The New York Times baldly says why (bolding mine): “One day before President Obama is due to deliver a major speech on national security, his administration on Wednesday formally acknowledged that the United States had killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.” Best to have that finally on the record before said speech, eh? – Particularly since the administration needs to tread the difficult path of following George W Bush’s basic counter-terrorism policy while still roundly criticizing George W Bush’s basic counter-terrorism strategy*. Thus pleasing nobody, but then this administration has rarely shown any sort of concern that their actions might be offensive, annoying, or (these days) even comprehensible to others. I understand that it’s part of their, and I use the term loosely, ‘charm.’
NBC News has gotten its hands on a white paper that’s being used to legitimize the Obama administration’s drone policy, and it’s a… doozy. Short version: members of terrorist groups actively attacking the United States (or our interests) can expect to be shot on sight; and that includes the members of terrorist groups that happen to also be American citizens. And the administration does not have the inclination, and does not feels that it has the need, to particularly clear with anybody their taking the shot if a suitable target hoves into view.
Unless the name is ‘Adams,’ they rarely last beyond the third generation, and for good reason.
Background: somebody pointed out to Mr. Kennedy the President’s drone operations in Yemen/Somalia, and asked whether Kennedy supported the idea that the House needs to reestablish some of its oversight into the issue. This is actually a thorny problem; and while Kennedy’s answer (he essentially blamed that awful partisan gridlock, which is Democrat-speak for ‘those mean Republicans won’t give Obama a blank check’) would normally be only mildly stupid, it started off as being INCREDIBLY stupid.
“I am a supporter of the President’s drone initiatives. I am a supporter of certainly the strike that the President launched to, that ended up in the killing of Osama bin Laden.”
Oh, sorry, quick background: a US drone strike recently killed a sixteen year old American called Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was the son of notorious traitor Anwar al-Alwaki. There’s no immediate reason to explain why the younger al-Awlaki was killed; it could be anything from an accident to a recognition of the old rule of thumb that ‘nits make lice.’ Anyway, Mr. Junod here is very, very upset that this death happened. He is very, very sternly lecturing the Obama administration about not revealing its reasoning for the death, assuming that the Obama administration even has one. Mr. Junod is very, very much the model of principled opposition to this “Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama,” as he so pithily put it. But, again: do you know what’s missing from this piece of Junod’s?
I wasn’t looking for hope, that’s for sure; I was looking for evidence that Obama couldn’t win in the face of an evil as potent as the Republican party. As my mother got weaker and the light began to be blanched from her eyes, I would go to the blogs right after my daughter went to school, and then just before I went to visit my mom, and then as soon as I came home, and then for a few minutes while my daughter took her bath, and then, after I kissed my wife and she went to bed, in the dark hour past midnight. I hated Joe the Plumber more than I hated anyone on earth. He was my comfort, because he was death itself, and he allowed me to hate not just him but it.
I’d told myself on the plane that I wasn’t going to look at any of the dozens of inescapable televisions that line the terminal in Atlanta. I’d told myself that I was going to wait till we got home and Nia got to bed before I started to check any of the returns. My vow lasted until I saw the hovering face of Campbell Brown reporting on Kentucky. Campbell, she of the gorgeous hair, was calling Kentucky for John McCain — and suddenly I felt something I hadn’t felt since my mother died. I felt nauseous. I was doubled over, not by the news of McCain’s win but by the prospect that Obama might lose.