Monday, November 04, 2013

Drone strikes and the Obama legacy

I think this is right: "President Barack Obama is criticized every day for the problems and difficulties associated with the Affordable Care Act. But in the long term, it's likely history will scrutinize the CIA’s use of drone strikes during his administration with a far more critical eye."

I hope it's right.

That's a quote from Jay Busbee, New book: Obama told aides that drones make him 'really good at killing people' Yahoo! News 11/04/2013. The article's title references a quote from the new book by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Double Down: Game Change 2012 (2013). Busbee reports:

... Obama told aides in connection with the CIA's drone program that he is “really good at killing people.”

It’s the kind of quote likely to make Obama supporters cringe or scramble for justifying explanations, perhaps by rationalizing the quote as either false or out of context, or critiquing the information-gathering methods of authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann. The writers spent two years interviewing dozens of people connected with both the Obama and Romney campaigns.

Whether uttered in jest or in resignation, the Obama quote will only add to the concerns of those wondering whether the president has embraced the Godlike, life-and-death power of the Oval Office. After campaigning against the intense interrogation procedures pursued under President George W. Bush, Obama has vastly expanded the drone program. Despite its intense unpopularity overseas, in part because of civilian casualties and in part because of its unclear, secretive mandates, the Pakistan drone program continues as it has since 2004.
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