The Current

Killing Anwar al-Awlaki made him a better terrorist recruiter, says journalist

U.S. President Barack Obama stands by the targeted killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. But journalist Scott Shane questions the legality and wisdom of the drone attack assassination that killed the U.S. propagandist working with al-Qaeda.
New York Times journalist Scott Shane says killing Anwar al-Awlaki made him a martyr which is a more effective recruiter to Islamic terrorist groups. (Drew Angerer)
I do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any U.S. citizen with a drone or with a shotgun, without due process. But when a U.S. citizen goes abroad to wage war against America and is actively plotting to kill U.S. citizens, his citizenship should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected by a SWAT team.- U.S. President Barack Obama defending the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki

In 2013, U.S. President Barack Obama openly justified his orders to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who worked with al-Qaeda. 

That killing and the hard questions it raised form the basis of Scott Shane's new book Objective Troy: A Terrorist, a President, and the Rise of the Drone.

Scott Shane is a national security reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. He joined Friday host Michelle Shephard to discuss why he believes the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki by an American drone for his al-Qaeda activities was not constitutional and how al-Awlaki's assassination made him more of an effective recruiter to Islamic terrorist groups.

This segment was produced by The Current's Howard Goldenthal.

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