Jeremy Scahill writes in The Nation:
There has been almost universal silence among Congressional Democrats on the Obama administration’s recently revealed decision to authorize the assassination of a US citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki. Al-Awlaki, who now lives in Yemen, has been accused of providing inspiration for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the alleged “underwear bomber,” and Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the alleged Fort Hood shooter. In recent weeks, there has been a dramatic surge in US government chatter about the alleged threat posed by al-Awlaki, with anonymous US officials accusing him of directly participating in terror “plots” (his family passionately disputes this).
Several Democrats refused, through spokespeople, to comment on the assassination plan when contacted by The Nation, including Senator Russ Feingold and Representative Jan Schakowsky, both of whom serve on the Intelligence Committees. Representative Jane Harman, who serves on the Homeland Security Committee, said recently that Awlaki is “probably the person, the terrorist, who would be terrorist No. 1 in terms of threat against us.”
An issue related to this assassination plan that has thus far received no attention is its implications for the court martial of Nidal Malik Hasan. If Anwar al-Awlaki was arrested and brought back to the United States, he would undoubtedly be a key witness in Hasan’s trial, given the widely reported email correspondence between the Texas shooter and Awlaki. Won’t killing a potential witness prejudice the outcome of the trial?