I find it interesting that there is such an uproar over 'taking out' (killing) American citizens overseas who are actively engaging in terrorist activities against us and our interests. The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen, by drone strike was necessary. If he hated the USA so much, he should've renounced his citizenship. He was probably thinking that if he were captured, he could be taken to court. There should be controls for strikes but to stuff the protocols with a bunch of bureaucracy would be counterproductive. In general, I find the ACLU to be an effective watchdog regarding the rights of Americans but is out of line in this issue. I say, keep the drones flying and get the bad guy dead.
Citizens, drones and terror, Oh My(11 posts)
they (drones) are not that effective at pinpointing targets:
The study by Stanford Law School and New York University's School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of "high-level" targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- about 2%.
TBIJ reports that from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 - 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 - 881 were civilians, including 176 children. TBIJ reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 - 1,362 individuals," according to the Stanford/NYU study.
"Most of the people in the Pakistani Army whom I interviewed on the subject were positive about the drone strikes and their direct correlation with a decrease in terrorist attacks in Pakistan.
Locals I talked to are frustrated over the fear that they might get hit by a drone if the militants are hiding in their neighborhood. But this frustration may have a positive impact as it motivates civilians to flush out and close doors to militants who seek refuge in their areas.
The United States finds itself in a stronger bargaining position due to the use of drones, and it must make good use of this opportunity."
That was a gentle hijack. My cut and paste vs yours.
More to the point, American citizens engaging in terrorist activities overseas against American citizens and our interests should be killed. Easy peezy.
Do you wish to contest the point?
I don't wish to contest the point (of the intention).
I'm just not comfortable with so much collateral damage. I also think it's somewhat moot whether the target is a US citizen. certainly these drone strikes are used for all types.
This is quite complicated. Its about many different things. For me its about due process under the law. As a general principle, our government can not simply kill citizens because they want to. Being overseas and out of the country does not change that.
Declaring these miscreants persona non grata via court proceedings didn't come to mind. Constitutional lawyers can weigh in with deliberations, opinions and stays of action which can make it extremely complicated. The evil person stays active and dangerous during this time. Should we try to apprehend him and 'bring him in to justice' or kill him where he sits?
I wonder if J. Edgar during his paranoid days (were there any other for him?) would have loved to have him some drones to take out the communist Martin Luther King who was active and dangerous during the time of civil unrest.
I wonder if they considered using a drone to take out the racoons in the crane before they left peacefully?
Again I find it complicated and not "Easy peezy". I take your point, but what is the legal path to get there that protects us all?
From the DOJs Secret Memo establishing the a new foundation for killing US Citizens):
"Were the target of a lethal operation a U.S. citizen who may have rights under the Due Process Clause and the Fourth Amendment, that individual's citizenship would not immunize him from a lethal operation"
Yes, that statement has a context, but as long as we are appealing to emotions, those words should scare the sh*t out of all of us as much as the threat posed by citizen allied with al'Qa'ida or associated force. Again this position was found in secret. Kudos to Obama for sharing it, but a secret document that says a bureaucrat can authorize the killing of citizens in spite of his constitutional rights stinks, and is a great foundation for concern if not outrage. Moreover its not just the ACLU who is concerned, the US Senate is looking for answers too!
Lastly, the killing of innocent civilians, who are not US citizens is a pretty big deal!
I understand your point. But what is the difference between an "evil" person continuing to stay active and dangerous in a foreign country versus an "evil" person continuing to stay active and dangerous here on the US mainland? Both are citizens and both will continue to do what they do until they are apprehended. If we feel it is OK to use a drone strike or a sniper on the person in Iraq why shouldn't we use a drone or a sniper to summarily kill a US Citizen/gang leader in Seattle who has been reasonably well identified as having ordered murder or committed murder of US citizens directly as opposed to a US Citizen in Iraq who has joined AQ and ordered murder or committed murder of US citizens directly there?
I understand the desire and motivation, but I fail to understand the difference otherwise?
anyone who sits in that air conditioned trailer in Arizona probably has a family and the last thing he/she wants to do is kill innocents, whatever their persuasion, especially kids. What the locals need to do is get the cancer out and not let 'Uncle Ahmed' or 'Buddy Mohammed', who might be members of an armed terrorist faction, break bread in their house. Then again, these poor families may not have alternatives and are being held hostage..while the evil people continue.
I guess the difference is that stateside, we have the wherewithal to bring those already here in for their measure of justice whereas 'over there', where they want to kill us here from 'over there', I doubt any squad will be sent in with the chance of casualties and death to bring in an American terrorist.
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