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President Obama's Kill List


IceStone
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I guess it's just easier to kill people than deal with that mess of Guantanamo Bay. Not that Gitmo even matters anymore because the Drones have replaced it as the rallying cry to recruit more terrorists. I'm sure all this is going over well in the Muslim world.

It is the strangest of bureaucratic rituals: Every week or so, more than 100 members of the government’s sprawling national security apparatus gather, by secure video teleconference, to pore over terrorist suspects’ biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die.

This secret “nominations” process is an invention of the Obama administration, a grim debating society that vets the PowerPoint slides bearing the names, aliases and life stories of suspected members of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen or its allies in Somalia’s Shabab militia.

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation.

In interviews with The New York Times, three dozen of his current and former advisers described Mr. Obama’s evolution since taking on the role, without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war with Al Qaeda.

They describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action without hand-wringing. While he was adamant about narrowing the fight and improving relations with the Muslim world, he has followed the metastasizing enemy into new and dangerous lands. When he applies his lawyering skills to counterterrorism, it is usually to enable, not constrain, his ferocious campaign against Al Qaeda — even when it comes to killing an American cleric in Yemen, a decision that Mr. Obama told colleagues was “an easy one.”

A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies — rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention — that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

On Drone Strikes (Gotta love the transparency) I am sure the Muslim world is just loving this.

Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good. “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.

This counting method may partly explain the official claims of extraordinarily low collateral deaths. In a speech last year Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s trusted adviser, said that not a single noncombatant had been killed in a year of strikes. And in a recent interview, a senior administration official said that the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in Pakistan under Mr. Obama was in the “single digits” — and that independent counts of scores or hundreds of civilian deaths unwittingly draw on false propaganda claims by militants.

But in interviews, three former senior intelligence officials expressed disbelief that the number could be so low. The C.I.A. accounting has so troubled some administration officials outside the agency that they have brought their concerns to the White House. One called it “guilt by association” that has led to “deceptive” estimates of civilian casualties.

“It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants,” the official said. “They count the corpses and they’re not really sure who they are.”

His focus on strikes has made it impossible to forge, for now, the new relationship with the Muslim world that he had envisioned. Both Pakistan and Yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the United States than when Mr. Obama became president.

Justly or not, drones have become a provocative symbol of American power, running roughshod over national sovereignty and killing innocents. With China and Russia watching, the United States has set an international precedent for sending drones over borders to kill enemies.

On Guantanamo Bay

General Jones said the president and his aides had assumed that closing the prison was “a no-brainer — the United States will look good around the world.” The trouble was, he added, “nobody asked, ‘O.K., let’s assume it’s a good idea, how are you going to do this?’ “

It was not only Mr. Obama’s distaste for legislative backslapping and arm-twisting, but also part of a deeper pattern, said an administration official who has watched him closely: the president seemed to have “a sense that if he sketches a vision, it will happen — without his really having thought through the mechanism by which it will happen.”

Yet the administration’s very success at killing terrorism suspects has been shadowed by a suspicion: that Mr. Obama has avoided the complications of detention by deciding, in effect, to take no prisoners alive. While scores of suspects have been killed under Mr. Obama, only one has been taken into American custody, and the president has balked at adding new prisoners to Guantánamo.

http://www.nytimes.c...?pagewanted=all

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Guest Deisel

True scenario. Special operations soldiers would rather Shoot to kill, snipe, rather then take prisoners. #1. Liability afterwards is alot less. #2. Having these terrorist show back up on the war field, after being released by the ACLU, is nill. Kill em in battle and bring back No prisoners.

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True scenario. Special operations soldiers would rather Shoot to kill, snipe, rather then take prisoners. #1. Liability afterwards is alot less. #2. Having these terrorist show back up on the war field, after being released by the ACLU, is nill. Kill em in battle and bring back No prisoners.

Oh I am sure they would and for the most part this is correct. Of course its easier to kill a man when its thousands of miles away from the media presence of the US and even if it wasn't the media wouldn't have access to all the details anyway. Much easier than the media storm that would be created if he started loading up Gitmo with prisoners or some other prison in the US. I do find it disturbing though that he seems to like to have his finger on the button as well as the possibility that he may just be killing people instead of taking them prisoner to avoid a political mess. As Joseph Stalin use to say "Death solves all problems - No man, no problem"

Edited by IceStone
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True scenario. Special operations soldiers would rather Shoot to kill, snipe, rather then take prisoners. #1. Liability afterwards is alot less. #2. Having these terrorist show back up on the war field, after being released by the ACLU, is nill. Kill em in battle and bring back No prisoners.

So you're praising Obama, right?

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Oh I am sure they would and for the most part this is correct. Of course its easier to kill a man when its thousands of miles away from the media presence of the US and even if it wasn't the media wouldn't have access to all the details anyway. Much easier than the media storm that would be created if he started loading up Gitmo with prisoners or some other prison in the US. I do find it disturbing though that he seems to like to have his finger on the button as well as the possibility that he may just be killing people instead of taking them prisoner to avoid a political mess. As Joseph Stalin use to say "Death solves all problems - No man, no problem"

Why do you want to coddle terrorists?

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A very strange story, that 6,000-word front-page New York Times piece on how, every Tuesday, Barack Obama shuffles “baseball cards” with the pictures and bios of suspected terrorists from around the world and chooses who shall die by drone strike. He even reserves for himself the decision of whether to proceed when the probability of killing family members or bystanders is significant.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/barack-obama-drone-warrior/2012/05/31/gJQAr6zQ5U_story.html

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Where is your outrage over human rights?

I was being facetious. I didn't like a lot of these practices under Bush and I don't like them under Obama (I voted for neither of these guys BTW). Though I will say it's better to use drones than to invade entire countries, occupy them for a decade, and pay all your contractor buddies to rebuild it at taxpayer expense.

What's even scarier to me is the idea that presidential discretion equates to due process when deciding to kill US citizens, as Holder has argued in the al-Awlaki killing. That's blatantly unconstitutional and un-American.

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I was being facetious. I didn't like a lot of these practices under Bush and I don't like them under Obama (I voted for neither of these guys BTW). Though I will say it's better to use drones than to invade entire countries, occupy them for a decade, and pay all your contractor buddies to rebuild it at taxpayer expense.

What's even scarier to me is the idea that presidential discretion equates to due process when deciding to kill US citizens, as Holder has argued in the al-Awlaki killing. That's blatantly unconstitutional and un-American.

As was I, and I agree for the most part.

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That would explain why my mattress fell on me unexpectedly and almost suffocated me. I'm reporting this to Homeland Security.

I wouldn't do that LC or else they will take it out the normal way

predator.jpg

and if the rule for militants is "all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants"

that means they will take out your TV, Couch, cabinet and they will all be considered hostile.

Edited by kane#7
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