After two weeks dominated by gaffes in which Bill Clinton publiclyundercut the President’s campaign strategy, Obama now has anotherex-President to deal with. Jimmy Carter wrote an op-edfor Monday’s New York Times which is critical of recent changes in theway America handles its enemies. While Obama is never mentioned by name,most of the programs Carter decries happened under Obama’s watch.
Carter’s piece opens with a nod to bipartisan blame, but once he getsinto the particulars the ghost of George Bush seems to fade away. Whatremains is a sustained attack on the current administration:
Despite an arbitrary rule that any man killed by drones is declared anenemy terrorist, the death of nearby innocent women and children isaccepted as inevitable. After more than 30 airstrikes on civilian homesthis year in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has demanded that suchattacks end, but the practice continues in areas of Pakistan, Somaliaand Yemen that are not in any war zone. We don’t know how many hundredsof innocent civilians have been killed in these attacks, each oneapproved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have beenunthinkable in previous times.
Notice he’s talking about airstrikes that occurred “this year.” ButCarter actually goes beyond calling them airstrikes. Elsewhere in thepiece he breaks out the A-word, “Revelationsthat top officials are targeting people to be assassinated abroad,including American citizens, are only the most recent, disturbing proofof how far our nation’s violation of human rights has extended.” I leftthe link as it appears in the original. If you follow it you’ll see thatit leads to the NY Times story about President Obama’s “kill list.”
In case you have any doubt who is being called an assassin here, Carter uses the word again about halfway through “In addition to American citizens’ being targeted for assassination or indefinite detention…” This is a reference to U.S. born Anwar Awlaki who was killed by a drone-fired hellfire missile in September 2011.
The irony of the situation doesn’t seem lost on Carter. Obamatraveled the country in 2007-2008 promising voters he would restoreAmerica’s respect abroad and legal order at home. Instead he led us evenfurther down the path liberals loudly rejected during the Bush years.Most of the anti-war protesters went away once their guy was in office,but a few have pointed out the obvious. Under Bush we water-boarded ahandful of suspected terrorists. Under Obama similar targets get abullet in the face or death by hellfire missile. Republicans want thiselection to be about the economy, but why aren’t more liberals, likeCarter, making Obama’s war on terror hypocrisy an issue?