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Moyers and Winship write: "Since Barack Obama took office, the aerial assaults also have killed three U.S. citizens, raising additional arguments as to whether the president has the right to order the death of Americans suspected of terrorism without due process of law."

MQ-9 Reaper during a combat mission over southern Afghanistan. (photo: Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/US Air Force)
MQ-9 Reaper during a combat mission over southern Afghanistan. (photo: Lt. Col. Leslie Pratt/US Air Force)


Barack Obama, Drone Ranger

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Moyers & Company

05 February 13

 

f you've seen the movie Zero Dark Thirty, you know why it has triggered a new debate over our government's use of torture after 9/11.

The movie's up for an Oscar as best motion picture. We'll know later this month if it wins. Some people leave the theater claiming the film endorses and even glorifies the use of torture to obtain information that finally led to finding and killing Osama bin Laden. Not true, say the filmmakers, but others argue the world is better off without bin Laden in it, no matter how we had to get him. What's more, they say, there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on American soil since 9/1 - if we have to use an otherwise immoral practice to defend ourselves against such atrocities, we're okay with it. Or so the argument goes.

The story of bin Laden's death is just one aspect of the international manhunt the United States has pursued, a worldwide dragnet of detention and death that has raised troubling questions and fervent debate over the fight against terrorism. What about the undermining of civil liberties here at home? The rights of suspects? The secret surveillance of American citizens? The swollen executive powers first claimed by George W. Bush and now by Barack Obama?

Soon after he succeeded Bush, President Obama announced he would not permit torture and would close down the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. He also said:

"The orders that I sign today should send an unmistakable signal that our actions in defense of liberty will be just as our cause. And that we the people will uphold our fundamental values as vigilantly as we protect our security. Once again, America's moral example must be the bedrock and the beacon of our global leadership"

Four years later, Guantanamo remains open. In fact, just a few days ago, the State Department announced it was eliminating the office assigned to close the prison and move its detainees.

Because of logjams in the process of military justice, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others have yet to come to trial. And there's continuing controversy about the lack of oversight and transparency surrounding the detention and interrogation of suspects both here and abroad.

Meanwhile, President Obama has stepped up the use of unmanned drones against suspected terrorists abroad, not only in Afghanistan but in countries where we're not at war, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. As the Brookings Institution's Peter Singer wrote in The New York Times a year ago, "… A new technology is short-circuiting the decision-making process for what used to be the most important choice a democracy could make. Something that would have previously been viewed as a war is simply not being treated like a war."

Just last week, as reports came of more deaths by drone - including three attacks in Yemen, with 13 dead - the United Nations announced an investigation into the legality of drones and their deadly toll on the innocent. According to UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson:

"The central objective of the investigation… is to look at the evidence that drone strikes and other forms of remote targeted killing have caused disproportionate civilian casualties in some instances… It's both right as a matter of principle, and inevitable as a matter of political reality, that the international community should now be focusing attention on the standards applicable to this technological development."

Since Barack Obama took office, the aerial assaults also have killed three U.S. citizens, raising additional arguments as to whether the president has the right to order the death of Americans suspected of terrorism without due process of law. One of those controversial drone attacks involved the killing of Anwar al-Awalki, an American citizen and radical Muslim cleric who had moved to Yemen with his family. He was said to be the brains behind repeated attempts to attack the U.S., including the Christmas day underwear bomber plot in 2009 that would have blown up a passenger jet over Detroit. Also dead was American citizen Samir Khan, editor of "Inspire," al Qaeda ‘s online propaganda magazine, and two weeks later, in a separate drone attack, al-Awalki's 16-year-old son, born in Denver.

A key player in our government's current drone program is John Brennan, who during the Bush presidency was a senior official at the Central Intelligence Agency and head of the National Counterterrorism Center. Reportedly, Barack Obama considered offering him the top job at the CIA in 2008, but public opposition - in reaction to the charges that the Bush White House had approved torture - caused Brennan to withdraw his name from consideration. Nonetheless, Obama kept him on as an adviser, and now, despite Brennan's past notoriety, Obama officially has chosen him to head the CIA. This time, there's been little criticism of the decision.

We hope Brennan's upcoming confirmation hearings on February 7 will offer Congressional critics the chance to press him on drone attacks and whether the Obama administration in its fight against terror is functioning within the rule of law - or abusing presidential power when there has been no formal declaration of war.

