The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama
July 10, 2012 1:51 AM   Subscribe

"You have never spoken of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. Though you probably approved the strike that killed him, you have never mentioned his name in public. Though he was an American citizen killed by an American drone, you have kept the circumstances of his death secret...You have become the Lethal President."

"This is the consuming irony of the Lethal Presidency. You have become the Lethal President because you are also the Rule-of-Law President. You have been able to kill our enemies because you have forsworn waterboarding them. You have become the first president to execute without trial an American citizen because you hired...lawyers renowned for their blistering attacks on the legal memos that justified the Bush administration's use of torture to write the legal memos that justified the execution without trial of an American citizen."

posted by I love to count (2 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This is a single-link opinion piece on a contentious topic we've covered many times before, including two open threads, so maybe add this to one of those. -- taz

"President Bush would never have been able to scale this up the way President Obama has because he wouldn't have had the trust of the public and the Congress and the international community," says the former administration official familiar with the targeting process. "That trust has been enabling."
posted by chavenet at 2:17 AM on July 10, 2012

Steve Randy Waldman:
At a visceral level, I dislike President Obama more than I have disliked any politician in my lifetime, not because he is objectively worse than most of the others — he is not — but because he disproved my hypothesis that we are a country with basically good institutions brought low by poor quality leadership. Whenever I hear the President speak and am impressed by the quality of his intellect, by his instinct towards diplomacy and finding common ground and rising above petty struggles, I despair more deeply. Not just because a leader of high quality failed to restore passably clean and beneficient government. It is worse than that. The kleptocracy has harnessed this man’s most admirable qualities and made them a powerful weapon for its own ends. He has rebranded as “moderate”, “adult”, “reasonable”, practices such as unaccountable assassination lists and Orwellian nonhostilities.
posted by nixt at 2:19 AM on July 10, 2012 [2 favorites]

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