Obama Clean by jurvetson
President Obama at the presidential podium making a speech
So there was President Barack Obama yesterday giving what was described as his "long awaited" speech on counterterrorism at the National Defense University.
It was in his now familiar rhetorical style that first got him noticed at the Democratic National Convention in 2004, was a contributing factor in getting him elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and winning the presidency in 2008. His re-election in 2012 was simply he wasn't Mitt Romney (who was too extremist and too much to bear for the majority of voters), or maybe just the lesser of two evils.
But rhetoric isn't substance if it doesn't conform to the actual policy and actions taken; it's just empty hot air.
Therefore let's give some analysis to the major points of the president's speech juxtaposed to the actual policies and actions he has taken i.e.
- Drones and targeted assassinations
- Closing Guantanamo and the release of detainees
- Limits to the presidents war powers
- The global war on terror and the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF)
The president said he wanted to curtail the use of drones, shift responsibility for the use of drones to the military and away from the CIA and be open to a secret court overseeing and approving the use of drone strikes.
The reality is Obama has increased the use of drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia whether under the aegis of the military or the CIA and compared to his predecessor, killed more innocents in those countries. It matters nothing whether the CIA or the military are conducting drone strikes. He has become the "assassinator in chief" where he alone gives the order to kill anyone, anywhere in a drone strike. It is he that authorizes all drone strikes without any oversight by the Congress.