(REUTERS) – The Obama administration has authorized operations to capture or kill a U.S.-born Muslim cleric based in Yemen, who is described by a key lawmaker as America’s top terrorist threat, officials said on Tuesday.
The decision to add Anwar al-Awlaki, of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, to the target list followed a National Security Council review prompted by his status as a U.S. citizen.
The U.S. target list is secret and it was not immediately clear whether Awlaki was the first American added, as some experts had suggested he would be.
PID Comment: While Awlaki may well pose a clear and present danger to the United States, is anyone in the press asking about the constitutionality–or the morality–of a secret government hit list that includes U.S. citizens?
Kevin D. Williamson at National Review observes that the way “interstate commerce” has been redefined by the government to justify control over things that are neither commerce nor interstate, it’s not hard to imagine that “national security” could be reinterpreted so that nearly any critic of a future president meets the Awlaki standard.