[credit provider=”Courtesy of MSNBC”]
2012 presidential candidate and perennial contrarian Ron Paul denounced President Obama today over what he called the “assassination” of U.S.-born Al Qaeda cleric Anwar al-Awlaki.”I don’t think that’s a good way to deal with our problems,” Paul told MSNBC this morning. “Al-Awlaki was born here; he is an American citizen. He was never tried or charged for any crimes. No one knows if he killed anybody. We know he might have been associated with the underwear bomber. But if the American people accept this blindly and casually that we now have an accepted practice of the president assassinating people who he thinks are bad guys, I think it’s sad.”
Awlaki, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen yesterday, was one of the Obama administration’s top Al Qaeda targets. Although Awlaki was not an operational leader of Al Qaeda or its affiliates, he was considered a serious threat because of his U.S. roots and his fluency in English.
Of course, Paul does have a point. The Obama administration has previously struggled with whether or not to put Awlaki on the terrorist target list. The National Security Council ultimately justified the use of lethal force because of Awlaki’s ties to Al Qaeda, which is considered a military threat to the U.S.
So far, Paul is alone among the Republican presidential candidates in condemning Awlaki’s death. Frontrunners Mitt Romney and Rick Perry have both released statements congratulating Obama on the “victory.”