I was going to write about the President designating Alwaki as an enemy combatant and putting him on a targeting list.
I’m not terribly enthused about it, though it is quite the right thing to do. But rather than write about it myself, I’d direct you to Andy McCarthy, who puts his big brain to work on the topic of the legality of it.
When I say Obama’s decision was “obviously” correct, I am talking about the question from a constitutional standpoint. If we have American citizens who are fighting for the enemy in a war, some official of the government has to be responsible, in an ultimate way, for how we deal with that. In our system, that is the president. There can be no credible dispute about that. The Constitution makes the president the commander-in-chief, and thus the official responsible for the conduct of war. To the extent it was any of the courts’ business, the Supreme Court has held that there is no difference between American and alien enemy combatants — if they are fighting for the enemy, they can be treated as enemy combatants, meaning they can be killed or captured and detained outside the civilian justice system. The president is unquestionably the one to whom the Constitution entrusts this call.