The leak of a document on the Obama administration’s drone strike policy has some people in Washington playing the “what if” game.
What if President George W. Bush’s administration had written such a document on the legality of drone attacks, even on U.S. citizens working with suspected terrorists overseas?
Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted: “Good thing (Department of Justice) drone memo didn’t come out in 2008. Candidate Obama would never have put up with stuff like that going on.”
Joe Scarborough, the former Republican congressman who hosts MSNBC’s Morning Joe, said that if this were the Bush administration, there would be “congressional hearings” and “articles of impeachment.”
Candidate Obama and Democrats did indeed criticize Bush-era counterterrorism policies, such as warrantless wiretaps and enhanced interrogation techniques (waterboarding).
Aides to President Obama said he is continuing the war on terrorism, authorized by Congress shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Obama “takes the absolute necessity to conduct our war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates in a way that’s consistent with the Constitution and our laws very seriously,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
The spokesman added that “it is a matter of fact that al-Qaeda is in a state of war against us and that senior leaders, operational leaders of al-Qaeda are continually plotting to attack the United States, plotting to kill American citizens as they did most horrifically on Sept. 11, 2001.”