 

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+50 # Erdajean 2013-02-05 09:58
No, Obama does NOT have the right to order the death of ANYONE without proper trial and court order. Who does he think he is -- Dick Cheney? Enough of this infamy, right now! If this country is EVER to regain respect from a world just as entitled (call that "exceptional") as WE are, it has to start with honoring basic human rights and JUSTICE. We have crossed too many lines with this big-headed bullying.
 
 
-47 # HowardMH 2013-02-05 11:19
When these US Citizens went overseas and started plotting against the US – at that moment they gave up any and all rights to a proper trial and court order.

In case you have forgotten when Libya got really stupid and took down an American airplane. What happened – Reagan ordered the bombing of the leader’s home and killed one of his daughters and others. Guess what - didn’t hear a peep out of Libya for 25 yrs and all it took was a very few airplanes and ONE bombing run. And how did WWII end? Again two bombs on two cities in Japan and it was all over. Truman was my hero, and I haven’t seen one politician since with his level of leadership except Reagan who did good.

One more thing how long was Reagan President before all the hostages were released? It was somewhere between 5 min and 15 min.

Bring on the Drones and continue bombing the bastards into complete annihilation if that is what it takes before we lose any more GIs over there.
 
 
+23 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-05 13:25
"When these US Citizens went overseas and started plotting against the US . . ."

Howard, I hate to have to give you a primer in basic US constitutional law (you and Obama), but one of the underlying principles of our law is that a person is not guilty just because you or Obama or some gossip down the street says so. It takes a sworn information and belief to bring an arrest warrant and then a trial during which the accused is confronted by his accusers.

I'm sure that your evidence at the trial of an accused terrorist would be devastating, but still we need to go thru the motions.
 
 
+13 # Doubter 2013-02-05 14:56
Heil Amerika!
 
 
+7 # MidwestDick 2013-02-05 15:27
Libya bombed a disco in Germany where many GIs congregated. This was because the U.S. blockaded Libyan ports and engaged in some other hostile acttions. In response to the Disco bombing, Reagan bombed Qaddafi. In response to the killing of Qaddafi's daughter, Libya brought down the jet.
 
 
-20 # Bob P 2013-02-05 12:32
I don't know the details of congress' war declaration after 9/11, but if we are in a war on terrorism legally declared by congress, then Obama is following his constitutional duty to kill and destroy until terrorism surrenders or sues for peace. I am totally opposed to drones as I was to the war in Iraq. But if congress says go to war, as commander in chief he is duty bound to do the killing and destroying that entails.
 
 
+6 # MidwestDick 2013-02-05 15:30
The war is being pressed in general accord with the Defense authorization act just passed. The president's options are wide open. He is not obliged to wipe his behind with the bill of rights, but he has that option.
 
 
+8 # MainStreetMentor 2013-02-05 19:48
This quote from Plato, is thought provoking when applied to today's situation and circumstance: "This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector."
 
 
+10 # oprichniki 2013-02-05 10:02
But since the tragedy at Sandy Hook BHO has been saying that he opposes violence!
 
 
+2 # WestWinds 2013-02-05 10:57
Political rhetoric for those who are too dull or too lazy to understand the reality of what's going on.
 
 
+6 # Malcolm 2013-02-05 11:24
Quoting WestWinds:
Political rhetoric for those who are too dull or too lazy to understand the reality of what's going on.


Rhetoric by whom? Moyers & Company? or Obama/Brennan?
 
 
+18 # reiverpacific 2013-02-05 11:08
What continues to amaze me is that surely Ob' KNOWS, unless he is directly ignoring those who voted for him -and in fact is spitting in their faces- that they are surely overwhelmingly opposed to this quasi-Fascist omnipresence of a menace to all both overseas and in the "Homeland".
After all, many state cops are tripping over each other in the race to be equipped with these annoying, vaguely menacing latter day version of the Nazi Buzz-Bombs (V-1's).
And of course like the US and Soviets, who eventually reverse-enginee red these babies, wonder which of the targeted nations will be the first to do this, as Iran has allegedly shot down and acquired at least one.
Talk about sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind? Hell the skies might be black with the bloody things some day!
Very, very sad and disappointing on the part of this Nobel "PEACE" prize recipient.
By extension, will the looney NRA begin a propaganda campaign for "Super-power, super-sized" (unnecessary) anti-drone weapons and targeting devices.
"Drone Wars" the new not-so-sci-fi-m ovie and reality series coming to a neighborhood near YOU!
 
