Stephen Lendman is a writer, syndicated columnist, activist, News TV personality, and radio show host. He currently writes for and and hosts, since 2007, a progressive radio show at The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network.

Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA, raised in a modest middle income family, attended public schools, received a Harvard BA in 1956 and a Wharton MBA in 1960. After six years as a marketing research analyst, Lendman became part of a new small family business in 1967, remaining there until retiring in 1999.

Since then, he has devoted his time to progressive causes, extensive reading, and since summer 2005 writing on vital world and national topics, including war and peace, American imperialism, corporate dominance, political persecutions, and a range of other social, economic and political issues.

He is also author of the celebrated books "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity" and "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".

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Murder, Inc: Official Obama Policy

by Stephen Lendman


Obama’s wars increase body counts daily. New ones planned will add more. Death squads operate in 120 or more countries. So do CIA agents licensed to kill.

US citizens may be targeted at home or abroad. No one anywhere is safe.

Summary judgment means no arrests. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet, bomb or slit throat. It’s official Obama policy. Diktat authority affords justice to no one ordered killed.

On May 29, The New York Times upped the stakes. Its article headlined “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” saying:

Obama “placed himself at the helm of a top secret ‘nominations’ process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical.”

In other words, he appointed himself judge, jury and executioner. Despot authority is official administration policy. Diktats decide who lives or dies.

Anyone called Al Qaeda or accused of terrorist connections gets marked for death.

What “moral and legal conundrum” could he face, asked The Times. None whatever. On day one in office, he spurned rule of law principles.

He adopted George Bush’s ideology. His predecessor called “the Constitution….just a G-damn piece of paper.”

Obama feels the same. He’s comfortable with “unitary executive” authority. It puts him above the law. Chalmers Johnson called it “a ball-faced assertion of presidential supremacy….dressed up in legalistic mumbo jumbo.”

International law is quaint and out-of-date, he believes. Diktat authority replaced it. The former constitutional law professor abandoned what he taught. He campaigned against war and torture. In office, he exceeded the worst of his predecessor.

He usurped the power of life and death, including against US citizens. He’s got final “kill list” authority.

Policy prioritizes killing by drones, death squads, or other means. Only eliminating America’s enemies matter. Whether real or imagined makes no difference.

The more removed, the greater the number replacing them. According to national security adviser Thomas Donilon:

“He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go. His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world. He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.”

His “aggressive counterterrorism record” baffles supporters and critics alike. Secrecy obscures policies. Shadow war actions aren’t publicized. Deadly force is approved “without hand-wringing.” So is fork-tongued politics, torture and other lawless practices.

For Obama, killing Americans comes “easy.” Waging war on Islam is policy. So is take no prisoners. Counterterrorism is cover for wholesale or retail slaughter. Collateral deaths don’t matter.

US Pakistan ambassador, Cameron Munter, complained about CIA drone strikes. He told colleagues “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people.”

Obama and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan collaborate on who lives or dies. Both match each other’s bloodthirstiness. “Just war” thinking overrides rule of law principles and moral considerations.

“Drones have replaced Guantanamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants.” America needs enemies to justify war. Avoiding peace and stability is policy.

Former national intelligence director Dennis Blair said:

“The steady refrain in the White House was (targeted killing) is the only game in town – reminded me of body counts in Vietnam.”

Unanswered is when will killing stop? Who’ll denounce what’s unconscionable? Who in government believes right over wrong matters most? No one around Obama dares. His administration doesn’t tolerate justice, morality, and rule of law principles.

On matters of war and peace, only imperial interests matter. Ends justify means.

“A phalanx of retired generals and admirals stood behind Mr. Obama on the second day of his presidency.”

They “provid(ed) martial cover as he signed several executive orders to make good on campaign pledges. Brutal interrogation techniques were banned, he declared. And the prison at Guantánamo Bay would be closed.”

Guantanamo remains open. Other torture prisons expanded. Every major promise made was broken. Wars rage without end. New ones are planned. Killing like sport continues daily.

Unlike voters who believed in him, he “was never carried away by his own rhetoric.” Lying came easily. So did going rogue. Amoral realpolitik defines his thinking.

Morality has no place in government. Nor do human rights and other democratic values. Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calls it “cold-blooded (thinking) about the self-interests of your nation.” Body counts don’t matter, just objectives.

From inception, Obama’s doctrine featured human sacrifice for unchallenged dominance. Winning alone matters. Anything goes is policy. He has final say.

