To the editor:
On March 13, Mike Hoeflich in his Journal-World column advocated a debate on America’s “drone” policy, based on the killing of an al-Qaida operative Anwar al-Awlaki, (an American citizen) in Yemen by an unmanned drone in 2011. Hoeflich found this “troubling” and advocated “due process” should have been provided to Mr. al-Awlaki based on his American citizenship.
One has to wonder what planet Hoeflich and his other “distinguished professors live on? Due process for a proven enemy combatant in Yemen? How would this work? Are Hoeflich and his little group of utopian “legal experts” going to make the trip halfway around the world to hold court for a declared enemy of America simply because he happened to be born in the U.S.? Does being a U.S. citizen give one carte blanche to act against the interests of America and conduct enemy actions against America while shielded and hiding behind a birth certificate?
A drone is far less expensive than a combat aircraft, and far more accurate. When one goes down, no family back home mourns the death of a loved one. This is how America fights wars today against enemy combatants in faraway lands. The hypothetical scenarios of Hoeflich may be great to argue in a Kansas University classroom, and a coherent drone policy and protections against government abuse are worth discussion. However, using a proven terrorist like Anwar al-Awlaki as someone deserving of due process under law? I don’t think so!