If every other president has also done this.
If every terrorism expert on the planet swears this is essential.
If every constitutional scholar in the country claims Jaime Madison his very own self would approve.
It is still wrong.
All of that is just all the more reason to fight to make it stop.
Robert Dreyfuss at The Nation:
The point is, no judicial case has been made against Awlaki, he hasn’t been formally accused in those events or others, the charges against him have never been proved in court. He was deemed guilty by the CIA and the US national security apparatus, and the sentence of death was carried out.
If that portrait is correct (and I obviously have no idea if it is) we are dealing with a hard core security state president. As hard core as Dick Cheney in most respects and right up there with Reagan and Nixon. Assassinating suspected terrorists who happen to be US citizens would hardly be seen as beyond the pale. Indeed, I'm guessing that if this is true there's a whole lot of black ops stuff that we don't know about.
Aside from finding of this deeply and inherently undemocratic, on a purely practical level, I have to wonder if the president has developed better judgment in finding the right advisors in this realm than he has in the economic sector. Since most of it is clandestine, I suppose we'll never know. At least not until the inevitable blow back sometime down the road.
As always, when the corporate/military owners of this country shit all over us again, there is only one place to find the appropriate passionate outrage: The Rude Pundit.
In Brief: The Murder of Anwar al-Awlaki Stinks:
Sometimes there's cases where the liberal rubber hits reality road and you gotta decide whether your beliefs are beliefs or just conveniences based on circumstances and filled with holes. See, if you believe in due process, if you believe in innocent until proven guilty, if you believe in trials, if you believe in the Constitution, then you have to believe that all of us have those rights. And that includes presumptive terrorists, like Anwar al-Awlaki, whose death by U.S. drone attack is being danced over by the supposed upholders of the very laws his murder violates. This time, no matter what, it doesn't pass the smell test. It doesn't pass the basic "What if Bush did it" test. It's bullshit.
Let's just put this in plain language: An American citizen was killed by the United States because of his speech. And, no, it wasn't Glenn Beck (although by the standards used here, it could have been).
1. Anwar al-Awlaki was an American because he was born in the United States. He was raised in the United States. He was educated in the United States. And MSNBC is one of the few places willing to call him an "American" and not just "U.S. born." He had dual citizenship in the U.S. and Yemen. He was as American as Rick Perry.
2. As far as "justifying" his murder by drone attack, he has never been charged with killing anyone or in plotting to kill anyone. His crime was "inspiring" people to criminal actions, or, you know, speaking. He was just a mouthpiece with a good internet connection, and even if you think that's awful and deserves punishment, he was one of us and deserves the same protections as you do (yeah, he does).
4. "Viewed as a spiritual mentor, Awlaki is neither a senior Islamic cleric nor the leader of AQAP, which is headed by Nasser al-Wuhayshi. Eloquent in English and Arabic, Awlaki encouraged attacks on the US and was seen as a leader who could draw in more al-Qaeda recruits from Western countries."
5. Even by that standard, Yemen sentenced him, in abstentia, to ten years in prison for the crime of "inciting" a murder. If someone strangles Michael Moore, would we blow the shit out of Glenn Beck's house?
6. Unless the world is a battlefield, he was not killed in any goddamn war. He was killed by a missile targeting him specifically in a place where no battle was occurring.
7. And if you believe that the president, any president, should have that power over Americans, then you have no right to call the president a "tyrant" on anything else.
8. And if you believe that the president, any president, should have that power over Americans, then you have no right to call yourself "liberal."