There are many things the Obama administration is able to get away with due to some strange arrangement they seem to have with the national news media and the US congress that seems to not give a damn about anything important or illegal or unethical they do. I'm not just talking about the usual right-wing griping points like using the IRS to target political enemies or bowing to world leaders which are frustrating transgressions of law and etiquette but rather, important stuff like:
- Expanding the endless war theater across the African continent
- Paying ransom for hostages
- Putting more US troops in Iraq
- Nuclear proliferation
- Arming and training Vietnam
That kind of thing and the biggest of these, to my mind, is drone warfare. Not because I'm squeamish on the prospect of whacking Jihadi scum - I'm not - but because drones are a sword that can cut both ways and someday someone will be droning us. And I doubt they'll have a very rigorous "nomination package" process when they choose who should be droned - unlike our current president who just published his "Playbook".
The policy, which refers to placing targets on a list through a "nomination package," shows the extent of bureaucratic hurdles Obama has created around the use of deadly force for alleged terrorists in places like Somalia and Yemen. A future president would be under no obligation to follow the guidance, but Obama and his aides have made clear they hope that the framework will bring a degree of due process that future administrations will leave in place.
However, the document also makes clear that Obama can bypass the process whenever he sees fit, particularly in situations where those in danger of a terrorist attack are not Americans but "another country's persons." It's unclear whether Obama has ever made such exceptions.For what it's worth, I'm keeping my head down and praying the KOTCB Blog doesn't get nominated.