign promise by killing Nora al-Awlaki, the 8 year old American citizen daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki in a JSOC raid. A SEAL team member, Ryan Owens, was also killed in the raid.

Obama, of course, killed Nora’s then 16-year old brother, Abdulrahman, just weeks after having killed the children’s father in a drone strike.

There are competing stories about the purpose and the outcome of the raid, as NBC lays out here. Thus far, however, there has been little acknowledgment that Donald Trump ran on doing just this, killing the 8 year old children of terrorists, which should raise real questions about how so many (possibly in the 40s?) civilians got killed in the raid. Was that the point?



Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

32 replies
  1. trevanion says:

    Once again it’s a damn pity we don’t have a branch of government that conducts actual oversight of the executive branch, to say nothing of perhaps even another branch of government that sees itself not as an ooo-fishal seekrit junior-cowboy partner of the executive branch but as the one that interprets and applies the constitution and laws of the land.


  2. rjb says:

    As you noted, Trump was following up on a “good start” by the previous administration. Scare quotes because I very much do not like these and related actions of either. We came, we saw, and we turned it all upside down.

  3. b says:

    The operation was certainly not spontaneous but weeks in the planning. You may want to hang it on Trump but it is a typical Obama plan following the rules of engagement he set.  (Not that Trump wouldn’t order such. He surely would.)

    The killing of the child seems unintended. SEALs panic after several were wounded and a rescue helo went down  – shooting and bombing everything in sight.  I am way less sure about the earlier drone hit on the son of Awlaki. It was claimed he wasn’t the target but who the real target was has (to my knowledge) never been explained.

    Had anyone expect the “terrorist” killing to change from Obama to Trump or from Obama to Clinton? I don’t think so. It’s the borg system, not a party, that is doing such this.

    Going into net-root mode and blaming one party or president will only result in giving power to the other party to be screwed just the same way.



  4. splashoil says:

    “Not spontaneous, but weeks in the planning” smells like eleventh dimensional chess.  Another move like the mortgage insurance reduction?

  5. b says:

    There were UAE special forces involved (says CNN). This was a long planned hit, not some spontaneous action. Not even in an emergency could the U.S. military create such a “package” within just 2-3 days: SEAL 6, UAE SpecForce, MV-22 support, fighter support, intel, targeted drone strikes before and after the attack.

    The people hit were “al-Qaeda aligned” local bigwigs hired by the Saudis to fight for them.
    Haykal Bafana @BaFana3 6m
    #Saudi media in Arabic : US commando raid in #Yemen killed a senior leader in the legitimate government’s anti-Houthi forces.
    #Saudi media in English : US commando raid in #Yemen killed a senior Al Qaeda leader.

    The main target was supplied and in regular contact with the Saudi forces in Yemen.

    Take the bigger view. The Saudis want a united Yemen under their full control. The UAE (while said to be allied with Saudis) supports the southern separation movement in Yemen. Dubai Port (DPWorld) wants exclusive rights to Aden and the south Yemeni oil terminals. (These to avoid the strategic problems of the street of Hormuz passages.)

    After UAE forces took Aden they were attacked by Saudi supported al-Qaeda (and ISIS) groups. The U.S. military supports the UAE in this family strife because it dislikes the Saudi support for al-Qaeda..

    The U.S./UAE hit against that “al-Qaeda aligned” Saudi mercenary gang was as much against the Saudis themselves as it was against al-Qaeda.

    The things at issue here were way bigger here than hitting the daughter of a long gone propagandist.

  6. jerryy says:

    RE: b
    January 31, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    “The things at issue here were way bigger here than hitting the daughter of a long gone propagandist.”

    How did you come to such a conclusion, that her life is of so little value you can dismiss her loss as being of no matter, no consequence?

  7. John Casper says:

    RE: b

    When everyone’s accountable, no one is.

    Think that’s from Hannah Arendt’s “Rule by Nobody.”

  8. SpaceLifeForm says:

    OT (so it appears).

    This is what National Security Council meetings look like now, under the new president.

    [Snip – ew can cover later and the list leaves out that Director of the office of science and technology policy no longer included and maybe Energy Secretary]

    But the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are only invited if Trump feels they should be there. This is an incredibly odd — and possibly dangerous — situation. Two officials considered essential to national security decisions aren’t guaranteed a chance to offer their insight in national security meetings.


  9. bevin says:

    I may be wrong but I think that the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff , both busy men, are normally not expected to take part in meetings unless it is felt necessary to have their presence.
    This would mean that while their membership is ex officio they will not always attend unless specifically requested to do so by the President.
    Perhaps someone can clarify this? Perhaps the media could ask questions?

  10. Evangelista says:

    Whatever may be legitimate to say about the raid in which Nawar al Awlaki died, that she was targeted does not appear to be so. Her death appears to be actual ‘collateral damage, damaging to both the al Awlaki family and to the USA, the Seals (who have a record of half-ass off-the-wall-and-over-the-top porcupines-in-panic blazings of firepower subsequent to botching approaches and losing personnel and equipment.

    As reports, in quotation of “Karen Greenberg, director of Fordham University’s Center on National Security”: “…the girl’s death will be a boon to al Qaeda propagandists.”

    Including EW and other virulent anti-Trumpsters, the acidity of whose virulence seems to be eating away what they once had of journalistic integrity.

    I would not put the onus of responsibility for the SNAFU (Seals’ Normal Assault Fuck-Up) in the raid case on Trump, or put effort into reading his campaign hyperbolé regarding terrorism literally at this point. I will reserve judgment to let him confront the US “Drone Assassination Program”. If he engages in that, continuing in the Bush and Obama mafia-don murdering campaign, he will condemn himself. Judgment will require no hyperventilation-dependent hyperbolic extensions then, and will be self-evidenced and conclusively determinative.

