Obama’s New Product Line: Disposition Matrix

by lizard

The last presidential debate was wildly unimpressive if you were watching for policy distinctions between the two candidates. If you were watching to get wasted, you probably loved the groveling Israel lovefest that erupted from both men.

Mitt did particularly bad, exposing how empty a vessel he will be for whatever neocon slime his handlers will pour into him, if elected. If elected, we’re sure to get the full Sparta.

If Obama is elected, we’ll get more of what we’ve been getting for 4 years: a cosmetic repackaging of US Imperialism.

The latest, creepiest terminology has just begun trickling into my twitter feed: Disposition Matrix.

The link is to an article titled Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists, put out just this evening by the Washington Post. It’s Obama’s new WAR ON TERROR OVERSEAS CONTINGENCY OPERATIONS product line, and it’s really, really not good:

Over the past two years, the Obama administration has been secretly developing a new blueprint for pursuing terrorists, a next-generation targeting list called the “disposition matrix.”

The matrix contains the names of terrorism suspects arrayed against an accounting of the resources being marshaled to track them down, including sealed indictments and clandestine operations. U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.

Although the matrix is a work in progress, the effort to create it reflects a reality setting in among the nation’s counterterrorism ranks: The United States’ conventional wars are winding down, but the government expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years.

Among senior Obama administration officials, there is a broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade. Given the way al-Qaeda continues to metastasize, some officials said no clear end is in sight.

“We can’t possibly kill everyone who wants to harm us,” a senior administration official said. “It’s a necessary part of what we do. . . . We’re not going to wind up in 10 years in a world of everybody holding hands and saying, ‘We love America.’ ”

That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism. Targeting lists that were regarded as finite emergency measures after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, are now fixtures of the national security apparatus. The rosters expand and contract with the pace of drone strikes but never go to zero.

It doesn’t matter who wins in two weeks when it comes to developing the infrastructure of systematic killing Obama has expanded, significantly. From the same article:

For an administration that is the first to embrace targeted killing on a wide scale, officials seem confident that they have devised an approach that is so bureaucratically, legally and morally sound that future administrations will follow suit.

During Monday’s presidential debate, Republican nominee Mitt Romney made it clear that he would continue the drone campaign. “We can’t kill our way out of this,” he said, but added later that Obama was “right to up the usage” of drone strikes and that he would do the same.

Yeah voting!

Speaking of voting, Bradblog Strikes Back! against Think Progress for smearing members of the liberal blogosphere, including Brad, with the conspiracy theorist label for writing about voting machines and following the money.

It’s a great article, with an e-mail exchange and the curious observation that Forbes, initially included in the smear, was quietly removed from the Think Progress article online.

The privatization of our public voting system has never been addressed, so it’s still a problem.

And instead of taking it seriously, the conventional response, even when credible journalists report factual political connections, is to smear the messengers with the conspiracist pejorative.

Maybe Brad Friedman should consider himself lucky. The Disposition Matrix is in its infancy, and has yet to include his obviously insane conspiratorial ravings in its growing reach.


  1. lizard19

    Robert Gibbs, at 1:55 in the video below, gives one of the first peeks into how the Obama administration justifies killing the 16 year old son of Anwar Al-Awlaki—both US citizens.




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