'The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama'
July 10, 2012 • 7:38AM

A five-part feature in the August 2012 issue of Esquire by staff writer Tom Junod poses these questions, highlighted as blow-up quotes in a very lengthy article, that, in effect, indicts Barack Obama as the war criminal he is, and that the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial Killings and Jimmy Carter have charged he is:

"The targeted-killing program is a vision — a vision of how war could be and never has been. It is a war of individuals instead of armies. It is intelligence instead of brute force. It is a war of both technological precision and moral discrimination. It is war as an alternative to war. It saves many lives by ending one life. But when war stops being war, does it become something like murder?....

"The counterterrorism advisor [John Brennan] acknowledges that other governments either have or want the technology — the drones — that we are using. Given all the work of the President has done to establish the legal and moral precedent for targeted killing, is this a good idea? One official sees the logical extension of the program: 'Ask the administration if the President himself is targetable.'....

"John Brennan presents each lethal decision as something like a symposium. 'We discuss. We debate. We disagree.' But there have been thousands killed on the direct orders of the President. How can each death possibly be the end product of rigorous review when there are so many of them?....

"The U.S. invaded Iraq on the pretext of evidence that was fallacious, if not dishonest. The U.S. detained the 'worst of the worst' in Guantanamo for years before releasing six hundred of them, uncharged, which amounts to the admission of a terrible mistake. The lethal Presidency is making decisions to kill based on intelligence from the same sources. These decisions are final, and no one will ever be let go. Six hundred men. What if they had never been detained? What if, under the precepts of the lethal Presidency, they had simply been killed?

"The President asks us to trust him to use his lethal powers responsibly. Even when for the most part we have no idea who we are killing or why. We have been asked to put our faith in the President, in the administration, and in the 'robust oversight' of Congress. But last fall, the administration killed a sixteen-year-old American boy, without being held accountable. Was that a failure of the system or was that how the system is supposed to work?"