For Obama, words conceal the indefensible

Last year, the administration added a new phrase to the doublespeak lexicon. Americans slated for death by drone go on something called “the disposition matrix,” which lacks the harsh clarity of “kill list.” …

At times, it seems that Team Obama claims full-spectrum dominance over the English language itself. That’s apparent in their legal position papers rationalizing undeclared wars, assassination of American citizens, and mass surveillance.

To get around the War Powers Resolution’s limits on presidential war-making, State Department legal adviser Harold Koh argued that bombing Libya was “distinct from the kind of ‘hostilities’ contemplated” by the WPR.

In a DOJ memo that was leaked earlier this year, the administration claimed the right to kill U.S. Citizens who present an “imminent threat of violent attack.” Despite what your dictionary may tell you, “imminent” doesn’t mean “in the immediate future.”