Over at The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf interviews pizza magnate and GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain about war, constitutionalism, drugs, and civil liberties. It's a mixed bag, to be charitable, but this exchange is well worth the price of admission:
President Obama has said that he has the authority to assassinate American citizens if he's declared them an enemy combatant in the War on Terror. Al Awlaki is one guy who is on the official government list where he can be taken out. Do you have any thoughts on that? Is it a good policy because it allows us to take out Americans who may have joined Al Qaeda? Or is it a bad policy-
Well first of all, this is the first that I have heard - you're saying it's okay to take out American citizens if he suspects they are terrorist related. Is that what you said?!
Yes, that's what I said.
I've got to be honest with you. I have not heard that. I had not heard that's something that he said. I don't believe that the president of the United States should order the assassination of citizens of the United States. That's why we have our court system, and that's why we have our laws. Even if the person is suspected of being affiliated with terrorism, if they are a citizen of this country, they still deserve the rights of this country, which includes due process. Osama bin Laden was not a citizen of the United States of America. So I would not have changed the decision the president made in that regard. But if you're a citizen, no, it is not right for the president to to think he has the power to have you assassinated. No. He has the power to make sure you're locked up, but you have to go through due process.
Tim Cavanaugh's great piece on Cain's flat fair tax here.