Jo Becker and Scott Shane interviewed about 36 close present and past aides of Obama for a devastating, lengthy NY Times profile called "Secret `Kill List' Proves a Test of Obama's Principles and Will," which appeared today. It begins with Obama looking over a collection of mug shots and descriptions of 15 alleged Qaeda suspects in Yemen, bound like a high-school yearbook, to choose which to kill. Several are Americans, and one is a 17-year-old girl.
"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."
The 36 aides "describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action without hand-wringing... 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.'" No comment on his killing of that cleric's 16-year-old son a few days later.
"The administration's failure to forge a clear detention policy has created the impression among some members of Congress of a take-no-prisoners policy... 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,... `The policy is to take out high-value targets, versus capturing high-value targets,' said Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, the top Republican on the intelligence committee. `They are not going to advertise that, but that's what they are doing.'"
Of the ex-aides interviewed, how many quit or were fired because they just could not stomach all this murder? US Ambassador to Pakistan Cameron Munter, who has quit, said, "he didn't realize his main job was to kill people." Former Director of National Intelligence Admiral Dennis Blair, whom Obama fired, said that discussions inside the White House of long-term strategy against Al Qaeda were sidelined by the intense focus on strikes. "The steady refrain in the White House was, `This is the only game in town' -- reminded me of body counts in Vietnam,' said Mr. Blair, a retired admiral who began his Navy service during that war."
The story recounts one-on-one meetings between Obama and Hillary Clinton, for which only she could be the source, in which she swore allegiance to his bloodbath policy, but tried unsuccessfully to interest him in discussions of how people become radicalized in the first place.
Obama has invented a new killings-debate process, in which about 100 national security officials gather by secure teleconference about once a week, "to pore over terrorist suspects' biographies and recommend to the president who should be the next to die... The nominations go to the White House, where by his own insistence and guided by (counter-terror advisor) Mr. Brennan, Mr. Obama must approve any name."
The source of Obama's repeated lie that there are hardly any civilian casualties in all this butchery, is that all military-aged males in a strike zone are counted as combatants, unless it is explicitly proven otherwise after their deaths! This lie has so troubled some administration officials that they have brought their concerns to the White House.
One victim, Pakistani Taliban head Baitullah Mehsud, was killed as a favor to the Pakistani government even though there was no way to portray him as "an imminent threat to the United States," which is the supposed rationale under which all the others were killed. His group targeted the Pakistani government, not ours. "But Pakistani officials wanted him dead, and the American drone program rested on their tacit approval. The issue was resolved after the president and his advisors found that he represented a threat, if not to the homeland, to American personnel in Pakistan." Obama ordered him killed while he was with his wife at his in-laws' home, and "Mr. Mehsud was killed, along with his wife and, by some reports, other family members as well, said a senior intelligence official."
Any American who is not bending every effort to remove this monster from the presidency, is paving the way to his own early death and that of our country.