Thursday, October 06, 2011

Change You Can Believe In

Changing tune, that is.

The White House is portraying the killing of Awlaki as a demonstration of President Barack Obama's toughness toward militants who threaten the United States. But the process that led to Awlaki's killing has drawn fierce criticism from both the political left and right.


Liberals criticized the drone attack on an American citizen as extra-judicial murder.

Conservatives criticized Obama for refusing to release a Justice Department legal opinion that reportedly justified killing Awlaki. They accuse Obama of hypocrisy, noting his administration insisted on publishing Bush-era administration legal memos justifying the use of interrogation techniques many equate with torture, but refused to make public its rationale for killing a citizen without due process.


Therefore, it’s time to leak information that it’s not President #Compromise who makes that decision.

Some details about how the administration went about targeting Awlaki emerged on Tuesday when the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Dutch Ruppersberger, was asked by reporters about the killing.

The process involves "going through the National Security Council, then it eventually goes to the president, but the National Security Council does the investigation, they have lawyers, they review, they look at the situation, you have input from the military, and also, we make sure that we follow international law," Ruppersberger said.


Other officials said the role of the president in the process was murkier than what Ruppersberger described.

They said targeting recommendations are drawn up by a committee of mid-level National Security Council and agency officials. Their recommendations are then sent to the panel of NSC "principals," meaning Cabinet secretaries and intelligence unit chiefs, for approval. The panel of principals could have different memberships when considering different operational issues, they said.


There is no public record of the operations or decisions of the panel, which is a subset of the White House's National Security Council, several current and former officials said. Neither is there any law establishing its existence or setting out the rules by which it is supposed to operate.

The panel was behind the decision to add Awlaki, a U.S.-born militant preacher with alleged al Qaeda connections, to the target list.

We could have been told that a long time ago when targeting Awlaki first became news, but at that time, it was apparently deemed to make #Compromise look tough, manly and powerful. We could have been told that when the hit was effected and Awlaki dead. But apparently, at that time, it was deemed that it made #Compromise look like the guy who had the power to protect us. Only after the fact, now in campaign territory, when people are attacking #Compromise for the unconstitutional, illegal, immoral hit, are we being told that it wasn’t really his decision. Although I assume he is still praising the assassination.

A former official said one of the reasons for making senior officials principally responsible for nominating Americans for the target list was to "protect" the president.

Yeah, perhaps they should have thought of that before #Compromise started taking credit for the kill.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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