Updated at bottom of post.
I send out a list of interesting links to an email list, usually every day, at least five days a week. In making the list today I noticed that outside of the Texas links I sure have a lot of drone links, many of them from the Washington Post and I haven’t even started reading the other major newspapers.
So here we go, get ready to read some links about drones, some old when no one was paying attention, some new since Rand Paul went to the senate floor and started a now famous filibuster.
Drones: A weapon that needs a holster right question- wrong venue? Look for that answer in another link below.
Really, this is an argument with America’s conscience over what actions should be permissible as the war against al-Qaeda moves into a new phase. The law can inform this debate about targeted killing, but as with the debate over torture, political leaders must decide that even if action might be technically legal, or effective, it’s morally wrong and therefore impermissible.
We forget how much we’ve debased these ethical standards in the decade since America went to war against al-Qaeda and drones became the weapon of choice. I was reminded of this relaxation of our moral code by a former CIA officer who has been involved in many operations where lethal force was used.
The CIA veteran recalled an admonition from a top official in the early 1980s, when the agency began taking lethal actions against Soviet proxy forces: “Never do anything in the field that you know in your heart will shock the conscience of the nation when it becomes public.” That’s still a good rule.
During the early battles against terrorism in the 1980s, lethal operations were truly “capture or kill,” with a strong preference for capture. The CIA’s Counterterrorism Center worked closely with the FBI back then to secretly indict terrorists who had killed Americans overseas. It was understood that the targets might be killed, but the phrase “bring them to justice” wasn’t just a euphemism. (ed note:he was not killed because he was captured in Turkey, we are not using drones in Turkey. At least as far as anyone knows.)
This is from Oct. 2011, but now thanks to Sen. Paul others in the MSM have noticed. Will Drone Strikes become Obama’s Quantanamo? He was re-elected so of course it did not. If any Republican had stood up against him and asked these questions in a filibuster would it have caused him to lose the election. We will never know, because they did not stand up.
This editorial was published on Nov. 1 right before the election, and yet it made absolutely no difference. Drones were not being debated or mentioned by the Republicans even though we knew at that time Obama was personally pulling the trigger, so to speak. Pulling the U. S. Drone War out of the Shadows.
This expalins why the Brennan nomination hearing was the right venue to ask the question Senator Paul was asking. Trust Me is not Enough on Drone Warfare .
John Brennan may not be divine, but he plays God often as President Obama’s counterterrorism chief — and he will do so even more frequently once he moves to Langley as CIA director when (not if) senators confirm him.
Brennan is the architect of the drone warfare program, an extraordinary assertion of the executive’s powers. In this new, hidden warfare, unelected officials, without the blessing of a court, or anything else, order killings of suspected terrorists — even American citizens, perhaps on U.S. soil.
Even Eugene Robinson who has found very little with which to criticize President Obama, has joined in the opposition of drone strikes on U. S. citizens. Assassination by Remote Control, and he is not limiting it to U. S. soil.
If George W. Bush had told us that the “war on terror” gave him the right to execute a U.S. citizen overseas with a missile fired from a drone aircraft, without due process or judicial review, I’d have gone ballistic. It makes no difference that the president making this chilling claim is Barack Obama. What’s wrong is wrong.
When Senators McCain and Graham came out looking like fools criticizing Senator Paul for the filibuster they must have felt as silly as they looked when they actually came out of their bubbles and realized a new day was here. It was now safe to criticize the messiah president and they were left in the dust.
What did they think when Eric Holder issued his letter. Some think it snarky, I call it a big, big win for Senator Rand Paul when he and the American people got the right answer. The text of the letter?
It has come to my attention that you have asked an additional question. ” Does the president have the right to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil.? The answer to that is no.
Good work, Senator Paul, you got your answer and ours.
OOPS! According to the New York times I may have spoken too soon on that answer they say: What, exactly, does the Obama administration mean by “engaged in combat”? The extraordinary secrecy of this White House makes the answer difficult to know. We have some clues, and they are troubling.