We were greeted this morning by the welcome news that a CIA-led drone strike in Yemen killed a top al Qaeda operative, the American-born Anwar al-Awlaki.
Never wanting to take "yes" for an answer, the predictable sanctimonious scolds -- the ACLU, CAIR and the Center for Constitutional Rights -- are up in arms. (Are they ever anything but up in arms?). It was really a matter for -- guess what -- due process.
"The targeted killing program violated both U.S. and international law," ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer said in a written statement. "As we've seen today, 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."
When asked about this, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney refused to answer questions about the legality of the government targeting and killing an American citizen without a trial.
"I'm not going to address the circumstances of Awlaki's death," he said.
Let me respectfully suggest a different answer: "We are in a war and the President is the Commander-in-Chief. His foremost responsibility is to see to the physical safety of the American people. Courts have neither the portfolio, under the Constitution, nor the competence, under any reasonable understanding of their mission, to direct the battle that has been thrust upon us. This is not the next matter on the police blotter, and we are not looking for an arraignment date. We will not be sending al Qaeda subpeonas. With any luck, we'll be sending them more drones."