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How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?
October 27th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The U.S. government has killed three American citizens with drone strikes in Yemen over the past month. Three.

They include the al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, another al Qaeda member and Al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman.

The teenager born in Colorado was killed in a drone strike that targeted and killed a prominent militant along with several others. It's unclear if the youngster was a militant himself.

But whether he was or not, the silence coming from the U.S. government regarding his death is deafening.

U.S. officials will only say they didn't know the teen was hit with that al Qaeda member. Otherwise, they have not commented on the drone strike. No one is taking responsibility for his death.

The U.S. drone campaign is becoming an increasingly controversial part of its national security policy. The secretive airstrikes have killed hundreds of foreigners in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.

But this case is different, it includes an American teenager killed by the United States in a country that we're not even at war with.

The Obama administration has justified attacks against al Qaeda members anywhere in the world. In the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki, officials say it was a legal strike because he was planning attacks against Americans.

But not everyone is convinced that killing American citizens anywhere without due process is a good idea. The ACLU has asked for classified documents justifying the killing of the senior Al-Awlaki.

Some, including Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, have even suggested the targeted killing of an American could be an impeachable offense for President Obama.

Here’s my question to you: How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Obama Administration
soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Tom Woolford

    The Imperial Obama Administration does not bother with the inconvienience of following the law. If it can't be done the right way, an executive order, recess appointments, and little things like assanating a US citizen don't bother them in the slightest.

    Beverly HIlls, Fl.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  2. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    They were guilty of treason. Its perfectly legal.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Dave - Phx

    Once you move to a foreign country, start terrorist training, and then plan to attack your old homeland, you are no longer a citizen in my eyes, you are a traitor. If he was killed in Yemen, as far as I'm concerned he was Yemeni.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  4. Steve

    Very simple. If they are overseas too kill and plot to kill US citizens here in the USA, then you kill them before they kill you. It's a no brainer. That's why they are overseas. If they want a fair trial then they should come here voluntarily and receive one if they desire. Your question is just a reason to stir the pot for a debate, which is nothing wrong with it except it brings out the do gooders like the ACLU and protesters that have nothing else to do, or get recognition of the debate publically. This holds true even for politicians like Ron Paul.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  5. Mel - Houston

    I have no problem with it, Jack. If you live by the sword you will die by the sword. These people gave up their allegiance to America a long time ago.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  6. occupy seattle

    quite simply really..they were never supposed to even be inthis country so you and others advocating on there terrorists behalf is a moot point

    October 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
  7. Pat in Michigan

    Very easily Jack! You have a U.S. citizen calling for the wholesale slaughter of innocent U.S.citizens.He has committed treason . The penalty is death.
    If the administration has a problem with that call me I'll do it for free. It's called war.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Dr. Michael D. Knox, Tampa

    No one is above the law and there is no way to justify state sponsored murder. Obama, and all who participated, should be imprisoned for life.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
  9. Ken Victoria BC

    Would the answer be that these individuals are no longer considered US citizens. By engaging in the activities of terrorists are they not turning their back on Citizenship of their home country.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  10. Doug

    When they are an enemy combatant. One should not be able to hide behind their citizenship in a country they hate to avoid the cosequences of attacking said country.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:25 pm |
  11. Pete in Georgia

    Since when has our federal government been able to "Justify" anything the least bit uncomfortable or immoral ??

    October 27, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  12. James (Denver)

    Individual cases may always be made for such an action, but cannot be justified. The 5th Amendment was not meant to have exceptions, it was added to make certain that NO exceptions were made. For once we open the door to possible abuses of executive power, even when we think the case justified, we will have a very hard time closing that door. "It is safer to suppress an error in its first conception than to trust any after correction."–Thomas Jefferson

    October 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  13. fayes Texas

    Because that "US" citizen renounced his citizenship. He was born in the US and lived here for 7 years before returning to the Homeland of his parents. He returned to the US to get an education. He committed treason against the USA and in war time, the penalty for treason is death.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  14. Jerry from Johns Creek, GA

    From the standpoint of the Constitution and the rule of law he cannot justify it. But from the standpoint of what the American people expect of the Commander in Chief he would not be able to justify not killing a mass murder and terrorist when given the opportunity to do so. It is better to ask forgiveness for this breach of the rules of engagement than to apologize at services held at the mass grave-sites of honest law abiding Americans killed by the terrorist due to his inaction to seize the opportunity when he had it.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:39 pm |
  15. Floyd - Crescent City, CA

    Jack-
    You need to ask George W. Bush that question.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
  16. Christopher Marek

    Once you begin to advocate war against, or the overthrowing of, our Government as well as the killing of innocent Americans; you have become a traitor to the United States and loose any and all protections afforded to U.S. citizens.
    To demand change or reform like the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators is one thing as it is a Constitutional right but to condone violence against our entire society makes you an enemy of our Country.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
  17. MNResident

    The same way he justifies every other questionable act in his administration–By "just doing it" and daring anyone to question him without being labeled a "racist" or "extremist". The method has work so far–why change now???

    October 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  18. Jon Campbell

    Jack,

    You are going the same way as Lou Dobbs. Obama alone is not responsible for the capture/killings of our enemies. Wake up! You are starting to sound like you need to move over to Fox Noise.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
  19. s in fl

    What an absurd question. For God's sake, Jack. Which GOP talking point memo are you getting in your e-mails these days?
    The Rove's or the Koch's? I know they're both using it.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  20. John from Alabama

    Jack: When you identify yourself with a terrorist group you should become a target for all nations. The American killed in Yemen was a target, because he made himself a target. If you associate with known terrorist then you might become a target by default. Rockets do not just kill the target, but everyone around the target. This is what happened to the 16 year old and his cousin. Yes, this nation does have the right to take out known terrorist, since 9/11. If it bothers you, Jack, close your eyes, because we have been taking out targets for over 200 years. Citizenship has nothing to do with it.

    October 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
  21. Hawgcaller*

    When they have made threats against the country and are following through with those threats, then they should be considered traitors and treated as such. Traitors have no rights and should be considered the enemy.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  22. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, The doctrine of “Hot pursuit’ allows police to enter a place without a warrant if they suspect a crime has been committed and delay would endanger lives. It’s an urgent matter when an international terrorist is on the run and if he escapes again he will kill again. Obama did not ‘assassinate,” i.e., illegally murder the killer, he acted within the exigency of the moment.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  23. Karl in Flint

    Justify what? Killing an traitor? An enemy of the American people? Forget he is an American citizen. That's what the Bush administration hides behind to avoid arrest. The man as training terrorists to attack this country. Doing so he gave up any protections of American citizenship some political hypocrites may think he had coming. If he was innocent he should have turned himself in and defended himself in a trial. He didn't, he's dead, end of story.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  24. Henry (Colorado)

    This was the first time, (publicly admitted anyway) that an American citizen has been "deprived of life" without "due process of law" by a sitting President. While we may debate about al-Awlaki's status, (and I don't mean to support his actions or statements in any way), we need to make certain to watch any and every breach of our rights and the uses of executive power that seem ever-reaching for an increase of that power. It shouldn't matter if it's Cheney or Obama. We need to be diligent to resist the drift toward despotism.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  25. Ken in Seattle

    Easily. We are not talking about senior citizens from Kansas on a tour of a foreign country here. In the case of Al-Awlaki we are talking about someone who, long ago, left this country with the express purpose of joining a terrorist organization which even then had caused the deaths of numerous Americans. At the time of his death he was a senior member of al-Quida and was known to have contributed to acts of terrorism against United States. The US is justified in targeting members of al-Queda regardless of their country of origin. Ask the friends and loved ones of those killed on 9/11 or in Afghanistan whether or not they think it is justified.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  26. pierre glenn

    Ask family tht was slaughter by the dicator! how many governmnt. decision tht was dne right way.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  27. DAN WILSON

    First of all, any American citizen who advocates terrorism against his own country is guilty of treason. He or she has forfeited their rights. If capture cannot be accomplished, take them out.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  28. Rick McDaniel

    Association with terror targets, is, of itself, sufficient cause to take action, as simply being in the company of known terror targets, makes you a terror target, yourself.

    There are zero apologies warranted.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  29. David of Alexandria VA

    Easy, Jack. Your unmanned drone spots a known terrorist. Your Justice department prohibits you from inquiring about the terrorists citizenship because it might be considered racial profiling. You think - well 95% of the people in the world aren't US citizens. You like the odds. You press the button. The deed is done.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  30. Rich McKinney, Texas

    They will call them enemy combatants who are fair game in the governments sights no mater where they go. When America engages in war there is no right or wrong. Just like all those WMD's that were never found and then all of those innocent people that were killed in Iraq in the name of terrorism. This too will be explained away as collateral damage. While most people world wide would call this murder our government calls it a surgical strike.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  31. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    When an American citizen is known to be guilty of treason, and of plotting to kill his fellow Americans, even an unarmed liberal like myself is fine with taking him out.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  32. Jk from Minnesota

    Jack, if the American born Cleric who moved to Yemen advised another lone wolf assailant who succeeded to kill a large number of US citizens again, would your question have been, "Why didn't the Obama Administration do more to stop this from happening again?" The cleric was incontact withthe Ft Hood Soldier. To me it appears there was enough justificiation. I would say any citizen who has made a permanent move overseas and proof exists that they encourage violence against the US has waived their right to due process.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  33. Jenna Roseville CA

    How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?

    Jack, the guy was an Enemy of the State, renounced his citizenship, gave his allegence to Al Qaeda, plotted and acted on terror plots against the US.

    What our president did was justified and I appreciate him being tough on terror.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    October 27, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  34. May in NY

    The 5th Amendment (referring the federal government) guarantees due process to all U.S. citizens. It states that no person shall be "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Killing U.S. citizens without due process parallels to the deprivation of life. However, if the citizens have been obvious threats and dangers to the nation, the government may deem the executions "necessary and proper" under the elastic clause. There is no simple answer to this question. Who the citizens are and what crimes they committed must be considered.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  35. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Every war ever fought has had deserters,those who change sides for whatever reasons.

    When this choice is made, so too is the choice of the deserters citizenship, the deserter therefore gives up any right to be an American.

    The only thing the administration is legaly guilty of is not mailing him his citizenship disqualification papers.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  36. kim smith, Dodge City, Ks.

    Wow! Due process? Dubya Bush sent thousands of Americans to their deaths without due process, i.e. no declaration of war. Obama wacks one guy that threatened the U.S. directly, and people are worried about due process. That's what I call hypocritical logic to the tenth power.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  37. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,

    They can't. But in the case of al-Awlaki he pretty much denounced his US. citizenship and declared himself an enemy of the U.S. Which along with his other actions made him a prime target.

    This is a very very grey area, and in the future we should give them a trial in abstentia and convict according to the best evidence possible. It is scary.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  38. Kenneth in California

    You don't have to justify that or illegal invasions of sovereign nations with a public that focuses on more important events. TV sitcoms, dancing shows, so called reality shows, and so on to mention a few.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  39. john/omaha

    because the kings word is law. if any other pres. did this we would never hear the end of it. this worthless POS should have been impeached a long time ago.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  40. Ivan, Marion,Ohio

    Jack,George Bush 2 Declared war on Iraq, killing thousnds of America service men and women,and god only knows how many Iraqies,I don't remembering you asking if this was justified.Get off it the man was a traitor, if they fine anymore,they deserve what a traitor gets ,dead, now move on.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  41. Ed from California

    Jack they're combatants/enemy against their own country. I'm against the War"s. I'm not against defending this country against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  42. Loren

    What? If I understand correctly, Al Qaeda operatives were killed during drone attacks. These Al Qaeda operatives happened to hold American citizenship. If you want precedent, maybe someone shoulod look into American citizens who fought on the side of Germany and Japan and were killed. The fact of the matter is Al Qaeda is at war with the U.S. and under U.S. law, the administration has the authority to attack and kill Al Qaeda members, their citizenship is an irrelvancy.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  43. Adeyemi oshunrinade

    Due process what? 3,000 Americans and foreign nationals were killed in NY without Due Process even though we're a civilized nation, a declaration of war on America and joining a foreign force or group to fight against America is enough ground for loss of U.S. Citizenship. Al Awlaki lost his citizenship the moment he declared war on his nation and lost the privilege of being an American for Due Process purposes.
    Adeyemi
    Brooklyn, NY

    October 27, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  44. Ed from MD

    Since he is not a US citizen and occupies the position illegally the rest of the US laws are sort of a moot point.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  45. Steve

    When they have committed treason and are confirmed terrorists! There, I can sound like a Republican candidate for President too, on this issue!

