It's an unlikely source. Drum isn't usually this, well, nonsensical.
I just finished reading Daniel Klaidman's Kill or Capture, a book about the evolution of Barack Obama's national security policy during the first three years of his administration. It's a good book to read if you want an answer to the question, "What happened?" That is, what happened to the idealistic Obama of the 2008 campaign who was going to shut down Guantanamo, end indefinite detention, try terrorist suspects in civilian courts, take civil liberties more seriously, and end the rabid secrecy of the Bush era? How did he turn into the guy who not only didn't do any of that stuff, but became a drone-obsessed killing machine in the process?
Ya' know -- I'm educated, but I'm nowhere near as educated as Drum is, and it would take me no less than several minutes to answer everyone single one of these questions without having to read someone else's book on the subject so they can answer it for me.
1. He signed an executive order to close Guantanamo on day 1.
2. Congress has overwhelming voted to continue detentions 4 separate times with veto-proof majorities.
3. Congress and pissy-pants local politicians have blocked past efforts to try terrorism suspects in civilian courts. (remember the cowardly "we'll become a target" shitfest in New York?)
4. He takes civil liberties far more seriously than Bush did.
5. It's the most transparent administration we've ever had. It really is. It seems that because this admin takes national security seriously instead of as a joke, pundits don't know how to react.
6. WTF? A "drone-obsessed killing machine?" Seriously, what??
I still can't figure out what makes drones so much worse than F-18s, B52s, or Apache helicopters. In what universe do precision drone-strikes make someone a killing machine? Why was George W. Bush never called a "killing machine" despite killing hundreds of thousands of people in Iraq? Is there something about the name "drone" itself that causes liberals to cast-aside reason and shit their pants?
This is only one small example of a trend lately that has seen liberal writers acting like this is 2009-2010 and not one of the most important election years in our history.
The "Left" side of the media-sphere is so lazy, decadent, spoiled, and elitist it should come as no surprise that the Obama Campaign rarely, if ever, listens to them. There's no reason to listen to you when you print this kind of ginned up horseshit. And if they actually care about any of what they pretend to care about, they're only doing themselves a disservice with this kind of hyperbolic, counter-factual rambling.
This isn't speaking truth to power or "keeping them honest." This is simply lazy, incurious navel-gazing. The above answers concerning Gitmo, congress, and civilian trials aren't secrets or even hard to find if you just look. And if a guy like me who has no budget, no interns, and no editorial staff can figure it out, why can't they? Or do they not care? Are they just too well-off and comfortable to expend the energy required to ensure they actually know what they're talking about?
President Obama could serve the professional left Filet Mignon on a silver platter and they would send it back because it was 5-degrees off temperature.