There's been a whole lot of buzz about the murder of Anwar al-Awlaki by folks who are outraged that an American citizen was killed by his own government. There's been a whole lot of talk about "due process" and "extra-judicial murder" and, now, secret panels.
I'm certainly no fan of Star Chamber tactics.
On the other hand, Anwar al-Awlaki had, for all intents and purposes, declared war on his home country. He encouraged others to attack Americans at home and abroad. He was, for lack of a better term, engaged in rebellion.
Seems to me a good case can be made that taking him out was well within the purview of Executive Powers dealing with rebellion.
Look, I'm no fan of the whole "War on Terror" crap that stay-at-home war bloggers want others to fight. On the other hand, there are people out there who are actively engaged in planning to do our country and our fellow Americans serious physical harm. We may not like that protecting the United States involves messy stuff like killing people, but this isn't about people's feelings. We may not like that some of those who are targets of our national defense are fellow Americans. There are Constitutional protections regarding having one's life taken outside the due process of law.
Sometimes, it becomes necessary to take the heat for violating the due process clause if, in so doing, lives can be saved.
I know it's heretical for a self-professed lefty to say it, but, like the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki made the world a little bit safer for Americans.