Al-Awlaki Killing Links
As Steve recently noted, Anwar Al-Awlaki was killed via US drone strike in Yemen a few days ago. Out of the commentary provoked by this action, here are a few pieces that caught my eye:
- In the NYT, Jack Goldsmith defends the legality of the killing.
- Kenneth Anderson at VC gives some cogent thoughts on the matter.
- Robert Chesney comments re. Al-Awlaki’s role as an operational leader, and the inaccessibility of his location.
- Michael Lewis comments re. the laws of war & neutrality law.
- Benjamin Wittes addresses the issue of due process.
- Michael Ramsey offers an originalist perspective regarding the killing.
- Marty Lederman makes a very educated guess about the contents of the Obama administration’s legal justification for killing Osama bin Laden. (Somewhat apropos, since both killings implicate many of the same legal issues.)
- A more critical perspective comes from Ta-Nehishi Coates (who rounds up the views of other like-minded individuals); and from Mary Ellen O’Connell. (Of note: the latter scholar was only able to square OBL’s killing with her view of the law by – unpersuasively, IMHO – characterizing the Abbottabad raid as having “followed law enforcement standards.”)
Also worth noting is this article by Robert Chesney, which explains why the Al-Awlaki killing was consistent with international law. I find his argument persuasive.
In my (tentative) view, the Al-Awlaki killing was permissible under U.S. statutory & constitutional law. More on that at a later date (hopefully).