Dude was reputed to be one cold bastard. Born and educated in the US, known as the spiritual leader of the Al Qaeda network.
He's also quite dead. I'm not against him being compost now, however how be became deceased seems to be quite an issue.
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America reads:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Even as evil as the man may have been, he had the right to a fair trial (military tribunal in this case). When FDR first coined the term "Enemy Combatant" after the capture of the Americans sent to spy on us by Germany, the accused were first tried before military tribunals before they were executed.
Why didn't the government think that al-Awlaki was still covered by the Fifth Amendment, as cited above? Some say he renounced his citizenship. Unfortunately, one is required to at least visit an American Consulate to renounce one's citizenship. As yet, there is no such record or witness accounting of any such renouncement occurring.
My fear is that this will only open the door to more abuses of power in the name of "hunting terrorists". I don't know if there is some unknown provision in the Patriot Act or other secret intelligence law, but as it stands now, the assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki was an illegal act.
Heads should be rolling over this.
Thoughts or rebuttals?