Arguments Home Work – Essay Example

Quick summary of the issue: The US Government wants to have the power to assassinate Anwar Al-Aulaqi, a suspected militant and Islamic extremist who is a US citizen, but who currently lives in Yemen. They want to be able to do this without having to go through the courts and prosecuting Al-Aulaqi with some sort of actual crime. The ACLU says this violates the constitution and Al-Aulaqi’s rights.
Arguments in support of the government:
1) Extraordinary times like the war on terror cause for extraordinary measures, like the ability to kill militants and terrorists whenever the opportunity arises.
2) Giving the government the authority to kill American citizens will increase its ability to stop terrorist acts before they happen.
3) The government will also discourage people from becoming terrorists in the first place like this, because they will be afraid.
Arguments against the government:
1) If the government has the authority to kill any American citizen they deem an enemy of the state, and also the authority to determine what that means, they can essentially kill anyone they want any time they want.
2) Giving the executive branch this kind of power without oversight from the other branches of government violates the principles of the US Constitution.
3) The attempt to throw out the case against Al-Aulaqi based on “secret information” that the courts do not have access to sets a worrying precedent that could be used not just for targeted killings but for all sorts of other unconstitutional things.