President Obama ran his 2008 campaign on a platform against torture and the war in Iraq, and he vowed to fight terrorism with 'American values' - in an honest and open fashion. But as his presidency progressed, Obama's views on war changed.
He has placed himself at a top secret 'nominations' process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, and to personally approve every drone strike. The White House says the president is shouldering the moral responsibility, but some worry that he's taken on too much individual power without any oversight.
The New York Times had a piece last week on Obama's 'kill list:'
Aides say Mr. Obama has several reasons for becoming so immersed in lethal counterterrorism operations. A student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, he believes that he should take moral responsibility for such actions. And he knows that bad strikes can tarnish America's image and derail diplomacy.
"He realizes this isn't science, this is judgments made off of, most of the time, human intelligence," said Mr. Daley, the former chief of staff. "The president accepts as a fact that a certain amount of screw-ups are going to happen, and to him, that calls for a more judicious process."
But the control he exercises also appears to reflect Mr. Obama's striking self-confidence: he believes, according to several people who have worked closely with him, that his own judgment should be brought to bear on strikes.
Daniel Klaidman, former managing editor of Newsweek and the author of "Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency," will join The Daily Circuit Tuesday to talk about Obama's evolution as commander in chief, how America wages war and whether it's fair to ask Americans to blindly trust the president.