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Section A: General News


Editorial: Obama then and Obama now: Killing is not torture




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About politics and other things
February 13, 2013 | 1,949 views | 47 comments

When President Barack Obama was campaigning, and even after he was elected, he came out against torture, vowing to “restore” America’s image to the world.

He pledged to end prisoner torture and promised to close Gitmo, where prisoners were being held without trial under conditions tantamount to what many considered to be torture. Gitmo, of course, is the prison camp at the United States Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The question of waterboarding became a center of controversy, as Obama, along with many others including Sen. John McCain, insisted that waterboarding is torture. By issuing an executive order against torture in 2009, Obama said he was sending a message to the world that the “United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, and we are going to do so vigilantly; we are going to do so effectively; and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals” (www.bostonglobe.com).

In other words, he would show the world that America would not tolerate the violence and torture that was associated with Gitmo or with America’s treatment of any other terrorist suspects. Obama would require that all interrogations follow the “non-coercive methods of the Army Field Manual,” establishing new policies for interrogating terror suspects. He vowed to provide “fair trials” for the prisoners still held in Guantanamo.

Obama issued the executive order reversing the most disputed counterterrorism policies and banning the type of harsh interrogations used by the George Bush administration.

Human Rights First said of the executive order: “President Obama’s actions today will restore the moral authority and strengthen the national security of the United States. It is vital ... that the United States never sanction the use of interrogation methods that we would find unacceptable if inflicted by an enemy against captured Americans.”

From an L.A. Times blog report: “As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Conventions. Our Constitution and our Uniform Code of Military Justice provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.”

Consider his commitment to “provide a framework for dealing with the terrorists.” Obama was widely applauded for his fair-handed dealing with detainees, whereas President Bush had been soundly criticized for his methods.

It was Obama, the peacemaker.

Now it has come to light that our peace-loving president has his very own “kill list.” For one who is notably not a hands-on leader (He didn’t even make himself available while four Americans were killed in Libya), he is now boldly taking charge.

Just as he took credit for ordering Osama bin Laden’s assassination, he takes credit for other assassinations by drone attacks. From www.NYTimes.com: Obama oversees the regular Tuesday counterterrorism meetings in the White House, placing himself at the helm of a top secret nominations process designating which terrorists to kill next.

His supporters don’t see the paradox: A peace-loving president, who campaigned vigorously against so many injustices, now decides who will be killed next.

He’s against what some consider torture and demands “due process,” but he’s not against

using drones to kill those who are suspected of being terrorists. There’s no due process in drone assassinations. Now that the administration’s targeted killing program is out in the open, the president wants credit for personally taking charge.

The New York Times said this underscores what a moral and legal conundrum this is -- not for this president. He sees no conundrum in killing by drone strikes, as long as he does not torture.
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Chief Noetall  
Wise, Texas  
March 11, 2013 1:50pm
 
Lots of people would claim that the line has already crossed at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 11, 2013 8:43am
 
Everyone knows that Obama does not have the Constiutional authority to use a drone to kill an American citizen in the USA with a drone. The first time that happens, the Constitutional will no longer have any meaning.

 
Chief Noetall  
Wise, Texas  
March 11, 2013 7:22am
 
Bush used drones. Obama used drones. The uproar over the use of drones against American citizens on American soil lies with the language of the resolution authored by congress and signed by Bush. No geographical limits were ... More ›

 
Alvin Charmaine  
March 10, 2013 8:22pm
 
4th im ok with both. I just want my own missiles so if they fly over my airspace i can take em out.

 
4 th Generation Texan  
Sutherland Springs  
March 10, 2013 8:01pm
 
This is ludicrous. Everyone knows that Bush did a much worse thing by waterboaBrding 1 terrorist than BHO has done in killing over 4000 people with a drone.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 9, 2013 1:13pm
 
Alvin.....Just follow the advice from Joe Biden.....fire a double barrel shotgun in the air.

 
Alvin Charmaine  
March 9, 2013 12:47pm
 
If i could buy an air defense system I think that would be a good equalizer to protect myself from government drones. Id like to be able to shoot them out of the sky. That only seems fair.

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
March 9, 2013 8:48am
 
I doubt that enemy personnel on the receiving end of a missile would concur with the analysis of the author.

 
Elaine K.  
Floresville  
March 8, 2013 6:29pm
 
From blog.heritage.org: ... While the general concept of the use of drones to attack our enemies is well established, the recent comments by the Attorney General that there was an existing authority to use armed drones domestically ... More ›

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
February 26, 2013 4:26pm
 
4th....By your definition, bombs, grenades and artillery would be torture......Why don't we just call all war torture and satisfy everybody.

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