The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for July 14, 2012

From Barack Obama’s killing-machine presidency to the empire of Mormon mammon, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the web this week.

07.14.12 8:45 AM ET

The Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama
Tom Junod, Esquire

Sure, we as a nation have always killed people. A lot of people. But no president has ever waged war by killing enemies one by one, targeting them individually for execution, wherever they are, even when the collateral damage is innocent American lives.

How the Mormons Make Money
Caroline Winter, Businessweek

The Church of Latter-day Saints has amassed financial holdings worth billions. Here's an inside look at its business empire.

The Chickens and the Bulls
William McGowan, Slate

The rise and incredible fall of a vicious extortion ring that preyed on prominent gay men in the 1960s.

Will Tumblr Sell Out?
Rob Walker, The New York Times Magazine

The founder and C.E.O. has a vision for his Web company as a “platform for creativity” unblemished by commercialization. But isn’t that what all 26-year-old tech prodigies say?

A Buddhist Retreat’s Death Saga
Lizzie Crocker, The Daily Beast

A Buddhist ‘Retreat for Peace’ in the rugged Arizona mountains has been less than peaceful lately, as a top student was expelled and later found dead in a cave. The Daily Beast’s Lizzie Crocker went looking for answers.