In 2008, campaign national security strategists advised “pragmatism over ideology.” Urging it “reinforced the president’s instincts.”

Policy rules out nothing. Rhetoric woos supporters. Major objectives aren’t deterred. They include war, torture, rendition, military commissions, indefinite detentions, and targeted killings.

Nothing stands in his way. He’s ruthless. His public persona hides it. Those around him know better.

Openly he urges sparing innocent lives. Privately he doesn’t give a damn. Under Bush, Iraq and Afghanistan rules of engagement were kill every military aged man in sight. Obama changed nothing.

Mostly civilians die. Policies don’t distinguish militants from noncombatants. In Libya alone, NATO killed over 100,000. Killer gangs took many more lives. No one kept count or cared.

Obama’s thinking reflects it. Pragmatism alone matters. Humanity is someone else’s problem. Everyone targeted in strike zones is fair game. Being there means they’re “up to no good,” even women and children.

An unnamed official said “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization – innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs.”

The same goes for residents where militants are targeted. Being there justifies indiscriminate killing.

Official counts distort reality. Combatants alone are killed, they claim. Independent analysts say as many as 50 civilians die for every militant. In combat theaters everywhere, ordinary people suffer most.

Former intelligence and government officials admit it. According to one:

“It bothers me when they say there were seven guys, so they must all be militants. They count the corpses” but don’t care who they are.

National security advisor Donilon says Obama “is a president who is quite comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United States.”

Forgotten is candidate Obama’s pledge to end America’s wars. On October 27, 2007, he said:

“I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out (of Afghanistan and Iraq) by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do.”

“I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to (these wars). You can take that to the bank.”

He also promised hope, change, a new era of peace, upholding democratic values, closing Guantanamo in one year, ending torture, no more illegal spying and detention without trial, “a new era of openness,” equitable immigration reform, keeping the Internet free and open, negotiations with Syria, Iran and other countries targeted for regime change, and much more.

In office, he broke every major promise made. Loyal constituents were betrayed. Imperial and corporate considerations were prioritized. Popular needs went begging.

Arrogance, unaccountability, and contempt for democratic values define his presidency. Rule of law principles don’t matter. Take no prisoners is prioritized. If reelected, imagine what’s ahead in a second term.


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25 Responses to "Murder, Inc: Official Obama Policy"

  1. ianmacleod  June 3, 2012 at 1:56 am

    As for the question, “What will he do with this power if he is elected for another term?” I think the answer is unavoidable: There will be nothing else he needs from us but OBEDIENCE. When he doesn’t get it, he will use this power on US – on “We the People.” He has no conscience, no empathy. He DOES evince an enjoyment of killing people without any sort of accountability. That’s what he’s been setting up. With drones in the air, troops on the ground with hollow point rounds, and no difference between cops and military, he’ll tell them what to do and they’ll do it – or become targets themselves. Obama is no president. He’s a usurper, a traitor, and a destroyer. His job was to destroy America; he’ll no doubt finish the job he was hired to do.

    • Latney Davis  June 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm

      Very well stated and “predictive truth” on all accounts. The one problem that remains…the “system” leaves nothing else from which to “choose” as an alternative. “Real, Viable, Destined to survive Alternative”. The “high courts” are already bought and represent no legitimate answer.

      The constitution clearly states that “we the people” are empowered to remove the very system WE now endure. The only question remaining is…WTH are WE waiting for, permission from the very corruption THAT MUST BE REMOVED? I need a drink.

    • ianmacleod  June 3, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      “WTH are WE waiting for, permission from the very corruption THAT MUST BE REMOVED?”

      i suspect that’s exactly it: people are looking to be told it’s okay to rebel against the usurpers, that they cesarean really the government, that their positions were ill-gotten and they are not legitimate, so it’s not really treason to rebel against them. That’s how far we’ve come from people being able to think for themselves. I’ve been doing some more reading, and it appears that there is a noticeable drop in IQ and a greater incidence of ADHD (and what else?) with proximity to nuclear power plants. It seems they leak far more than we were ever told. Oh, and infant mortality rises rapidly, especially those in line with the Fukushima plume and after rainstorms. The total flooding of the Calhoun plant was never in the MSM, either – just the possibility that it MIGHT flood. Then nothing.

      Face it: we’re being murdered a piece at a time. Our intelligence is being dropped a bit at a time so we don’t notice or act as as quickly, we rest less and more poorly, our immune systems are as full of holes as a Swiss cheese, it’s incrementally harder for us to make decisions, we tend more toward depression and obesity (both due to contaminated/adulterated foods and added radiation), and that’s why it’s so hard for the majority of us to act appropriately quickly, correctly, and with what would once have been righteous anger! Now we’re told that ALL of those are treasonous – on OUR PART – and they label it all “terrorism”!

