Check out these gems:
“They reflected a still unfamiliar Barack Obama, a realist who, unlike some of his fervent supporters, was never carried away by his own rhetoric.”
The author’s take on Obama’s Executive Orders on day 2 of the Presidency, designed to look like he was keeping his campaign promises (closing Gitmo, ending rendition, etc) but contained enough legalize to never change anything.
A few sharp-eyed observers inside and outside the government understood what the public did not. Without showing his hand, Mr. Obama had preserved three major policies - rendition, military commissions and indefinite detention - that have been targets of human rights groups since the 2001 terrorist attacks.
I saw through his rhetoric when campaigning. I knew that both Obama and McCain had the same foreign policy, unfortunately the majority of Americans (America usually votes for the “peace” candidate) did not see the lies.
In response to his concern, the C.I.A. downsized its munitions for more pinpoint strikes. In addition, the president tightened standards, aides say: If the agency did not have a “near certainty” that a strike would result in zero civilian deaths, Mr. Obama wanted to decide personally whether to go ahead.
Excellent, because a guy in the White House is going to be so much better at deciding whether or not suspected targets should be hit. How about, if you think there are innocents, you don’t bomb them? How about, if you didn’t have this stupid policy, 11-17% of the people you bomb, that we know were innocent, WOULDN’T BE DEAD.
It is also because Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.
I have suspected this for a long time. If you are a male and get killed by a drone strike, it is up to you to prove your innocence. Which is quite difficult to do, because, YOU’RE DEAD.