 
+14 # Malcolm 2013-02-05 11:27
Quoting reiverpacific:

anti-drone weapons and targeting devices.
"Drone Wars" the new not-so-sci-fi-movie and reality series coming to a neighborhood near YOU!


It does offer a certain amount of justification for those who fear government, does it not?

I hope we don't ever need to defend ourselves against government, but the Obama/Bush team are certainly setting us up for-at the least-some serious oppression.
 
 
+25 # Glen 2013-02-05 11:28
Obama began the spitting-in-you r-face campaign the day after he was installed in office after the first election. He did it by ordering the bombing of Pakistan. No one enters the office of president without having already signed on to the over all agenda.

Yes, science fiction is coming home to the world, and The Terminator doesn't appear to be such a fun movie any longer.
 
 
+1 # 666 2013-02-06 13:14
anyone know the name of the early 80s sf movie that had all kinds of drones everywhere?
 
 
+4 # NOMINAE 2013-02-07 21:44
Quoting 666:
anyone know the name of the early 80s sf movie that had all kinds of drones everywhere?


Are you thinking of "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise ?

Not far off, bcuz I just saw an article on the COMPLETED
mini-drones the size and shape of a mosquito that can be flown to one individual, and inject him or her with whatever "payload" with a pain threshold very similar to that of the standard mosquito bite. It would certainly reduce the "collateral damage" of the Drones strapped with Hellfire missiles !

We are still cavemen, using our technological genius for no better purpose than to simply invent more sophisticated and more high-tech "clubs" with which to beat our neighbors over the head. It just gets SO old, and SO boring.

Imagine what could be accomplished were we to simply "repurpose" this genius for innovation, invention, and follow through for SANE purposes !
 
 
+4 # moafu@yahoo.com 2013-02-05 11:17
This Administration is rife with evil intentions that are proven by their actions.
Psalms 37:35,36
"I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil.

But one passed by, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found."
 
 
-6 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 11:26
Man, I'm so torn on this issue. On one hand, we have a death toll of way over 3,000 Americans killed within our borders by foreign terrrorists. Then we have countless thousands of foreigners and Americans killed overseas in terrorist attacks. Then we have American citizens as well as foreign nationals killed by drone attacks perpetuated by our government. I agree with posters here on RSN, but I also feel that we need to stop terrorist attacks in the planning stages. I, for one, am not sure what to think. I'm sure all get plenty of red votes by you folks who are 100% positive that Obama and America are wrong to do these drone strikes. But I am equally sure there are plenty of readers who feel as torn I do. I'd love to hear from these folks as well.
 
 
+19 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-05 13:35
Todd, I can sympathize with you. So many complex issues confront us, few of which have a clear good-guy bad-guy context.

However, don't forget that of the 19 9/11 terrorists, 14 were Saudi Arabians, inspired by Osama Bin Laden, another Saudi from a very influential family -- one in fact that was on first name terms with the Bush family.

What did we do? Why, quite naturally we attacked Afghanistan and Iraq. That sure taught those Saudis a lesson they'll never forget.
 
 
+7 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 14:55
I have to agree with you there, Trueblue. BTW, I was NEVER in favor of either the Afghanistan or Iraq wars.
 
 
-6 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 14:53
Of course I knew I would garner a thumbs down with my neutral and questioning comment. I wish I could be as sure about this subject as I am about others that I've posted here. But if I get a thumbs down for hesitation, then so be it. And by the way, Malcom's post almost justifies the NRA, militia and other anti-government black helicopter believers the right to horde weapons and ammo. I'm sure (?) Malcom didn't really mean that, did he?
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-02-07 22:43
Quoting Todd Williams:
Man, I'm so torn on this issue....
I agree with posters here on RSN, but I also feel that we need to stop terrorist attacks in the planning stages. I, for one, am not sure what to think. I'm sure all get plenty of red votes by you folks who are 100% positive that Obama and America are wrong to do these drone strikes. But I am equally sure there are plenty of readers who feel as torn I do. I'd love to hear from these folks as well.


Part I

Never apologize for actually thinking a problem thoroughly through. Thank you as well for NOTING that this IS a very seriously complicated question that does NOT lend itself to a "bumper sticker" slogan solution.

