I’m happy as hell al-Awlaki is dead, but this is a slippery slope Obama has us headed down, where Americans are assassinated with no due process because they’re not “upstanding,” or people are “proud” of them.
Via New Yorker:
“One of the problems is, once the drone program is so public, and one American is caught up, people don’t know much about this one ‘American citizen’—so called,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein, in her questioning of John Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for C.I.A. director, on Thursday. She was referring to Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen, in 2011, and was a “so-called” American because he was an American, born in New Mexico. “They don’t know what he’s been doing,” Feinstein continued. “They don’t know the incitement he has stirred up. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about Mr. Awlaki and what he’s been doing.”
Brennan demurred at first, since the question was about an “operation.” Feinstein jumped in:
FEINSTEIN: See, that’s the problem. When people hear “American,” they think someone who’s upstanding. And this man was not upstanding by a long shot.BRENNAN: Yes.
FEINSTEIN: And maybe you cannot discuss it here, but I’ve read enough to know that he was a real problem.
Brennan agreed, saying that al-Awlaki “was intimately involved in activities that were designed to kill innocent men, women, and children, mostly Americans. He was not just a propagandist.” (He neglected to mention that al-Awlaki’s American teen-age son was also killed, in a separate strike.) Feinstein then led him through a number of incidents; in some cases, Brennan agreed that al-Awlaki was an organizer, and in others he spoke obliquely about “inspiring” and “inciting individuals.” Feinstein summed up the exchange with what may of been the most disturbing line in the three-hour hearing, worse, even, than the waterboarding joke that Senator Burr told a few minutes later:
“And, so, Mr. Awlaki is not an American citizen by where anyone in America would be proud.”
“Proud,” “upstanding,” “so-called American”—is this the basis on which the Senate is judging fundamental questions of American rights and due process?