      Being angry about being continually lied to, robbed, poisoned, slowly murdered and then being punished for being victims and being angry about it is a dictator’s law – it is NOT any sort of Rule of Law such as we were raised to believe in and extoll and follow! The government we live under is law-LESS! It is illegal per the Constitution, per International Law, per any sort of natural law, and per any kind of common sense. If our militarized cops weren’t SO conditioned, on such a power trip, if they had any sense they’d realize that they themselves are no more than throwaway tools to those who are using them. They don’t leave dangerous toys and tools lying about that can hurt them if they can help it, and besides, the cops are just warped peons who have to go anyway no matter who they’re fighting for. It IS going to be a fight; there’s no way around it. Disagreeing with “the government”, arguing about it has been classed as “treason” or “terrorism” because they KNOW THAT. It’s just that little bit more power they can try to take away before they have to start USING that stolen power and showing themselves for what they really are.

      We have the right to fight to survive. We have the right to fight what we’ve worked so hard for. We have to right to fight to keep what is ours! Folks, we worked really hard to make something great and beautiful; while we were busy we hired some people to take care of the other business for us. Instead, they stole the silverware, forged documents and tried to take away everything we’d built, even killed us and our children so we’d believe it was really someone else who was destroying everything we’d worked for, everything we loved. But they got careless, what with handling all that power, and we KNOW who did it to us and those we love. Now it’s time to fire the lying, thieving bastards, take back what was ours in the first place and try to fix as much as we can of what the thieves and destroyers have trashed. They’ve done a lot of terrible damage, and we won’t be able to fix everything. As always, we can only rely on each other, move forward together and do our best!


    • Latney Davis  June 4, 2012 at 5:40 pm

      Affirmative, WE are “being murdered a piece at a time”, for much longer than most desire to accept/realize. I am growing increasingly weary of finding much information, otherwise well disquised truth, only to find NO REAL-TIME SOLUTION offered by the “verbal illuminators”.

      It has become like the proverbial “dog-chasing-its-own-tail”, only to finally catch it and realize “the catch” was meaningless from the start of the chase. The “lone wolves” howling at the full moon in an effort to “rally the rest of the pack” to the hunt of clearly identified prey. Only the “pack” would rather sleep in a comfortable cave.

      “To move forward together” continues to be the MAIN/MISSING ingredient to “a successful hunt”.
      I don’t have the answer, but I am tired of catching my own tail. A serious part of my ongoing thought process is starting to “wonder” if this “process” has become intentional?!?

  2. wolf  June 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Is it just me, or does Obama’s facial expression in the drone picture above resemble Benito Mussolini, il Duce?

    • DaveE  June 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm

      Definitely a strong resemblance and captures the arrogance, conceit and smug contempt the Anointed One has for all us little people. That picture grabbed my eye immediately…… really does speak at least 1000 words. Great piece, too, by Mr. Lendman, as usual.

  3. jonabrahamson  June 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Petition to the Obama administration to:
    CREAT A DO NOT KILL LIST!/petition/create-do-not-kill-list/HwqFwRtG

    • DaveE  June 2, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      It’s absolutely surreal that we now have to “petition” our government NOT to kill us. Our masters in Tel Aviv must be laughing their scales off watching us grovel for mercy.

      Not for long, however.

  4. Charlotte NC Bill  June 2, 2012 at 4:37 am

    With all this in mind: Someone get word to Duff to get on the Ivens case..FBI special agent Stephen Ivens approached the Russian envoy in LA on May 11, told him that he had “uncovered evidence of an impending terror attack on US soil” and that those ( Americans ) behind the attack were “all insane” that moment 3 American diplomatic security agents surged towards Ivens and he fled..Went home first then up into the mountains…Supposedly there’s still a manhunt ( hope he ditched that damn cell phone ) and the devil’s henchmen have put out the “gotta get him-he’s suicidal” bs to cover themselves..

  5. Preston James, Ph.D  June 2, 2012 at 2:02 am

    Once again, another excellent article by Stephen Lendman. Provocative in its implications. Screams for some type of immediate intervention by the high Courts and a broad based societal mass reaction by the American people. Now for the rest of the story. These extra-judicial govt ordered murders have been going on for a long time. J. Edgar Mary had his squad of killers, identified only by SS# (reference: Michael Milan’s book, the Squad). The Fedral Blackmail Institute has had a long history of this, and so has the Cocaine Importing Agency. Every alphabet has had their “squads” including every major American intel agency. Even so the vast majority of those working in these agencies are honest and nknow nothing of these murders, due to complete compartmenting.

