Chris Selley: How to kill an American terrorist, and other first-world problems | Full Comment | National Post
More recently, it has been fascinating to watch Americans debate whether President Barack Obama crossed a line by approving the assassination of the American-born Anwar al-Awlaki in a drone attack in Yemen. Everyone concedes the radical Muslim cleric was a human sack of garbage — “a very bad guy,” as Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen put it … “but still, an American citizen.” What ever happened to due process?
Most of the complaining has come from the left — although Ron Paul reliably chimed in as well: “He was never tried or charged for any crimes,” he said. “If the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad
In the amusing view of Bush administration lawyer and commentator John Yoo, Mr. Paul’s clear statement of principle was a “fevered accusation.” But the right is landing some solid punches against the Obama administration and the general mainstream consensus that the assassination wasn’t a huge deal. “If it’s permissible for the president to kill a U.S. citizen with no judicial proceedings whatsoever,” the editors of National Review asked, “why is it an offence against the Constitution and all we hold dear to capture foreign terrorists, interrogate them … and detain them?”
That’s a very good question. And in places like Ottawa and Washington, these are important debates. But again: Imagine how Yemenis or Pakistanis living in close proximity to terrorist dirtbags would see this. “Hang on. You rain hellfire down upon us without a moment’s thought, but if the guy was born in New Mexico you need a 50-page memo from the lawyers at the Justice Department? What gives?”
My fellow columnist George Jonas always argues that Western militaries drop the ball after they depose the bad guys — when they stick around to rebuild a nation about which they know little. Considering our weird, legalistic obsession with the good treatment of certain Afghan detainees and the legal rights of certain terrorist creeps, it’s hardly surprising we struggle to win hearts and minds.
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosBBC News - Suspected US drones 'kill 10 militants' in Pakistan (external - login to view)
Exactly....who was al-Awlaki spotted hanging out with in the past?