I can think of no stronger indictment of the process by which the Obama Administration killed Anwar al-Awlaki than for Dick Cheney to, first, confirm that the process by which Awlaki was targeted does not constitute due process, and then state that Presidents should have that authority anyway.
Cheney then says Obama should apologize for suggesting, in his Cairo speech, that the Bush Administration’s counterterrorism policies had violated America’s principles.
I’ve come here to Cairo to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles — principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.
And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter or forget our principles. Nine-eleven was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.
Cheney’s right: this assassination exhibited the same disdain for our Constitution that Cheney’s torture program did. And Obama does owe an apology: not to Cheney, but to the America people.