This morning we received news that Anwar al-Awlaki was killed by a CIA drone in Yemen.
Already there are those who are condemning this act of justice as a violation of Awlaki’s American civil rights. They argue that he should have been tried for treason and brought to justice that way.
I agree, if he had been arrested. In fact all traitors are, like any other citizen afforded the rights to trial by jury. That is a good thing.
So, if this is the case, how can I support the work of David Petraeus and the CIA?
Despite the fact that Awlaki was a United States citizen from New Mexico this death was not punishment for crime. This death was not because he was a traitor.
Awlaki was targeted by the CIA because he was an enemy combatant in a war. And congress authorized this conflict against the organization Al-Qaeda.
Whether you agree with the War on Terror, there are battles and casualties. This man should have (and likely would have) received a proper trial if he was arrested. He would have been charged for high treason. But he put himself into the war as an enemy combatant.
It is not a constitutional crisis. He put himself there, and died on a battlefield of this strange war.
All involved in this small victory ought to be commended. (Except, of course the Awlaki)