Rattling sabers, crinkling lists
The Kansas City Star
I think there have always been a few lists like this – the kill list. Today, we’re learning that our President has a list and it’s very secret. One would hope. What must one do or believe or have done to make the list? As citizens, right now it’s none of our darn-mandate business. We do not have a vote in this other than to elect another list-manager, apparently.
This subject will vaporize from the media in a short time because the majority of Americans do not care. Most Americans want a strong arm of defense and a stronger one of offense. The world appears a dangerous place. People are not done killing one another. Stakes are high. Risk is lowered when we exercise our deterrent capabilities and demonstrate that thing called resolve. And this is an election year when constituencies measure resolve and cast ballots. Tough is cool. Tough is American.
Government employees will manage this list. Contractors will too. Contractors will help carry-out the contracts, rest-assured. There will be book deals and movie scripts, optioned narratives.
One day after Memorial Day, the memorial designers and makers still have a lot of designing and making to do. Plenty of Vermont marble in those mountains for planting in Arlington and other cemeteries.
I suppose that telling bad people that we have a secret kill list has an effect of making bad people think twice or more before doing something bad again. I do not have a “need to know”. How much do we need to know? And if you feel like you need to know, to whom do you direct your need?
We should be concerned that lists get leaked and rest assured those who make their daily wages soliciting leaks and selling them in the information marketplace are enthused about the prospects of a killing. I hope competent people are trying to obtain the lists the bad people are making. I know our Director of Central Intelligence, David Patraeus, is working hard on all this. His boss is busy on a re-election journey while juggling quite a few crystal balls.
Throughout history we’ve been jolted and changed by lists: lists on cathedral doors, lists held up in chambers of government, blacklists, lists at reception stations, lists kept by Schindlers, lists carved on tablets, creeds that read like lists of beliefs, as well as mundane “honey-do” lists on refrigerators.
This latest secret list whose list contents will hopefully remain close-hold will generate many “warrior-do” mission plans and operations and with executive approval, deeds. The ultimate “America’s most wanted” list has probably been around since the Revolutionary War. Today, we’re hearing a President crinkling the list in his pocket, letting everyone know it’s there. We’ve always rattled sabers, drawn them, used them. Now we have a list to crinkle.
Protect it well, Mr. President, very very well.