By lex, on February 14th, 2011
The Obama administration seized the moral high ground from its predecessors by outlawing the “enhanced interrogation” techniques that caused so much angst among human rights supporters. It turns out that the moral high ground really is a good place to site your artillery. Especially when it comes in the form of Predator and Reaper strikes:
Some counterterrorism experts say that President Obama and his advisers favor a more aggressive approach because it seems more practical—that administration officials prefer to eliminate terrorism suspects rather than detain them. “Since the U.S. political and legal situation has made aggressive interrogation a questionable activity anyway, there is less reason to seek to capture rather than kill,” wrote American University’s Kenneth Anderson, author of an essay on the subject that was read widely by Obama White House officials. “And if one intends to kill, the incentive is to do so from a standoff position because it removes potentially messy questions of surrender.”
In defense of a hard-nosed approach, administration officials say the aerial-drone strikes are wiping out Qaeda militants and reducing the chances of another terrorist attack. They have also been careful to reassure the public that the killings are legal. When NEWSWEEK asked the administration for comment, a U.S. official who declined to be identified addressing such a sensitive subject said: “These CT [counterterrorism] operations are conducted in strict accordance with American law and are governed by legal guidance provided by the Department of Justice.”
Me? I’ve got no principled objections.
I’m just not sure that those who got their panties in a twist over head slapping and the occasional water board had this in mind.