Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drones hit, they don’t see children.”
William M. Daley, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff in 2011, said the president and his advisers understood that they could not keep adding new names to a kill list, from ever lower on the Qaeda totem pole. What remains unanswered is how much killing will be enough
“One guy gets knocked off, and the guy’s driver, who’s No. 21, becomes 20?” Mr. Daley said, describing the internal discussion. “At what point are you just filling the bucket with numbers?”” —
Does anyone see a never-ending conflict here?
Let’s not forget, the DOJ has moved to make the Secret Kill List, or whatever you want to call it, a state secret and thus not subject to judicial review.
Let’s just think for a moment about how sickening and terrifying that is.
This is something that’s always important to talk about because of the legal precedent it sets. This article talks a great deal about the legal approaches Obama used in fighting the “War on Terror” that I found absolutely fascinating. The article seemed to indicate that Obama took the steps he did so he couldn’t be criticized by Republicans and Dick Cheney, of all people, who bemoan reading terror suspects their rights and “treating them like Americans.” Whatever happened to being the shining beacon of democracy and extending the same rights to the “bad guys” as is done with others? I mean, we tried the Nazis. We can’t do the same with terror suspects?
Obama seems to usher in these new legal policies to avoid criticism from the right in an effort to gain or preserve political points - all of this for political points. Obama didn’t want to be accused of being soft on terrorism so he maneuvered these new hard-lined policies through highly contested means. I just find it unbelievable that he’d rather move his policies further and further right, even desecrating the Constitution he used to teach, rather than fight back politically and play hardball with the Republicans. The Obama administration traded part of the U.S. detention program in for drone strikes. So what? The legal tricks that were used to justify such have unprecedented consequences and let’s not forget:
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.