The Audacity of Expedience

From this NYT article on Obama’s drone war:

They describe a paradoxical leader who shunned the legislative deal-making required to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, but approves lethal action [drone strikes] without hand-wringing.
Yet the administration’s very success at killing terrorism suspects has been shadowed by a suspicion: that Mr. Obama has avoided the complications of detention by deciding, in effect, to take no prisoners alive. While scores of suspects have been killed under Mr. Obama, only one has been taken into American custody, and the president has balked at adding new prisoners to Guantánamo.
David Axelrod, the president’s closest political adviser, began showing up at the “Terror Tuesday” meetings [where that week’s drone assassination targets are decided upon], his unspeaking presence a visible reminder of what everyone understood: a successful attack would overwhelm the president’s other aspirations and achievements.

Earlier I had taken to calling Mr. Axelrod “the Undertaker” because he looks like one with that somber visage, but now the moniker seems apt for other reasons.

All out of transformation: Chewing bubble gum and keeping the president’s “aspirations” in the black.

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