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Kill or capture : the war on terror and the soul of the Obama presidency / Daniel Klaidman.


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Klaidman, Daniel.
Publication date:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.
  • Book
  • xv, 288 p. ; 24 cm.
Title Variation:
War on terror and the soul of the Obama presidency
Includes index.
  • The promise
  • Where the fuck is Bin Laden?
  • Torture debates and murder boards
  • Escape from Gitmo
  • Kill or capture
  • How not to try a terrorist
  • The Christmas gift
  • From warfare to lawfare
  • "The president is anguished"
  • Textbook.
Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantánamo, put an end to coercive interrogation, and restore American principles of justice, yet in his first term he has backtracked on each of these promises, ramping up the secret war of drone strikes and covert operations. Behind the scenes, wrenching debates between hawks and doves--those who would kill versus those who would capture--have repeatedly tested the president. Investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a Washington story packed with revelations. As the president's inner circle debated secret programs, new legal frontiers, and the disjuncture between principles and down-and-dirty politics, Obama vacillated, sometimes lashed out, and spoke in lofty tones while approving a mounting toll of assassinations and kinetic-war operations. Klaidman reveals who has Obama's ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama.-- From publisher description.

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