Was Obama Right to Kill a U.S. Citizen?

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen October 2008, ta...
Anwar al-Awlaki

Not that I agree with this, but it is worth saying:

‘For the first time since the days of Abraham Lincoln, an American president has ordered the killing of a U.S. citizen, far from any battlefield or courtroom.

And like Abraham Lincoln, Obama has saved the constitution and the country by defending it against a nihilistic and narrow reading of the constitution that would prevent the country from protecting itself.

This has shocked the American Civil Liberties Union, Ron Paul, legal scholars, and libertarians, who have long argued that the constitution’s Fifth Amendment, which says that no citizen shall be “deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law” means that the constitution bars killing non-combatants without a trial. Since Awlaki had not been convicted in a proper court or hasn’t been killed while shooting at American soldiers, they contend, his killing is unconstitutional. A side argument, beloved by the ACLU, is that the method of deciding who goes on the CIA target list is secret and therefore an illegal violation of due process.

These are clever arguments, but wrong.’ (via The Daily Beast).

One thought on “Was Obama Right to Kill a U.S. Citizen?

  1. Glad you don’t agree. The flaw in the reasoning of course is that in the American justice system a single man isn’t supposed to be investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one regardless of the crime or the potential for future crime.

    The principle of English law that our system was based on is simple: it’s better for 99 guilty men to go free than for a single innocent man to be condemned.

    That’s the price that has to paid for freedom and I think it’s well worth it.


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