Not cool: Obama authorizes assassination of American citizen

Barack Obama, seconds before slowly rotating his hand downward

I think I speak for all of us when I say goddammit, dude. An unnamed “US official” has confirmed that Anwar Al-Awlaki, alleged terrorist and certain dickhead, is on the list of people whom the CIA is allowed to kill. If, like me, you have become momentarily distracted by the thought of how awesome and creepy such a list is—hey, CIA operatives, if you’re having a panini or whatever and you happen to see Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, go ahead and stab him in the face—allow me to bring you back to sobriety by pointing out that Al-Awlaki is an American citizen. He’s also believed to occupy a significant leadership position in Al Qaeda, a probably true fact that I learned from reading an article in the Washington Post. At the time, that same article said that Al-Awlaki was “thought to have been killed”—an assessment that, coming as it did from the same military and civilian intelligence sources that decided he was a high-ranking Al Qaeda officer in the first place, casts a little doubt on the “Anwar Al-Awlaki is a terrorist so it’s okay if we whack him” argument. God forbid he’s just an asshole, because he’s an American asshole, and we have rules.

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