FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The U.S. government has killed three American citizens with drone strikes in Yemen over the past month. Three.
They include the al Qaeda leader Anwar Al-Awlaki, another al Qaeda member and Al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman.
The teenager born in Colorado was killed in a drone strike that targeted and killed a prominent militant along with several others. It's unclear if the youngster was a militant himself.
But whether he was or not, the silence coming from the U.S. government regarding his death is deafening.
U.S. officials will only say they didn't know the teen was hit with that al Qaeda member. Otherwise, they have not commented on the drone strike. No one is taking responsibility for his death.
The U.S. drone campaign is becoming an increasingly controversial part of its national security policy. The secretive airstrikes have killed hundreds of foreigners in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen and Libya.
But this case is different, it includes an American teenager killed by the United States in a country that we're not even at war with.
The Obama administration has justified attacks against al Qaeda members anywhere in the world. In the case of Anwar Al-Awlaki, officials say it was a legal strike because he was planning attacks against Americans.
But not everyone is convinced that killing American citizens anywhere without due process is a good idea. The ACLU has asked for classified documents justifying the killing of the senior Al-Awlaki.
Some, including Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, have even suggested the targeted killing of an American could be an impeachable offense for President Obama.
Here’s my question to you: How can the Obama administration justify killing U.S. citizens overseas without due process?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.
It's pretty safe to say President Obama shouldn't bother sending billionaire and casino mogul Steve Wynn an invitation to his next fund-raising event in Las Vegas.
During his company's quarterly earnings conference call, Wynn, CEO of Wynn Resorts, went on a rant about the harm he believes the President has done to the economy and business community. Wynn told listeners on the call, "this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime."
Since he was elected, President Obama hasn't had the strongest relationship with business leaders who strongly oppose the health care and Wall Street reform laws he's pushed for during his administration. Wynn says business leaders like himself, who have business opportunities and the capital to act on them, are sitting in fear of the president's policies.
Despite Wynn's tirade, his company Wynn Resorts did well in the second quarter. But Wynn said he could be doing even more if it wasn't for Obama's policies and overall philosophy as president. Wynn claims his company alone could add 10,000 jobs in Las Vegas if it wasn't for this political climate.
Wynn is a self-described "Democratic businessman" but he says he supports both Democrats and Republicans. But he's not happy with anybody in Washington these days. He believes Congress and the administration are so focused on holding their jobs for the next year that the discussion in Washington right now is quote "nauseating."
Here's my question to you: Steve Wynn calls the Obama Administration the greatest "wet blanket" to business and job creation in his lifetime. Is he right?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
If they had taken Osama bin Laden alive, there wouldn't be a debate about releasing these pictures. Hindsight is always 20/20. But reasonable people may disagree on whether or not it would have been a good idea to bring this guy back alive.
Depending on which account of the mission you believe, it sounds like it might have been possible. At first, we were told he had a gun, he resisted, he used his wife as a shield and the impression was the Navy SEALs had no choice but to kill him.
But then the story changed. He didn't use his wife as a shield. He wasn't armed. But he did resist. One account even said he looked like he was reaching for a gun.
You could also engage in a hypothetical discussion about whether shooting and killing an unarmed man is a good idea even if it was Osama bin Laden. In his case, I happen to think it was a great idea.
Returning him as a prisoner would have presented monumental security issues and putting him on trial would have cost this country a great dea l– financially, emotionally and psychologically. Tossing his body into the sea was also a good idea. No grave site that becomes a shrine for his demented followers.
Here’s my question to you: Should the United States have tried to take Osama bin Laden alive?
People demonstrated in support of Egypt's uprising against President Hosni Mubarak in front of the White House earlier this week. Secretary of State Clinton called for international support for an orderly transition to democracy, warning of forces that might try to derail it. (PHOTO CREDIT: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
Dealing with politics in the Middle East can be tantamount to juggling hand grenades, but some think the Obama administration is making a mess of its response to the crisis in Egypt.
The White House is sending out mixed messages.
First, President Barack Obama said Egypt's transition "must be meaningful, it must be peaceful and it must begin now," and It looked like the administration was taking steps to increase pressure on Hosni Mubarak to step aside. Well, maybe not.
