President Obama’s use of drone strikes to target terrorists is depleting U.S. intelligence on al Qaeda and making America less safe in the process, according to Marc Thiessen, an American Enterprise Institute fellow.
“The Obama administration has completely eliminated live capture of terrorists and bringing them in for interrogation,” Thiessen said. “As a result, we are not getting insight into the inner workings of al Qaeda.”
Thiessen, author of “Courting Disaster” and a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, spoke at Heritage about the Obama Doctrine. He joined us on Scribecast to discuss the escalation of drone strikes, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, budget cuts to Voice of America and the ideology of isolationism.
Thiessen acknowledged that drone strikes are one of the most popular aspects of Obama’s anti-terror strategy. An overwhelming 83 percent of Americans support drone strikes, including 77 percent of liberals, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.
“If Bush was blowing up terrorists without a warrant or a court order, [liberals] would be up in arms,” Thiessen remarked.
But there are downsides. Heritage’s James Jay Carafano has warned that drone strikes alone can’t and won’t win the war on terror. Thiessen said, for example, dead terrorists cannot reveal plans about future attacks. Obama, however, shut down the CIA’s interrogation program, even though he benefits from the intelligence it once produced.
“The time you want to use a drone is when there is perishable intelligence, where you’ve got a very small window of opportunity to take someone out,” Thiessen said.