By BYRON TAU |
9/6/12 1:10 PM EDT
President Obama admitted to personally struggling with his administration's controversial targeted killing program.
"It's very important for the president and the entire culture of our national security team to continually ask tough questions about, are we doing the right thing, are we abiding by rule of law, are we abiding by due process," Obama said in an interview with CNN's Jessica Yellin that aired Wednesday.
Obama said that any good commander-in-chief would "struggle with issues of war and peace and fighting terrorism and the difficulties of dealing with an opponent that has no rules."
"That's something that you have to struggle with," he said.
The drone program was officially a secret, until Obama acknowledged its existence in an online chat earlier this year. Since then, his advisers have talked in limited detail about the program, and several news reports have revealed many of the inner workings of the program.
Still, Obama has remained relatively tight-lipped about the program. In a recent interview with a local news report, Obama refused to answer a specific question about the killing of American citizen. Obama defended that policy in the abstract to CNN without addressing any specific cases.
"I think there's no doubt that when an American has made a decision to affiliate itself with al-Qaeda and target fellow Americans that there is a legal there is a legal justification for us to try and stop them from carrying out plots," he said.
In the interview, Obama sought to assure Americans that the program was limited, and careful. He said that has to be authorized by U.S. law, against a serious and not speculative threat and against a target that is too hard to capture.
"Our most powerful tool over the long term to reduce the terrorist threat is to live up to our values and to be able to shape public opinion not just here but around the world that senseless violence is not a way to resolve political difference," Obama said.
And above all, Obama said that the U.S. goes out of the way to avoid collateral damage.
"We are very careful about avoiding civilian casualties,” he said. "In fact, there are a whole bunch of situations where we will not engage in operations if we think there's going to be civilian casualties involved."
In the long term, Obama said that drones were not the best tool for...
Obama also struggles with wanting to tap every phone conversation and every e-mail of everybody. And embedded in his 'Obama care' was clear evidence of his struggle to track every transaction of $300 or more. Then, there is his struggle to control the internet - to determine what information will be made available for US citizens to see. I'm sure he's also struggling to affect a method to 'Cure' those who don't see things his way.