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?"