The Kill List Rules

Nov 27 2012 @ 1:24pm

Over the weekend, Scott Shane reported that, in preparation for a possible Romney win, the Obama administration "accelerated work in the weeks before the election to develop explicit rules for the targeted killing of terrorists by unmanned drones, so that a new president would inherit clear standards and procedures." Greenwald sighs:

Now that Obama rather than Romney won, such rules will be developed "at a more leisurely pace". Despite Obama's suggestion that it might be good if even he had some legal framework in which to operate, he's been in no rush to subject himself to any such rules in four full years of killing thousands of people. This makes it safe to assume that by "a more leisurely pace", this anonymous Obama official means: "never".

Amy Davidson adds:

Did the idea that some Presidents are better than others at deciding whom to kill cause anyone to feel smug rather than abashed? When it comes to “kill lists,” Obama’s weakness has been to act as though the clarity of his judgment is the same thing as a clear standard; perhaps the thought of losing gave him a sense that this wasn’t the case. But what was most vivid for those in the present Administration, in their vision of President Romney haphazardly dispatching drones? Their distrust of Obama’s successor, or embarrassment about what they might be leaving, unattended to, on the Oval Office desk?