In rare cases, I believe so.
During WWII if an American had been with German troops planning, abetting and conspiring against the Allies wearing a German uniform and living with the Germans, not one American soldier would have been called out for shooting the traitor on sight. A story like that would have hit the new reels and pulled Americans together in horror at the treasonous nature of such an individual and the soldier would have been given a commendation. Not a moment would have been wasted worrying about the rights of such a traitor and their having been killed without due process and trial, though the only thing anyone would have thought a better outcome was that he be captured, tried with due process and hanged back on American soil – after we’d gotten as much intelligence out of him possible.
I understand that today technology exists that is truly awesome in its power and can give the impression of ease and seemingly remove the immediate consequences of killing so that it is different than shooting someone on a battlefield like we did 70 years ago. But then a lot of things have changed since then. You don’t have a country declaring war and an enemy in uniform out posted along a battlefield front. It is not an army we are fighting now, it is a semi confederation of terrorist cells working underhandedly and deviously because they cannot get a legitimate government to back them and take us on face to face.
So if a born and bred American posts, plots, joins and otherwise aids terrorist groups, training them and training with them, living among them and – because they understand our lives, beliefs and culture – provides tactical and other intelligence to these enemies who have taken it upon themselves to come after us and we get the opportunity to take them out at some training camp or some hidey hole they’ve scurried to out in Yemen with a drone? I’d fire the rocket myself if given the chance and sleep like a baby afterwards.
When an American does such a thing, it is not our responsibility to follow him around the globe with an arrest warrant, reminding him of the rights he obviously does not care to have and putting troops in danger to make an arrest. As an American you do have rights – and I think in such traitorous situations those people have exercised the right to give up those rights. You hate America that much? Fine. We don’t stop people who want to leave this country. And if they want to denounce us, they are free to do so. Go join the enemy. But when they join in the fight against us, they should know what they are up against. After all, they were born and raised here.
And anyone who does such a thing and then whines about their civil rights once captured should be shot, just out of principal. They can’t have it both ways: Death to America. Down with the American system of government. Oh, wait. I’ve been caught by America? I want my American rights granted to and protected for me by America! Give me a fucking break. Save the cost of a trial on that. I’d rather pay for the drone strike with my hard earned tax dollars and not give these people a propaganda platform in the guise of a trial.
You want to have the conversation about drones and whether or not they are ethical? Fine. There is a discussion to be had on that. We can and should debate this, especially when it comes to killing kids as such strikes by necessity sometimes do. But don’t go getting your panties in a wad about the killing of a traitor whose own actions and Youtube videos confirm it. That doesn’t even make a blip on my ethical meter.