Anwar al-Awlaki

The U.S. executes an American citzen:


It appeared to be the first time in the United States-led war on terrorism since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that an American citizen had been deliberately targeted and killed by American forces. It was also the second high-profile killing of an Al Qaeda leader in the past five months under the Obama administration, which ordered the American commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last May. 

Yemen's official news agency, Saba, reported that the attack had also killed Samir Khan, an American citizen of Pakistani origin who was the editor of Inspire, Al Qaeda's English-language Internet magazine.

Spencer Ackerman notes that "the Obama administration assassinated an American citizen without due process of law."


From Glenn Greenwald:

What's most striking about this is not that the U.S. Government has seized and exercised exactly the power the Fifth Amendment was designed to bar ("No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law"), and did so in a way that almost certainly violates core First Amendment protections (questions that will now never be decided in a court of law). What's most amazing is that its citizens will not merely refrain from objecting, but will stand and cheer the U.S. Government's new power to assassinate their fellow citizens, far from any battlefield, literally without a shred of due process from the U.S. Government. 

Many will celebrate the strong, decisive, Tough President's ability to eradicate the life of Anwar al-Awlaki -- including many who just so righteously condemned those Republican audience members as so terribly barbaric and crass for cheering Governor Perry's execution of scores of serial murderers and rapists -- criminals who were at least given a trial and appeals and the other trappings of due process before being killed.

I am not among them. I think this sets forth a dangerous precedent, and I think it's wrong. It's the death penalty without the inconvenience of a trial. Welcome to ever-war.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Global

From This Author

Just In