In War, the Government Argues Constitutional Rights Are a Fluid Sort of Thing

Image: USAFWhy does the United States think it can kill an American citizen overseas, without a trial? The answer is surprisingly simple: because it says it can. With the constitutional rationale largely redacted, what other conclusion can you draw?After years of legal battles, the United States government finally released its legal rationale for the 2011 drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American al-Qaeda imam who was living in Yemen and was allegedly planning terrorist attacks on the United States.Does the rationale boil down to specific threats al-Awlaki made against the United States? No—at least not ones that weren’t redacted. Does it come down to imminent aggression against the United States? Nope, not really, at least. Instead, it boils down to the fact that the United States is at war with terror, and even the simple act of joining up with a foreign enemy is enough to make someone a target, imminent threat or not

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