Obama’s ‘Kill List’ Is Unchecked Presidential Power

Obama’s ‘Kill List’ Is Unchecked Presidential Power

Obama’s ‘Kill List’ Is Unchecked Presidential Power

The national obsession with the leak source misses its vital significance: the warped policy and the drones that drive it.

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Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

A stunning report in the New York Times depicted President Obama poring over the equivalent of terrorist baseball cards, deciding who on a “kill list” would be targeted for elimination by drone attack. The revelations—as well as those in Daniel Klaidman’s recent book—sparked public outrage and calls for congressional inquiry.

Yet bizarrely, the fury is targeted at the messengers, not the message. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) expressed dismay that presidential aides were leaking national security information to bolster the president’s foreign policy credentials. (Shocking? Think gambling, Casablanca). Republican and Democratic senators joined in condemning the leaks. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.—AWOL in the prosecution of rampant bank fraud—roused himself to name two prosecutors to track down the leakers.

Please. Al Qaeda knows that US drones are hunting them. The Pakistanis, Yemenis, Somalis, Afghanis and others know the US is behind the drones that strike suddenly from above. The only people aided by these revelations are the American people who have an overriding right and need to know.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

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