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The New York Times today devoting part of its front page and several pages inside the President Obama -- evolution in the fight against al-Qaeda.
Including details of the president's personal oversight of what the paper called -- kill list designating terrorists for death or capture.
It also delves into his changing views on the nation's anti terror policies.
Let's talk about what Bret -- the anchor of special report you've been in Washington a long time at the Pentagon and at the White House you know how these things happen.
I'm curious about who is releasing information about you know some of the most.
Real life and death decisions that get made.
Inside the White House how -- a piece like this get built right.
Well John I disagree quite.
Should I think you know Washington has a history of being pretty leaky even more so in recent years.
And this is a fascinating piece it gives you -- behind the scenes.
Look into perhaps the the listing of all of these folks these terrorists who are on a list to be killed.
And the evolution that then Senator Obama when he was on the campaign trail became President Obama dealing with.
The situation that he sees in the counterterrorism efforts.
It's pretty amazing when you look at the paradox here between an administration that was saying that you could you had to close Guantanamo Bay because of the the image that it sent around the world the fact that that has not happened because of the difficulty in making it happen and what about the image of of killing folks around the world.
In different places including countries that don't necessarily.
Want us using armed action in those countries it's it's pretty fast and the evolution.
Of this president from counterterrorism point.
Right and and it talks about the difficulties.
Or -- of the differences I guess between being a candidate and being an actual.
President here's a quote the cot mile high in that in that article from the times it said.
In the wake of mr.
Al -- he's death this is after obviously that drone strike on -- -- The -- administration officials including the attorney general argued that the Justice Department's legal memo.
The thing that authorize the strike should be made public.
In 2009 after all mr.
Obama had -- released Bush Administration legal opinions on interrogations.
Over the was -- for us directions of -- of the suburbs objections of six former CIA director.
-- this time contemplating his own secrets he shows that means mr.
To keep the a lock -- opinion secret so he won't release.
The documents that his own administration has used.
To justify the killing of -- -- follow lock yet others.
It's amazing in context in the early days of the Obama administration.
Remember the release of all of the document.
And it's detailing the interrogation techniques detailing.
All of the high value.
-- how they went down.
All of that came out over the strict objection of many people at the CIA many people in the intelligence community.
And the reason why was because they were concerned about.
Down the road the implications of that now.
This administration is concerned about the implications of releasing other.
Documents and other things related to the drone strikes I think.
You -- seeing an evolution from candidate to president.
But it's pretty stark when you look back at the context of those early days.
-- there are many critics including our own judge Andrew Napolitano who who have said that essentially the president has become judge jury and executioner in some of these drone strikes.
Well that's a good thing or bad thing I suppose is up to the in you know in the opinion of the individual American but it is an extraordinary power.
That the that the president.
Has assumed here.
Well especially talking about American citizens and I think just -- I'll -- I was talking about that but when you're talking about.
Terrorists in the field of battle we've gone through that back and forth about the abusive.
Should military strikes against folks that believed to be enemies against the United States but when there are American citizens like a Lockheed.
That's an accident -- debate.
And the debate will go on Brett Baer thank you.
You can catch Brett every weeknight 6 PM eastern time he -- special report always fascinating discussions.
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