What is worse? Locking somebody up for years, without trial, while you try to find proof he is a terrorist? Or killing somebody whose name you don’t even know because his pattern of behaviour suggests to you that he is a terrorist? The first strategy, internment without trial at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp, was a signature policy of the George W. Bush administration. The use of drone strikes to kill suspected terrorists has become a trademark of the Obama administration. Yet while Guantánamo attracted worldwide condemnation, the use of drones is much less discussed.
It is hard to avoid the impression that Barack Obama is forgiven for a remarkably ruthless antiterrorism policy simply because his public image is so positive.
Gideon Rachman, “America’s drone war is out of control“, Financial Times, 11 December 2012.
FT columnist Gideon Rachman recommends taking responsibility for drone attacks away from the secretive CIA, where operations are shielded from scrutiny by politicians and the press.