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Obama’s Kill List: What You Need to Know

The information contained in this post was derived from the New York Times article “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will” by Jo Becker and Scott Shane.
Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Suspects are killed by drone strikes. No trial is given, no evidence is shown, US citizens are not exempted. All this information is kept secret.  “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.”
  2. The list contains 15 Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen. Several are Americans. The list also contains 2 teenagers, including a girl who looks younger than 17 years of age.
  3. Renditions, military commissions, and indefinite detention have been preserved without Obama ever “showing his hand”.
    “A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency, providing martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniqueswere banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed.What the new president did not say was that the orders contained a few subtle loopholes. They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric.” [emphasis mine]
  4. When told his plan to close Guantanamo was in danger, Obama refused to allow Clinton and Holder to fight for its success on Capitol Hill.
  5. The president stated he wanted situations where drones could cause possible collateral damage (killing of innocents) to operate only based on his permission.  However, this “did not significantly change the program.” In other words, collateral damage continued.
  6. All military age males are considered enemy combatants unless proved otherwise. In other words, they are guilty until proven innocent.
  7. Both Pakistan and Yemen are less stable and more hostile to the U.S. than before drone strikes started taking place in the two countries. This is only correlation, but the logic for causality is present as well.

“At their weekly lunch, Mrs. Clinton told the president she thought there should be more attention paid to the root causes of radicalization, and Mr. Obama agreed.”

What they fail to recognize is that the root cause of radicalization is very simple. It is interventionism by the United States government. It is the sanctions and drone strikes and mass murder of innocent human beings. It is the politicians’ grave error in believing that we can murder innocent individuals for some “greater cause“, some “higher purpose.” Obama is prolonging the same blunder that has described our foreign policy for the last 50 years (and perhaps longer).

Here’s Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, with her admission that the 500,000 children who died as a result of the sanctions we imposed on Iraq was “worth it.”

Interventionism causes long-term blowback. If 500,000 children in your nation died as a result of another nation’s sanctions, would you be upset? If one of them was your child, would you be enraged?

A vicious cycle appears: the blowback causes more and more of our civil liberties to be taken away because of the call for even more intervention.

If the information presented here doesn’t disturb you, I don’t know what would. America is rapidly transforming into a totalitarian nation. Yet millions of Americans are eagerly awaiting their chance to vote for one of two men who both will support the accelerated growth of despotism.

UDPATE 6/2/12:

Colbert says it better than I can.

The Word – Two Birds With One Drone