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Water Boarding Versus Drone Assassinations

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 25, 2012

It the early days of the Obama presidency, the Administration attacked President George W. Bush’s war on terror policies.  This included Obama’s promise to close the Guantánamo Bay terrorist detention center, which still remains open.  There were also announcements of prosecuting some involved in the war on terror including CIA employees who used enhanced interrogation techniques including waterboarding.  While the Administration did not follow through on this politically motivated war against its predecessor, it caused embarrassment for the Country and fear within the intelligence community.  The Leftist mainstream media was an eager assistant in the Administration’s effort.

Nearly four years later it is instructive to review the Obama Administration’s related policies against suspected terrorists.  No longer is there talk about enhanced interrogation techniques, but that is not a guarantee that such techniques are not being used.  However, the Obama Administration’s increased use of targeted assassinations through drone strikes has conveniently eliminated the possibility of such interrogation in many cases.

The mainstream media does not seem to a problem with Obama’s use of assassinations.  In fact, when it does report on this issue it does so with a callous attitude towards the killings.  Today’s New York Times published an article titled Election Spurred a Move to Codify U.S. Drone Policy, which demonstrates this remarkable metamorphosis by the press.

The Times reported that during the Obama presidency, there have been over 300 drone strikes by the CIA killing approximately 2.500 people including suspected terrorists and innocent bystanders.  These attacks have occurred in various countries without permission including Pakistan and Yemen that have created ill will towards America.

The Times also reported that prior to the recent presidential election, there was concern in the Administration that Romney might be elected and therefore began creating legal papers to define and add constraints on the drone assassination program.  The President raised a related issue in mid- October on The Daily Show saying: “One of the things we’ve got to do is put a legal architecture in place, and we need Congressional help in order to do that, to make sure that not only am I reined in but any president’s reined in terms of some of the decisions that we’re making.”  However, after his reelection the Administration has placed this effort on the back burner.

The United Nations has announced plans to investigate America’s drone strikes.  It is likely they will find the program in breach of international law.  This raises the interesting question as to whether the President could be subject to prosecution by an international court.  Given that the United Nations is run by Progressives with similar views to those Leftists currently occupying White House should give Obama concern.  Hopefully his successor will act with more dignity concerning this issue than Obama did concerning the Bush Administration’s use of waterboarding.


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