Al-Awlaki is committing treason. I do not believe that he has been convicted of treason. In this Jack has a point. That being said …
I recall that in the out on the western frontier many a sheriff’s would put up ‘wanted dead or alive’ posters or even “wanted dead” posters in public spaces. The “wanted” were then typically made dead. The end result was that in the West many people by the beginning of the 20th century slept without locking their doors. Were those sheriff’s outside the law? At the very least al-Awlaki is an outlaw.
Consider this: during WWII Americans were caught during the battle of the bulge wearing American uniforms, but fighting for the Germans. These American were recruited before the war. They helped train Germans to speak better English and then they accompanied these German troops into battle to wreak havoc behind American lines. After capture they were shot without a trial. This was done on orders from Ike.
No one filed a charges against Eisenhower for killing these ‘allegedly’ treasonous Americans. Why? Because those who take up arms against us on the battlefield are at war with us. Because during war one does not have to abide by civilian rules of engagement on the battlefield. Similarly, we also did not read the Jap’s their Miranda rights before we turned a flamethrower on them as they hid in their bunkers.
Al-Awlaki is on the battlefield. The term battlefield has been forever more been changed by the Islamic Jihad that threatens our civilization. The battlefield now includes the cockpits of airliners. The discotheques, pizza parlors and bus stops of the world are also on the battlefield. The battlefield is not a plain in the middle of nowhere with armed uniformed men facing other uniformed armed men. The battlefield is now fought in a suitcase buried in the cargo compartment of an Airbus over Scotland.
The Islamic Jihadists like al-Awlaki hide behind their woman and children. From this position they attack our women and children. The likes of al-Awlaki do not wear uniforms to announce their allegiance. They attack the unarmed in their homes, offices and shops or on their way to these places. They do so because they are seeking to destroy our civilization.
What rules? What decency? What limits? This is a war being waged by a band of unwashed thugs, dressed in street garb — goaded on by imams such as al-Awlaki. In WWII we used intelligence to kill Admiral Yamamoto. He was the leader who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor. Al-Awlaki is a leader of the Jihadist army that plans attacks on civilians and soldiers alike. Killing him with high explosives is in line with the manner in which he kills. We used planes to target Yamamoto; the attack on our fleet was conducted with similar aircraft. Killing the Jihadist Al-Awlaki, a US citizen, who has placed himself on the battlefield, is an act of war during this time of war.
WWII was fought with armies using tanks, planes, and ships. The National Socialists used tanks, planes, and ships. Did we become National Socialists because we too used tanks, planes, and ships? The war today is conducted in the streets using bombs, with the chief target being those who are not wearing a uniform. Those we fight do not wear uniforms. Should we avoid killing them because they are not organized into battalions and dressed in some homogeneous garb?
The Jihadists use the Geneva convention as a weapon to be turned on the civilization that created it. Our civilization must defend itself from this perversion. Similarly, our constitution is not a suicide pact to be used against us. We must fight this war using what are the tanks and planes of this war. This means high explosives detonated without a notice of intent, in order to prosecute with extreme prejudice the Jihadist scum who would murder us in our sleep.