Ron Paul: Awlaki Killing Unconstitutional
Dick Cheney voices support for drone strike against Awlaki
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2011 4:56 AM CDT
Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul has come out against the killing of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, saying it sets a dangerous precedent.   (AP Photo/ Mary Ann Chastain, File)

(Newser) – 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.

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Oct 4, 2011 6:45 AM CDT
He gave up his rights when he helped attack the country that protects them, just like criminals do. I'm glad he got what he had coming.
Oct 3, 2011 1:32 PM CDT
Paul is one of those bleeding hearts that would have run into the Columbine cafeteria while it was being shot up and tried to "talk" the shooters into stopping.
Oct 3, 2011 1:18 PM CDT
I don’t believe that the president of the United States should order the assassination of citizens of the United States. That’s why we have our court system, and that’s why we have our laws. Even if the person is suspected of being affiliated with terrorism, if they are a citizen of this country, they still deserve the rights of this country, which includes due process. Osama bin Laden was not a citizen of the United States of America. So I would not have changed the decision the president made in that regard. But if you’re a citizen, no, it is not right for the president to think he has the power to have you assassinated. No. He has the power to make sure you’re locked up, but you have to go through due process. - Herman Cain