There IS no "One-size-fits- all" answer to ANY complicated question. Otherwise we COULD just hand these questions over to today's adolescent high-schoolers.

I have considered every question that you ponder above and more. You are to be CONGRATULATED on calm, cogent critical thinking.

Allow me now to proudly join you in the uncomprehending sea of red ink.

The first thing I learned in my four years as a military man is the so-called "Two Rules" of War.

Rule Number One: Countless people die.
Rule Number Two: No one can change Rule Number One.

(Unless we halt WAR altogether)

Cont'd
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-02-07 22:45
@ Todd Williams

Part II

ANY military commander is charged with the responsibility of killing the MAXIMUM number of enemies while suffering the MINIMUM number of casualties among his own troops. Any military academy will back that up. That's "Job One".

People objecting to drones are objecting to the "ick factor" of what is, in actuality, just WAR ITSELF. They would do much better, and I would join them, in directing their efforts and antipathy at WAR than to simply and selectively hyperventilate over selected individual weapons of war.

In WWII we bombed and killed civilians by the untold THOUSANDS - leveled and destroyed entire CITIES without the use of a single drone. War is War, and Dead is Dead.

That said, Drones are GREAT from the military standpoint of conducting war while enjoying MINIMUM casualties among one's OWN troops. Highly Effective. They work.

Conversely, Drones SUCK in terms of the *mass* slaughter they produce, euphemistically called "collateral damage" by the Military.

I must join with those who say "If you are going to kill the ENEMY, then kill the ENEMY and not every man, woman, and child in a four-block radius just to target (and to often miss) the ONE PERSON you are after !

Cont'd
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-02-07 22:47
@ Todd Williams

Part III

I mentioned in another post seeing an article with a picture of a "ready-to-fly" mini-drone that is the size and shape of a mosquito. This WOULD allow the targeting of ONLY one person, so long as that person is not injected by "mosquito bite" with a communicable disease. They are designed to deliver poison.

I am also concerned, as are other people posting here, by the FACT that police departments are getting their hands on these drones. That does NOT fall under the "Rules Of War", but under the "Rules Of State Repression".

I read of TWO police departments in Texas who have had drones for almost two years now. They SAY they are using them ONLY for surveillance. Which is outrageous just from the start. The ONE Sheriff promised in the article I read that his drones would "never be used in the 'wrong' way". Well, if I were a Texan, I know I'd sleep better with a Texas Sheriff's PROMISE of safety from his drones, confident that not even accidents can happen.

Don't sweat the red thumbs. Many of them come from those incapable of even understanding your argument, much less from those who have carefully and critically thought your argument through and come to a well-considered disagreement with your conclusions.

Keep On Keepin' On ! This is no popularity contest !
 
 
+13 # Vern Radul 2013-02-05 11:30
Barack Obama is a terrorist who deserves to be in prison enjoying fairer and more humane treatment than he doles out to his prisoners like Bradley Manning.

Anyone supporting Barack Obama is a terrorist sympathizer and supporter.
 
 
0 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 14:59
I have to strongly disagree here, Antemedius. I voted for Obama and I am not a terrorist sympathizer and supporter. I think you are generalizing a bit too much with that inflammatory statement. And BTW, I sympathize with Bradley Manning. Obama is not perfect and I never felt he was.
 
 
+4 # SMoonz 2013-02-06 21:09
I recently had a conversation with a coworker and we both admit that by voting for a someone who kills, in essence that person then endorses killing. It is the same as being an accessory to murder in a crime.
 
 
+17 # Susan1989 2013-02-05 11:40
These are dark times.
 
 
+10 # Vern Radul 2013-02-05 12:29
To borrow a quote from the thumpers....

These are "end times" for the American empire.
 
 
+12 # Hot Doggie 2013-02-05 11:42
"This time, there's been little criticism of the decision." This is scary. Have people such a short memory that they have forgotten torture? If they have forgotten it, it's because the gov't planned on them forgetting it through planned incremental mind games. Slowly the gov't is teaching people that torture is bad except when our gov't is doing it: then it's OK. Only the gov't can torture because it said so. This is a mind game played by a 1984 gov't administration. It appears that the end result is to confuse, shake up if you will, people's pre-established thoughts so that a new thought can be inserted into their minds. Namely the thought that gov't is THE King and people are it's lowly subjects and the gov't will do whatever they want to their lowly masses. And since the gov't is trying to trash the 10 Amendments, those We-The-People's out there are thereby being indoctrinated into believing that they, the WTP, have no legal or lawful means to resist. WTP are not allowed to govern ourselves. Only the gov't can rule and "protect" WTP. The people must go to the gov't for all their needs. If WTP resist, their/our jobs will be taken away. WTP will have to go on austerity programs to survive resistance to an arrogant Administration. WTP are being trained to obey.

