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Thread: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

  1. #11
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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend_Hellh0und View Post
    Sounds like a great description of the ACLU...
    Hey, how's the climate change thing in bizarro world working out? Is your planet getting colder, warmer, or staying the same?
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    This is interesting. I watched Peter Bergen speak at the University on Tuesday.

    Drone Strikes have proven insurmountably effective since the increase of operational frequency (2004-2007 saw 10 operations; 2008-present 113 operations). Since 2006 there has been 1,113 confirmed Taliban and al-Qa'ida deaths by "covert air strikes" and only 94 civilian deaths. That is about a 92% chance that a death in a predator strike will be that of a Taliban or al-Qa'ida operative.

    Source


    Peter Bergen, in his speech this past Tuesday at the University, cited that the increase of drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan starting with the end of the Bush Presidency (2008) and increasing in the Obama Presidency is directly linked to the decapitation of al-Qa'ida effectiveness to conduct operations against foreign enemies.
    It is true that al-Qa'ida in the Arabian peninsula, which is responsible for the Christmas Day attempt in 2009, is still apparently active in fighting the West. However, there is no comparison between the capability of al-Qa'ida in 2001 and that of al-Qa'ida today, as the 2001 al-Qa'ida was much more dangerous for conducting large-scale terrorist attacks.

    The ethical question of drone strikes warrants a good degree of contemplation. The idea of conducting attacks against an enemy based completely on the intelligence mined through interrogations, through data-imaging, or through relevant sources seems to be a superficially appropriate way to approach combating the elements of the Taliban/A-Q that we cannot send troops to. Intelligence in many regards does not make a picture more clear (puzzles versus mysteries). Instead, intelligence actually makes the situation more complex, as a satellite photograph of a suspected al-Qa'ida outpost in the SWAT Valley, might actually create reasons why not to attack the outpost; Imagine getting the image from the satellite, and being able to confirm the clues that lead you to suspect it as an al-Qa'ida military outpost, but then, unexpectedly, the picture also shows that the outpost is right next to a school. Has the situation become ethically challenged? Does using modern technology to gather information make the decision easier, or harder? Sure you might destroy the al-Qa'ida military outpost, but you might also kill children in doing so.

    The ethics of drone strikes should be debated and contended. We should never fail to destroy the enemy because of these ethical questions, but we should also be reasonably sensitive to the failures and misgivings of a technological based operation where the code of conduct depends less on philosophy and more on what the satellite imaging brings to light.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    The drone isn't really the issue, the way I see it. Whether a drone or a person drops the bomb is irrelevant, the result is the same. The issue is when we should and should not enter foreign airspace to attack locations in their territory.

    Obviously, we can't just do this arbitrarily whenever we want. Imagine the fallout from launching a cruise missile and taking out a building in London, along with a few bystanders. Without permission from the host country, it could easily be seen as an act of war.
    He touched her over her bra and underpants, she says, and guided her hand to touch him over his underwear
    Quote Originally Posted by Lutherf View Post
    We’ll say what? Something like “nothing happened” ... Yeah, we might say something like that.

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch Enemy View Post
    … The ethics of drone strikes should be debated and contended. We should never fail to destroy the enemy because of these ethical questions, but we should also be reasonably sensitive to the failures and misgivings of a technological based operation where the code of conduct depends less on philosophy and more on what the satellite imaging brings to light.
    When you say, ‘We should never fail to destroy the enemy because of these ethical questions,” do you mean to say that we should always attack despite having ethical questions?

    For example in the case of the al Qaeda outpost next to the school, are you saying, we should always fire upon the outpost, while feeling some discomfort (“reasonably sensitive to the failures and misgivings”) about having done so?
    “Real environmentalists live in cities, and they visit what's left of the wilderness as gently and respectfully as possible.” — Donna Moulton, letter to the editor, Tucson Weekly, published on August 23, 2001

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Hey, how's the climate change thing in bizarro world working out? Is your planet getting colder, warmer, or staying the same?
    What does mocking someone for not being a member of a religious cult have to do with the ACLU and drones?
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Tashah View Post
    For background, on January 13, 2010 the American Civil Liberties Union filed an official request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with the US Department of Justice, the US Department of Defense, and the Central Intelligence Agency seeking information/data in regards to armed US Predator attacks in foreign countries. The request specifically seeks information as to how the program is governed, who can be targeted, along with when and where, and the data on civilian casualties caused by the remote-controlled weapons.

    A report by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann of the Washington based New America Foundation also put increasing pressure on the US government. The report found that 32 per cent of those killed in drone attacks since 2004 were civilians. Their report - “The Year of the Drone” - studied 114 drone raids in which more than 1200 people were killed. Of those, between 549 and 849 were reliably reported to be militant fighters, while the rest were civilians. “The true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 per cent.” the foundation reported.

    None of US government agencies responded to the original ACLU FOIA requests. Consequently, the ACLU filed suit in federal court on March 16th, 2010 to obtain the basic data and legal justification for the Predator drone program. Which brings us to today...


