Scott Shane from the New York Times has issued a clarification on their blog regarding last week’s story about President Obama’s role in deciding who to add to his ever-growing “kill list.”
The clarifications are two-fold, mostly lashing other sites that took the story and ran with it for missing some of the minutae, like a single mention near the end of David Axelrod attending Tuesday counter-terrorism meetings, like the one described at the start of the article. Axelrod was apparently pressed on his attendance at kill list meetings and denied it, embarrassing the times, and forcing this “but those are two different types of meetings” retraction.
But really, who cares? The story isn’t about David Axelrod, who could be pleasuring himself in the Rose Garden during these meetings for all we care. The real story uncovered was that President Obama is directly involved in every single decision on drone strikes and other assassinations, including those of American citizens.
The other half of the clarification involves the opening of the article, in which Obama et al. are discussing whether or not to assassinate a 17 year old American girl. Shane faults Prison Planet for taking the paragraph to its logical conclusion, since it focused on the 17 year old girl and the kill list, and concluding that she had been tapped for assassination.
Yet the narrative that opens the New York Times article just sort of trails off without an on-paper conclusion. There’s a girl of 17 on the “yearbook-style” list of pictures for Obama to consider, but whether she is or isn’t on the hyper-secret list of who the president intends to summarily execute for imagined crimes is never reported in the article.
Which is worthwhile to note, but also a secondary issue. President Obama may have marveled at the youth of this particular “nominee” but its already well-established that he’s comfortable murdering children, as with the assassination of Anwar Awlaki’s 16 year old American-born son, who was never even accused of a crime in the vague, hysterical manner of his father.
Whether or not the girl actually wound up on the list is interesting, but the very existence of the list, the fact that it is known to have contained children (American children no less) and that President Obama has personally approved the assassination of children and has been presented with more opportunities to do so, that’s the real story.
The original NYT article focused more on the faux-moralizing of the president, and reports from his aides that he’s keeping on top of things and limiting the program’s growth. Yet his direct order of every single drone strike makes him directly responsible for over 1,000 deaths in Pakistan alone since taking office, and his existing kill-happy record along with this cadre of insiders constantly “nominating” more victims for him is the real “news” of the NYT piece, one that its authors apparently missed.