Drone strikes on American-born terrorists
Posted on October 7, 2011
Once again, the United States’ use of drones to carry out strikes on suspected terrorists is front page news. The drone program, which I’ve discussed here in several different posts, is on the front burner because last week a U.S. strike in Yemen killed the American-born terrorist Anway al-Awlaki.
Such strikes have do not typically create enormous public controversy — in fact, the public is often supportive of actions that eliminate senior terrorists – but this one is different. Awlawki was an American citizen, and civil libertarians are angry that the U.S. did not arrest, try, or convict Awlaki. This, they say, violates the Constitutional rule of due process.
Do civil libertarians have a reasonable argument? Or is the Obama administration in the right? For more on these questions, I suggest you click over to William Saletan’s recent article on Slate for some weekend reading.