I'll not shed a tear for Anwar al-Awlaki, born an American in New Mexico and holding a BS from Colorado State, an MA from San Diego State, and work towards a PhD at George Washington University. Somewhere along the line, he got weird and led several people to attack his country of citizenship. Born of Yemenis and married to a Yemen, he moved to Yemen and preached against the US. A case for Treason could easily be made.
Strieff put out an excellent article, on which many have commented.
Unmentioned is the fact that another American citizen was collateral damage.
The 40-year-old al-Awlaki was killed in Yemen's al-Jawf province along with another US citizen, Samir Khan, the co-editor of al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine and [Saudi] Ibrahim al-Asiri, the organisation's top bomb-maker.
His worried father tried to cut off his Internet access and tried to dissuade him from running extremist Web sites, but with little effect.
Samir [age 25] was a programmer or web-page editor. Also, apparently, on the kill list.
What bothers me about all of this is the "rule of unintended consequences" and the effect these assassinations may have on the future of America.
Congress hasn't declared a war in seventy years; this makes the identification of "enemies" difficult, and undermines any charges of Treason.
No matter how guilty we feel perpetrators of violence are, when it comes to American Citizens, we [used to?] pride ourselves in the rule of Law and The Constitution.
When Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and declared himself a Conscientious Objector to the [undeclared] War in Vietnam, he was persecuted and prosecuted. It took The Supreme Court to overturn his conviction, 8 to nothing. He had converted to The Nation of Islam, but never wished harm on the United States.
The CIA (which killed Alawi and Khan in Yemen) isn't supposed to practice inside America, but they have recently been helping the New York City Police.
Our Government and our Courts work on precedent because, least of all Congress and most of all The Courts, no one wants to be held responsible for an actual decision.
Once our government has the precedent that it is OK to assassinate Americans abroad without trial, it is only a small step to execute any who oppose The Government.
Bush I was President during Ruby Ridge. President Clinton was responsible for Waco where 76 men, women and children died in fire. Many Americans died at the hands of their Government because they disagreed with it. Presidential powers to kill our citizens have been extended, and Congress abets.
The People of RedState disagree with our current President. The KOS disagree with our previous President.
I'm not sad about the deaths of Anwar Al-Awlaki, nor Samir Khan, but they were Americans subject to more consideration than they were permitted. When Hannity or Colmes are taken out by HARM missiles (obviously, a lesser caliber would suffice) because they oppose a President, those of lesser opposition can continue cheering until The Government comes for them.