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Friday, September 30, 2011

Should United States' 'targeted killings' ever target U.S. citizens?

Awlaki

Anwar al-Awlaki -- a U.S.-born cleric who became an al-Qaida spokesman -- was reportedly killed by a U.S. airstrike Friday in Yemen.

It's hard to muster too much sympathy for someone who was actively calling for the murder of innocent people, but some critics, including Ron Paul, are saying that U.S. citizens shouldn't be the subjects of "targeted killings."

The AP has a good piece here, laying out both sides of the argument. Here's what the supporters are saying:

The officials can cite, in part, a 1942 Supreme Court case in which justices reasoned that the U.S. citizenship of an enemy belligerent "does not relieve him from the consequences" of war.

"In this instance," Charlie Dunlap, a Duke University Law School visiting professor, said Friday, "that consequence is being targeted like any other enemy."

Image via AP

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