President Barack Obama has drawn criticism for his tactics in the so-called war on terror, notably his use of drones to kill suspected terrorists overseas. But the criticism has also spread beyond tactics to matters of philosophy and principle. Some of the president's traditional supporters are wondering whether he is the principled progressive they thought he was.
A recent article in the New York Times highlighted the consternation among some liberals over a memo justifying the administration's drone policy:
"Conservatives complained that if Mr. Bush had done what Mr. Obama has done, he would have been eviscerated by liberals and the news media. But perhaps more than ever before in Mr. Obama's tenure, liberals voiced sustained grievance over the president's choices.
"That memo coming out, I think, was a wake-up call," said Christopher Anders, senior legislative counsel of the American Civil Liberties Union. "These last few days, it was like being back in the Bush days. ... It's causing a lot of cognitive dissonance for a lot of people," he added.
Is this the natural evolution of a president, or has Obama compromised some of his principles? We'll discuss the question Thursday, March 7, with national security expert Douglas Ollivant and ACLU attorney Christopher Anders.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC:
Read this 2012 New York Times article about President Obama's conduct of the war on al-Qaeda.
Visit the website of "Moyers & Company" for a comparison of President Bush's and President Obama's approaches to civil liberties.
Read and listen to material from last month's discussion of the drone program on The Daily Circuit.