Senate Droning On

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    From the NYT today:

    U.S. Plans Base for Surveillance Drones in Northwest Africa.
    Reminded me about a piece I heard on NPR this weekend.

    Teju Cole: Seven short stories about drones

    The page also links to this excellent article:

    Everything We Know So Far About Drone Strikes


    Hail Obama, Commander in Chief of Extrajudicial Assassination by Drone. Does anyone believe that the Obama administration will change its course on extrajudicial drone killings in its second term? Does anyone believe that the Obama administration should alter its course? Does anyone feel that the Obama administration can and most likely will continue to expand this program?
    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 28, 2013
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  2. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    Here is my question as a person who has not followed this in detail. Who are these citizens hanging out with terrorist targets? I'll put it simply. If any citizen of these United States were hanging out with Osama Bin Laden when he was killed and were killed along with him then I would have literally zero sympathy for them because they were with Osama Bib Laden. So tell me what this all means.
  3. LandoThe CapeCalrissian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 3
    these kind of things opens up doors the American people shouldn't have opened....


    and the U.S. having more bases around the world is just sickening.. We have grown to be the biggest fascists on the block.. We're broke and we continue to build in other countries. The military industrial complex has won.
  4. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    That's a good question, and there aren't many meaningful stats. There are plenty of estimates. If the UN Human Rights Council is able to conduct its investigation this year, maybe we'll learn more. Even the highest estimates suggest that not much more than 200 children have been killed in 360 or so drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

    UN launches probe into drone strikes

    Last edited by Jabbadabbado, Jan 28, 2013
  5. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    That we have this policy is, imo, absolutely ridiculous. It's one thing to have declared wars, which are at least out in the open and people are aware what's involved. However, this policy of bombing people in any country we feel like and acting like that's our right. Particularly as the Obama administration has decided that anyone that's of military age that they kill is a militant because otherwise, why would we have killed them? It's disgraceful, it's secretive, it's creating a sense of terror for civilians throughout multiple countries who never know when a bomb will come out of the sky, and I can only imagine that Bush is sitting at home WISHING he thought of doing all this.

    There is also that I simply don't think bombing anyone around where you think one target is works. If that was a pathway to peace, Israel would be the calmest country on the planet.
  6. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Take drones with strike capability out of the hands of the CIA, only allow such targeted killings in a Congressionally authorized military action (which would eliminate everywhere but Afghanistan, pretty much), don't allow the targeting of U.S. citizens and minors, and acknowledge "collateral damage" instead of labeling every military-age male as an "enemy combatant" to avoid responsibility for innocent deaths.

    That's about as moderate a view as I can take. I am in fact in favor of more radical reforms.
  7. LandoThe CapeCalrissian Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2012
    star 3
    but Obama the savior is doing it so the sheep will all applaud in proper fashion.
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  8. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9

    On your questions..

    1 and 2) No. Concurrent with the drone program has been increasing isolation of AQ-and Islamic fundamentalism in general-by mainstream Muslim society. It's also a literally off the radar alternative to SF raids and or invasions, one that isn't politically controversial yet clearly demonstrates the Administration is quite ruthless against terrorism, which is what the general public wants to see.

    3. Yes.
  9. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Personally I have no problem with it. The drones kill no different then a special ops team hired by the CIA. You can cry all you want about the CIA but they are the ones gathering the info and making the call. At the end of the day they report to the senate and the president. The way I see it its a lot less collateral damage. The drone is the essence of warfare. Take all the risk out of finding the enemy and make it happen. The CIA is a dirty ugly business. But so is the rest of the world.

    Although I sincerely believe that since drone technology has become so prevalent all over the world the UN needs to make a new set of rules governing drones.
    1. All commercial and military drones should be flown from a secure airbase and secure military command. To prevent highjacking of said drone.
    2. All drones should stop operation when requested to by any government official from any country when flying thru the same airspace as the drone. Basically when the Queen of England comes to NY the drones in a certain area around NY and NJ have to be shut down to prevent issues.
    3. Kill switches. A country's FAA should have the kill switches for any and all drones in the event they get off course they can blow them up.
  10. heels1785 Jedi Draft and Streak for Colors Commissioner

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2003
    star 6
    I'm eager to see what our policy will be when other, less friendly nations create successful drone programs, since we let this cat out of the bag. These drones shrink the world for everyone, and the technology is bound to get there, just as it did with nuclear weapons. Eesh.
  11. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    drones are necessary for everyone. Border patrol, policing, environmental policing and conservation, Weather tracking. Drones will be used by all nations within their borders. Very few will be armed and that is the right of the country to do that. But at the same time rules need to be put in place so that those same drones don't become weapons against innocent aircraft or for those on the ground. By putting the command centers in military bases that are totally secure they ensure that at least they won't be highjacked. Trust me, Iran doesn't want some criminals breaking in to some commercial drone area in Iraq and flying a drone into an iranian airline over the gulf or into a govt building. Drones could cause wars by shear acts of terrorism.
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  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    Congress has authorized the military attacking Al Qaeda and its affiliates anywhere in the world. And we do it with cooperation of the host government. You don't see us using drone strikes against targets in Syria or Iran... only in countries where the government is allied to us (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia... and now North African countries too, which I understand after the Algerian terrorist hostage crisis that left a few Americans dead).