    • John Casper says:


      You wrote, “I would not put the onus of responsibility for the SNAFU (Seals’ Normal Assault Fuck-Up) in the raid case on Trump, or put effort into reading his campaign hyperbolé regarding terrorism literally at this point.”

      1. Is the “onus of responsibility” now on POTUS to hold the Seals responsible?

      2. How long should we wait for POTUS to announce plans for court martial?

      3. Since you claim the Seals routinely fail to properly execute their missions, how long should we wait for POTUS to announce plans for prosecution of past failures?

      3.1 How long should we wait for POTUS to announce actions to improve Seal performance?

    • John Casper says:


      Could you list all the “anti-Trumpsters” who are not “virulent?”

      On what basis do you make that distinction?

      What journalists do you look to for “integrity?”

  11. John Casper says:


    “Both busy men,” and POTUS isn’t?

    1. Is POTUS routinely getting briefings that are not “necessary?”

    2. Why does your comment ignore that POTUS ordered an attack that killed an eight-year-old?

    2.1 Are you defending POTUS’ order?

    2.2 If Sec. Clinton were POTUS, would you ignore it?

    2.3 Doesn’t the attack and child’s death increase the chances of terrorist responses in the U.S.?

  12. Karl Kolchak says:

    Since Hillary almost certainly would have continued Obama’s droning and “terrorist” killing practices, it is evident that if you are morally (as opposed to cynically and opportunistically) opposed to the idea that the president should be murdering foreign nationals on his (her) say so alone, you had nobody to vote for within the two party system. Which is another reason why I have no use for anyone who criticizes my decision to not vote within that framework.

    • John Casper says:


      So you agree we all need to donate more to EW?

      You couldn’t vote in Presidential primaries?

      You couldn’t vote in Congressional primaries?

      You couldn’t write-in?

      Every eligible voter falls into some category. Were you in the category who didn’t register to vote, who didn’t show up at the polls, or both?

      Would you recommend that everyone not vote, or do you have “special circumstances?

      Is it “OK” with you that POTUS “…continued Obama’s droning and ‘terrorist’ killing practices…?”

      Are you going to comment again on this thread that you oppose POTUS’ order to the Seals?

      Since you won’t vote, what actions do you plan to take register your concerns?

  13. Jonf says:

    The “blame” for killing the child goes to the one who pulled the trigger – – Donald Trump. No one else.

  14. martin says:

    evangelista said…
    quote”“I would not put the onus of responsibility(snip)..on Trump,.or put effort into reading his campaign hyperbolé regarding terrorism literally at this point. ”

    Says one who’s been on a alcohol binge since last Friday morning.

    evangelista.. this is one more time where you look like a certified moron.

  15. lefty665 says:

    Killing civilians including U.S. citizens, especially the al-Awlaki family, seems to be what we do best. More than a million this century and counting puts us between Idi Amin and Pol Pot in the mass murderer hall of infamy.

    Notable is that in an apparent departure from U.S. policy this raid was targeted at Sunnis, Saudi supporters, rather than the Shiites who are our usual targets. Yemen today, Riyadh tomorrow, bring on the drones and SEALS. Dead Wahhabis are good Wahhabis.

  16. Bill Warrick says:

    My guess on this is that it was something on autopilot from oBOMBa. An operation of this type takes longer than a week to plan so the planning probably was prior to the inauguration.

  17. Evangelista says:

    Martin and bmaz,
    Let me expnd your quotation a few words where you stopped thinking abput what you were reading, Martin, “”I would not put the onus of responsibility(snip)..on Trump,.or put effort into reading his campaign hyperbolé regarding terrorism literally at this point. I will reserve judgment…”

    Your reaction, with which bmaz addends that he concurs, “evangelista.. this is one more time where you look like a certified moron.” indicates that you, and bmaz, by his own admission, perceive reserving judgment, avoiding jumping to hasty conclusions, to be certifiably moronic.

    An interesting point of view. One that might be read to speak volumes about 21st century U.S. ‘intellect’ (or, to update my quaint and old-fashioned phrasing, ‘one that might be seen to screen episodes’ about what is inflationarily euphemized ‘intellect’ in 21st century ‘America’ [what is north of Minnesota and south of Texas being exo-continental to U.S. geological ‘intellects’]).

    P.S. No charge for my matchmaking services. The thrill of knowing I have helped to bring two hearts together is enough for me.

    • John Casper says:


      How do you “expnd” a “quotation?”

      Sound like you’re eagerly anticipating Valentine’s Day. Since you confessed that “the thrill of knowing” you “have helped to bring two hearts together is enough for” you,  can you expand on what you wrote back on January 19th: “In fact, a large number of homosexuals are Republicans.”

      The comments on that thread are closed. Please leave your response here.

  18. willyloman says:

    I wonder if it isn’t tied to his travel ban that effected so many of the deep state’s hired “moderate” terrorists. Remember, the military deliberately sunk the peace deal Obama had in place by attacking Syrian troops and then getting their “moderates” to attack a UN aid convoy outside Aleppo. I don’t think it is out of the realm of possibility that someone made the call to “go” on a plan in Yemen on Sat. night (after Friday’s signing of the travel ban) to embarrass Trump and put pressure on him to get his mind right. Read my article on the subject. “Surpassing ObamaGod: President Trump Killed an 8-year-old Girl in Yemen, Nawar al-Awlaki, an American Citizen.. Or Did He?

  19. jawbone says:

    At least we know the name of the 8 year old girl. All the other women and children remain nameless to us.

    Among them a very young baby.

Comments are closed.