The escalation of the lethal drone campaign under Obama was driven to an extent by early counterterrorism decisions. Shuttering the CIA’s detention program and halting transfers to Guantanamo Bay left few options beyond drone strikes or detention by often unreliable allies.How does this compute? Are we supposed to believe that if the CIA had secret torture chambers at its disposal, it would opt to capture some targets rather than kill them? Or is the implication that human intelligence was hamstrung by ending torture, so counterterrorism operatives have nothing better to do than kill their targets? But isn't the very idea of a drone strike predicated on reliable intelligence?
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