If Glenn Greenwald wants to shed tears for the death of Anwar al-Awlaki, he can. But I won’t. Awlaki was not only a vicious propagandist, but he actually sought to implement various terrorist operations, and while we may have sought to indict and capture him, such an operation would have involved tremendous risk to American assets. If it took killing him to degrade al Qaeda’s operational credibility, then let me state unequivocally that I have no problem whatsoever with the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, or anyone else who makes himself/herself an enemy of the United States, and actively seeks to murder as many innocent civilians as possible.
To read commentary more informed than anything that the likes of Greenwald have to offer, check out Robert Chesney’s post. Check out Benjamin Wittes as well, who is entirely on point as to what Awlaki could have done to avoid getting killed.
Relatedly, those who supported the Bush Administration’s drone strikes and efforts to degrade the leadership of terrorist elements around the world should have no compunction whatsoever about lending their support to the Obama Administration’s continuation of that effort. I certainly don’t, and am quite happy to offer my congratulations to the Obama Administration, and the intelligence community for bringing about Awlaki’s death.