The New York Times dropped a bombshell expose earlier this week when it reported on many details of a ‘Secret Kill List’ that the President heads up. The existence of such a list within the administration isn’t news: the Los Angeles Times reported more than two years ago about a CIA drone hit list when there was talk of putting US citizen Anwar al-Awalki on it. Of course, he was put on that list and was later executed by drone to much fanfare.
What is new information is the personal role that Obama himself takes in deciding who lives and who dies. According to Tuesday’s Times article, “Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.”
As I predicted last month, each entry I make to Obama’s Record is quite likely to be pretty long. It only took me two entries to see that that would be the case, so I took the opportunity to restructure the hierarchy of the site.
This new entry is about the covert drone war Obama inherited from Bush, which he has massively escalated. I think it is one of the most damning aspects of his reign, which is why I have prioritized it over several other articles I know I will write (for which I have made stubs in order to link to). As the drones are being flown, for now, outside the ‘homeland,’ this is a foreign policy issue, and you’ll find it under that page.
Needing this extra level of complexity and grouping is likely to be a good thing, since now I can write more concise summaries of each point on that collection page and link to the full page from it. This will make it easier at a glance to judge Obama’s record at various levels of granularity. Let me know what you think (and if you happen upon any broken links as a result of this structural overhaul).
Inspired by this bit of exciting news, as well as an obnoxious flame war with friends-of-a-friend on facebook shamelessly apologizing for the manifest failings of our sitting president, I decided to compose the first major entry to Obama’s Record. Falling under the category of Civil Liberties, the entry is about the due-process-free assassination of an American citizen. I promise to update it if Eric Holder ends up having something important to say.
My plan for these pages is for each page to bear a major category, like Civil Liberties or Foreign Policy, with multiple points to be addressed under each category. This first post was almost long enough to warrant its own page, perhaps, and I might transform the page structure to be even more granular and hierarchical if the current format proves not to scale. Let me know what you think.