Is that not just craziness? Look, I'm not saying Anwar al-Awlaki is a great dude who deserves puppies and chocolates. Obviously this guy should be locked up. But I have a hard time accepting that an American citizen can be ordered to be killed by the president without any judicial oversight. Aren't courts how we know people are actually guilty of crimes (at least that's the theory)?
From Glenn Greewald:
No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.I know there will be some people out there who trust President Obama to use this executive power responsibly and with extreme prudence, but what these people are forgetting is that Obama won't be president forever. And with the conservative party becoming much more conservative, who knows what whack job could end up in the White House.
Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens -- and a death penalty imposed -- is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist. He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers -- cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted -- to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist. It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets (advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist "involved in plots." These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth. And the punishment is thus decreed: this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done. What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?
The question we need to be asking ourselves is whether or not we would trust Sarah Palin with this power. I know I sure as hell don't.