Around minute 10, Rachel Maddow and I talk about the Awlaki killing. Here's what I want to know: if we're talking about the legal authority to kill an American citizen whom the government asserts is a terrorist, why does the FBI arrest terror suspects here at home? Why not pull Faisal Shahzad off a plane and bring him to a courtroom? Why not fly a drone over him and launch a Hellfire?
It's clear what the distinction actually is. No American would be prepared for the psychological horror of a drone strike next door. Legally, though, what's the difference? John Brennan might say otherwise, but the Obama administration, like the Bush administration before it, operates on the rules of Battlefield Earth. Except Bush never killed an American citizen he said was a terrorist, and Obama has now killed two.
And before you play this card: Fuck Anwar al-Awlaki and fuck Samir Khan. I'm delighted that they're now discovering, for all eternity, how massively wrong their little conspiracy theory masquerading as religious injunction was. This isn't about them. This is about principle.