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May 30, 2012

Everything You Need To Know About Obama's 'Kill List'

According to a New York Times article, President Obama personally approves the name of every terrorist who is targeted for death or capture. 

President Obama, overseeing the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meeting of two dozen security officials in the White House Situation Room, took a moment to study the faces. It was Jan. 19, 2010, the end of a first year in office punctuated by terrorist plots and culminating in a brush with catastrophe over Detroit on Christmas Day, a reminder that a successful attack could derail his presidency. Yet he faced adversaries without uniforms, often indistinguishable from the civilians around them.

“How old are these people?” he asked, according to two officials present. “If they are starting to use children,” he said of Al Qaeda, “we are moving into a whole different phase.”

It was not a theoretical question: 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.

It would seem our president has painted himself into a corner regarding the "largely theoretical" capture of Al Qaeda terrorists.  After promising to close Gitmo as one of his first orders of presidential business, how would it look if he start adding to the prison population now?  Besides, he's been trying to get civilian trials for the terrorist inmates, but nobody wanted to conduct them in their cities.  What will he do with more of them when he brings them in?  There's little point in asking them any questions.  He's ruled out any forceful interrogation methods, so what would be the point of capturing anybody?  What to do?

Just kill them.  But take a nuanced approach about it.

Obama himself, at his weekly "Terror Tuesday" meetings, "[insists] 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," the Times reports. 

But perhaps the oddest revelation in the news story is this: David Axelrod attended Obama's "Kill List" meetings. As the Times notes:  

David Axelrod, the president’s closest political adviser, began showing up at the “Terror Tuesday” meetings, his unspeaking presence a visible reminder of what everyone understood: a successful attack would overwhelm the president’s other aspirations and achievements.

"[A] successful attack would overwhelm the president’s other aspirations and achievements" is how the Times explains Axelrod's presence. So are we to believe that President Obama seeks success in killing terrorists off his list because it will help his political goals? Apparently so.

How bizarre.  David Axelrod, Obama's top political consultant, attends these meetings.  What does that tell you?  And why are we finding out now — from the New York Times of all places — about "a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture?"

Posted by Tom Bowler at 09:39 AM | Permalink


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It is rather amusing to consider what the reaction to this would be if it were Bush, isn't it?

Posted by: Dean Esmay | May 30, 2012 4:20:21 PM

It certainly is, Dean. There'd be stories galore about Bush the "war criminal." The Senate would conduct hearings daily.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | May 30, 2012 10:12:46 PM

That the Democrats are hypocrites is not news.

Unfortunately, it is also not news that the moderns day Republican Party has no problem with Bush/Obama policies, and the importance of our Constitution.

You yourself seem to have a great deal of partisan blindness in recognizing the utter leftist mentality of Bush/Obama on many things. And we mine as well add Romney to the mix.

You have a good article below called "Earned Success", in which you noted Arthur C. Brooks, and his inspiring story and message.

You then transpose those beliefs onto Romney when there is no indication whatsoever that Romney shares them.

And so you are confused as to why the Republicans are utterly unimpressive in substance and electoral success at the Presidential level, an unimpressive state that has existed for over 20 years now.

The strategy by the RINO establishment appears to be to trot out these phony's over and over again hoping that Conservatives will eventually get on board. It is a losing strategy.

At some point, it needs to be recognized as such.

Posted by: Robinson1 | May 31, 2012 4:53:30 PM

Thanks for your kind words about the "Earned Success" post. But let's not have perfect become the enemy of good. A lot of people besides yourself question Romney's conservative credentials, but let's not lose sight of the fact that he is a vast improvement over Obama, even in his worst RINO moments.

Second thing, don't discount the Tea Party. The RINO establishment is quite often losing out to the Tea Party, and when they don't lose out they somehow drift towards Tea Party principles. Just take a look at Orrin Hatch.

I think today's RINOs are leftover moderates from the "Rockefeller Republican" days when both Democrats and Republicans were bent on out-compassioning each other. I recall a third party presidential candidate who referred to Democrats and Republicans as Socialist Party A and Socialist Party B. In those days those of us who called ourselves libertarian were pretty few in number and pretty much without a political home.

It's quite different now. Libertarians are infiltrating the Republican party, and the success of Ron Paul, along with his decision not to run as a third party candidate, is the clearest signal that the Republican party is moving our way.

As to the Republicans' unimpressive electoral success at the presidential level, before Bill Clinton came along Harry Truman was the last Democrat to win a second term. That's even less impressive than the Republican record.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Jun 1, 2012 8:52:38 AM

Well I don't know. You're leaving out Kennedy/Johnson. That to me is a technicality. That gets you to 1968. So at that point you had Democrats in the White House for 28 of the past 36 years.

Let's hope we're not in for something like that.

The Tea Party had been an important development. And I am aware of you're activism in it, and I appreciate it. But while the Tea Party has had some impact on congressional elections, it is hard to see how it has had any influence on the Republican Party at the Presidential level. Otherwise how would we have this nominee?

I realize the national media demonizes all Republican nominees. However, while they do this, they also make subtle comments about how certain nominees are "acceptable" -- at least given the fact they represent the evil Republican Party. Romney is "acceptable."

It is my view that the last candidate to be considered "totally unacceptable" and "off his rocker" was Ronald Reagan. If you remember 1980 and 1984, you will note that he was not simply demonized. We were informed that the planet Earth likely wouldn't be around in 4 years after he got elected. And once that failed to materialize, we wouldn't be around in 4 years if he got re-elected.

When you see the media in a psychotic frenzy claiming the Earth will explode, that will be evidence that the Republican Party has made the necessary adjustments.

Posted by: Robinson1 | Jun 1, 2012 4:44:13 PM

When you see the media in a psychotic frenzy claiming the Earth will explode, that will be evidence that the Republican Party has made the necessary adjustments.

You may be onto something, there. But the psychotic frenzy also shows that progressives recognize the skill/talent/effectiveness of their target. They see a threat. It frightens them badly and they react forcefully, if not always effectively.

Notice, though, which group gets demonized routinely, and has been since the beginning. The Tea Party. Is there a better indication of the Tea Party's effectiveness than that?

Regarding control of the White House, I have it with Republicans holding it 28 years to Democrats' 16 years between 1968 and now.

Posted by: Tom Bowler | Jun 2, 2012 10:23:37 AM

Ha! Very true about the Tea Party. I was actually referring to the period 1932 to 1968.

But I really think the problem for today is the last 20 years. George W. Bush’s electoral “victories” get in the way of clear-headed analysis.

W lost the popular vote to a sitting Vice President -- something that has only been done once before in the history of the country .

In my view, John Kerry doesn’t even amount to George McGovern -- who got beat in a rout. Yet George W. Bush almost loses in the first election since 9/11 -- an election that, under the circumstance, the incumbent, regardless of party, should have won by a quality margin, even if he were running against a quality opponent.

I just don’t think the Republican Party should even be in this position at the Presidential level. And I think the reason they are in this position has to do with the party itself -- which as you say, is why we have the Tea Party.

Posted by: Robinson1 | Jun 2, 2012 5:06:36 PM