    Some of these murderers on these squads have even have bragged to each other that they are “honed to kill”. Special recruiting methods have been used to select “team operators” and include sophisticated psychological profiling and use of some who have severely “dirtied up” by difficult war situations and then mindkontrolled (the depiction of such in the remake of the Manchurian Candidate movie with Denzel Washington is very accurate for how it can be done and is still being done today).

    This business of USG murders is nothing new. For example, there was Op40 (run out of room 40 at Langely–mirroring room 40 of the British during WW2). Then there was Operation Pegasus, started out with noble intentions, which quickly became another “murder incorporated”. According to Seymour Hersch, the USG now has a private JSOC murder team first set up by Dick Chicanery for use inside and outside the continental USA. Now we have Socom fighting in 90 countries, planning to increase that to 120 soon, making their kills without no declared war, no legal indictments, no arrests, trials, or any legal representation, etc. Now the USG has stooped so low to murder children and women because they were too close to drone targets. And sad to say, there appears to be a new pattern of mysterious helicopter crashes and other USG efforts to kill off these special ops when they are done with them. And let us never forget how the heroes of many spooky teams who fought drug cartels in south American were murdered by the USG at then end of their missions to keep themquiet whenthey found out who was really behind these cartels.

    These so-called extra judicial murders are claimed to all have signed findings by the pres only after suggestions are made . This is not the whole story. There have been such actions ordered at the top of American intel for many years. These agencies for years with some signed off on by senior officers in those agencies, and some taken care of unofficially and handled after instructing an internal squad to “take care of this problem and I don’t want to know how”. What is truly amazing is that the current pres has taken this to a new level, openly murdering Ametrican Citizens, young children and women and thinking nothing of it. One can only imagine the darkness in the hearst of anyone orders or participates at any level in such murders and anonymous death by drones.

    • Dan  June 2, 2012 at 4:14 am

      The Chinook crash in Afghanistan you mention, killing 20 or so of the Team 6 members, positively stinks of murder by US or Israeli black ops. The fact that Popular Mechanics, a key element of the 911 coverup, was enlisted to publish disinformation on the event makes it nearly conclusive. The Seals should have seen it coming. Loading them on a huge, lumbering Chinook for combat insertion into a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan was little different than sending them on a combat operation outside the Green Zone in Bagdad in a school bus.

  6. rossjohnson  June 2, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Obama has achieved more oppression under left cover than George Bush could have done in his wildest dreams.

    Unless the human spirit remains free,it would be better that the planet come to an end now.This proposed enslavement by the Bankster New World Order will not be living as past generations knew.It will be a hell on Earth that heralds a new dark age.

    Well said Stephen Lendman.

    • ricohands  June 2, 2012 at 3:36 am

      Ditto that.

  7. Al  June 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that if North Korea, Iran, Russia or any number of other states made the proclaimations that Obama has made, there would be outrage and sabre rattling. Nazi Germany had similar polices to “See something, say something”. One has truly lost any kind of moral compass, when one thinks that the torture of an enemy is justifiable, yet the torture by one’s enemies is deserving of Nuremberg style War Crimes Tribunals. I must be an outcast now that I believe that truth and justice are candles that dispel the evils in the shadows whether perpetrated by the “good” guys or the “bad” guys, and is not something to be extinguished, when held up to oneself. The definition of evil is not written by “the state” but by the Almighty Himself. I guess my ideas are old fashioned, but I hold them dear, and the “new” ideas I see proclaimed, are not new at all. For I see that today, Cain would be a hero, and Abel was deserving of death, since he had run afoul of the drones of Cain.

    • ricohands  June 4, 2012 at 3:48 am

      I wouldn’t say they are old fashioned. It has given you the moral compass of which you speak and you certainly know right from wrong.

  8. The Rahnameh  June 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    I agree with you here: President Obama has created framework for risks. I disagree with you here: we should not support him.

    Why? I think we should give President Obama as MUCH space as possible between him and Boehner, Cantor, and Congress. Enough so that he has political capital to act like an individual.

    I am not afraid of individuals.

    • The Rahnameh  June 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      I should have rather typed, “I’m not afraid of the independent voice, are you?”

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