    Vernon Hills, IL

    October 27, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  46. Bill of New Mexico

    Obama does not have the authority!

    But, give the President the authority.
    Rewrite the Constitution.

    Increase my security by giving the President the authority to kill a citizen without due process.

    Increase my security
    -by increasing the surveilance without warrants.

    I firmly want my security improved.

    Just, don't take away my gun.

    Rewrite all of the above changes into the Constitution.

    Give the President the authority to increase my security!

    Just don't take away my gun.

    I hope I do not regret this.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  47. Thinkforyourself, OK

    Who knows? How does the Administration justify the destruction of the United States as we know it? How does the Administration justify Fast and Furious, the perpetration of Class Warfare, the never ceasing divisiveness, Solyndra, Cash for Clunkers, Obamacare, ad infinitum.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  48. Carl

    If you haven't noticed yet, Obama, and his followers, are above the law, they do what they please, and to hell with the voting public!!

    October 27, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  49. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    The administration did justify it by affording them the same due process that was given to the Fort Hood victims.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  50. Brad, Portland, OR

    The American citizens in question are soldiers in a foreign army at war with America. You don't put enemy soldiers on trial before you're allowed to shoot at them.

    The only reason that people even raise this question is because with the rise of stateless terrorist groups, the nature of war looks different than it has traditionally. The bad guys don't wear uniforms, and they hide among civilians. They don't fight on battlefields away from the populace; on the contrary, they go out of their way to hurt civilians on both sides to instill terror.

    This leads some people to think we're fighting a criminal group, like the Mafia, and should put its members on trial as common criminals, rather than understanding that they're soldiers with no ethics who commonly commit war crimes in their targeting of civilians.

    If these people want to be put on trial, a war crimes trial, all they have to do is surrender. Then they can have their trial.

    October 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
  51. Annie, Atlanta

    That's simple. When they recruit members to kill US citizens and attack US interests. It's called terrorism. I will forever regret that we had an administration that laughed off the threat of a direct attack on our country, and wonder what could have been had they not.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  52. Patsy, Texas

    Well, Mr. Cafferty, could it be that this guy.....
    1. Was considered the number one terrorist threat against the United States and the first American citizen added to
    the CIA "kill" list in April 2010..............didn't hear a peep from the critics then.
    2. Called on Muslim servicemen to kill their fellow soldiers in a video taped in May 2010.......
    3. Praised the so-called "underwear" bomber in the same video.
    4. Believed to be the trainer for the Fort Hood murderer who killed 13 people
    Or, that he was obviously a traitor to his Country and mean.
    This is more justification than is needed, and I'm glad he is gone. His so-called 'American pal", to put it simply, was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Boo-hoo.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  53. Ed in Harrisburg

    If a US citizen is an enemy combatant...off with their heads if they are engaged in acts of war and terror. Alwaki was not exercising his right to petition his government with his grievances, he was a general on the other side in the war on terror and a legitimate enemy target. He declared war on us and paid the ultimate price. Good riddance

    October 27, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  54. carlos Magallanes

    A better question is " What is the justification of any of the following: the death penalty, or war and its killing field of both the civilian and the soldier. The death penalty too often ends the lives of the innocent. War is usually brought on society by fat,old men who commonly dismiss the horrors they bring. Killing an American citizen who is abroad for political reasons becomes moot.

    Carlos Magallanes
    Pasadena,Calif

    October 27, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  55. Michael Bindner, Alexandria VA

    We are waging covert war in Yemen against al Queda, who is waging covert war on us, which is essentially what terrorism is. American citizens are as subject to being killed in such a war as if they joined the other side in a shooting war. Having to separate citizens from non-citizens in the battle space makes war impossible and hazardous to our troops. There is no due process right to wage war on the United States and not exect to be killed in the act.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  56. chris

    this woulf no be a big deal if this was a dictator or sholoist gotvt bus sice we are in america where there is due process then yes it shoud not be done and something needs to be done about it

    October 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  57. Chuck Hendrix in Jasper, Ga.

    Jack,

    It can't justify it. What sets the U.S. apart from the rest of the world is our history of due process among other rights this countries citizens have because of our Constitution. Actions such as this, show to the world ....we are the same as everyone else. Not exactly what this country should be doing is it? Not if we want to be the leader of spreading Democracy and Freedom as our leaders spew as reasoning for intervention in Foreign countries. BTW I am a medically retired veteran so being anti-American is not what my position is based on although I am certain a lot of people would make that assumption.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  58. Tony From Southport, NC

    King Obama can do as he pleases and doesn't need Congress, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights or the American people to give him permission. As he said to John McCain...."We won the election." The arrogance of this man is only superseded by his love for himself.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
  59. Clephas from Austin, TX

    It's very simple... people feel unsafe. People are finally realizing that all gun control laws do is leave weapons in the hands of criminals while stripping regular people of the ability to effectively defend themselves. Looking at it from that perspective, is it really any surprise that gun control's popularity is falling?

    October 27, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  60. diridi

    Due process is not applicable to Terrorist of Al Quida, ISI, Laskar ToE'ba, etc, There is an exception to the law. If you have gone to law school, these elaborations, will be explicit some times implied. Only Judges know this how to twist them and apply. It will read as save as otherwise....So, nothing wrong with it. Obama2012.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  61. Nate NC

    Simple Jack. "Oops, my bad.... I was aiming for the terrorists!"

    October 27, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  62. John Blythe

    I think the hypocrisy in this country is breathtaking. I'm no supporter of Bush or Obama, but I remember when everyone was up in arms over water boarding terrorists who weren't U.S. civilians; now we have America born terrorists getting killed with drone strikes under Obama, and now there is barely even a peep out the same critics! So it begs the question. Are we going to live in an American rule of law? An international rule of law? Are we exempting presidents because of their political party? Something's wrong with this picture Jack, I don't like it!!

    John in Los Angeles, California

    October 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  63. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    The US Constitution suspends due process for War, foriegn invaders and treason. George Washington executed his own troops for treason. This guy was a rat that deserved the very best of American million dollar smart bombs. Best money Obama has spent in my opinion. The same Constitution denies rights to those crossing our borders illegally.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  64. Paul P.

    For the same reason people allowed their liberties to be curtailed under the Patriot Act, and for the same reason we allow ourselves to be violated and treated with suspicion at the airports everytime we fly. When it comes to terrorism and security, normal rules of law do not seem to apply, whether they're American or not.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  65. Dave, Orlando, FL

    Come on, these were enemy combatants guilty of treason against the United States and engaged in active warfare against me and every other real US citizen. They succeeded in killing thousands of Americans and have sworn not to rest until they kill all of us. I call it self defense. We have killed people for far less. As far as the teenager goes, that is truly unfortunate, but that happens too many times in real life. Even the Bible notes that “the sins of the father are visited upon the son.”

    October 27, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  66. Russ in PA

    Simply put, you can't justify it. The rule of law – and property rights – were supposed to be a cornerstone of the American Republic, but it appears that the Constitution is truly just a piece of worthless paper to those in power, regardless of the party. Truly change that we can believe in, right?

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    October 27, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  67. Sean in Michigan

    We've been drinking the fear kool-aid since 9-11. Mention terrorism and we'll sacrifice our privacy rights and excuse killing American citizens who are a threat. There is no justification really. Since when has our government needed any?

    October 27, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  68. Doug

    We all know the Government can indict a ham sandwich, and now the question is, can the Government drone a Ham Sandwich? The Government will say they can, if that Ham Sandwich is a terrorist that has helped to kill American citizens, and was actively plotting to do more harm. The decision to be an active terrorist assumes the abdication of ones citizenship, so the citizenship issue really is irrevelant. Since the government wasn't going after the kid, they will say the kids death was an unfortunate accident. I am more worried about our rights as citizens here at home. You can see our citizens getting beaten daily on occupy livestream tv every day now. To bad CNN doesn't have any camera crews in the USA. Doug. Pepperell, MA.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  69. Sylvia from San Diego

    I am 100% behind this administration's choice to take out traitors... It is justifiable in the name of "treason". Those who profess their loyalty and committment to terrorist organizations needs to be taken out before they do harm to our nation!

    October 27, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  70. Craig

    I am very concerned aout this and glad youve brought it up for discussion. What next arrests without warrants? convictions without trials? Oops, I forgot, thats all covered under the Patriot Act.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
  71. Mr. D

    Welcome to modern warfare. Whoever said it had to be personal. Got to go, hear a drone overhead.

    October 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  72. Dee, New York

    They don't have to justify it because this administration gets a pass on everything.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
  73. MYSTEROIUS

    Oh, I don't know. Maybe because they were enemies of out beloved country, in which they harbored intentions on maming and killing Americans?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  74. Donna Wisconsin

    I am SO sick of Obama Bashing! You must be a Republican, Jack because you are so against this man! The man he took out was a terroist and he was never going to come here for 'due process'. Bush and Cheney committed so many things that wasn't 'right' and no one even said "IMPEACH". How about some equal time for the things he is doing right? How about the polls that show Americans are FOR his jobs plan? The polls show Americans want the 1% to pay more of their fair share! At least he has a plan and it is not the same old answer "NO".

    October 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  75. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Frankly, Jack, I don't see how Obama needs to justify his decisions just because someone like Ron Paul is talking impeachment. If the teenager was associating with known terrorists, then whether he was actually planning attacks himself, or even possibly providing them with targets to attack, he was fair game. If terrorists are prepared to sacrifice themselves to kill innocent people, then due process is a word they don't recognize. Frankly, Ron Paul should just jeep his mouth shut

    October 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  76. valerie johnson jacksonville fl.

    jack, my qustion is: how can they justify killing u.s citizen every chance they get. ourjob is to kill those who kill us. maybe AL-AQEADA son was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  77. Russell in LA

    Same way they justify everythying else the government does jack. SHUT UP SLAVE IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!!! American Citizens are property jack they have no rights.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  78. Ralph Nelson

    Why is a person arrested for screaming "Fire!" in a crowded movie house or dance hall? To save the lives of the majority. It's a judgment call for the welfare of the people, but I believe the Supreme Court would back him. The Bill of Rights supports individual liberties, not the right to engage in mass murder.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
  79. Eric in Houston

    Anything is an impeachable offense since impeachment is inherently a political process. The President arguably has the authority to kill anyone who represents a clear and present danger to the security of the US and its citizens, even an American citizen overseas. He simply has to convince enough of us that it was necessary so that impeachment is not a viable option. In this case he has at least convinced me, though I agree it would have been nice if he and others like him could have been captured. Too bad Al-Awlaki didn't turn himself in when he heard he was targeted, but his choice. Ron Paul can take his best shot at impeachment, though the discussion is at least valuable.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  80. ken, atlantic city, nj

    He can't, he is a sadistic war monger, who seems to think it is ok to order assasinations, and drone attacks on anyone he considers to be evil. Congress needs to impeach him immediately.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
  81. Devon Myers

    Are you serious ? He obviously commited treason. Any republican in Presideent Obama shoes would have done the same exact thing, if President Obama passed that up he would have been seen as weak, but ever since President Obama has been in office he has always been criticized no matter what he does, so this is not surprising. Back on the subject, You shouldn't use your citizenship to hide behind if you dont want to face the consequences. Its justified, get over it

    October 27, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  82. Hugh Sherry; New Jersey

    Just imagine if a country like...say Iran...came over here and tried to assassinate somebody on our soil...of course it could never happen, but...if it did, imagine how we'd feel.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  83. Jeff In Minnesota

    Let's see ... We ask them to turn themselves in to the Federal Marshalls at any international airport in the US. Or, my other favorite. We send Federal Marshalls to where they are and hunt them down to bring them to the US for trial. Let's be serious, neither of these are going to happen, so we're stuck with drones and killing them surreptitiously.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  84. Paulette in Dallas

    My Father used to say,"You only have to be there." This kid's parent put him in danger and in the line of fire. They weren't happy with our country then I see this unfortunate incident as collateral damage.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  85. RickFromDetroit

    As far as I am concerned there is not any justification for this. I have said for years that our drones that were built for military applications are nothing more than a government owned terrorist weapon that doesn't have any practical military use and the type of applications that the military is using it for would be the same as calling in an air strike for someone who just robbed a gas station, and hope we hit the right vehicle driving down the street.

    wikileaks showed a drone attack in Pakistan where they killed 7 people and 2 of them were news reporters, and there are probably many more incidents where innocent civilians have been killed and we don't know about it.