    Anyways, as for Drones specifically... how is it any different than using manned airplanes to bomb a target?? How is it any different at all, if there is a pilot or if it's remote-controlled??
  13. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    We probably wouldn't be carrying out aerial bombing campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia if only manned aircraft were available. That's a big difference right there. And manned jets are in the control of the military, which generally has more limits on it than our paramilitary CIA (and is why the CIA is doing it).
  14. beezel26 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2003
    star 7
    Face it the military is just a bunch of guys and girls in nice pretty uniforms. Its the CIA that does the real dirty work. That is the future unless congress changes it. But when you have a target that you got ten minutes to decide to kill him or not, with a drone you just do and worry about collateral later. Remember no americans getting killed means it was a success regardless how many kids get killed. its ugly but its the truth.
    The CIA is basically dad's favorite son who gets whatever he wants. Even if its other kids toys. That is basically what it comes down to. With dad being the president and the other kids being the four other branches of military.
  15. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So manned bombings are less efficient and it's more difficult for them to carry out certain tasks... that seems to be an argument for the drones. Definitely not a legal argument against them.

    As for your second point, that is a better point... should the CIA or Air Force be in control of them? But is there really a big difference, in legal terms, between either the CIA or the Air Force being in control of the drones? Also, doesn't the CIA already help coordinate similar manned tasks with SEAL Team Six and Delta Force? If there's no legal argument against deploying SEAL Team Six, what about drones makes them different? And does it really matter if the CIA or Air Force control them?
  16. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I am not particularly interested in legal arguments, although assassinating U.S. citizens without trial or any semblance of a court proceeding is clearly illegal despite what War Criminal General Holder has to say about it. And I never said I was in favor of special forces operations outside of U.S. military jurisdiction, but I guess it would be preferable because Assassin-in-Chief Obama would be a lot more hesitant in his wanton killing of accused/potential future criminals and innocents if there were a risk of American military casualties.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jan 28, 2013
  17. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I'm not ready to be that cynical yet about the drone attacks because quite honestly, I don't think the CIA has it in them to be that evil. We've got to deal with terrorists somehow, and drones are by and far the best weapon for the job.

    Are drone strikes extrajudicial killings? Probably. But are they necessary? Probably. So I'd look at this sorta like how Lincoln suspended habeus corpus. It's by no means healthy for our democracy, but it's quite likely necessary, and I would tolerate it for now.
  18. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    We killed American citizens during the Civil War too... they didn't need a trial to kill because we were at war with them. I'm sure some Americans sided with the Nazis in World War II too, and were killed. Drone strikes aren't "assassinations," they're bombing enemy targets.

    And Congress did authorize the US military to act against Al Qaeda and its affiliates anywhere in the world, and that would include special forces operations in countries like Pakistan.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jan 28, 2013
  19. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I don't think it's at all comparable to Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus. The state of Maryland nearly seceded from the Union, and there is Constitutional precedent for suspending some legal rights in the event of insurrection or rebellion. He did defy a court order, but the United States was pretty close to the brink of collapse (well, it had collapsed) at that point. I don't think we're under the same threat from some guys hiding out in a run-down house in northern Yemen or in the mountains of Peshawar.

    EDIT: Killing Americans who are on American soil and are members of an insurrectionist army is different. I don't understand how that isn't obvious. And it was the 19th century. We aren't facing and really can't face a similar situation.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Jan 28, 2013
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  20. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Less investment. A shot-down pilot (think Scott O'Grady in Bosnia) is a big deal. You've got to send a rescue party, which means even more lives/equipment are endangered...a shot-down drone is a collective shrug.
  21. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    While a pilot is worse, I'm sure there was a lot of panic behind the scenes when Iran captured a spy drone (whether it was faulty or was hacked is unclear). The U.S. actually had the gall to demand it back. lol
  22. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I know, I was just trying to understand the legal argument against drones. I don't see any (that wouldn't also apply to manned bombings and special forces missions, but they usually don't bring those up).

    I understand people who say we should stop bombing Pakistan so much. But often it's not framed like that, and it seems the real problem is that some people have a problem with Drones in particular. I just don't see any rationality behind it. Being Anti-Bombing or Anti-War is understandable, but being Anti-Drone is just stupid.
    Last edited by Summer Dreamer, Jan 28, 2013
  23. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Oh, sure, but ultimately it's less risk to the nation. I mean, what are they going to do, torture the pieces in a dirty prison cell and televise it? :p
  24. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    I just caught a CNN item on this. They sounded like Fox News making a conspiracy case concerning gun control/socialism, what have you. The legal argument seems to be that if you are or are not an American citizen and are sitting with a member of Al Queda...literally in the Middle East, with bad guys right there with you...speaking out about America that you are a legal target for a drone attack along with whatever terrorist you are cavorting with.

    Am I supposed to lose sleep over this thinking my own freedom here in the U.S. is threatened? I do have concerns over things flying over my head and taking pics of everything I do or don't do and such. I am ell aware of the power provided to Big Brother via technology. But I am not connecting a strike on people making friends with terrorists despite their citizenship impeding on me going to work, going grocery shopping, pumping gas, or any other such activity.
  25. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Worrying about drones taking pictures of you is a shade silly in the time of the Patriot Act and FISA. They're already doing much worse.