Victor Davis Hanson brings the smart to the issue with a very good article, Rules for Killing Rogues, addressing some of the issues that should give us pause.
(Khalid Sheik) Mohammed, a confessed killer, was one of just three detainees waterboarded. In contrast, we have executed from the air well over 1,500 suspected terrorists by Predators. President Obama has ordered four times as many drone attacks in the last two years as former president Bush did in eight.Why is it acceptable to be judge, jury and executioner of someone whom you can only tentatively identify from a drone, but not acceptable to waterboard a confessed killer? Why is it that it's acceptable to many on the left to vaporize someone with a bomb, but criminally wrong to send a sniper after them? We, or someone, just sent bombs into the suspected home of Libya's Qaddafi, killing many, but not him. Why is that acceptable, but a direct assassination isn't? Is it that deep down, the left feels comfortable with war when death appears random, and not precision?
For those who don't recall, Khalid Sheik Mohammed confessed, among other things, he personally "decapitated with my blessed right hand" American reporter Daniel Pearl. In the 9/11 Commission Report, you get more insight into KSM (poodle-back man), planner of both the 9/11 attacks and an abandoned plot called operation bojinka, which would have blown up 11 jumbo jets in the air over the Pacific and assassinated the Pope. The guy is not only a psychopathic murderer, he's a psychopathic murder convinced of his own genius, and superiority to, well, everyone. (If you haven't read the 9/11 report, you should. While sometimes reading like a bus schedule, the majority of the report is very readable. It isn't the ultimate word on the subject, but it's a high quality summary).