    We have missiles that will fly past any drone we have and we don't need drones for conventional warfare.

    The military should turn their drone technology over to the private sector and install the equipment in commercial aircraft. Then we can have one pilot on the ground flying a half dozen planes, and use the savings to equipment the aircraft with sky marshals. This would be a real deterrent to terrorists.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  86. David Doherty

    If bush can justify the war in Iraq, which killed thousands of Americans, unjustly I might add, with no consequences, to him anyway, we and the Iraqi on the other hand suffered huge consequences. Surely President Barack Obama can kill a few crimmnials that were created from this whole mess trying to clean up what mut and jeff started.
    Dave from NH.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  87. yup

    All I have to say is.......good shot

    October 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
  88. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Apparently, he thinks he was elected dictator.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  89. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    I would assume that there is some process to put an American citizen on the "Kill or Capture" list. While I'm uncomfortable that they did not have their day in court I think that it would be similar to convicting someone of treason in absentia. Of course there is always the "slippery slope" argument which leads to poems like: First they came for the terrorists but I did nothing because I was not a terrorist. The they came for the Muslims...

    October 27, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  90. VistaPoint

    Anyone waging an open war (not just verbal war but armed war) against the country lose their constitutional right. People are killed everyday by our police when they hold up banks or conduct armed robbery; we do not bother about constitutional rights. This guy sitting in Yemen and sending terrorist to attack us and you are sitting in your high perch at CNN and questioning the commander-in-chief. While you have rights for your opinion, I am sorry to say you are way off mark in most of your recent comments. Maybe it is time for you to take a break.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  91. Gigi Oregon

    When you get to close to fire the chances are you will get burned. You might even die. Has anyone in the US who was put to death in prison for a crime and found to be innocent, Has the incompetent court system been brought before the Supreme courts? I guess we could just ignore it. Did George Bush pay a price for killing our soldiers by sending them into the wrong country, oops! Maybe this well tell our citizens and open their eyes, don't go there...

    October 27, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  92. Bob T - Southfield, MI

    Al-Awlaki denounced his American citizenship, was functioning as a terrorist, and he most certainly knew that if he was in close contact with his son that the child's life would be in danger. Al-Awlaki made these decisions on his own and since when have the right wingers become so compassionate for the terrorists that they loved to kill when Bush ran the show? I usually agree with the ACLU but not on this one.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  93. Dan K

    Jack, this new breed of terrioristic warefare must be fought under new rules! I think Pres. Obama has every right to single out leaders of terrorists groups threatening our country and wiith most elected officials (except from certain conservitive groups) in aggreement I feel he is doing the right thing. These particular people were after all,traiters to our country as well as terrorists! It is about time someone had the balls to do this!! We didn't declare this war but sadley,as with any war, many innocent citizens get killed! Eg:9-11

    October 27, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  94. Ali

    Americans; I just don't understand the way some of you guys think. Over the years I've grown to love you Jack but it seems you are now showing your real colours. It seems to me American lives are far more precious than that of a Pakistani or an Afghan. How many innocent foreign infants have your Government slaughtered in the name of war on terror and no one complained about it. When your leader now tries to protect you from any future terror attack by your fellow citizen you complain. Americans.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  95. Greg

    It is no different than a policeman shooting a subject who is about to commit a murder. Don't the Republicans have better things to do than search for loopholes that make this president look bad?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  96. dave0 minnesota

    The obama administration? jeeze this has been going on for year before that..... but i guess its more convienient for you to bring up when someone you dont like is on power.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  97. Rich in Gainesville FL

    Ah come on, Jack. Don't you know? There are no limits to the war powers of the president. The constitution be damned.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  98. Tracy W

    When you declare yourself an enemy of the United States, then all bets ar off the table, even if you are a US citizen. Get off your high horse, Jack.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  99. John N Florida

    I noticed nobody has asked George Bush if he would have done it differently. I also notice the lack of the same question to Dick Cheney. If the family was worried about his safety, the kid would have stayed home. The last news report I've read, there have been no drone strikes in Denver.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  100. calaurore9

    We have gone down the slippery slope but when slimy creatures crawl up the hill to get our guys, we will be outraged. Who defines bad guys?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  101. GC1CEO

    I think its easily argued that they renounced their American citizenship as part of the process of joining a terrorist group considering that as part of the process they have definitely renounced their loyalty, for that example would you make the same argument for a police officer who kills a suspect in a shoot-out?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  102. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio

    Mr. Cafferty:

    To be clear, the controllers inside the beltway are not idiots, fools, morons or any of the like including Mr. Obama. No doubt the killings are to establish a program of success by preempting attacks with information no doubt as reliable as the WMD scheme. As far as killing American Citizens, I am sure it is just to establish a precedent, and anyway it is good press during the run, no excuse me, the helter skelter of campaigning.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  103. Josh from New Jersey

    They don't need to. Any American with common sense knows we can't get back a life. So if it's a choice between a terrorist or an innocent American...what's your choice?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
  104. jnpa

    We are fighting a war on terror. To quote General Sherman during the civil war: "War is hell"

    October 27, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
  105. firebird

    Good for them, When the joined this group as far as I am concerned they gave up their claim to be an American. The made their choice, and they got their just rewards. Good Job. Don't stop now.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  106. JJC

    I think some are missing the point of the question. This was done without due process. You cannot state that a citizen has given up their rights when they plan to attack the U.S. if indeed they have never been convicted of the crime. This is NOT treason until they are convicted of treason. There should be a trial, they can be tried without having to be there, and then if convicted we can respond. But the power to punish a citizen without having to convict that citizen goes against our core beliefs and is very dangerous. And I am a fan of most of the decisions made by this administration.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  107. Paul in Santa Monica

    Why does it matter if they are US citizens or not? It's ok to kill people who aren't citizens but being a US citizen puts some sort of global protective envelope around you? It is a nonsensical question.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  108. JR White Bear Lake MN.

    Their is no bigger enemy to the USA then al Qaeda. They have killed thousands of or citizens and cost us trillions. When join up with al Qaeda you are al Qaeda 1st.....US citizen 2nd. WANTED al Qaeda....Dead or Deader.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  109. Ty Northcutt

    If you are a citizen and staying with a known Terrorist who is a target then you are considered collateral damage. I don't believe it would be right to put the US Citizen at risk if he or she were not suspected of Terrorist activities themselves. But assaination by drone can't determine exactly who is near the target. It is sad a Teen died, because he may not have known the extent of danger he was in staying with a known Terrorist. An adult in that situation I would say too bad.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  110. Marine from the Carolinas

    I don't think there should be a question. If anyone anywhere is planning to attack innocent people of any nationality and we can prevent it by sending a strike on their head then proceed. They would not give any of you the same "justice" some weak hearted people would like to think. Fight fire with fire. Semper fi

    October 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  111. Bill Vick

    It is a slippery slope to kill citizens abroad without ample justification. First, have your proof of treachery well in hand. Next, a process should be put in place to make them "outlaw" and subject to punishment without court conviction. Provide ample time and opportunity for them to return to the US for a trial. If they fail to do so, then they can be captured or killed based on the situation in which they are found. End of story.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  112. Anthony

    Mr. Cafferty, maybe we should allow such a "Citizen" to roam free and plot terrorist acts just like Tim McVeigh? It is easy in these matter to take a "Monday Morning Quarterback" approach about what we should have done rather than be a voice of reasoning while the situation is happeing. They killed this man despite his residency because he was conspiring with terrorist to destroy this country. If you think not you are always welcomed to go with your "Olive Branch" to Afghanistan and sees what happens to you!

    October 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  113. Mark from New Jersey

    Who cares? Did you want to send the FBI into Yemen to arrest him? You can't. They operate only within the US. The real purpose of this question is to cast aspersions at Obama. I'm much more concerned with the violations of the intent of the Constitution by the Patriot Act, against truly innocent US civilians. Not to mention the selling of our way of life by corporate control of public policy. THAT is real treason, and it is now technically legal.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  114. Jesse

    Citizen or not, being a terrorist and living in another country doesn't mean you get the same due process. Should have thought about that before choosing said "career" path. Just my $0.02

    October 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  115. Linda in Arizona

    He doesn't have to justify a thing. He's the president, therefore he's above the law. The Constitution doesn't apply to him. Remember what Nixon said: "If the president does it, it's not illegal."

    October 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  116. Ashley in KY

    Haven't we learned anything yet? The United States can get away with anything when it involves "eradicating terrorism. "

    October 27, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  117. Randy

    The same way they allow peaceful protestors to be arrested without one dual citizen bankster even questioned about a world wide ponzi scheme. The same way they help banksters loot the treasury for trillions of dollars while having nerve enough to lie about social security going broke. The American system of government itself is broken when both houses and the president are mere doormen for the rich and corporations. Until the money is out of politics, you will have this shell of a democracy being played out on a daily basis in front of the people.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  118. EDEX in Atlanta

    Jack! i think it's time for you to retire cos your questions are beginning to really get on my nerve

    October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  119. Glenn L

    the people who were killed DESERVED to be killed. they would've kill you or me or any of us if given the chance, and that should be the measuring stick we use. if they're a danger, kill them. good riddance.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  120. Dan in Albuquerque

    what alternative is there..wait until he was successful in a third attempt at mass murder of Americans, then wait for months until he is sentenced in absentia, then hope he has stayed in the same place all that time so we can get hiim? Get real. Terrorist killers deserve anything that happens to them, regardless of nationality.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  121. Wendy

    If you choose to renounce your country and work to attack it and kill US citizens...well as our parents have always said, guilt by association. If you are going to go stand in the middle of a combat zone and then cry about getting shot? This article was a waste of brain cells.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  122. John from Cape Coral

    Rule to live by....don't stand near terrorists or you can get blown up with them when drone attacks occur.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  123. rene

    The GOP are like the boy who cried wolf. Nobody listens to your complaints about Obama any more except for other hopelessly delusional Gop'ers. You would blame him if he let the terrorists go free and you would blame him if he did away with them. It doesn't matter what he does in your eyes. Fortunately, it doesn't matter what you say in everybody else's eyes either!

    October 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  124. John

    Lincoln shot US citizens on the White House lawn...because they were traitors.
    George Bush slaughtered 100 thousand plus citizens in the Mid-East...oh yeah...they don't count because they are not White, Not Christian and Not American.

