Saturday, April 19, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

If you're "probably up to no good," President Obama wants to kill you

If you're "probably up to no good," President Obama wants to kill you

Since they chanted "Drill, baby, drill!" at the 2008 RNC, maybe they could chant "Kill, baby, kill" at the 2012 DNC when they re-nominate President Obama:

Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

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.

It's kind of like that popular game "(Bleep), Marry or Kill" but without the "(Bleep)" or "Marry" part. The Times story at least starts out with something of a pro-Obama spin -- the anguished liberal, blah blah blah -- so it's better to get the straight story on this from Salon's Glenn Greenwald:

[I] want specifically to highlight this one vital passage about how the Obama administration determines who is a “militant.” The article explains that Obama’s rhetorical emphasis on avoiding civilian deaths “did not significantly change” the drone program, because Obama himself simply expanded the definition of a “militant” to ensure that it includes virtually everyone killed by his drone strikes. Just read this remarkable passage:

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 may be the ultimate example of something we've seen a lot in the last three and a half years, which we'll call, "If President Bush did this, liberals would be outraged." For what little it's worth, I'm fairly outraged. I do certainly approve of the raid and killing of Osama bin Laden and believe there was a time when al-Qaeda was stronger and more of a threat that these kind of attacks could be justified with solid intelligence.

But today the harm that's caused by raining death from machines in the sky down onto far too many civilians -- including someone's son, brother, or father who wasn't "up to no good" at all -- vastly outweighs any good. Righteous anger over the killing of civilians creates new terrorists faster than the killing of any old ones. As for the morally indefensible position that any male killed in such an attack is "probably up to no good," isn't the Obama administration saying the EXACT same thing that George Zimmerman said about Trayvon Martin?

Ponder that for a moment.

One more revolting thing is the news that a political adviser, David Axelrod, sat in on some of these meetings at which it was decided who would live and die.

If Karl Rove had done that (which he did, by the way). liberals would have been outraged.

UPDATE: Actually, the similarity with Zimmerman is even greater than I first thought. What he said to the Sanford police dispatcher was that Trayvon Martin "looks like he's up to no good." Thank God Zimmerman didn't have drones, huh?

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