Since then, Mubarak has made it clear he's not going anywhere until September. He says he needs to stick around to maintain stability.
So the administration is changing its tune. Now Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, says the process in Egypt will be "bumpy" and that "it's going to take some time to work this stuff out."
Meanwhile, the administration is undercutting its own diplomat, Frank Wisner. They sent him to Egypt to negotiate directly with Mubarak.
Upon his return, Wisner said Mubarak should stay in office - at least for now so he can hand over authority in an orderly manner. But Gibbs says Wisner doesn't speak for the administration. Gibbs says the Egyptians should decide the details of the transition.
Potential Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich calls all this back-and-forth "amateurish." Gingrich says he's concerned about the administration's handling of the situation and that it can't get on the same page as its special envoy.
Here’s my question to you: How would you rate the Obama administration's handling of the crisis in Egypt?
A Mexican immigrant detainee (L) holds hands with his wife and son during a family visitation at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facility for illegal immigrants in Florence, Arizona. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
If the following doesn't amount to a back door amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens, I don't know what does.
The federal government, which has long ignored our nation's immigration laws, choosing instead to sue states like Arizona which are overrun with illegal aliens, is changing its strategy.
They're focusing more on illegal immigrants who have committed serious crimes - which makes sense. But by doing so the threat of deportation for millions of others who are in the U.S. illegally is reduced.
USA Today outlines some of the recent changes... including a proposal that would prohibit police from using misdemeanor traffic stops to send people to immigration officials.
The administration is also looking for ways to allow college students and spouses of military personnel to legalize their status or avoid deportation... if Congress doesn't pass immigration reform.
Critics say these measures show the government is "thumbing its nose at the law" and some suggest the Obama administration is trying to create a kind of backdoor amnesty program.
Immigration advocates are also not happy. They say deportations are at record highs and immigrants who stay in the U.S. are living in limbo - without any form of legal status.
With a record backlog of deportation cases and lacking an unlimited budget - the government says it makes sense to target people who pose the biggest threat to public safety.
Meanwhile it should come as no surprise that more than 20 states are now considering immigration laws like the one passed in Arizona. The public has had a bellyful of the government's impotence on this issue, and some states are trying to protect themselves.
Here’s my question to you: Is the Obama administration implementing a backdoor amnesty plan?
Tune in to the Situation Room at 6pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.
"Transparency." What was once a great rallying cry for President Obama seems to have fallen by the wayside... in the tradition of so many campaign promises.
The latest example comes from the Nuclear Security Summit taking place in Washington this week. Dana Milbank writes in The Washington Post that world leaders arriving in the U.S. Capital may have felt more like they were transported to Soviet-era Moscow... with Pres. Obama "putting on a clinic for some of the world's greatest dictators in how to circumvent a free press."
Milbank details how foreign reporters were shut out of press availabilities after only minutes. One journalist reporting for an Arabic-language TV station said they were only present for Mr. Obama's meeting with Jordan's king for about 30 seconds... not long enough to notice the tie colors of the two leaders.
Also - Multiple events on the president's official schedule yesterday were "closed press"... leading reporters who have covered the White house for decades to say these were the most restricted meetings they'd ever seen.
Where's the transparency we were promised? This disregard for the media is becoming somewhat of a theme for President Obama... from closed events like the recent meeting with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu... to the president's signing of an executive order on abortion. No media coverage allowed for any of this stuff.
Not to mention another broken campaign promise of televising the health care debates live on C-Span.
Here’s my question to you: When it comes to transparency, is Pres. Obama keeping his word?
Depending on which member of the Obama administration you ask - the recession may or may not be over.
There were mixed messages coming this weekend from some of the president's top economic aides.
Larry Summers, head of the National Economic Council, said: "Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over, and the question is what the pace of the expansion is going to be."
He pointed out the U.S. was losing 700,000 jobs a month when the president took office - and last month we lost 11,000 jobs. He says there should be job growth by spring.
But wait... When Christina Romer - head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers - was asked if the recession is over, she said: "Of course not. For the people on Main Street and throughout this country, they are still suffering." Romer says she won't say the recession is over until the unemployment rate is back to about five percent. Right now - it's at 10-percent.