    Obama murdered 2 al Qaeda operatives and one of their children.
    Given our past...that's not that bad.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  125. Wendy

    OH and by the way, the ONLY reason drones are an issue with the "other side" is because THEY DONT HAVE THEM! There is one thing China or Russia hasnt stolen yet.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  126. 9-11 Responder

    Really Jack? Due process? Oh yeah, let me see... we wait till he is successful in taking down an airliner, then we send in the cops to go arrest him. We presented a clear and present danger. If he was innocent, don't you think he would have turned himself in with a lawyer to defend his name? If I knew I was the most wanted man in the world, and I was innocent, you're damned right I would have before I got bombed. You're a New Yorker, Jack, come on! Look out your office window to the south and tell me what you don't see!!!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  127. Sid

    The USA is built not on due process nor human rights but rather on hypocrisy. EVERYBODY knows this. Blacks were considered 4/5 human for 60 years after we ratfied the Constitution. Women weren't equals until the ERA.

    If we want someone dead we kill them.
    If we want a piece of land we claim blight and seize it.
    If you practice a religion that requires that you arm yourself we burn you and your children to death.

    I say WE because WE ARE THE US GOVERNMENT!

    If you don't like what WE are then please feel free to quit voting for 2 party tyrrany.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  128. Andrew in Duluth MN

    Collateral damage. You put yourself in that situation, bad things may happen. Lesson: Stay out of hostile environments and you will probably be okay. Perfectly justified in my opinion, we should do nothing.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  129. T. Le

    Both the killing of foreign terrorists Bin Laden and the killings of american terrorists are illegal, per international law and also U.S. law. The U.S. is the country operated by law, but most of U.S. politicans are corrupted and most of the American today are lazy to process the information but want to hear nice things. Legal or not legal now is too much depended on the abilities of the lawyers who can persuate the jury. Similarly, legal or not legal is now too much depended on the ability of the president who can fool the public.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  130. James in the Midwest

    Sorry, but nobody goes to Yemen right now to enjoy the scenery. If he was riding with a well-known militant, chances are that he knew who he was with. Yes, I do have serious concerns about the US killing US citizens in another country. But if you ride around in this country with a mob boss and get killed in a crossfire with the police, nobody will have a lot of sympathy for you.

    It is truly regretable that a 16 year old was killed. All of my children are past the 16 year mark, but 16 year olds tend to be "in the moment", and not really thinking about all of the possible implications. However, in this case you would think that if the father had been recently killed in a drone strike, the son would be more cautious about riding around with another obvious target. I am sorry for the family's loss.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  131. Anchorite

    Listen to you good Christians. A 15 year old child deserved to die because his father was suspected of being a traitor and he was with him? I'm a liberal, and I say try Obama for war crimes right now. Drone attacks outside of the theater of war are illegal, period. Executing suspects without trial, without even indicting them, is illegal, period. Killing noncombatants is illegal. Selling or giving military aid (weapons, training, intel) to a brutal autocrat who kills peaceful democratic activists because he looks out for your interests is illegal. Killing to secure US access to the best foreign military port in the region is illegal and completely immoral.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  132. Jim from Idaho

    Jack, if a person coming from another country wishes US Citizenship, our own process requires that they reject the citizenship of their country of origin (though most countries don't recognize that forced rejection and allow dual citizenship). It seems to me this "American" cleric simply did the reverse.....he left the United States and rejected everything about it including his own citizenship in favor of whatever he did believe in. Now what citizenship he actually claimed (such as Yemeni) I have no idea....but he certainly rejected ours. Therefore when we killed him we were not killing a US citizen....we were killing a foreign national who had declared war on us. No more "due process" necessary.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  133. James PDX

    This article approaches the question as if being an American citizen makes you somehow special and due special treatment. If anything, an American citizen guilty of treason and murdering other American citizens should be treated more harshly. As there was no doubt about the guilt of Awlaki and Osama, their executions were merited. Assuming the 16 year old was not an active participant, his death is unfortunate. But there will always be collateral damage in a war, and a leader in war time, knowing he is a target, should have distanced himself from his son if the child was not an active militant himself. The ACLU, well, they are a bunch of morons who want to live in some perfect world that is impossible. They need to grow up. It would be interesting to see some terrorist organization target them and their loved ones and then see how they react when the US doesn't do anything to bring them justice. Extremists of any type always turn out to be hypocrites in the end.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  134. Boo

    Geez Jack, obviously they were designing WMD!

    October 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  135. realist

    Outside the US? In a hostile country? Known association with terrorists? Absolutely!! Fast and hard.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  136. Paul

    Oh come on! This premise is not true. Police kill people all the time while running from them or during the commission of a crime! There's plenty of precedence in here.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  137. Jeff in New Mexico

    It was enough due process that our government considered Anwar Al-Awlaki to be a traitor and an active threat to us in this unconventional war. I have no problem with our killing him. As for his son, he was not a named target, but no one who is in the immediate vicinity of terrorists should feel safe, and no apologies are necessary. Good for President Obama.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  138. Geoff

    The very point of due process is to prove that a person has committed the crimes of which he or she is accused. Many of the responses here say that the administration's actions are justified because of the treasonous crimes Al-Awlaki committed. But how do we know about those crimes? We were told about them by our government and the media. So by logical extension, those who justify Al-Awlaki's killing must also agree that as long as government and the media state that a person is guilty of a crime, there is no need for due process either within our borders or without. I marvel that so many who harbor virulent distrust of government when it comes to their taxes don't think nearly as long and hard about the powers they freely cede to their government in matters of liberty, life and death. Al-Awlaki's guilt should not be the concern. Guaranteeing the right to due process should, because when we start picking and choosing when that right applies, it is already gone.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  139. dudley0415

    Seems like it would be more legal; citizens overseas seeking to use off shore forces to destroy the US and change the entire culture to one that is dangerous and unfamiliar. Treason, pure and simple. If a revolution is wished we have constitutional methods in place for that, peacefully. We can change the whole fabric of the government if we want to – through the ballot box and activism. I don't think they're protected, at all.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  140. mslulu

    I think it pales in comparison to all of the innocent citizens that died abroad while Bush was in charge. There seemed to be no regard whatsoever for innocent human lives, whereas at least I think Obama is working hard to minimize innocent casualties in our continuing efforts to eliminate terrorists abroad. So I think the killing of any innocent lives is unwarranted, but if the person is in the proximity of a terrorist then they may expect to be possibly included in the target.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  141. John in Virginia

    There is no justification. These men were never proven guilty. They were executed without any due process because they passed some standard of "evilness" and that apparently strips a US citizen of his civil rights. I think the world is probably better off without them around, but to hide behind the tired "ends justified the means" defense is frightening. This is ten times worse than the Patriot Act. How long before they attempt something like this on US soil?

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  142. Bert

    So they are not commenting about the 16 year olds death, or should the US pipe up and brag like Bin Ladin did about about all the people he killed in the twin towers on 9/11? We haven't even began to fight terror. Enough said.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
  143. gman007

    If the subject has vowed to destroy the government or kill it's citizens, absolutely. He has forfeited his constitutional protections for actively engaging in the attempted overthrow of the government through violence.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  144. Albert Weicker

    I don't believe Obama had the authority to execute either of the US citizens killed in the attack. The 5th Amendment provision oft cited in defense of the killings apply only to those in the military during times of war... not to civilians.

    Many commentors here on this blog and across the country excuse Obama's actions by claiming Al-Awlaki was guilty of treason; if this is the case, we shoukd have captured and tried him in court. When found guilty of treason or whatever other related crimes, he would have faced the death penalty. Habeas corpus exists to protect us all, and to ensure that only the truly guilty are punished accordingly. But it isn't surprising that Obama has disregarded yet another law. Our presence in Libya has been in violation of the War Powers Resolution for months now... President Loophole has no respect for Congress, the Constitution, or the American people.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  145. travis, california

    jack, if these people fight for a foreign military or foreign military organization they can lose their citizenship, so the president is doing nothing wong and it is completely justified. It is considered treason.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  146. Harold, Phoenix,AZ.

    Where have you been?,Jack Study our history, we kill anyone anywhere we want too. Do a short study of our policies since World War two. I think the research will nullify your question. Honestly, I often question the understanding of those who have never worn the military uniform.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  147. Josh

    Option A: Kill the terrorist, and have people question their misinformed logic on the legality of the terrorist's death.
    Option B: Be "politically correct", not killing the terrorist, and the terrorist lives to kill another day. And what happens if the terrorist's next target happens to be the building you are flying that "unmanned" aircraft from? War is a kill or be killed occupation, and when it comes down to it, you not pulling the trigger (or pressing the button) could mean the last time you get the choice.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  148. Patrick - Hampstead, Maryland

    Jack- OBAMA has to clean up the mess that Bush and Cheney created around the World. War with Islamic Jihadists is part of that mess. If there are Americans in places they should not be, like a War Zone, then it is their own fault for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. OBAMA is trying to end this the best way he can and in War there is always collateral damage. Thats why I hate it.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  149. serena

    Obama is a smart guy even if he does not act like one. He knows that to pin responsibility on Al Qaida for 9-11 is a scientific impossibility. He is just carrying on this game for his bankster masters. Some people have no conscience, even to take innocent life.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  150. James PDX

    Another good question is, were we at war with this terrorist group? If so, you don't need any due process to kill an enemy combatant – especially one who has joined the enemy.

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  151. roberto amado-cattaneo

    Look they came hre and killed 3000 Americans. Anybody involved in any terrorist action against the U.S. is fair game period. Roberto

    October 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  152. nickc1969

    So if Sean Penn goes to Venezuela and the U.S. president at the time determines that Penn is supporting a gov't that is hostile to the United States, I guess the president can unilaterally find him guilty of treason and send in a drone to take him out. Why not? Or maybe some people think only Obama can decide who the "right" Americans to kill are.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  153. Kanageloa

    How can you not justify killing of U.S. citizens that have become "enemy combatants?" If you are a gutless, milk breath girly man then you need to move over and let realists take charge because there are real people with real plans that want to kill you and me because we have freedom. Got it?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  154. Boston Lu

    It is in the United States right to use deadly force on enemies ploting to kill innocent americans. Let's just say if he was not killed, and then executed an attack which killed innocent Americans, then what would be said about the Obama administration for not taking action. Treason is treason plain and simple. What if Osama B was a U.S. citizen? Why is this even an issue Jack? He was a terrorist case closed! By the way jack nice tie.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  155. claude350

    When i joined the military back in the 70's I took an oath the defend this country against all enemies foreign or domestic. No where did it say we're only to capture them and bring them to justice. I'm suprised that our slack politicians that were in the military don't remember this oath that they took and bring it to light.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  156. Ernesto

    What is all this discussion about...Yes they were U.S. Citizens and as U.S. Citizens thay have the same right afforded any American soldier who turns against his country in time of war..."EXCECUTION AS A TRAITOR"...If anything their right as U.S. Citizens were preserved!!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  157. Holden

    Easily, once they turn their back on our country and put other citizens and our military at risk, these people become "enemy combatants" and are subject to whatever the greatest military fighting force in the history of the world can dish out. Good riddance.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  158. Tool

    To be guilty of treason you have to be tried in a court of law and decided that you have done the things charged against you. You may think George Bush and Obama have the ability to divine guilt or innocence from a drone plane armed with missiles but they cant. That is why we have 3 branches of gov't so we cannot unilaterally murder our own citizens on a hunch! Even if they were 100% guilty that is for the courts to decide not the executive branch. This madness was started under the Republicans anyway after 9/11. Before you blame Obama look to who let the Genie out of the bottle.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
  159. Cheeseskreist

    Let's cut the charade of living by a Constitution.

