Some people are getting upset that the antiwar crowd is focusing on the citizenship of Anwar Awlaki, so I won’t bring that up. (The reason is that before, during the Bush years, a lot of people shrugged off the trial-less waterboardings and detentions by saying, “They’re not citizens, so the Constitution doesn’t apply.” Whether or not that was true, clearly you can’t use that excuse for Awlaki.)
Anyway here is Glenn Greenwald (yes in a post that links back here):
The reason [Obama officials] do this is because they know it will work: as the Bush years proved, the American population is well-trained to screech Kill Him!! the minute the Government points to someone and utters the word “Terrorist“ (especially when that someone is brown with a Muslim-ish name, Muslim-ish clothes, and located in one of those Bad Muslim countries). If Our Government Leaders say that someone named “Anwar al-Awlaki” — who looks like this, went to a Bad Muslim-ish place like Yemen, and speaks ill of America — is a Bad Terrorist, then that settles that. It’s time to kill him. Given those “facts,” only a “civil libertarian absolutist” would think that things like “evidence” and “trials” are needed before accepting his guilt and justifying his state-sanctioned murder.
And how’s this for perspective?
[S]ome journalists and priests of the National Security State are now calling on the Obama administration to reveal the evidence proving Awlaki’s guilt; while that is certainly better than nothing, evidence presented in a one-sided manner that isn’t subject to review is the opposite of due process; even more so, the idea of executing a citizen and thereafter showing evidence of guilt is precisely what the Queen in Alice in Wonderland demanded when she decreed: ”Sentence first – verdict afterwards!” That we’re reduced to begging the government to at least comply with the standards of Lewis Carroll’s Queen of Hearts is a potent an indicator of the depths to which we’ve fallen.