    Source: The Atlantic

    What Koh is saying here is that the US government can attack and kill enemies of the state such as al Qaeda and the Taliban anywhere around the globe under the international law justification of “defensive measures”. Every state is allowed the latitude to defend itself from dangerous individuals and/or groups who actively contribute to planning/fostering attacks on their citizens and territory.

    He is also saying that “distinction” (i.e. correctly identifying enemies of the state) is a critical element. Also critical is the concept of “proportionality”... in which civilian collateral damage (deaths/injuries) must be kept to a minimum.

    A US government official here articulates the position that “defensive measures” are necessary measures and legal under international law. But this position also conversely implies that assassinations of the hunter by the hunted are also legal and necessary “defensive measures”. This position also seems to imply that both armed combatants and unarmed non-combatants are fair-game if either is considered an identifiable and dangerous “enemy of the state”. Also stated is that civilian collateral deaths/injuries must be kept to a minimum, but the “minimum” threshold here is undefined. Unstated and yet implied is the legal position that every state enjoys the justification to invoke violent defensive measures against identifiable and dangerous enemies of the state beyond state borders.

    This is a complex web of issues. What are your thoughts on this? Do you consider the US position to be consistent with the intent and spirit of international law? Is this new legal ground? A slippery ethical-slope?

    Note: This thread is neither a vehicle for nor an invitation to bash. The questions raised here are intended to spur discussion on the broad moral, ethical, and legal issues involved. Please remain faithful to this menu.

    I do not think it is the ACLUs business how we take out foreign enemies and threats.If they were using those drones in the US on American citizens then the ACLU should say do something. As for international law I could care less,no foreign law should trump state and federal laws.

    Ideally we should seek permission from countries to fly our drones in their airspace. If we can't seek permission or someone in that country's government is someone we wish to take out then we should go ahead and send in drone. I wouldn't blame that country for shooting down one of our drones but a shot down drone is much better than a dead soldier,marine or us operative.
    Last edited by jamesrage; 03-27-10 at 03:56 PM.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    When you say, ‘We should never fail to destroy the enemy because of these ethical questions,” do you mean to say that we should always attack despite having ethical questions?

    For example in the case of the al Qaeda outpost next to the school, are you saying, we should always fire upon the outpost, while feeling some discomfort (“reasonably sensitive to the failures and misgivings”) about having done so?
    Yes. We should continue predator strikes against al-Qa'ida positions. However, I also believe that it is necessary to continue to question the ethics of the consequences of collateral damage.

    The statistics show that the likelihood for a civilian to be killed in an attack does not reach 1 in every 10 attacks. We need to be sensitive because if this number, of civilian causalities increases, then we need to be aware of the folly in relying on intelligence.
    "I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive al-Qa'ida." -- Lord Hoffmann

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    First of all something that alot of people overlook is that many, but for sure not all, of these unarmed civilians are providing aid and supplies to are enemy. In uw terms they are called the auxilliary and without them the fighters would not be able to continue the fight. Just because Simone dosent have a gun dosent mean they are not a bad guy. Secondly as one of the people that would be going in to capture the said bad guy these types of missions are very risky and complicated and am thankful that my or my team guys lives are not being put at risk if there is an easier way. It is not like the movies where two guys just jump in a bird and go grab the dude.
    President Franklin Roosevelt eulogized a fallen American Soldier by saying, “He stands in the unbroken line of patriots who have dared to die [that] freedom might live, and grow, and increase its blessings. Freedom lives, and through it he lives--in a way that humbles the undertakings of most men."

  9. #19
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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Chappy View Post
    Israel recently is alleged to have assassinated a Hamas leader traveling to an Arab country. There is enormous controversy regarding the action for a number of reasons; e.g., foreign countries passports were forged and individuals' identities were stolen. One could make all the same legal arguments about this action, “distinction” and no other available action, etc., as I have made about UAV attacks against high value targets in remote Pakistan.
    IF Israel did in fact kill this high-ranking (chief weapons procurer) official of Hamas, the act meets all of the US stipulations for a justified and legal attack on an identifiable and dangerous enemy of the state.

    On the negative side, the stolen passports utilized here were illegal and damaging to national and personal reputations. On the plus side however, the infiltration of real people minimized the possibility of civilian collateral damage. Indeed, no one was physically harmed whatsoever beyond the intended target. Israel has drones and cruise missiles and (presumably) could have mimicked a US attack via missile strike. Although dangerous and more risqué to the infiltrators, it seems to me that the alleged Israeli methodology here is more attuned to the dictum of minimizing civilian deaths and injuries.

    The assassination in Dubai was heavily covered in the MSM for weeks. Just yesterday, US drones killed four more in Pakistan. You rarely hear of this in the news. This polar-opposite coverage is quite inexplicable to me.

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    Re: Administration Says Drone Strikes Are Legal and Necessary

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    Hey, how's the climate change thing in bizarro world working out? Is your planet getting colder, warmer, or staying the same?




    We should refer to posts like these as "dropping a deuce".....
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