Did al-Awlaki plan, authorize, or commit the terrorist acts that occurred on September 11? Well, no, but al-Qaeda did – and since the departed Muslim cleric is said to be “linked” to that nearly defunct organization, one could make a tenuous argument that the resolution covers this instance. Yet one runs up against the question of whether the killing of an American citizen without benefit of due process really is “necessary and appropriate.” The Obama administration could argue it was necessary – but appropriate? I don’t think so, at least not without issuing a formal indictment, which is one legal nicety they didn’t bother with. In any case, Congress cannot grant the President the “right’ to kill Americans in such a manner because the Constitution forbids it.
As for the international law angle: if this is what allows the US to murder its own citizens — just on the say so of the Office of Assassinations — then what business has this administration in condemning Bashar al-Assad when he cuts down his own people in the streets of Syria’s cities? After all, the Syrians claim they are only “defending” their country against foreign interference, including against acts of “terrorism.” How is this different from blasting al-Awlaki to smithereens in the desert of Yemen?
The Obamaites know they’re in the wrong, but, being self-declared “pragmatists,” i.e. utterly shameless opportunists, they put alleged necessity over principle in this and every instance.
-- Justin Raimondo, "Obama's Death Panel" (Antiwar.com).