Sunday, February 14, 2010

Under Obama Targeted Killings Up, Capture Of Terrorists Down To Avoid Embarrassing And Likely Unpopular Question Of What To Do With Them

More and more, it appears that this administration likes to dither or avoid the real hard and unpopular decisions. Here it seems they're going out of their way to avoid having to decide whether to treat captured terrorists as captives of war, prisoners of war, or fodder for a civil criminal justice system.

By killing them and rendering the hard decision of what to do with captured terrorists moot.

From Instapundit:
WASHINGTON POST: Under Obama, more targeted killings than captures in counterterrorism efforts.
The Nabhan decision [The assassination of a Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative in Yemen by US forces] was one of a number of similar choices the administration has faced over the past year as President Obama has escalated U.S. attacks on the leadership of al-Qaeda and its allies around the globe. The result has been dozens of targeted killings and no reports of high-value detentions.

Although senior administration officials say that no policy determination has been made to emphasize kills over captures, several factors appear to have tipped the balance in that direction. The Obama administration has authorized such attacks more frequently than the George W. Bush administration did in its final years, including in countries where U.S. ground operations are officially unwelcome or especially dangerous. Improvements in electronic surveillance and precision targeting have made killing from a distance much more of a sure thing. At the same time, options for where to keep U.S. captives have dwindled. . . . "Over a year after taking office, the administration has still failed to answer the hard questions about what to do if we have the opportunity to capture and detain a terrorist overseas, which has made our terror-fighters reluctant to capture and left our allies confused ," Sen. Christopher S. Bond (Mo.)....Some military and intelligence officials, citing what they see as a new bias toward kills, questioned whether valuable intelligence is being lost in the process. "We wanted to take a prisoner," a senior military officer said of the Nabhan operation. "It was not a decision that we made."

To use The Instapundit's turn of phrase: They told me if I voted for McCain that terrorists would be killed extra-judicially without benefit of all the trappings of a full court of law and legal process -- and they were right!

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