A predator drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader, propagandist, and recruiter. Complicating the matter is that he and one of his minions also killed in the Yemen attack were American citizens. Some are concerned that executing an American like this is a violation of our constitutional rights for due process and a fair trial. Others say that al-Awlaki is a textbook example of a traitor who is fighting on the side of his country’s enemies and that being killed in this quasi-military operation is what happens in war. It has nothing to do with the legal system.
Some of you have already been arguing about this is another post (rather than staying on topic), but let’s take this in another direction. Do you think predators should be used in law enforcement?
In which of these cases would you support their use?
(1) Against the Mexican drug lords who are terrorizing Mexico (in consultation with that country’s authorities)?
(2) Against domestic organized crime leaders?
(3) In situations that call for deadly force, such as against snipers or holed-up killers, as another weapon in the arsenal of SWAT teams?
(4) To patrol dangerous neighborhoods?
(5) As a high tech cop on the beat, used mostly for surveillance but carrying a weapon?
(6) Used for surveillance but without the Hellfire missile?
How would you handle the constitutional issues? Is this just another weapon or just another tool, or are there particular legal or moral problems with it?
Help us draw some lines.