The American Civil Liberties Union has condemned the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen by birth who had become a leader of an al Qaida offshoot in Yemen.
“The targeted killing program violates both U.S. and international law,” the ACLU said yesterday. “This is a program under which American citizens far from any battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process, and on the basis of standards and evidence that are kept secret not just from the public but from the courts.”
I’m glad the ACLU has taken that stance. Such decisions by our government should not be allowed to go unchallenged.
That said, I also think the ACLU is wrong.
As President Obama noted, “Al-Awlaki directed the failed attempt to blow up an airplane on Christmas Day in 2009, he directed the failed attempt to blow up U.S. cargo planes in 2010, and he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children to advance a murderous agenda.”
On Sept. 18, 2001, Congress passed a resolution under the War Powers Act to the following effect:
“(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.”
That’s all the authorization a president needs to act against those who have taken up arms against this country.
– Jay Bookman