    At least no one will accuse us of being hypocrites.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  160. MyTake

    I think they both should have been tried "in absentia". That being said, the threat of destruction of the US and the apparent means to, in part, carry out acts of terrorism is pretty clear cut for me ... the world is better without them.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  161. Bob

    A terrorist is a terrorist – No matter from which country he/she is from and where he/she was born. They are not citizens. They are TERRORIST.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  162. MagnumPIE

    Who cares if they're US citizens or not? They have joined a terrorist organization that has declared war on the US. Therefore, they have declared war on the US and it is the US duty to kill them before they harm more US citizens.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  163. MDaniels

    The deaths of enemy combatant traitors as collateral damage doesn't require any further justification.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  164. Tool

    Unfortunate Death JamesPDX? I hope that when your son or daughter is murdered b/c you were a SUSPECT (no trial yet) then you feel that it was equally simply unfortunate.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  165. Vhan Wolfe

    More comments : Ignore rationality, go with feelings instead! Just think of 911!!!11!!1!, there, now you can murder anyone without due process.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  166. 1984

    I am sickened by how few people here understand and appreciate CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, and sickened by how many here are HAPPY to give them up for BLOOD LUST and WAR.

    Is this 1936 again? Looks like it will be 1944 soon and USA is the FACIST STATE!

    Without our FREEDOM and LIBERTY what is the point of defending this country?
    Can't you see "the President" is becoming a DICTATOR? Wake up folks!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  167. sam delray beach fl

    How can he be extradited from a country without such a treaty.? Does this person therefor go free? A " citizen " who fights with another county against the USA is , by law, a traitor, and by me as well as others -" fair game ".

    October 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  168. Sandstone.

    "Would Obama go as far as killing his own kin, to hide his own past? I think he would! Those enemies of the USA, have known for many years that Obama was chosen to infiltrate the USA's insecure foundation, Now you need to really go back to the last century, and look into how your Top Brass could have let this happen."

    October 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  169. Mohammad, Washington, D.C.

    The real question everyone should be asking is: who can the United States NOT kill? Seems like everyone is fair game under the Presidency of a man who campaigned on closing Guantanamo Bay and civil trials for suspected terrorists.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  170. Ben in Toronto, Canada

    A better question might be this: How can Americans be so naive as to think that killing people without showing evidence of guilt is a good thing? Obama's administration did not present evidence to a grand jury or even a judge. No communications to any court, public or secret... Yes, he probably was a bad guy, but probably just isn't good enough. The Salem witches were presumably dangers to the public, too. What do you think is more scary, Satan's brides next door who will drag you to hell or some crackpot cleric thousands of miles away? Even the Salem witches got a trial (a sham trial, but a trial nevertheless). "Oh it will never happen to me." Oh yeah? Good luck with that.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  171. Sarah

    No one is trying to defend al-Awlaki's actions. The argument being made is that the precedent this sets allows the president to act as a monarch – declaring the suspect guilty, passing down a judgment and carrying out the punishment without any due process of law. Other terrorists have had trials, there is no justification for President Obama's actions. This could also prevent whistleblowers from speaking out for fear of being labeled a "terrorist."

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  172. Scott

    These acts occurred outside the US. Due process and the constitution do not apply. If these people wanted due process, they could have come back to the US and surrendered.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  173. Scott from Bellingham

    Andrew Jackson set a precedent when as a soldier he stole Florida from Spain at a time when Spain was an American ally. Washington couldn't undo it because of Jackson's immense popularity.

    I think most Americans are contemptuous of children of America that swear allegience to Jihad groups, enough to applaud President Obama despite the fact he is prohibited to by the Constitution to deprive any American of life without due process. He'll get away with it.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  174. George Hot Springs, AR

    First and foremost I'm a yellow dog Democrat. But, it does seem the Obama administration is taking lessons from their predecessors when it comes to security. And we as a country seem to be reveling in the assassinations of Osama bin Laden, Gaddafi and now Anwar Al-Awlaki along with his teenage son. The Colorado teen was "collateral damage." What a shame. Are we still a Christain nation?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  175. Ajay

    al-Qeada is not a country. It is a bunch of people that live not in one place but are spread out all over the world. If our government was to waste time trying to go through due process to justify killing a US citizen who is in association with anyone who wants to harm our citizens, then there is no chance that we will ever be able to kill the real guilty party. All the terrorists will then roam around accompanied by friends or relatives os US citizens. I am happy that President Obama really taking action against all terrorists. Why not indict President Bush on the fact he had a hand in getting US citizens killed in Iraq war under false excuse of wmds?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  176. Heywood Jablowme

    I fail to see the problem here? If a Police Sniper shoots dead a hostage taker holding a gun to the head of a hostage no one screams that the hostage taker deserved due process. In essence Al Queda is holding a gun to the head of an entire nation, and regardless of whether the unit of justice is the bullet from a high powered rifle, or a rocket fired from a drone, justice is being served.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  177. imastarchick

    Uh sorry my liberal friends but get a grip. These guys are making war against US and its citizens everyday. If they are picking up arms and pointing them with love at the US, they know they are gonna get shot dead. Dont cry for their civil rights. What crap.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm |
  178. slc

    Why should I or anyone else care about Due Process for an American or Americans, in a foreign country that harbors and or potentially sponsors terrorism of Americans and its allies? Your either with the Terrorists, or your with us. We all make choices, they made theirs. You deal with the consequences of those choices when a drone finally catches up to you...in this case the consequences of your choices just so happen to be death by drone.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  179. humtake

    Ok, so let me get this straight from you commenters...the US has 'suspicions' that someone is plotting against Americans so they send drones to KILL him and that is OK with you. Yet, Bush passes the Patriot Act that gives the government the right to EAVESDROP people who they have 'suspicions' about terrorism and at that point it is against the law and a terrible thing.

    So, in short, it's OK to KILL someone as long as you don't EAVESDROP on them.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  180. Keith in San Antonio

    Jack, what about the German Americans that went home to fight for the "fatherland" at the outbreak of WWII? They were US citizens. Did our soldiers stop to ask if they were a US citizen on the battlefield, when we joined the war? Hell no. They killed them because they were trying to kill our men. I see this as the same, except we beat them to the punch. Would you rather see more boots on the ground and our young men killed. I hope not!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  181. StMike

    Who really cares!!!!!! These people are dead set on destroying us and we are suppose to be upset about it!!! Who really cares!!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  182. RZA 2011

    The Bush administration sent their lawyers to Israel to find out how to word or phrase assassinations in such a way that they weren't guilty in an international court. Don't take my word for it, google it. Israel has the best lawyers to get away with killing innocent people. I read a book "How Israel Lost" a few years ago. The author interviewed a fighter pilot. The author asked the pilot how he justified killing women and children. His response was that he couldn't control how many people entered the kill zone after the missle left the plane. Before the missle left the plane there was 2 men that were supposed to be killed. When the missle left the plane the intelligence he received changed and the missle killed innocent women and children that entered the kill zone.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  183. Brian Wickremasinghe

    Should have renounced citizenship prior taking up arms against the state. If their actions could result in co-lateral damage on civilians, there is no guilt in taking them out.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  184. Charles Bowen

    If you Hang out with terrorists you Die with Terrorists. America has her share of terrorists and if they are planning atacks on this country then they need to die......... Citizenship in our country does not give anyone the right to attack their Fellow Countrymen. Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm |
  185. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack,

    I don't remember anyone making a fuss over the American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan in the undeclared war started by Bush II and Cheney, so I think you're showing your bias against President Obama by asking this question. And if Al-Awlaki and others in his terrorist cell had succeeded in killing more American civilians or troops, then you'd be screaming about President Obama being weak on terrorists. Sheesh. I think you need to work for Faux News/Fox Noise.

    I don't think he needs to justify it. Al-Awlaki, though a U.S. citizen, left this country, returned to Yemen, and advocated killing Americans. To me, that's treason, and you don't need to justify killing a traitor. I don't know whether the 16 year old was part of a terrorist cell or not, but the fact that he was there means he was associating with them, and oftentimes in war or hostile situation (undeclared war) civilians get killed. They're called collateral damage.

    I won't lose any sleep over Al-Awlaki's death, and knowing that we got him means we're a little safer.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  186. bipar08

    i agree with adex in atlanta, jack it is time to retire think about it ,why would you even ask a question like that?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  187. Ed

    Jack, you dissapoint me. When/if Anwar would have eventually committed a terrorist attack in the US (or abroad) and killed innocent citizens, the uproar would have been on how did we not kill this known terrorist when we had the chance. Come on Jack, let's talk about real issues.

    Montreal, Canada

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  188. Rajiv Shaw

    The US has publicly targeted several extremists. If other people want to hang out with these violent people, they are either serving as human shields , or share their philosophy. I personally would not hang out where I know a hellfire missile may even have the remote possibility of landing.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  189. Patriot

    Why do we care if we kill American (terrorists) citizens abroads. Terrorists have no nationalities. If we can kill pakistanis, Afghanis and terrorists from other countries, why not kill American born/bred citizens abroad. Rules shall be the same.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  190. Cambob

    It is unconstitutional. It is immoral. In a time of war, it is necessary. How do we balance our most imporantant laws and even the moral fiber of our nation against the horror of an enemy determined to murder as many innocents as possible? The answer is simple: we don't find a balance. We do the terrible deed and try to remember that we are the good guys.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  191. Bob San Carlos, CA

    Dillinger and Bonnie and Clyde never got due process either. Any regrets there? No? I thought not.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  192. Cee.La

    If said citizen recieved his training and was involved with a terrorist organization, and came back to the US and used it to kill us in the homeland.....and the US had the opportunity to take him out, and didnt......Can you imagine what hell there would be to pay.....because they did not act........

    October 27, 2011 at 5:10 pm |
  193. Albert Weicker

    If this happened on US soil–a suspected murderer and a car full of passengers were executed, with no attemp o take them peacefully and without them first having provoked the police or shown a weapon–people would be outraged. Why is it okay to blow our citizens up on foreign soil, but not here at home? If we allow this, we are setting a dangerous precedent.

    Sugarloaf Township, PA

    October 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  194. Steve in CA

    One word: "Treason". That's all we need.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  195. Wesley

    During World War II did we not kill the enemy because one of them might be an American citizen? As far as I am concerned they left their citizenship behind when they decided to destroy our country.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  196. steve

    I loath the critics , from both far right and far left, of our president's sensible pragmatism re. killing known terrorists who are beyond the reach of conventional law enforcement apprehension/ trials, but of lethal intent and reach nonetheless..

    The far righties hate Obama for whatever he does ( and is) ...and the far lefties ( such as Noam Chomsky etc.) would dither themselves –and the rest of us– into our graves by refusing to recognize the realities of Islamic radicalism for the bigoted horror show it is in the name of legalistic ( and sophistic) abstractions .

    "Drone on" , Barack O.--you've got my vote in 2012.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  197. Ed Fertik

    All he needs to do his say he's a Democrat. Only Republicans catch flak for doing such things and Democrats get a pass or a second Nobel Peace Prize !

    New York

    October 27, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  198. Thnking Citzn

    Why is this any different from the police shooting an armed citizen threatening them?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  199. Susan NJ

    The 9/11 attacks stepped us closer to living in Nazi America. This President has voted for any abortion bill that has come his way including partial birth abortion. There isin't a person in this country that if they saw someone trying to murder a baby wouldn't try to stop it, but now it's the law in some places. In this State the murder is sometimes committed with scissors! We conduct experiments on human life just like the Naziis in concentration camps. Step by step our human sensitivities are being destroyed. This teen ager killed by the drone is another human casualty of Barak Obama. Some human life is more important than others to him. We have a Constitution that says otherwise.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  200. WDinDallas

    This is the only thing he has done that I approve of. ....if it was him. Congressional oversight committee I would suspect.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  201. Tom Y

    Perhaps regrettable as the taking of any life is. However, individuals named in an arrest warrant that take flight and resist arrest are often killed in an attempt to bring them into custody. Is there a difference here? I think not. Al-Awlaki had to have known that he was being sought and could have remanded himself into custody voluntarily. His flight and failure to surrender is an act of resisting arrest and subject to lethal force, particularly when it was evident that he was a continuing threat to public safety. Question the act in terms of violating a foreign power's national sovereignty, but not the legitimate attempt to stop a suspected felon in flight while believed to be in the act of attempting to commit multiple murders.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  202. Henry

    Traitors to America are not American citizens.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  203. JJ from Boston

    This is no different than a criminal in this country taking up arms against fellow citizens, being told to put down his weapons and surrender, and being terminated with extreme prejudice as a result. Due process is what the criminal makes it. Who are we to argue with a criminal who refuses due process?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  204. Faiz Adam Anders

    Hello,
    Being Afghan-American citizen, my perception of American citizen anywhere in the universe being attacked is legal and makes sense. One cannot be the citizen or have any identity ties with a nation that they call devil and are real threats to Americans here at home and overseas!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  205. Gary H. Boyd

    Forgive me for asking Jack, but with a question like this, have you just joined the ACLU?

