President Obama is tearing the shroud of secrecy off his once hush-hush death-by-drone program. From his interview with Ben Swann, host of Fox 19’s Reality Check, to his sit-down with CNN’s chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, the kill-list compiler-in-chief is gradually exposing details of the principles he purportedly follows before targeting someone for assassination.
While on a campaign swing through Ohio, President Barack Obama sat down with Fox 19 reporter Ben Swann to discuss a variety of national security and constitutional issues. Swann is an investigative journalist known for his analysis segment known as Reality Check. His reports have covered everything from the rules approval scandal at the recent Republican National Convention to the indefinite detention of Americans as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
On September 4 officials of the Yemeni government sent local tribal authorities to look into reports that civilians were among the casualties of a drone attack believed to have been carried out by the United States on September 2. Yemenis protested in response to the 13 civilians, including three women and one child, killed in the Hellfire missile strike. Adding to the outrage was the Yemeni government’s statement that the intended target, Abdelrauf al-Dahab, was “completely missed.”
Chris Hedges worries that outright revolt may soon be the only option available to those fighting against the despotism of the Establishment. This sentiment seems consistent with the following statement of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence: "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
On August 30 the Obama administration announced that it would not charge CIA agents with any crime in the deaths of two men who reportedly died during interrogation by U.S. intelligence officers. The decision ends a criminal investigation begun in June 2011 by Attorney General Eric Holder.
Reports of a soon-to-be released "tell all" book about the raid to get al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in May of last year has given rise to new threats of vengeance from Arab jihadists and concerns in the United States over the security of its covert operations and the safety of those who carry them out. The book, written by a retired Navy SEAL who took part in the raid, is also bound to create political fallout over what it says about President Obama and the official version of what transpired.
In a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay of the "Gitmo Five," information about the imprisonment and interrogation methods used on the defendants remains classified "Top Secret," prompting their defense attorneys and others to argue that and other secrecy requirements undermine the defendants' right to a fair trial.