One morw thing: ALL POWER IS VESTED IN WE THE PEOPLE. And if that's so, then by not resisting, are we acquiesing to this reversal of power? God forbid! Remember: Resistance to tryanny is obedience to God.
 
 
-7 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 15:01
So are you standing in line for you assault rifle? The black helicopters are circling. You have no idea what tyranny is.
 
 
0 # mainescorpio 2013-02-05 11:51
I'm of two persuasions when it come to Obama use of drones.One, they are menace to society in their capability to kill innocents: two, they are an effective device when it comes time to fight an enemy without borders who can kill and plot in any country.

They are a new technology whose use however must be regulated by an international understanding of when and how they should be used. They will always be with us.
 
 
+9 # Vern Radul 2013-02-05 12:28
Best comment I've seen today on this subject...
( http://www.talkleft.com/story/2013/2/4/213335/1381#11 )

............
I'm just tickled pink that my very own government isn't going to waste anybody's time bringing charges, presuming innocence and all that folderol.

That's just so, magna carta.

Preventative nuclear war would be a real blast - oops. No pun intended.

Seriously, we could wipe out a whole nation of suspects and be home for Morning Joe.

This will make us safe. Very safe.



Nobody is going to mess with us if we blow them up first.


Them Ruskies, them Koreans in the North or is it the Southern ones... I forget. Nuke em both. That way we can be sure and safe.

Those Canadians and Mexicans have been acting a little weird too lately. Can't nuke em unless the wind is just right.

This is really progress towards safety, security and peace of mind.

No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first -- verdict afterwards.'
'Stuff and nonsense!' said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!'
'Hold your tongue!' said the Queen, turning purple.
'I won't!' said Alice.
'Off with her head!' the Queen shouted at the top of her voice.
Nobody moved.
 
 
-19 # ALinSTL 2013-02-05 12:40
THE 3 KILLED "AMERICANS" WERE TRAITORS TO THE USA. THEY WERE PLANNING, AIDING & ABETTING CRIMINAL TERRORIST ACTIONS AGAINST OTHER AMERICANS. THEY GAVE UP THEIR RIGHTS AS AMERICANS WHEN THEY CHOSE TO KILL OTHER AMERICANS. IN A WAR AGAINST TERRORISM THE IDEA IS TO KILL TERRORISTS. THOSE 3 DID THEIR BEST TO CARRY OUT CRIMINAL ACTIONS AGAINST US, NOT AS AMERICANS, BUT AS "TERRORISTS".
 
 
+10 # Vern Radul 2013-02-05 13:12
They were acting just like Washington does, in other words...
 
 
+8 # Trueblue Democrat 2013-02-05 13:39
You know all this how?
 
 
+7 # James Marcus 2013-02-05 17:30
Impeach the Drone Ranger. Prosecute all Droners.
New Congressional Elections for ALL Members.
EVERYONE IS UP FOR RE-ELECTION
Publicly funded Elections. Prohibit all political contributions, cash/non-cash, unconditionally .
 
 
-3 # Todd Williams 2013-02-05 19:16
I just want everybody that gave me a thumbs down for my neutral but questioning position, I'm so damn glad that all of you are so sure of your convictions that you would be willing to throw Obama under the bus. But of course, none of you voted for him. Perhaps Romney? Gary Johnson? Rember, the black helicopters are on their way to get YOU!

GOODNIGHT.
 
 
-2 # Todd Williams 2013-02-06 06:24
I reallty want to know how Hot Doggie and others who gave me red thumbs downs, voted in the last election. I voted for Obama and am glad I did. How about the rest of yhou? Fess up. Romney? Nobody?
 
 
-2 # Todd Williams 2013-02-06 08:28
Ha. I knew I wouldn't get an answer to my question on voting. Why are some people on this site afraid to declare who they supported? Ashamed perhaps? I don't get it.
 