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  206. Arjay Thomas

    I think the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the intended target of Flight 93 are more than ample justifications. If you need more, just pick at random any dozen acts of Islamic terrorism perpetrated in the decade since 9/11. Americans who engage in treason and terrorism forfeit their right to be called Americans, and forfeit their rights to life itself.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  207. JHump

    Remember how Afghanistan had an infinite amount of insurgents to wipe out before we would be 'done' over there? Same concept here. Shove a missle down dad's throat and you have another (future) insurgent- his son.

    The US I believe is doing the right thing in trying to help some of these countries out, but it can't ever end. These people have been killing each other over the same sand dunes since before we were even a country and it's going to stay like that until the end of time.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  208. Albert Jackson

    Pretty straightforward, The President took an oath, to defend America and the Constitution, against all enemies, foriegn or domestic, running off to join Al Queda is an action that makes you the enemy, you have no right to expect any different treatment than any other terrorist

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  209. Name*Dennis

    As part of the fifth column, your question is part of the problem. It gives aide and comfort to all who think the Obama administration did anything wrong. The war or terrorism is just that... WAR! Get over it.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  210. Mike

    Jack, we've been at war for the past 10 years now against an enemy who does not care who they kill, be it man, woman or child. Now that the enemy is recruiting American citizens, those that commit treason against our country no longer deserve due process. When they made the decision to take up arms against the US, I believe they forfeit all their rights.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  211. Pamela from Texas

    Jack,
    If we know that these 'citizens' are working against their own country, they are guilty of treason, and that is a crime punishable by death. I'd much rather spend a little money and eliminate them where they are than have them here where trials and posturing by all sorts of fruitcakes will posture and preen before a public already awash in conspiracy theories.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  212. Clay

    Why does the administration have to justify killing U.S. citizens overseas? They need to write a law which states once you go abroad to any country which harbors enemies to U.S. interests then you nullify your right to U.S. protections. If you are in the U.S. and hanging out with drug dealers then you become subject to whatever situation the drug dealer is in. Same principle applies here-if you are associating yourself with enemies of the U.S. then you potentially become a target as well. This is a no-brainer. It is what it is. Stay away from things that can potentially put you in harms way.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  213. Tillie / Texas

    All of the so called "bad people" are where they need to be!!!!!!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  214. Bob

    It has to be either he could not wait on Congress or President Bush.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  215. Ann

    Any American who plots against the government to kill other Americans, isn't that treason? Isn't that why we executed Timothy McVeigh? I'm sorry for his son, but I'm also sorry for all the people that died in 9/11 and all the soldiers that are being killed. We can't have our cake and eat it too.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  216. Jon from Tempe

    This entire idea that Obama did something wrong is complete b.s. These people were enemy combatants that were actively attacking the United States and planning more attacks. They had a chance to surrender and get a fair trial and they turned it down. If I was robbing a convenience store at gun point and a police officer came in to arrest me and I started to turn the gon on the policeman so the policeman shot and killed me could my family sue the policeman for failure to give me due process on my crime? These people were in the act of killing Americans and President Obama took the necessary steps to make sure this did not happen. God Bless Obama!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  217. rick

    Since when has the USA had any qualms about killing people when it suits their program? How many innocent Iraqis killed just so they could get rid of Hussein? On and on it goes. The USA is by far the most violent country in the developed world. Just one of many reasons the majority of the world has had enough of them.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  218. TJ

    Treason voids your due process. And be careful of the company you keep. Would you hang out with a group of people labeled armed bank robbers and expect not to get shot. Really why hang out with people with a price tag on their head.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  219. Albert Watkins

    It's a slippery slope. Assassination of a terrorist leader is one thing, but where does it stop? This isn't a road we want the government to go down. If we allow it, who's to say in a generation or two the government won't be assassinating political dissidents?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  220. StLou

    What the critics are forgetting is that we have a declared war on terrorists. Declared by former President Bush, by the way. The Bush administration would not have thought twice about it. These folks are in countries known to harbor and train terrorist, and were known to be involved in terrorist activities and plots. Doesn't matter what country they are from. It's a war on terrorists – not a traditional war. A platoon in war does not put enemy soldiors on trial before shooting at them, when the enemy is threating them with weapons of their own. I applaud President Obama for continuing THIS part of the Bush doctrine.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  221. BIll in VA

    So let me get this straight. This is the same President who was so indignant about water boarding foreign enemy combatants where there were no bruises and no bones were broken but he has no qualms about killing US citizens? Don't get me wrong. I agree with the decision to take out Al-Awlaki and applaud the President for taking decisive action to do harm to those who would harm us. Al-Awlaki is an enemy combatant no different than Bin Laden in my book. I am asking why killing is OK and water boarding isn't. I never considered water boarding torture but even if you think it is why is killing OK and water boarding isn't? Just looking for consistency. I would feel better if the President publicly admitted he was wrong about water boarding.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  222. Charlie in San Antonio

    For every Al Qaeda solider killed, I rejoice, regardless of the passport they hold.
    They are sworn to kill me, my family and my fellow Americans.
    Good riddance and a job well done.
    I applaud the men and women of our military and Intelligence agencies responsible for these successful missions. Thanks for protecting us, and allowing us to enjoy our freedoms, such as freedom of the press.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  223. Annie

    Thank you, Jack, for talking about this. I've been sick ever since the boy was killed. This is outrageous! Have we become a country of assassins? Even if someone is a terrorist, what happened to the International Court and bringing people to justice? But this boy was just an innocent. If he wasn't, then where is the evidence? What is to stop the government and the CIA from killing any of us, anywhere, at any time? Why isn't there more world outrage? These drone killings should make us all very, very afraid!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  224. Brad, Portland, OR

    During the Civil War, did Lincoln direct Grant not to use deadly force against Confederate soldiers, but to capture them alive and unharmed so they could be put on trial, because they were American citizens?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  225. Pete

    Jack...get over it. There were warrants for their arrest, so they had every opportunity to turn themselves in and face due process.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  226. paul

    the USA is a sovergn nation, when al quaeda operatives attacked the twin towers and the pentagon was a declaration of war, they killed 3,000 innocent citizens while OBL and his other leaders laughed and thumbed thier noses at us, the USA has the god given right to pursue terrorists to the very end of the world , if we are going to be a free country and enjoy all the benifits of a decent society we have to be on guard, the world is becomeing a very dangerous place, the president made the right choices to go after them militarily, if the youth was not involved in terrorism , then what was he doing there,? why was he with terrorists, in another country infested with terrorists, i back the presidents decision 100%, you think a man and his son should go off to fight jidah against us and then be able to return and rezoom life , draw our welfare, pensions ect, who is looking after his parents while he is fighting jidah, send the whole family back where they came from, we don't want them.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  227. David

    This is just silly season, when the US was in any past war I am sure there were citizens that switched sides and were killed by US troops, same thing.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  228. cc423

    How can they justify the Patriot Act being used to fight crime that has nothing to do with national security? Police forces all across the country are hiding behind it to get around search warrants and more.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  229. maxi

    Penalty for treason is death, agree, but to be found guilty of treason you need court, if you bend this in 5 year 3 people might come to your house, declare you as traitor of the state and shoot in the backyard.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  230. Zoe Adams

    Why not ask the ACLU to prosecute George Bush for invading a country that neither had any connections to al qaida nor did they stockpile nuclear weapons. Over 4000 US military were killed in that invasion.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  231. Charles, Woodbridge Virginia

    This is a classic example parental responsibility. Alawaki was n American turned traitor and had denounced his US citizenship, thus an open target. Because of his actions, he endanger his family and anyone else around him 24/7. Unfortunately for his son, he had a bad Dad and was in the wrong place at the wrong time and with the wrong person. Yes, American who wages war against the US is a traitor and deserves what they get. Sometimes it easier to take them out that try to capture them

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  232. Chris

    We perform digital strip searches on every man, woman and child boarding an airplane. We treat everyone who is brown as either a terrorist or an illegal even though many are U.S. citizens. We pass gun laws that allow people to shoot other people at the mere fear of a threat under "stand your ground" laws (e.g. Florida). We kill, molest and discriminate against many Americans. So why should we treat Americans overseas any different?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  233. Bill, MA

    Any supporter, funder, or member of a terrorist organization of any nationality is fair game for targeting by the U.S. if their goal is to attack the U.S. or its citizens or soldiers anywhere around the world. Whatever happened to the idea that if you became a mercenary, you lost your U.S. citizenship??

    in that case, these 2 men were or should not have been considered citizens of the U.S. any longer from the time of their declaration to join the terror organization.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  234. Ethan J.

    It's called treason Jack. When you choose to declare war on America, its citizens, and promote and condone attacks on innocent civilians, you lose certain liberties afforded to you. This is coming from a liberal.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  235. Tiim

    Since "due process" doesn't currently appear to exist (Guantanamo anyone?) the drones probably make a great judge and jury. Compared to all the lawyers involved if they were captured the drones are probably a major taxpayers saving as well.

    Tim in Halifax N.S.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  236. John West

    There is no justification for murder.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  237. dorkdiggler

    It's called idiots being in the WRONG PLACE at the WRONG TIME!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  238. charles

    The US tried to arrest them but they would turn their self in so they had a choice. The kid shouldn't have been there and it is a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. To bad

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  239. Yuri from Florida

    A 16 year old teenager in usa picks up a playstation joystic and plays halo or call of duty. His dad takes him to football practice. A 16 year old teenager who happens to be a son of a militant usually picks up a AK-47 or runs into a building with a bomb strapped to himself. It does not matter if he is 8 years old, 16 years old or 32 years old. If you look at middle east or africa... those kids running around with guns are just as capable of killing as any other guy.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  240. Hank Corbett - Jacksonville, NC

    The boy was killed in the same strike that exterminated a targetted militant. I don't think the President should waste a minute of his time or a dime of taxpayer money to concern himself with any of these killings. I doubt that there are many Americans who really could give a hoot about these actions.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  241. CommonSense

    Didn't vote for President Obama, but this criticism is pointless. These men moved to a foreign country and joined a terrorist organization. Terrorists don't care about collateral damage of their own people in suicide bombings. If terrorists cared about their own people, they'd wear uniforms and identify themselves instead of hiding amongst civilians. Due process is out the window when you're out to kill Americans as a terrorist.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  242. sebastian

    "... against all enemies, foreign and domestic." We all (those who have understand) haven an oath to defend the U.S. no matter the origin of the enemy. Until one takes that oath one does not know how important it is. Sebastian.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  243. Joe

    I salute the president for having the guts to do what needs to be done and to do it efficiently without losing American lives in the process. "Citizens" who denounce the US, and actively plot harm against it, have no rights. The penalty for treason is death. Always has been.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  244. Gary

    He can Justify this the same way gw bush did when gw let the Saudis flee with one of the 9/11 Planners who gave housing to three of the Attackers who Murdered Americans.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  245. whatever

