Monday, February 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM

Yes, Obama Should Drone American Terrorists Too!

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Anyone who harbored any delusion about Republicans/conservatives having a monopoly on political stupidity had to have been disabused of it last week. Because Democrats/liberals sounded every bit as stupid when they began hurling criticisms at President Obama for his drone strategy.

Their criticisms stemmed from a leaked memo showing that Obama’s Justice Department provided the same kind of legal cover for the targeted assassination of American-born terrorists (aka the drone memo) that Bush’s Justice Department provided for the enhanced interrogation of terrorists (aka the torture memo).

Screen Shot 2013-02-11 at 7.13.58 AMLiberals were particularly outraged because the drone memo indicated that, when it comes to his alleged “kill list,” Obama should make no distinction between Americans like Anwar al-Awlaki and Adam Gadahn – who travel overseas to join al-Qaeda or some other anti-American terrorist group – and foreigners.

Granted, on first impression, one might see refreshing consistency in liberals criticizing Obama with the same political indignation with which they criticized Bush for allegedly violating the Constitution. Except that their criticisms in both cases are uninformed and dangerously naïve.

With respect to Bush:

Until Obama leads the country through eight years without another terrorist attack, I am going to accept President Bush’s word that the enhanced interrogation methods and techniques he approved [including waterboarding, renditioning, and droning] were absolutely indispensable in foiling numerous attacks and saving thousands of American lives.  The proof is in the pudding…

‘And frankly, I don’t give a damn if, by some subjective application of international law, those methods and techniques amount to torture. After all, it beats the alternative!

(“CIA Memogate: Protecting Americans or Betraying American Values?” The iPINIONS Journal, April 23, 2009)

And with respect to Obama:

Even though I am probably among the most liberal of Obama’s supporters, I agree wholeheartedly with all of his flip-flops in this respect. Indeed, I even admonished fellow liberals that it is politically naïve and hypocritical to ridicule former VP Dick Cheney’s dire warnings about canceling Bush’s war-on-terrorism tactics.

(“Obama Angers Liberals by Governing Just Like Bush,” The iPINIONS Journal, May 14, 2009)

images-1Based on all of the war-on-terror precedents Bush set, it smacks of cannibalizing one’s own for liberals to be criticizing Obama for following those precedents … to keep us safe. Not to mention that they have no legal basis whatsoever for asserting that an American who joins the ranks of al-Qaeda is entitled to the same rights of due process as any American on U.S. soil. In those circumstances, that American terrorist automatically forfeits all such rights.

Can you imagine any sane American criticizing President Roosevelt for ordering the killing of a few American Nazis overseas during World War II? Because of the Spielberg film, Lincoln, President Lincoln is very topical. So forget American terrorists on foreign soil, should he have been criticized for ordering the killing of over 250,000 Southerners without due process during the Civil War…?

More to the point, consider this:

What if a drone commander informs President Obama that a drone armed with hellfire missiles has in its sights the terrorists who attacked the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi last year on 9/11, but that an American not on his kill list is camped out with them? And what if their camp were located in the elevated hinterlands of Yemen where Special Forces would be on suicide mission if they were sent in to capture them?

blog_drone_missileFrankly, I can’t imagine any sane liberal criticizing Obama for ordering that commander to open fire. And there is clearly nothing “arbitrary or capricious” – as the ACLU contends – about killing an American who has not only sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, but actually traveled abroad to join its ranks.

But the idea that this president, the commander in chief of the United States, should have to tell that drone commander to hold fire while he seeks (what could only be rubber-stamp) approval from some civilian judge – who knows nothing about the activities of this American terrorist – is too plainly stupid to be worthy of any further comment.

All the same, let me hasten to clarify that Obama is not above criticism in this context. Because my unbridled support for droning terrorists wherever he finds them has always been tempered – not by legal qualms but by political hypocrisy:

I wish Obama would stop using Clintonian spin to explain his adoption of Bush’s policies.  After all, there is no difference between what he’s arguing today and what Bush argued throughout his presidency was a national-security need to keep CIA enhanced interrogation techniques cloaked in secrecy.

(“Obama Angers Liberals by Governing Just Like Bush,” The iPINIONS Journal, May 14, 2009)

I even agree with liberals who complain that Obama is killing far too many innocent women and children (as “collateral damage”) with his drone strategy.

I am mindful, however, that those innocents would not be killed if the men in their lives were not using them, in effect, as human shields. More significant, though, is the hobson’s choice of pulling the trigger or sparing those women and children – thereby allowing the terrorists who hideout in their midst to live another day either to plan more attacks against innocent Americans or, God forbid, to carry them out.

But here again, I can’t imagine any sane liberal criticizing Obama for choosing to take them all out before they take out any American (soldier or civilian).

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to also mention the hypocrisy inherent in Republicans who championed Bush’s war-on-terror tactics, including drone strikes, now criticizing Obama for using those same tactics.

This, in part, is why I decided long ago that looking for moral consistency in politics is even more foolish than looking for love in all the wrong places.

So drone away Obama!

Related commentaries:
Obama angers liberals
CIA memogate
Republicans are praying

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