“He's a guy that was born in the United States, he radicalized Major Hasan, the guy at Fort Hood,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said. “He helped plan the underwear bomber attack that failed. He's been actively involved in recruiting and prosecuting the war for Al-Qaeda He was found in Yemen and we blew him up with a drone. Good.”
Graham (pictured) was referring to the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki by an American drone. Awlaki was an American citizen, accused by President Obama, Graham, and others of promoting radical Islam, aiding the cause of al-Qaeda, and, by extension, killing Americans.
None of these charges, however, were ever formally filed against Awlaki, and he was never afforded a right to defend himself in court, as required by the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Apparently, when people are “bad,” Lindsey Graham doesn’t think the Constitution applies to them.
“I didn't want him to have a trial,” Graham said of Awlaki. “We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war.”
Graham reiterated this position during an appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. When asked by Wallace if Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was wrong to oppose the use of drones to kill American citizens, Graham responded:
I think the worst thing in the world is to have the courts decide who to target in the war on terrorism. Courts are not military commanders.
He insisted that the law of the United States gives the president that power as commander-in-chief of the military.
“We do need drones to patrol our borders, but I don’t think you need a drone to attack an Al Qaeda operative inside the United States,” Graham told Wallace. “I very much believe we’re at war — and any American citizen who aids Al Qaeda should be treated as an enemy combatant not a common criminal.”
Graham is wrong.
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