    Such a stupid article. I would assume that if I hang out with mexican drug lords I might get shot at. If I hang out with Al Qaeda militants I must also assume I might get killed in a drone attack. Its just too bad that the bombs aren't able to pinpoint who they kill within a 10 foot radius huh? How are we supposed to feel sorry for this Colorado born teenager, chances are if he stayed in Colorado he would still be alive. Whoops...there is that accountability for your actions topic again.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  246. Janice Payne, Plainview, TX

    Jack, Didn't we snuff out Bonnie & Clyde and John Dillinger without due process? What difference does it make if a US cititzen is in Texas, Chicago, or Saudi Arabia? Turn yourself in or we turn you off.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  247. Y-Zhou

    If Anwar Al-Awlaki wanted to exercise his rights to a trial, he should've turned himself in to the nearest American Embassy. Instead, he openly committed treason against the United States. The drone strike against Al-Awlaki and the like are completely justified.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  248. Terry

    What's to justify? You want to be an American and use all it's rights and privleges and not be targeted when you run to a foreign country and try to organize attacks against that same country. I think it's long overdue. Let's the drones take care of these terrorists and, unfortunately, there's always collateral damage just like in the twin towers. It killed policemen and firemen plus all the innocents in the towers themselves. If they were going to attack the US on 9/11, it should have only been the White House. That's the man they want to get at, isn't it? It's time we put telling the whole world all of our business, especially when it comes to who we have killed in our war on terrorism and the cyber attacks on our country and attack back however we can. It's time to be the number one power in the world at everything again, isn't it?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  249. Brady in Boston

    They can't justify it Jack. Despite candidate Obama's promises, Gitmo remains open, no one was investigated or prosecuted for torture, and now he is openly flaunting our Constitution. The gov. claims we can assassinate anyone they designate an enemy combatant, but they, and no legitimate court, make that determination. Yes these are bad guys, but this precedent might be used one day to target political dissenters. This country needs Ron Paul badly.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  250. Daniel

    I won't presume to speak for the president, Jack, but here's how I justify it: we are at war with Al Qaida, and these people were traitors. I say this as an anti-death penalty liberal. All I have to do is think of the families who lost their innocent loved ones on 9/11– the thousands who had to ask themselves, "Do I jump or burn?" In my mind, it's open season on all Al Qaida operatives. I vastly prefer the drone strikes our president ordered to putting more of our men and women in harm's way. And regardless of nationality, guilt, or innocence, if you're hanging around with Al Qaida, I'm sorry, but you are, at best, acceptable collateral damage.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  251. Gary

    I have just one question Would you prefer American troops being put in harm's way. Massive air strikes lead to many more "non-combatant deaths.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  252. Baby generation, VA

    Its simple Jack they can't !! They just do what they always do, let time deal with it! oh wait thats been proven not to work!! I guess plan "B" make up something that sounds good!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  253. jeroen

    Your question implies that killing non-us citizens without due proces does not raise the same level of concern as killing us citizens without due proces. There is something very wrong with that!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  254. Eli

    I dont care if you are an American citizen. Once you take up arms against this country weather here in CONUS or overseas you are fair game. Age is not a prerequisite. We are at war with shadow terrorists groups and if we catch them with a drone hell fire missle than they lose. I applaud President Obama in his actions. This is a different war than we have faced before. Sorry, rules change with the game.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  255. John

    The moment Al-Awlaki decided to join the ranks of al Qaida, he was basically saying he is committed to killing Americans and therefore denounced his citizenship by becoming a terrorist and enemy combatant. Those who decided to take up arms around him, regardless of age or gender, deserved the same treatment.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  256. Devin

    It doesn't matter what they say they can't justify it. The constitution set out to protect american citizens from just such a thing. All of the rights that have been taken away from citizens started in just such a manner, claiming that they will make us a safer. In reality none of the things have made us safer for only less free. If this pattern doesn't stop I am afraid of the type of the society that my children and grandchildren will live.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  257. JO

    Your question is assuming the government new that a american Citizen was in harms way? Such as the 16 year old. I am not a Obama supporter, nor do I like to throw blame just because a President does not have the same political views as I do. Before we lay out the rocks for people to throw, where is the investigative work explaining why the citizens were in harms way around a known threat to America? People are to quick to jump to the judgement end without the investigative end of the equation.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  258. Brad Gordon

    A police officer suspects you of a dangerous armed crime and asked you to lay your weapon down. If you refused and indicated you may fire the officer would have every right to shoot you. The officer would be firing on the American citizen not only in self-defense but also for public safety. I usually like Ron Paul but he is playing deadly politics.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  259. Alex Landi

    Mt. Shasta, CA
    Jack–It doesn't matter where the militant jihadists are. We are not at war with any of the countries you mentioned. We are fighting a widespread radical movement that operates in those countries and we target them whenever we can find them. As for being American citizens, it doesn't matter. If you essentially declare war on America you are fair game. If the teenage boy was hanging out with known jihadist enemies of the United States, he chose to put his own life in danger. We need to stop wringing our hands and just defend ourselves.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  260. Pat

    Jack, these people who were blessed to enjoy U.S. citizenship either didnt care for it in the first place, or simply used it as a tool to harm other human beings to advance their ideology. Treason is treason, and the fact that we're using drones to protect ourselves makes me proud to be a pro-active American.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  261. Jason

    Jason, Minnesota- What is most absurd is that if GW had done this nobody would question it. They are terrorists, whose main goal is to destroy the US. They signed up for this knowing that death was in the cards. As Jesus said, live by the sword, die by the sword. We got rid of them, people who do not care about how many civilians they kill or how in their twisted view of the world. Lets stop shedding tears for them, and Republicans, stop being hypocrites on this issue, you were ready to make GW the fifth president on Rushmore for his interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan even though aside from Sadam, he didnt deliver. So your "outrage" over Obama's successes is absurd.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  262. Connie

    Please stop complaining about this. You'd rather let them keep killing us? Not me.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  263. Scott Stodden

    It's Very Easy Jack And The Answer To Your Question Is That He's The Son Of Anwar Al-Awlaki And I Guarantee If His Father Was A Terroist Intent On Harming The United States Then His Son Has Those Same Feelings!!! All These Hateful Terroists That Have Been Killed Deserve What They Have Gotten And That Is Death Because They Kill Innocent People For No Reason. Should We Hold Hearings On The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden, Moammar Gadhafi, And Other Terroists Who Were Killed? I Don't Think So! Anytime I Hear Of These Terroists Being Killed I Rejoice Cuz Its Just Another Piece Of Slime Off The Face Of This Earth, Good Job President Obama, Re-Elect Obama/Biden 4 More Years!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport, Illinois)

    October 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  264. Frank Gonzalez

    I have been a firm supporter of the ACLU in so many cases over the years, but I am afraid they are being naive here. There are times in life when no matter how abhorrent it may be to you, you will have to bring yourself down to the level of your enemy in order to survive. We here in the United States are safer today because this miscreant (Anwar al-awlaki) is dead. They fight their fight with no rules of engagement and in order to stay alive we must at times do the same. There was no due process for any of those innocent Americans killed on 9/11!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  265. Dave

    You want due process than stay in the US where you will get it. If you want to hang out with people who want to see harm to Americans, Die with them

    October 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  266. beuford

    cia + mosad + mi5 = al qaeda the past few administrations have been a lawless group of criminals. just because someone is president does not give them the right to break the law. we are all created equal under it. if we as citizens dont reel this in it will be our undoing and the killing of americans on our own soil willl come next

    October 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  267. James

    It's an all too common theme with our leaders these days. The rule of law and the Constitution only matter when it's convenient. In this case, we would be wise to remember that due process does not exist to protect terrorists, but rather to protect law-abiding citizens who might one day be falsely accused of crimes. Those who find themselves cheering at this gross misuse of power because it's "just another terrorist" do so at risk to their own liberty.

    James
    Charleston, SC

    October 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  268. Karen, Cincinnati

    It can never be justified. One of the principles that helped mke this country great is that NO ONE is above the law – NO ONE. Period. Apparently presidents these days think the law does not apply to them. History, at least, will judge them harshly.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  269. MattNYC

    This is a very slippery slope. First a US citizen is an anti-american terrorist in Pakistan. Next thing he is in the US. Can we use drone strikes domestically? What is terrorism anyway? After all, that term is used about as loosely as "hero" these days. What if a US citizen is abroad and plotting to launch a virus against computer systems of the US? Is he/she a terrorist? What if those computer systems control the traffic lights? What if they control the medical equipment in hospitals? What if they control nuclear power plants? Can we bomb this person? If so, when? What if they are in the US?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  270. Dan

    The President you voted for said: "any terrorists or anyone who helps the terrorists is our enemy and we will get them." Now you have become a pacifist! Jack, you are making us laugh at you. What do you think that 16 year old was doing with those animals we had to kill.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  271. John Baker

    Because there was no trial, not even an indictment, these Americans were killed by a Popular/Political opinion. Should a president be allowed to kill a citizen without trial just because he thinks the idea will be a popular one come election time? Wow what have we become?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  272. Tom in Michigan

    Born in this country. Ready to take this country down. Training under his father, a known terrorist. This all adds up to a next generation terrorist with US Citizenship. Due process, that drone just administered due process! I'm sure that they were thinking about due process as they planed an attack on this country.

    They got what they deserve.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  273. Jason

    Here's the thing ... It's not the Obama administrations policy .. It's AMERICA'S POLICY. A policy that has allowed the majority of us to sleep safely at night or to retain our basic constitutional freedoms. Let's be real here Jack , these arent your cut and clean US Citizen's here .. This isn't Joe McUsa who served my Latte this morning or who happily waves my children across the street after school. These individuals have take a vow of violence against the Unitted States Of America and openly display it , flaunting it before our eyes yet expect to hide behind the immunity given to them by maintaining citizenship. Due process? Seriously ... That right was signed away the minute they took an oath to harm MY COUNTRY , MY FAMILY AND OVERALL MY FREEDOM. They don't offer the 1,000's of innocent victims of there attacks Due Process. Bottom line ... This isn't about Due Process anymore .. this is about having the stomach to defend our borders and our citizens against terrorism and those seeking to cause harm to this country. My opinion on the matter Jack ... I sleep safer at night knowing my family is protected because we have extended the same courtesy to them that they have us .. No Due Process.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  274. Harold, P.V. NY

    Declaring war on Al Qaeda would solve the problem?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  275. Pat Sarasota, FL

    Jack, these people who were blessed to enjoy U.S. citizenship either didnt care for it in the first place, or simply used it as a tool to harm other human beings to advance their ideology. Treason is treason, and the fact that we're using drones to protect ourselves makes me proud to be a pro-active American.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  276. Chris in Yucaipa

    "How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?"

    Last time I checked, we elected our leaders, meaning they should be a reflection of the things we want and need. The people of the USA (the majority anyways) feel that if you make the decision to leave the country intending to rally people to kill Americans, you need to die, the quickest and easiest way possible.

    As for the dead kid. The proverb says, if you lie down with dogs, you get fleas (or a drone strike). Maybe instead of celebrating his son's "Death to America" rite to adulthood, he should have protected him. Awlaki knew full well he had a target painted on his back, so guess what, YOU killed your own son.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  277. Trent

    I find it interesting the amount of leadership questions President Obama has to answer when President Bush's administration and policy alienated an entire religion while President Obama is actually removing known, credible, self-declared threats to the security of American citizens. Whose the more effective leader?