The Obama administration is doing a balancing act here. On the one hand - they want to show optimism that the economy is recovering - after all, there is an election in November. But - they also want to appear sensitive to the difficult time that millions of Americans are still going through.
However, saying both these things at the same time is confusing.
Here’s my question to you: In light of mixed messages coming from the Obama administration, do you think the recession is over?
The Obama White House may have started another war it can't win.
On yesterday's Sunday talk shows - Senior Adviser David Axelrod said of Fox News, "It's not really news. It's pushing a point of view.” And he asked that other news organizations not treat Fox like it's news.
The president's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, also said Fox is "not a news organization so much as it has a perspective."
This all started when White House communications director Anita Dunn called Fox an arm of the Republican Party and said the Obama administration would treat the cable news network as they would an "opponent."
Dunn is now in a dust-up with Fox News' Glenn Beck, concerning a speech where she quoted Communist leader Mao Tse Tung. Beck calls that "insanity."
There is also a January video of Ms. Dunn where she talks about how the Obama campaign controlled the news media. She says they went around the "filter" of the news media and spoke directly to the American people. Actually, a lot of the time they did.
Fox News says the White House "continues to declare war" on them instead of focusing on critical issues like jobs, health care and two wars.
And they have a point. It could be said that bickering with Fox News is a waste of valuable time and energy that could be better spent solving the nation's myriad problems.
Here’s my question to you: Is it a good strategy for the White House to go after Fox News?
From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Despite all the lofty talk during the election about change, hope and ushering in a new era in Washington... most people don't think it's happened.
A new Gallup poll shows only 21% of Americans think the tone between Democrats and Republicans in our nation’s capital has gotten better.
A new Gallup poll shows only 21% of Americans think the tone and "level of civility" between Democrats and Republicans in our nation's capital has gotten better since President Obama came into office last month. 23% think things have gotten worse. More than half – 51%– say it's stayed the same.
The poll also found that Democrats are more likely to say the tone has improved, not surprising since they have one of their own in the White House, while Republicans are more likely to say it's gotten worse. Independents are about evenly split.
Last week's party-line vote in the House of Representatives on the economic stimulus package was the nation's first look at how Washington might operate during the Obama administration... and the partisanship looked a lot like what we saw under President Bush. This vote came despite the president's efforts at bipartisanship – a including a stop on Capitol Hill to meet with Republican leaders and hosting a bipartisan Super Bowl party at the White House. The New York Times reports that Republicans have been scoring invitations to the White House nearly as often as Democrats have. One Republican Congressman who attended the Super Bowl Party says such a meeting "humanizes and personalizes" your opponent and that it helps people put politics aside.
Here’s my question to you: What is your prescription for ending the bitter partisanship in Washington?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Questions about tax issues have now clouded three nominations. (PHOTO CREDIT: JIM WATSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
President Obama says he "screwed up” when it came to the nomination of Tom Daschle as Health and Human Services Secretary. No kidding.
Daschle dropped out after days of questioning about more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes. President Obama says it's important for his administration to send a message that there aren't two sets of rules when it comes to paying taxes - for prominent people and for ordinary folks. That might prompt one to ask, "Then why do you keep nominating people who haven't paid their taxes for high ranking positions in your administration?"
Questions about tax issues have now clouded three nominations. Besides Daschle, another top appointee, Nancy Killefer, pulled her name from consideration as chief White House Performance officer – because of unpaid taxes for a household employee. And then, of course, there was Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. He was eventually confirmed by the Senate – but only after days of scrutiny and numerous public apologies. The man who will now oversee the IRS failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes himself.
None of this is good news for the Obama administration. It opens up the White House to a lot of criticism from Republicans and on newspaper editorial pages. They say President Obama preaches one thing – ethics, responsibility, etc. – but practices another. It also raises serious questions about the administration's vetting process. Who keeps submitting the names of tax cheats for high-powered jobs in Obama's administration?
Here’s my question to you: How does nominating three people who didn't pay their taxes affect President Obama's credibility?
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
About Jack Cafferty
Subscribe | Send Feedback