When Mark Levin is right, which isn’t terribly often, he’s right in a big way. Tonight wasn’t one of those nights. Mark Levin is confused that there is any debate among conservatives over the legality of Barack Obama’s overseas drone strikes. Levin’s argues that should a person, American citizen or otherwise, join up with Al-Qaeda, or any group classified as a terrorist organization by the United States government – being that the country is at war with “terror”, that person is fair game for targeted assassination. Sounds like a solid argument. Is it? Change the geography. Say Anwar Al-Alwaki joined up with an AQ cell in a European country instead of Pakistan, or Yemen. Al-Alwaki is at the bakery, buying german pretzels – would striking the bakery with a Hellfire missile be “legal” without the consent of the German government? Would it be legal even with its consent? No. The citizens of Europe would never tolerate such an act. The entire continent would be outraged. Rest assured, it’d be the last American Drone strike on European soil. Rightfully so.
There’s only two conditions that would render such a strike “legal”. Either A.) Al-Alwaki, or whomever, would have to be actively committing an act of terror and could not reasonably be stopped through other means (e.g. shooting down a hijacked airliner) or B.) a state of war must exist between the United States and Germany. If neither of those conditions are met, Al-Alwaki can only be legally pursued via police action.
Except for Afghanistan, neither of those conditions have been met in any other Middle Eastern country where “terrorists” are being targeted with drone strikes. Further, the governments of those countries, reprehensible as they are, have not consented, but actively opposed said strikes. Hence, Obama’s assassination program is illegal and he should be held accountable. Mark Levin, smart as he is, is flat out wrong. His nationalistic fervor clouds his mind. Lawlessness is not “Patriotism”.