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  278. Pierre

    Jake, what justified the killing of non-American citizens overseas? If an American citizen is a terrorist and willing to attack and kill other Americans, the killing is justifiable. They don't deserved due process.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  279. CJ

    I fly armed helicopters for the Army. I get my chance to take lives of bad guys when necessary. I follow the rules of engagement to the letter of the law. I surely don't think to myself before I pull the trigger, "is this guy shooting at me possibly American?". Tell me this, should I be prosecuted for murder if I kill an American in a war zone when he is fighting for the other side? This is the same as the question you are asking. Not a chance is the right answer. He is the enemy whether he is American or not. I as a tax payer would way rather contribute to a $70,000 hellfire missile or $500 of bullets vs. the millions of dollars a public trial like that would cost.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  280. Angela Hernandez University Place Washington

    Really are we asking this question, what do we expect the President to say Uh Sorry? No matter who they are what they are or where they are from, if they intend to take American lives they are a target, regardless of age, or nationality.The father made this decision, taking him along and keeping him near, maybe just maybe he hoped this decision would protect him, or maybe he was teaching him to come back to the United States and take lives here. Would we really care how old he was or if he was a citizen? I think not.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  281. leitich dallas

    Jack,..you are not serious, these are people plotting to kill americans, I think they deserved it and obama govt should not justify anything..we still on war on terror..don't forget too quickly...

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  282. Mr Stark

    Not necessary. Process is: 1. Acquire target 2. Fire 3. Target eliminated. Process complete.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  283. Lloyd M. Abrahams CPA

    Lets call it the Cafferty Anti-terrorist Proposal
    A suggestion for Congress to pass a new law and or amendment to the Constitution to deal with American Born Terrorists.
    1. The law would allow Charges to be brought that the Citizen is a terrorist or terrorist threat in Federal Courts.
    2. If convicted of the charges the Citizen would then lose his US Citizenship.
    3. The Terrorist Citizen would have to appear IN PERSON in the Federal Court to defend himself against the Charges.
    4. If convicted of being a Terrorist – Terrorist Threat, he loses his US Citizenship.IF HE DOES NOT APPEAR IN PERSON it should be automatic conviction and loss of US citizenship as he was allowed "DUE PROCESS".
    The Terrorist -Terrorist Threat Ex Citizen could appeal to the Supreme Court, but only if he appears in person.
    This would solve the legal problem of assassination of a US Citizen terrorist like Anwar Al-Awlaki.
    MRCANDU10 (Cousin of Mr Get It Done)

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  284. Ken

    I love how people just pretend that these were three random ordinary US citizens on vacation that our government decided to brutally murder. These people were at war with our nation, and at least one of them renounced his US citizenship. We don't wait to get a judge's approval to start shooting back at a gunman who is firing at police. We had an opportunity to eliminate a real, credible threat to national security and we took it.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  285. reverance

    Due Process is an integral part of our Constitution. Like them or not these people were slain with out due process. The more exceptions and loop holes we decide are OK, the more danger our personal liberties will endure.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  286. Wayne - Orlando

    Jack, let's be practical here, bringing an al Qaeda leader like Anwar Al-Awlaki to trial is an effort that is not viable. Also, a full trial in abstensia is not practical, given the imminent danger. I'm confident Al-Awlaki knew he was committing treason and that he was subject to severe repercussion. That's the price of terrorism. As for his son, why was he placed in a situation when his life was in jeapordy? President Obama has every right to protect the nation. He's is doing a fine job.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  287. Shirley

    His Dad was all about killing Americans. What do you think the son was doing? It was only a matter of time before the son would be doing what his father has taught him.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  288. Pete B (San Francisco, CA)

    These individuals are comitting treason and without question represent a clear and present danger to U. S. citizens. Our military is sworn in to protect our country from ALL enemies both foreign and domestic. I am one Republican that says bravo to President Obama for doing what we can to protect our nation.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  289. Henry from Northport

    This country was founded on the principles of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness as outline in the Declaration of Independence. While only a founding principle it is what distinguished the United States then and now. I personally wrestle with trying to justify to myself that my President and my government is now engaged in carrying out justice through the use of capital punishment as a preventive measure. The geneva convention states "Persons hors de combat and those who do not take a direct part in hostilities are entitled to respect for their lives and their moral and physical integrity. They shall in all circumstances be protected and treated humanely without any adverse distinction." Even by international law there is no precedent for the use of capital punishment. Unless we have now redefined what war is these actions allow our government to perform actions that at some point down the road we will all find unpalatable. Sacrificing our core values for expediency should not happen regardless of the intent.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  290. John, Atlanta

    As far as Anwar Al-Awlaki was concerned, his actions surmounted to treason against the United States and he was dealt with in a manner I would hope anybody who has plotted terrorist attacks against innocent civilians would be when capture is not a reasonable option. His son, on the other hand, was simply dealt a bad hand in life and the United States government had no control over the circumstances of his unfortunate death. One would hope he could have seen the errant ways of his father before getting caught up with the wrong group of people, but this sort of thing happens every day in America with urban youths associating with gangs and losing their chance in life. The only take-away from this discussion is how important it is to make sure our youths are educated enough to make these life-saving decisions, because unfortunately in this day in age they may be asked to before they are legally "adults" and that is just something our society will need to come to grasp.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  291. Tom

    What is the difference? A life is a life. Taking a human life anywhere by anyone is wrong. Also We are America. We have a standard. We dont act like some terrorists in the world. So by killing innocent lives whether american or anyone else is bringing ourselves down to the level of whom we are calling terrorists.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  292. George

    jack is it legal for a us citizen to go to another country to kill innocent us citizen? every person who chose to violate innocent people individual right to live by killing them lose their rights usder the us constitution regardless of where they were born. The iprocrits want to deny children born in the us theirs rights as citizen if their parent was not but find something wrong with getting rid of a terrorist, I just dont get it.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  293. fred

    The second these people pledged their allegiance to a terrorist organization is the second they gave up their citizenship. Sorry, but if you support, facilitate or participate in acts of war against the U.S. consider yourself fair game.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  294. Ken in Redlands, CA

    What due process did the three thousand victime of 911 receive when they were murdered? If you are a American citizen or anyone else plotting to kill, injure or harm anyone other citizen in these United States, you are fair game! For once the government is being proactive by taking these terrorist out!! I am sorry but, if you are a sixteen year old teenager traveling with a known terrorist, you are collateral damage!!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  295. Boo Parrish

    Jack;

    I usually agree with you on all your questions, but lets be serious, if he was running with the terrorists, he was a terrorist as well. its the style of that culture to brain wash young men of that age while they are still impressionable, its sad everyone feels that, but if killing a young 16 year old american male is what needs to be done to prevent more attacks , then so be it,
    before the 2008 election , I felt Obama would be weak fighting terrorism but I have to give him credit, hes bringing our troops home , while fighting still against the ruthless bums that occupy the middle east.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  296. Hypocrites

    And what about the former NFL player (I forget his name at the moment) that was KILLED by the US Army and then they tried to cover it up? That wasn't under Obama, that was uner Bush. Where was the outrage there? The same place the outrage wasn't when Bush started two unfunded wars.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  297. Really

    If a U.S citizen was trying to kill you in the U.S. or anywhere else, would you ask for due process or would you kill them first.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  298. KEVIN

    These people are traitors and terrorists. They are no different to the americans that seceded from the union and attacked their own countrymen. They declared war and rallied those who want our destruction. They lost all their rights as citizens and deserve no different treatment from the enemy. As for the teenager that was killed, it was unfortunate, although the real responsible was his own father.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  299. joe the plumber

    Who cares. They're terrorists and this "moral" or "immoral" garbage is just to appease you armchair pattons on your high horses. An "American" wouldn't be near the drone strikes in the first place, these are traitor terrorist dogs and deserve all the missiles coming to them.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  300. Iven in Oklahoma

    the world isn't split between Americans and terrorists. the mantra " you're either with us or against us" gets us nowhere. yeah, this guy and his son may have deserved to die. but in the end, that's for the courts decide. these systems are in place for a reason and the sooner we start respecting these systems, the sooner we can get back to what made America great.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  301. K210

    For those of you saying that these people had committed treason by being there and that they then deserved to die should really take time to think about it. They have not committed treason unless they have been convicted by trial of treason. It is a slippery slope when we allow someone to be executed for treason or any crime without a trial. The next person who commits treason may be you for disagreeing with the emperor. It’s in the constitution for a reason. Could this mass agreement with the action be because it was Obama? SHAME!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  302. Rob Beaver

    Seriously, Jack
    You are asking a nation that spends the future earnings of unborn citizens to live beyond their means a moral question ?

    Noblesville, Indiana

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  303. Frank Gonzalez

    They'll be some who will say that we killed an American, just because he was born here doesn't mean he is still an "American". When someone who is born here leaves the country and helps with the planning and execution of terrorists attacks that kill innocent Americans, he is no longer an "American" he is a "Traitor" and a "Murderer" and we need to hunt him down and and eliminate his threat to all of us...eliminate with extreme prejudice!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  304. SaveRMiddle

    Just think how outraged we'd be if there had been no 9/11. Amazing how much it's made "ok" despite the law.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  305. Chris

    People were okay with the things Hitler did because it made them feel safer. This abuse of power shows our country no longer has rule of law. If this teenager was a terrorist well then put forth the evidence and show the process that was taken. But ofcourse this is too much to ask and I am now labeled unpatriotic for writing this.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  306. TM

    Is it a coincidence the "J. Edgar" is opening soon? U.S. citizens should be aware that extraordinary actions were normal during the Cold War era. Of course this didn't justify violations of due process, but, Hoover and CIA counterparts, didn't seem to care. In our more contemporary world, If I recall correctly, a preemptive strike against an "enemy" that didn't use WMD "yet," and, in afterthought didn't have them, changed our universe.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  307. Cheri Dempsey Yuma, Az

    As far as I am concerned al-Alwaki was a traitor to this country, and was commiting treason against this country and against the citizens of the United States of America. I think the majority of the American people would agree that he relinquished his American citizenship when he decided to go to Yemen and plot against this country. I know that he, al-Alwalki will not be the first or last of his kind but I applaud my President for doing what he did, and hope, under the same circumstances, he will do it again.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  308. Jackie in Seattle

    There isn't anything wrong with it! Everyone wants to get rid of the terrorist and sometimes, sadly, that includes Americans who have committed treason. The 16 year old was most likely following in his fathers foot steps. One less
    future terrorist we have to worry about. I'm not a fan of Obama, but I don't think he has done anything wrong. It's a war, he is making tough decisions. Everyone does love to arm chair quartback, but in reality, they wouldn't have the balls to make decisions about war.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  309. Bob H. from Orlando

    Jack,

    If these individuals were involved in doing physical harm to Americans, either individual or actual buildings/structures, they were not concerned with due process, but to reek havoc. Therefore, since these citizens were acting to perform terrorist events whether here or abroad; do not deserve due process because they should be thought of as thugs. Thugs are the most dispicable of criminals holding firm to the only goal of mass distruction and mass killing.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  310. ivan

    If they are a threat to good Americans then... bye bye, it's that simple, end of story.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  311. Frankie Baby

    Easy! Ready, Aim, Fire! LOL!

    SIMPLE! Treason is an immediate executable offense! These terrorists are recruiting people to harm the U.S. and ki ll innocent humans over there false god.

    We have been executing treasonous citizens in the U.S. for ever!

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  312. Scott

    Even if they were guilty of treason–Suspected would be a more appropriate term– The constitution of these United States still provides for their due process in Article 3 Section 3–"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court."–That makes this horrifying new trend pretty indefensible.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  313. Marcelo - Los Angeles

    When you join up with a terrorist group that you know we are at war with, declare war against your home country, and basically abandon everything your country stands for, then you have technically set yourself up to be a casualty of war. If you want to due process, then turn yourself in to the authorities.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  314. Andy

    As far as I'm concerned, if you're hanging out in a known militant camp, it doesn't matter if you're an American citizen or not, you should be taken out like any other terrorist. If there was a reasonable chance of actually capturing these people and bringing them to justice, that would be preferable, but in that absence of that chance, it is preferable to remove the threat rather than allow another attack.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  315. Scott

    The same way we can justify killing other known terrorists like Bin Laden. He was a known member of Al Qaeda, a TERRORIST!! Americans actively targeting the US have in essence renounced their citizenship and should be considered enemy combatants.

    October 27, 2011 at 5:27 pm |