Today’s Questions for the President

by Peter Kirsanow

The New York Times reports that you personally selected suspected terrorists for placement on a “kill list” — to be targeted for assassination by drone strike. According to the NYT, you made such selections during your “Terror Tuesday” meetings with your chief counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan. Your political adviser, David Axelrod, began attending the “Terror Tuesday” meetings after underwear bomber Umar Abdulmutallab’s failed plot to blow up an airliner.

What is Mr. Axelrod’s counterterrorism, national-security, military and/or intelligence expertise? 

If Mr. Axelrod has little or no expertise in these areas, what was his role when suspected terrorists were targeted for assassination?

Did Mr. Axelrod provide any oral or written advice — either before, during, or after the “Terror Tuesday” meetings – as to which suspects were to be targeted for assassination? Did he recommend anyone for placement on, or removal from, the list? If so, what was the basis for his recommendations? Were any of his recommendations acted upon? If so, which ones and why?

Are/were any other political advisers present during the “Terror Tuesday” or related meetings? If so, who? What is/was the purpose of their presence? 

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