Former Adviser: Obama as ‘Ruthless and Indifferent to Rule of Law’ as Bush

Beth Brogan writes at Common Dreams:

A former security adviser for Barack Obama now says the Pentagon’s targeted drone program is counter-productive, is “encouraging a new arms race,” and has killed far more civilians than has been acknowledged.

In an article for the January 2013 issue of the journal International Affairs, Michael Boyle, a La Salle University expert on counterterrorism who served as an adviser on the Obama campaign’s counterterrorism expert group from July 2007-November 2008, writes that the Obama administration’s increasing reliance on drone attacks is having “adverse strategic effects that have not been properly weighed against the tactical gains associated with killing terrorists,” the Guardian reports.

Although Obama pledged to end the so-called ‘War on Terror,’ Boyle continues:

“Instead, he has been just as ruthless and indifferent to the rule of law as his predecessor … while President Bush issued a call to arms to defend ‘civilisation’ against the threat of terrorism, President Obama has waged his war on terror in the shadows, using drone strikes, special operations and sophisticated surveillance to fight a brutal covert war against al-Qaida and other Islamist networks.”

Boyle argues that the administration has been “successful in spinning the number of civilian casualties” because it has reportedly begun counting all military-age men in the strike zone as militants unless the administration has clear evidence to the contrary, the Guardian reports. As a result, the standards the US uses to select targets has been “gradual(ly) loosening.”

He continues:

The consequences can be seen in the targeting of mosques or funeral processions that kill non-combatants and tear at the social fabric of the regions where they occur. No one really knows the number of deaths caused by drones in these distant, sometimes ungoverned, lands.

The use of drones by the US has increased dramatically during the Obama administration, with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimating that US forces have conducted 307 deadly drone strikes in Pakistan alone since Obama took office four years ago.

Peter Singer, director of the 21st Century Initiative at the Brookings Institution says the US now has 7,000 drones operating and 12,000 more on the ground, while not a single new manned combat aircraft is under research or development at any western aerospace company.

Boyle argues for more transparency about the surging use of drones by the Obama administration, because, he says, Americans are “unaware of the scale of the drone program … and the destruction it has caused in their name.”

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  • BuzzCoastin

    the majority of the Amerikan herd is not uninformed
    it’s satiated with the status quo
    as long as the drones ain’t aimed at them

    the ability to hold consensus & the status quo together
    is all it takes to stay in power
    and they are usually maintained with lots of fear mongering from all directions
    so this helps their cause rather than hurts it

    oh &,
    everyone laughed at the idea that video game pilots were the future
    modern pilots come trained on their own dime
    and the death machines are a lot cheaper

  • BuzzCoastin

    the majority of the Amerikan herd is not uninformed
    it’s satiated with the status quo
    as long as the drones ain’t aimed at them

    the ability to hold consensus & the status quo together
    is all it takes to stay in power
    and they are usually maintained with lots of fear mongering from all directions
    so this helps their cause rather than hurts it

    oh &,
    everyone laughed at the idea that video game pilots were the future
    modern pilots come trained on their own dime
    and the death machines are a lot cheaper

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    After the dollar crashes, I predict a lot of demand in psychological counselling, forensic accounting, and reverse engineering career paths.

  • kaklan

    its funny how the cheap drones are a problem but no one’s complaining about flashy fighter jets with $200,000,000 + price tag. would want any texas congressmen’s families starving

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    I’m sure Disinfo.com doesn’t have a particular political agenda, at least it’s not supposed to, but the regular posting of blatant Anti-Obama stuff here is kinda disappointing. It’s so clearly slanted to Obama-hate it’s very embarrassing. Just got through the article and when the writer himself has to use lurid terms like “kill list” and “Terror Tuesday” to get his point across…sheesh, hard to keep reading for all the red flags in my face.
    It won’t be the first time I’ve pointed this out hyar and Boyle himself talks about it to some point: Obama has zero support from the American people on this point. Despite the fact that our military operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq were unwarranted, and not even mistakes, the Bush Admin knew exactly what it was doing; since the American people cannot process that information, even prog/libs praise our soldiers and their “sacrifices” and our military continues to be praised and honored to the point where you can’t have a major sporting event without the Nazi Rally before the first whistle and has irked me to the point I can’t stop writing run-on sentences.
    When Obama was first running for President, one of the more popular bumber stickers out there was an American Flag with McCain’s name under it and a White Flag with Obama’s name under it. ANY ANY ANY weakness Obama shows regarding counterterrorism is immediately jumped on by not only the GOP, but the media as a whole. During his last campaign the fact that Bin Laden was dead was trumpted to an uncomfortable degree…but Obama knew he had to include that. We use our military to use guns to solve problems and we celebrate Bin Laden being shot to ribbons and the prog/libs even join in the “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” dancing…and we wonder why Uhmurkah has a gun culture problem.
    Trying to make Obama evil is short-sighted and blatant anti-Obama rhetoric, and we know why people have a problem with him. It seems like one group in Uhmurkah slam him for anything he does, and makes up stuff about him when that doesn’t work, while the other group slams him for failing to wave his magic black wand and solving all the problems created in the last hunnerd years. If Boyle wants real change to Obama’s policy on counterterrorism, he needs to tone down his hate and quotation-mark-abusing rhetoric and offer solutions instead of accusing Obama of getting together on Tuesday with a dartboard while he chuckles manically when he chooses at random what little Arab kid he’s going to kill today. If Boyle thinks that is who Obama is…if anyone really thinks that is who he is…then I have to conclude that this rhetoric is just another way of calling Obama anything except a black man.
    Fiat lux.

    • Bluebird_of_Fastidiousness

      Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed of a day in which people could judge a man by the content of his character; not for the color of his skin. While racist abounds throughout the country, no doubt, and in no small measure toward our melanin endowed President, that’s not to say that after one full Presidential term we can’t fulfill some part of Dr. King’s dream. Quite frankly, the accusation of racism is stale.

      Go ahead and justify a constitutional law professor president going to court to defend section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA, which allows for the indefinate detention of any person without habeaus corpus. Rationalize the murder of a 16 year old US citizen which Obama approved. Disregard the failure of Obama’s attorney generals office to successfully prosecute a single banker for the massive dismantling of our nation’s economy. Pay no attention to the fact that the attorney general has been to busy prosecuting more whistleblowers than all other administrations put together. Forget about FISA. And be nothing but grateful for the coercive tax on living he has ushered forth, under the Orwellian name of healthcare. If you need some help, watch MSNBC.

      The rest of us here will be critically examining objective reality. Though I do pride myself on being informed, I have to admit I’m envious of your capacity for delusion. I hope your world seems less bleak for it.

  • Raz

    “Meet the new guy, same as the old guy”

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