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Obama: The 'kill list'

“U.S.-led coalition troops battling Afghan Taliban insurgents have killed Al Qaeda’s second-in-command in Afghanistan in an air strike in the country’s eastern province of Kunar, the coalition said Tuesday,” the L.A. Times writes.

Meanwhile, the New York Times takes an in-depth look at Obama’s war with al Qaeda. “Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding ‘kill list,’ poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war. When a rare opportunity for a drone strike at a top terrorist arises — but his family is with him — it is the president who has reserved to himself the final moral calculation. ‘He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,’ said Thomas E. Donilon, his national security adviser. ‘His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” He added, “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.’” 

The L.A. Times: “Most Memorial Day messages from presidents involve the sort of solemn boilerplate remarks that barely break through the barbecue smoke and picnic chatter. On Monday, President Obama took a decidedly different tack: He noted the end of one war, promised the end of another and sought closure and healing for a third.”

“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Sunday urged a divided Congress to unite and avoid scheduled budget slashing that would bring total defense cuts to almost $1 trillion in the coming decade,” the Boston Globe writes.

Michelle Obama talks to USA Today’s Susan Page about her new book on the White House vegetable garden, “American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens  Across America.” Will she ever run for office? "Absolutely not. It will not happen. … No chance at all."

Over the weekend, the first lady and daughters were in Atlantic City, N.J., for a Beyoncé concert.