Thursday, October 6, 2011
Back in 2008, candidate-Barack Obama criticized President George W. Bush for the use of torture to interrogate terror suspects. Obama promised, if elected president, to end such lawlessness.
However, as president, Mr. Obama has come down with a serious case of hypocrisy.
A secret panel of mid-level national security officials has been established that can put American citizens on a “kill or capture” list that is ultimately sent to the White House for final approval.
The panel’s recommendations first go through a group of National Security Council “principals” – meaning Cabinet secretaries and intelligence chiefs – for approval before reaching the president’s desk, according to a report today by Reuter’s.
Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born militant killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen last month, was approved for killing in this way, though the role of the president in ordering or ratifying a decision to target a citizen is vague, the report said. Reuters said White House spokesman Tommy Vietor declined to discuss anything about the process.
There is no public record of the panel’s workings and no law actually establishing it or spelling out its functions.
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who is a candidate for president, was quick to criticize Obama for the al-Awlaki assassination and said in a National Press Club talk that if American citizens did not protest at such killings it’s possible that even reporters could end up on a hit list.
“Can you imagine being put on a list because you’re a threat? What’s going to happen when they come to the media? What if the media becomes a threat?” he said in remarks reported by the Associated Press. “This is the way this works. It’s incrementalism.” Paul said.