by Philip Giraldi
November 08, 2012

Outside of websites such as, there has been remarkably little commentary over the issue of the White House–managed kill lists, which played no part in the election but will nevertheless continue to be a keystone of security policy in the new administration in Washington. Details on how the lists were developed and maintained surfaced in the media on Oct. 23 in an article in the Washington Post which described how the White House has decided that targeted assassinations will continue to be necessary for the next decade. The article provoked some negative commentary in the usual places, but little in the way of genuine outrage. In a saner world, one might even have expected that extralegal targeted killing could have been used in a partisan fashion by the Republicans to highlight Obama’s dismantling of constitutional and legal protections, but Mitt Romney voiced nary a word of criticism, suggesting that he too sees death by government fiat as an essential tool against terrorism and approves of what the president is doing.

The assassination by drone and special ops teams was a program initiated by President George W. Bush but it appears that it was not actually made operational until a former community organizer who promised change named Barack Obama entered the White House. Citing the difficulty of dealing with the Guantanamo prisoners, Obama apparently determined that it would be better to kill possible terrorists than to go through the tactical complications and extra expense entailed in trying to detain them and risk a trial in a court of law.

I would suggest that what media attention there has been has focused far too narrowly on the lists maintained by the White House and National Security Council that include American citizens. The reality is that kill lists have metastasized across the government to include the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and are symptomatic of a transformation of U.S. foreign and defense policies. They have all become part of a ten year government created master plan to confront Islamic fundamentalism worldwide using drones and special operations teams, without little or no consideration for the local conditions that have led to the rise of religious extremism nor any concern for the consequences unleashed by the American interventions.

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