Kill or Capture

Kill or Capture Cover

Kill or Capture

The War on Terror and the Soul of the Obama Presidency

By Daniel Klaidman

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780547547893, 288pp.

Publication Date: June 12, 2012


Is Barack Obama an idealist or a ruthless pragmatist? He vowed to close Guantanamo, put an end to coercive interrogation and military tribunals, and restore American principles of justice, yet in his first term he has backtracked on each of these promises, ramping up the secret war of drone strikes and covert operations. Behind the scenes, wrenching debates between hawks and doves those who would kill versus those who would capture have repeatedly tested the very core of the president's identity.
Top investigative reporter Dan Klaidman has spoken to dozens of sources to piece together a riveting Washington story packed with revelations. As the president's inner circle debated secret programs, new legal frontiers, and the disjuncture between principles and down-and-dirty politics, Obama vacillated, sometimes lashed out, and spoke in lofty tones while approving a mounting toll of assassinations and kinetic-war operations. Klaidman's fly-on-the-wall reporting reveals who has his ear, how key national security decisions are really made, and whether or not President Obama has lived up to the promise of candidate Obama. Readers making up their minds about him during the 2012 election year will turn to "Kill or Capture" to decide.

About the Author

Daniel Klaidman worked for Newsweek from 1996 to 2011, serving for five years as Managing Editor and ultimately as co-Editor, before the magazine was sold. He previously served as the magazine’s Washington Bureau Chief for four years; Jerusalem Bureau Chief for one year; and a Washington Correspondent for four years. He was responsible for breaking a number of stories about the Obama administration, the Bush administration, and the war on terror.

For eight years before joining Newsweek, Klaidman was a senior reporter for Legal Times, where he broke the story of the Clintons’ legal defense fund and obtained the secret Justice Department report on Ruby Ridge that revealed much about the FBI cover-up.