The Drone Threat

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Published : February 19th, 2013
592 words - Reading time : 1 - 2 minutes
( 19 votes, 4.6/5 ) , 4 commentaries
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Category : Editorials

Last week, Senators threatened to put a "hold" on the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA director over his refusal to answer questions about the use of drones to kill Americans on US soil. That the president's nominee to head the agency that has used drones to kill perhaps thousands overseas could not deny their possible use at home should be shocking. How did we get to this point?

The Obama administration has rapidly expanded the use of drones overseas, as they appear a way to expand US military action without the political risk of American boots on the ground. In fact they are one of the main reasons a recent Gallup survey of Pakistan, where most US drone strikes take place, found that 92% disapprove of U.S. leadership. This is the lowest approval rate Pakistan citizens have ever given to the United States. And it is directly related to US drone strikes. The risk of blowback increases all the time. However the false propaganda about the success of our drone program overseas leads officials to believe that drones should also be used over US soil as well.

In attempt to ease criticism of the use of drones against Americans, some in Congress propose more oversight, as if that should make us feel any better. In last week's hearings, CIA nominee Brennan suggested that he was open to a Congressional proposal to set up a secret court to oversee the president's program to kill Americans by drone. Should we cheer that a court selected by government officials will meet in secret to oversee the president's secret decisions on killing Americans without charge or trial? Has the Constitution been so eroded that we accept such a horrific and terrifying prospect?

While touting the success of its overseas drone program, the US administration refuses to even admit publicly that the CIA has an overseas drone program. In response to a recent ACLU Freedom of Information request regarding the existence of the CIA's drone program, the Department of Justice responded, "the very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such documents is itself classified." How is that for government transparency?

Recently, Federal Aviation Administration official, Jim Williams, stated that no armed drones would presently be permitted in US airspace. But what good are the promises of government officials when the Constitution, and especially the Fourth Amendment, has been gutted? More than1,400 applications to use drones in US airspace have been approved, including for police, universities, and at least seven federal agencies. Do we want to live in a society where the government is constantly watching us from above? The East Germans and Soviets could only dream of such technology in the days of their dictatorship. We might ask ourselves how long before "extraordinary" circumstances will lead to a decision to arm those drones over US territory.

The US government justified its attack on Saddam Hussein in Iraq and against Gaddafi in Libya, and elsewhere, with claims that these despots were killing their own citizens without trial or due process. It is true that extra-juridical killing is the opposite of justice in a free society.

As Judge Andrew Napolitano wrote last week about the president's assassination program, "When [the president] kills without due process, he disobeys the laws he has sworn to uphold, no matter who agrees with him. When we talk about killing as if it were golf, we debase ourselves. And when the government kills and we put our heads in the sand, woe to us when there is no place to hide."

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The flaw in Paul's argument, and Judge Napolitano's, against the use of drones is that they are categorically against them. They are correct that the rule of law should prevail, but only when such rule can be applied. When a terrorist who has murdered, citizen or not, is outside the continental United States and unabled to be extradited -- and is considered to be planning further attacks against our nation -- then the use of drones to eliminate that threat is morally justifiable.

Ron Paul is notorious for finding reasons for not protecting our nation, committed as he is to believing ANY government action is morally wrong.
Rate :   7  7Rating :   0
Who could have come up with these 2 simple words ?
I Love it , I love it , I simply love it.

I think Jim C. is a non existing event. There must be a Government ID hiding behind his ... yeah what ?
A terrorist ??? Columbine ??? NO ! Only Muslims are allowed to be terrorists.
Next !
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So JIM it therefore OK for Pakistanis or anyone else for that matter, to kill the President of the USA because they believe him to be a terrorist?
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Wow Jim C, you’ve really gone full retard on this one.

You state “When a terrorist who has murdered, citizen or not, is outside the continental United States and unabled to be extradited -- and is considered to be planning further attacks against our nation -- then the use of drones to eliminate that threat is morally justifiable.”

Please tell me oh white wizard, who determines that anyone is a terrorist, murderer or any other criminal for that matter without due process? Where’s the trial in public? What you have now is some private kangaroo court lead by the chief monkeys in Washington that will prove this individual needs to be exterminated. How about you Jim, how do we know you’re not a threat to our security? I’m getting really bad vibes about you, I think you really need to be targeted by the presidents flying assassination team. Since I believe you’re a threat and there's ample evidence in your comments that show a high degree of hatred for Obama why do you think you should be allowed to keep walking the streets? How does that make you feel? How do you think those people the drones killed that weren’t guilty of anything more than being hated by some moron in Washington felt when they were killed by cowards in a far off land?

You so very easily throw away your freedom because you believe the jackasses that control the high priced toys are just, noble, and know what they are doing. Yet you slam anyone for voting for Obama! You and those who believe the crap your spoon fed really do deserve what’s going to be given to you by those who don’t even consider the Constitution as a guide line never mind binding law.

Seemingly all it will take for the masses in the US to totally abandon all freedom for “safety” is one more terrorist act perpetrated by your loving government on US soil. When oh when will you wake up and realise it’s the morons you elected that are screwing you over. When will you use the right to bear arms to get rid of these morons. You may recall the constitution was designed this way so that the people had a means to get rid of tyrants, not because the forefathers thought everyone should have the right to go gopher hunting.
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Wow Jim C, you’ve really gone full retard on this one. You state “When a terrorist who has murdered, citizen or not, is outside the continental United States and unabled to be extradited -- and is considered to be planning further attacks against our n  Read more
Hart - 2/20/2013 at 2:13 PM GMT
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