May 23, 2013 Leave a comment
The US Government killed four Americans via drone strikes during the Obama administration. It’s a little kept secret that Obama spreads out pictures of alleged terrorists in the Oval Office and points at the ones he wants to kill via drone. We’re supposed to just trust that the President knows what he’s doing even though we know several hundred innocent civilians and four Americans have died. Today Obama is going to propose new rules for his administration to follow, as though those rules couldn’t be broken. Again, we’re supposed to just trust him. There is no judicial or otherwise independent oversight of the rules Obama is placing on himself. Just trust him.
In the case of drone strikes we’re supposed to just trust Obama because he has all sorts of classified information about the terrorists he’s attacking. His new standards are essentially meaningless because he can argue that all of the terrorists he attacks are a continuing and imminent threat to Americans. After all, the standard is going to be kept by the same person applying and arguing the standard in the first place. The buck stops with Obama, he’s the one who picks which terrorists will be attacked. Obama will ask Obama whether the standard has been met concerning a certain terrorist he wishes to attack. It’s utterly absurd.
Obama is trying to get ahead of this scandal. Americans will be rightfully outraged that four Americans were killed by Obama’s predator drone strikes. The country is generally uncomfortable with such strikes and will love to hear that there are standards being put in place. Obama is of course counting on no one noticing that the standards are irrelevant. There won’t be an independent commission reviewing drone strike proposals. There won’t be someone from the judiciary signing off on a drone strike. It will all come back to Obama and if it doesn’t come back to Obama then it will come back to people within the Obama administration who probably won’t tell the President so he can be shielded from any mistakes or criminal activity.
The problem with drone strikes and Obama is that we’re expected to trust his judgment. This is the same President who went to sleep rather than orchestrate a defense of the Benghazi consulate. Four Americans died, including our ambassador. This is the same President who isn’t told much of anything when scandal hits the agencies he’s running or in the alternative is lying about scandals in his government. This is a President who has used the power of the government to suppress whistleblowers and the press. Yet we’re supposed to trust Obama’s grand standards for drone strikes?
Obama’s speech today is all smoke and mirrors. It’s meant to divert attention away from scandals which are increasing in intensity by the hour. Obama is trying to present himself as someone who wants to get out ahead of these nasty drone strikes, as though he hasn’t used them more in his first term than Bush did in two terms. He’ll present himself as though he’s an outsider, absolutely shocked at the power of drone strikes, their potential for abuse and the precedent they set. Obama has been President for four and a half years, he can spare us the moral indignation at this point. His proposals are meaningless, they have no teeth. Why would they? Obama has lived off these drones for four years in the war on terrorism. He isn’t going to actually give them up now even if he tells the country all about his shiny new standards.