 
+2 # SMoonz 2013-02-06 21:18
I don't know how this is relevant to the discussion on drones and killing but I will say I voted for Jill Stein.
I can see your frustration at getting thumbs down but even you knew you were going to get this reaction from readers. You shouldn't get flustered over it as even you welcomed contrary opinions.
 
 
+3 # SMoonz 2013-02-06 21:13
I don't believe anyone is throwing Obama under the bus. We are holding him responsible for actions that defy the Constitution. He made the decision and he has to be held responsible. Period.
 
 
-7 # Timaloha 2013-02-05 19:54
So it would be okay with most of you if Anwar al-Awalki, the man who planned the botched attack on a US jetliner full of innocent Americans, lived out his days in Yemen planning and organizing similar attacks? Because he was born American? Or would you rather we violate foreign sovereignty by risking the lives of US Special Ops troops to capture him so he can be tried here? As a former US infantry scout, I'd rather use the drone than place American troops in harm's way. Alwaki ceased being an American citizen when he first took an active roll in planning the deaths of Americans at the hands of forces hostile to the United States.
 
 
-5 # Todd Williams 2013-02-06 04:37
Right on, brother! Chris Matthews said it best last night when he asked if an American had put on a Nazi uniform, would we have killed him? Anwar al-Awalki wasn't just a dissident American living in Yemen. He was a dangerous terrorist and a traitor. Just how in the hell or why in the hell would we want to risk trying to capture him? I don't believe Obama orders these drone strikes for no reason at all just because he enjoys killing. He strikes me as a man who considers his actions carefully.
 
 
+3 # SMoonz 2013-02-06 21:25
You can't put your faith in one man. In a leader to make such decisions to snuff out an individual. Such power is extremely dangerous and you may feel safe because Obama in in power today, but would you feel safe if it was a Bush, Romney, or any right winger in office?
 
 
+3 # SMoonz 2013-02-06 21:23
See, the problem is we can't rely on Obama or a future President to be judge, jury and executioner. Whatever happened to due process? Instead we have to sit back and assume this president is telling us the truth regarding an enemy. Overriding the powers of the courts as well as Congress is a deadly game and one which puts the nation, institutions of government and individual rights at risk.
 
 
+5 # Don Thomann 2013-02-06 04:40
Face it, drones are the best way, yet devised, to guarantee a growing anti U.S. resistance and thereby perpetual war. That's just what the military-indust rial complex WANTS!
So, "we'll force you to hate and resist us! Then we can collect our trillions from the American taxpaying dupes and laugh all the way to our banks!"
 
 
+5 # @jslives 2013-02-06 09:03
How many who comment here know the number of countries Obama is currently using drones in, to what alleged purpose, at what cost (in dollars, civilian lives)?

How many have read Medea Benjamin's book "Drone Warfare," or learned the reality of these killer robots via other books, articles, first-person reports?

Two mention the "boogeyman" Anwar al-Awlaki (who, incidentally, wasn't charged with terrorism, wasn't labeled a threat by our govt); what about his 16y.o. son Abdulrahman? Also a US citizen, also vaporized by drone (along with everyone anywhere near him, at a cookout) though he was a kid, not even political.

Most of the people who die in US drone strikes (and the "double-tap" followup, drones targeting first-responder s and funerals) are civilians. Some are US citizens.

The UN has indicated that these drone assassinations are a violation of international law and US law.

Don is right that the primary effect of this barbaric technology is to create populations that will never forgive the US for the damage done to their communities, their families, their lives. "Perpetual war for perpetual peace," courtesy of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate with a kill list.
 
 
+6 # Vern Radul 2013-02-06 10:00
To have a never ending war on terror requires that they do everything possible to create as many "terrorists" who hate Americans for their freedom to kill them as they possibly can to be "at war" against.

What better qualification could there be than someone whose mother or father or child has just been blown into bloody gobs of flesh in front of their eyes?
 
 
+5 # charsjcca 2013-02-06 20:47
Timothy Leary wrote an essay in 1969 about long-distance killing machines. That is what a drone is about. Please google the item and read it for yourself
 
 
+2 # billeeboy 2013-02-07 11:25
It won't be long until other countries develop drone capabilities. It will be interesting to see how the American tune changes when other counties use drones to protect their security....... ..
 
 
+3 # Vern Radul 2013-02-07 12:08
Those would be rogue terrorist states who would need to be attacked to encourage them to come to their senses of course... not "responsible members of the international community promoting freedom and democracy" like the US does...

Of course...
 

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