No prizes for guessing which Nobel Peace Prize-winner…
Barack Obama (the ‘Change We Can Believe In’ President) looks more like his disastrous predecessor every passing day. I am not talking about the bailouts to politically-connected cronies, ‘stimulus’ spending that doesn’t stimulate anything, or the futile throwing of money at an inefficient healthcare system. Rather, I am referring to something that Democrats and ‘proper liberals’ are supposed to agree on – the rule of law and the rejection of unconstitutional anti-terrorism policies. Specifically, I am talking about the use of targeted assassination as a policy priority.
The increase in targeted assassination of terrorist suspects is a direct effect of the policies and preferences of the current President. The frequency of such attacks has increased substantially in the last few years, as even the pro-Obama Washington Post reported. However, things have now reached a new low point – the Times reports that American citizens are now being placed in the Predator drone’s crosshairs.
Even George W Bush, in spite of all the disgraceful human rights abuses he presided over, did not target American citizens for assassination.
The argument is often rightly made that torture is severely limited in its effectiveness in gathering useful information, but it is a truism to say the same can be said of assassination. When contrasted with the capture of these terrorists, assassination offers few meaningful benefits. Any opportunity to learn something new about our enemies’ plans is lost in the bomb crater. Nat Hentoff of the Cato Institute argued this point concerning the assassination of Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan in Somalia in February. Hentoff quoted a senior military officer as saying- “We wanted to take a prisoner. [The assassination] was not a decision that we made” These shoot-to-kill orders are coming from the very top, and they are in direct conflict with our interests in gathering information by capturing and interrogating high value targets.
Now that these tactics can be applied to American citizens, without any need for judicial approval, even die-hard Obama supporters should be wondering what good was served by believing in his plans for ‘change’.
Oh well, at least by blowing these people to smithereens on the other side of the planet, President Obama is spared those annoying calls from human rights activists nearer to home. There’s no longer any need to worry about fair trials and due process (or lack thereof), or accusations of torture (or is that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’). As long as he keeps bombing people without trial, there isn’t really any need to expedite the closing of Guantanamo Bay either.