NR Digital

Athwart

Killer Elite

by James Lileks

Double Down, an insider view of the 2012 campaign, reportedly quotes President Obama saying he’s “really good at killing people” when it comes to picking targets for drone strikes. So he probably misspoke when he told al-Qaeda leaders, “If you like your life, you can keep it. Period.” Without full context for the remark, you can imagine all sorts of meanings.

1. Surrounded by military men in uniforms with gleaming medals awarded for killing people hither and yon when the mood struck, the president felt the need for small talk, the idle manly chatter you find in a barbershop or a car garage. A fellow’s under your Buick getting oily and dirty, and there you are in your work suit with shiny shoes and a dimple in your tie. “You know, I used to fix my old Chevy in high school. I’d get right in there and find the hole where the windshield-wiper juice goes, pour that sauce in, and top it off. Kinda miss the old days.”

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