Assassination Nation: Fifty Years of US Targeted ‘Kill ListsSubmitted by Peace Gold Love on Sat, 07/21/2012 - 08:55
by Doug Noble | CounterPunch
July 19, 2012
“A broad-gauged program of targeted assassination has now displaced counterinsurgency as the prevailing expression of the American way of war.” –Andrew Bacevich 
This spring the US drone killing program has come out of the closet. Attorney General Eric Holder publicly defended the drone killing of an American citizen , while Obama’s counter terrorism czar John Brennan publicly explained and justified the target killing program . And a New York Times article by Jo Becker and Scott Shane chronicled Obama’s personal role in vetting a secret “Kill List.” 
This striking new transparency, the official acknowledgment for the first time of a broad-based US assassination and targeted killing program, has resulted from the unprecedented and controversial visibility of drone warfare. Drones now make news every day, and those of us who have been protesting their use for years have heightened their visibility in the public eye, forcing official acknowledgment and fostering worldwide scrutiny. This new scrutiny focuses not only on drone use but also, and perhaps more importantly, on the targeted killing itself – and the “kill lists” that make them possible.
This new exposure has set off a firestorm of reaction around the globe. Chris Woods of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism told Democracy Now! “The kill list got really heavy coverage … newspapers have all expressed significant concern about the existence of the kill list, the idea of this level of executive power.”  A Washington Post editorial noted that “No president has ever relied so extensively on the secret killing of individuals to advance the nation’s security goals.”  Becker and Shane of the Times pronounced Obama’s role “without precedent in presidential history, of personally overseeing the shadow war …”  And former president Jimmy Carter insisted, in a recent editorial in The New York Times, “We don’t know how many hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in these [drone] attacks, each one approved by the highest authorities in Washington. This would have been unthinkable in previous times.”