Since President Barack Obama graciously accepted Medea Benjamin’s intrusive questions during his speech at the National Defense University as fully legitimate, perhaps the president is edging toward answering the pointed questions by Jeremy Scahill about the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki on September 30, 2011.
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color:#333333″> and Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, makes a nuanced and deeply researched argument that the American-born cleric’s pro-jihad sermons and tapes, however offensive, were protected under the First Amendment.
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"Times New Roman";color:#333333″>These differences will seem almost meaningless to most Americans satisfied with the narrative that al-Awlaki was a preacher stirring up lethal hatred against American civilians. Few will think the president should have tried to arrest al-Awlaki in Yemen’s desert and hauled him to Guantanamo. But the media, some Republicans and many in Congress may want to see the evidence for the president’s case, as will many at the United Nations or in the Muslim world. If Obama’s proof is insufficient, he is responsible for having executed an American citizen without probable cause. If the president refuses to make public the evidence, he has a credibility problem that may haunt him. If Scahill’s reporting is correct, it will underscore the importance of the independent media.