Thursday, February 07, 2013

As Neocons Defend Obama, Allies Doubt Him on Drones as Never Before

For once, the Obama Administration's drone policy is much in the news. Kill-list overseer John Brennan starts confirmation hearings today to determine whether he'll get to be the next CIA director. Everyone is abuzz about a confidential memo that describes some of the scenarios in which President Obama believes that his underlings are empowered to extrajudicially kill Americans. And it looks like the Senate Intelligence Committee will finally going to see the Office of Legal Counsel opinion that sets forth the legal justification invoked to kill Anwar al-Awlaki (though the Obama Administration intends to keep hiding the legal analysis from the public, as well as Congressional committees that oversee the Pentagon and the Department of Justice).

How is everyone reacting to the unprecedented attention being paid to drone strikes?

Some neoconservatives have suddenly begun defending the president. John Bolton, former ambassador to the UN, says the drone program "appears to be consistent with the policies of the Bush administration," in which he served. Max Boot of Commentary insists Obama's drone memo is a "careful, responsible document." I'd half expect John Yoo to start praising Obama if he weren't busy "turning away in disgust" at the McRib's disappearance from his local McDonald's.
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