Two Sundays ago, I wrote that the U.S. government was tardy in offering condolences to the Charlotte family of U.S. citizen Samir Khan, who was killed in a drone attack in Yemen last month that targeted another U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki.
In the column, I suggested that we should ask questions about the precedent of a U.S. president authorizing an assassination of a U.S. citizen without a formal charge or trial - and without, essentially, any substantial outside checks on the decision. Although we might feel this decision was correct, should we trust that all presidents will make the correct decision, without checks?
I also wrote that although there is no defending Khan, who declared himself an enemy of the U.S. and died with another sworn enemy, can we feel sorry that parents lost a son they tried not to lose? Many of you thought no.
Washington Post columnist Marc A. Thiessen also disagrees. He believes no apology is necessary to the family.
This is an outrage. The United States has no reason to offer “condolences” for the death of this self-proclaimed “traitor to America.” His role as an al-Qaeda propagandist alone justified his killing (much as America would have been justified in killing Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels during World War II).Peter St. Onge