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Should the U.S. President Take Killing People Lightly?

Updated on November 6, 2013

President Obama and Hillary Clinton

President Obama and Hillary Clinton
President Obama and Hillary Clinton | Source

Double Down: Game Change 2012

Double Down: Game Change 2012 book cover
Double Down: Game Change 2012 book cover

Another Book Claim

"Double Down: Game Change 2012" claims that Obama's political team wanted to replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton during the 2012 re-election campaign.

Fact: Barack Obama won the general election with 53% of the vote, and Mitt Romney 47%.

What would the outcome had been if Barack Obama ran with Hillary Clinton?

The Obama Empire Strikes Back

President Obama
President Obama | Source

Everyone is Watching and Listening, Mr. President

The President of the U.S. should not take the position lightly. That includes the powers that he (or soon to be "she") holds.

In a book called "Double Down: Game Change 2012," by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, Obama aides shared that the President states that "he's really good at killing people," in reference to the effectiveness of his authorized CIA drone strikes on targets.

Here's another ironic fact: Since the President won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, he has increased targeted CIA drone strikes in foreign countries.

If you win a prize for peace, that doesn't mean you have a free pass to increase killing.

Should the President Take Killing Lightly?

Now, don't get me wrong, there are things that the leader of the U.S. must to to stop terrorism. Sometimes that means a pre-emptive strike. Regardless of the necessary action, taking lives should not be taken lightly. Joking about it with aides does not come across that the President understands the seriousness of the situation.

If you are the President, you have power, and with great power, comes responsibility. Please don't brag about how "good you are at killing," especially when innocent civilians are being killed in these drone strikes.

Obama Drone Strikes

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that 326 out of 378 (about 86%) CIA drone strikes have been authorized by President Obama. The other 14% of the drone strikes were previously ordered by George W. Bush. Out of the 2,500-3,600 total kills in its 10-year program, they estimate that 416-948 civilians have been killed, and between 168-200 of those were innocent children.

In Feb. 2012, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary said this about the CIA drone strikes: "We conduct those strikes because they are necessary to mitigate ongoing actual threats — to stop plots, prevent future attacks and, again, save American lives.”

The Obama administration maintains that they have killed less civilians than reported by the Bureau, but also view any males of military-age to be considered a combatant (a valid target).

Obama on the Drone Strikes in a 2013 Speech

"Let us remember that the terrorists we are after target civilians, and the death toll from their acts of terrorism against Muslims dwarfs any estimate of civilian casualties from drone strikes."

NBC News Obtained and Published a Memo from the Justice Department

According to a Yahoo! News article, "NBC News published a Justice Department memo that gives the rationale for drone strikes on Americans anywhere outside the U.S. for assassination—without oversight from Congress or the courts, and even if the U.S. citizen in question is not actively plotting a specific terrorist attack."

That 16-page memo by the Justice Department is publicly available to read in its entirely here.

Senior Obama Advisor Denies Everything on ABC's 'This Week'

Dan Pfeiffer, a senior Obama advisor, went on the ABC show, "This Week," with George Stephanopoulos and denied many claims in the book. Does that really surprise anyone?

Dan Pfeiffer did stress this: "The President is always frustrated about leaks...I haven't talked to him about this book. I haven't read it. He hasn't read it. But he hates leaks."

Author Commentary:

Just so you know, I am not a person that is against all war, but killing people in other nations should not be taken lightly, and it certainly doesn't give you bragging rights.

War should not be declared by the President without approval from Congress, which Obama correctly adhered to when it came to Syria, however action should have been taken years earlier. The only problem is that action in Syria would have had disastrous re-election implications for Barack Obama in 2012.

Speaking to Congress About Pakistan Civilians Killed

© 2013 zeke2100


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