Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency

Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency Review

Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantánamo, put an end to coercive interrogation and military tribunals, 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 very core of the president’s identity.

Top investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a riveting 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’s fly-on-the-wall reporting reveals who has his ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama. Readers making up their minds about him during the 2012 election year will turn to Kill or Capture to decide.

Title:Kill or Capture: The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency
Edition Language:English

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    Some Testimonial About This Book:

  • Jerome

    A good, concise account of the natural conflict between ideals and reality that has shaped Obama’s decisionmaking when it comes to national security issues, and how Obama ultimately adopted a nation...

  • Frank Kelly

    Whether to kill terrorists or to capture them and try them in US Courts - an ongoing debate within the Obama White House as various factions debate and fight and scratch at each other to formulate a p...

  • Matthew Volkov

    For the most part I enjoyed this book. The most interesting parts of the book are expositions of how idealistic academic lawyers, pragmatic military officials and "middle-of-the-road"-minded politicia...

  • Tommy Kellner

    The book gave insight to the President's path of direction on different policies and for me made me understand more that I definitely don't want his job on making decisions. The book gave information ...

  • Wendy

    Thanks to the Radiolab episode on the AUMF (http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/) for pointing me toward this gem. This book is super straightforward, addressing the wild tension between Obama's ci...

  • PWRL

    E...

  • Brian Tibby

    This book does a good job covering the difficulties the Obama administration has faced in developing detainee policies while having much more success in pursuing kill options. ...

  • Stefanie

    This is a fascinating and relevant topic with no easy answers....