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this guy. Anwar al-Alwaki who is a terrorist and a sympathizer with terrorists and an all around bad dude. Seem simple enough right, well there are a couple things that have people worried.
1. Anwar al-Alwaki has not been convicted or even tried of any crime. A lot of people like to throw around the word traitor in cases like this, but the Constitution defines that term very narrowly. This is not to say that al-Alwaki is not necessarily guilty, merely that the burden of proof still applies.
2. The administration has ordered his death wherever he is found, on or off a battlefield. This is not someone ordering the sniper to take a shot at a hostage taker. The administration has ordered his death even if he is just found sitting in a restaurant eating lunch. Officials say if he doesn't want to get killed he should turn himself in, ignoring the fact that he hasn't been charged with anything to turn himself in for.
3. They have given no proof that he is guilty, and say they do not have to. They are asserting that they have evidence that al-Alwaki is a terrorist, which they very well might, but that they don't have to show it to anybody.
4. If the president can order the execution of a U.S citizen without having to show the evidence, what can't he do. I am being serious here. If you accept that this is a valid presidential power, then what isn't? How can you criticize the Bush administrations detentions but say it would have been fine if he had just killed them.
As it is probably obvious I am very much against this expansion of presidential powers that Bush started and Obama has increased. I think that people who dismiss this as just one case ignore the precedent it sets, and I think the idea of what would happen if some of the far right conservatives become president and have this authority to be absolutely fucking terrifying.