Anwar al-Awlaki was a "detestable person" and no one mourns his killing in Yemen last week. But that doesn't change the fact that his killing was unconstitutional and "sets a dangerous new precedent," writes Ron Paul in an editorial in the New York Daily News. "Under our Constitution, American citizens, even those living abroad, must be charged with a crime before being sentenced," writes Paul. "The precedent set by the killing of Awlaki establishes the frightening legal premise that any suspected enemy of the United States—even if they are a citizen—can be taken out on the president's say-so alone."
Other politicians disagree with Paul, however. Former VP Dick Cheney and former Democratic Representative Jane Harman both spoke out in favor of the Awlaki killing, reports Bloomberg. “It was a very good strike,” said Cheney on CNN yesterday. “The president ought to have that kind of authority to order that kind of strike, even when it involves an American citizen, when there is clear evidence that he’s part of al-Qaeda.” Harman agreed, saying there was evidence Awlaki was an "imminent threat" to the US.