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Anwar Al-Awlaki Assumes Room Temperature

[1]Anwar al-Awlaki dead of unnatural causes, to wit one Predator missile.  from the Unhinged Mind, Glen Greenwald, Salon [2]:

It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki. No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him). Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even has any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt. When Awlaki’s father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were “state secrets” and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts. He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner. When Awlaki’s inclusion on President Obama’s hit list was confirmed, The New York Times noted that “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”

Kenneth Anderson, Volokhf Conspiracy [3]:

US citizenship?  What difference, if any, does being a US citizen make? The fact of US citizenship is the factor in this situation that has most excited the blogosphere.  Insofar as Al-Aulaqi was targeted for taking operational part in groups engaged in armed conflict with the United States, historically the fact of citizenship has been neither here nor there.  That’s the easy answer — essentially just asserting the existence of the armed conflict like any other — and as a legal basis for targeting, I think the US government is on solid ground if that’s its claim.  And to reiterate what is said above, the US government has been very careful to rely not upon “internet preacher shooting his mouth off,” but instead on distinct operational roles.  (To be perfectly clear: I myself believe there will eventually be cases of incitement to killing and participation over the internet by radical jihadist preachers that will raise the question of targeting on the basis of incitement alone, and my own view is that there are circumstances where that will be justified, including some who will be US citizens — and in the US government’s view, this is not, repeat not, that case.)

Enemy combatants are legitimate targets of war.    Ask any member of the Army of Northern Virginia.   May Al-Aulaqi enjoy his seventy-two virgins.

Have no regrets death of enemy combatants in the global battlefield.  I do regret that the Obama administration seems to prefer killing enemy combatants than reading them their rightss, or gleeming any intelligence from them.