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.
This article available online at: