American-born al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki has apparently survived a U.S. military drone attack in Yemen after he traded vehicles with two supporters who were killed at the scene.

Born in Las Cruces, N.M., Awlaki is a U.S. citizen who has risen in al-Qaida’s ranks as a planner and recruiter since at least 2005. He is believed to have been involved in the Fort Hood shootings and the Christmas Day “underwear bombing” in 2009, among other terror attacks or plots.

Because Awlaki is an American citizen, the Obama administration’s attempt on his life has drawn criticism from legal scholar and journalist Glenn Greenwald because it is not backed by due process. President Barack Obama authorized the killing of Awlaki in April 2010. — KDG

Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com:

There are certain civil liberties debates where, even though I hold strong opinions, I can at least understand the reasoning and impulses of those who disagree; the killing of bin Laden was one such instance. But the notion that the President has the power to order American citizens assassinated without an iota of due process — far from any battlefield, not during combat — is an idea so utterly foreign to me, so far beyond the bounds of what is reasonable, that it’s hard to convey in words or treat with civility.

How do you even engage someone in rational discussion who is willing to assume that their fellow citizen is guilty of being a Terrorist without seeing evidence for it, without having that evidence tested, without giving that citizen a chance to defend himself — all because the President declares it to be so?

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