View Poll Results: Are spy/assassinatin drones morally acceptable?

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  • Yes

    29 33.72%
  • No

    34 39.53%
  • Yes, with explanation

    20 23.26%
  • No or undecided with explanation

    3 3.49%
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Thread: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

  1. #221
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by ecofarm View Post
    What's a terrorist?
    No, he's on second base.
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  2. #222
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thetexastrigger View Post
    Pardon me, I was quoting the state from memory. I can't remember where I originally read it, so here is a figure from a study conducted by Stanford and NYU.

    "[P]ublicly available evidence that the strikes have made the US safer overall is ambiguous at best. The strikes have certainly killed alleged combatants and disrupted armed actor networks. However, serious concerns about the efficacy and counter-productive nature of drone strikes have been raised. The number of “high-level” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%."

    So, the hit rate of high level targets is actually lower. The point is that, as awful as Bush's foreign policy was, Obama's is actually worst - he is more of a warmonger than Bush ever was. Noam Chomsky, of all people, agrees with me.
    Interesting article there. So the way this article tallies things is, they take the total casualties and then count only Al-Queda top leaders as hits. This presumes that there are only chiefs and no indians at all. What about the middle leaders? The lower leaders? The common soldier? The Taliban, in Pakistan? Oh yeah, they are treated as "civilians" for purpose of this calculation. It's through this "new math" that this astoundingly, unbelievably, low number is achieved.

    Here is an alternative source, a non-military source from CNN, who is actually located in the region where strikes are occurring.

    Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?-120703074500-bergen-drone-pakistan-story-top-jpg
    Drones decimating Taliban in Pakistan - CNN.com

    Not everyone agrees with this. A perfect record is hard to come by especially when targeting a group that specializes in the use of human shields. Here's a dissenting voice, arguing against drones, that STILL does not agree with the ridiculous hatchet job that you have linked (bold is mine).

    Perfection is rare in life; in war, rarer still. Yet the Central Intelligence Agency says it has a yearlong perfect record of no civilian deaths from its campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan. We find that hard to believe.
    [...]
    According to The Times’s Scott Shane, the C.I.A. says that since May 2010 drones have killed more than 600 militants in Pakistan and not a single noncombatant. Since 2001, the totals are almost as striking: 2,000 militants, and 50 noncombatants.

    A new report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism at City University in London tells a different story. It says that most of the 1,842 people killed in more than 230 strikes ordered by President Obama in Pakistan since 2008 were militants, but at least 218 may have been civilians. And while “civilian casualties do seem to have declined in the past year,” the bureau still found “credible evidence” of at least 45 noncombatants killed.
    [...]
    There is no question that the drone program has been successful, enabling the United States to disrupt Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan’s lawless border region. It is true that the precision technology and American efforts have kept noncombatant deaths to a minimum. And in the remote region of North Waziristan, where most strikes occur, it is hard to find the truth. But no civilian casualties?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/op...ikes.html?_r=0

    If you disagree with drones, then fine do so. But do so with useful, valid data.
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  3. #223
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Well since they ain't here, it doesn't seem like it's that much of a concern. Let them bitch in a cave if that's what they want to do.
    The drone strike policy is reserved for targets that are deemed a threat, not cave-bitchers.

  4. #224
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The drone strike policy is reserved for targets that are deemed a threat, not cave-bitchers.
    I think the question for him and myself is if we can trust this criteria and those making these decisions. There is evidence among what little we know that we have on occasion gotten it wrong. I don't pretend we know how often, but that too is part of the problem.

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  5. #225
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    The drone strike policy is reserved for targets that are deemed a threat, not cave-bitchers.
    Well that's the crux yeah? How is some jackass in Iraq a threat to us? Perchance if he were here...or even Canada; maybe. But less he has access to intercontinental missiles, he ain't got ****.
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  6. #226
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Well that's the crux yeah? How is some jackass in Iraq a threat to us? Perchance if he were here...or even Canada; maybe. But less he has access to intercontinental missiles, he ain't got ****.
    Various ways. Maybe he or she is involved in planning attacks against us or our troops abroad. Maybe they're arranged to be active participants in an upcoming planned attack. Maybe they're involved in acquiring equipment and weapons to be used in attacks.

    But I can't really say for sure. You'd have to ask the teams of intelligence and security analysts responsible for making the judgement, who, unlike you, are actually experienced and well-informed on such matters and who are actually privy to the intelligence details on which to make such judgements on a case by case basis.


  7. #227
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    I think the question for him and myself is if we can trust this criteria and those making these decisions. There is evidence among what little we know that we have on occasion gotten it wrong. I don't pretend we know how often, but that too is part of the problem.
    I'm not opposed to more oversight or establishing a more formal set of rules which to follow. I rather like the idea of a "drone court", as long as it's fast and efficient (ie, unlike any of our other courts).

  8. #228
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by EagleAye View Post
    Going after an American terrorist in Yemen is quite different from going after the same in the US. I doubt that drones would ever be armed over US soil. There's no reason for it. US police and FBI can operate freely here. So a drone need only identify where someone "is," and then domestic law enforcement can go get him. This was not possible in Yemen, so the rules were different.
    Senator to 'Hold' Nominee for CIA Director | The Weekly Standard

    Senator Paul shares the concern of many Americans.

    And yes, the apprehension of a terrorist in Yemen can pose extraordinary difficulties for the defense establishment. However, a precedent of killing American citizens, under the guise of the War on Terrorism, all without due process... is a bit much to be asked to accept. I all but realize that once precedent has been set, and policy formed, there will be more occurrences of these kinds: Americans abroad being killed by drones.

    I'm not basing my viewpoint purely upon that problem, though. While I overwhelmingly support the aspect of keeping our troops out of danger, and minimizing their risks, I have questioned the usage of drones several times over the years. Like, specifically, when a 'top al-Qaeda member' is killed. Intelligence has been lost. No telling how much or what of. It sucks to say, but sometimes we have to send our guys in so we can apprehend those terrorists, even though we know that not all of them are going to come home safely, or for that matter, alive. It just seems like drones are lazy, tactically, in the way they've been used against senior al-Qaeda leadership. There are risks going the no-risk route.

    Alternatively, turning my gaze back domestically, of course it is speculation on my part that drones in American skies could be armed and used against American citizens on American soil. I base my prognostication off the trends of today, US counterterrorism policy, the precedents of both having drones in our skies and the deaths of Americans abroad, and the doorway those two precedents have created in US counterterrorism policy. The available intelligence at each of our disposal points in that direction.

    John Brennan's response will either exacerbate this growing conundrum for many Americans, or, it will alleviate it. We'll see.

  9. #229
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    I think they are no more morally questionable than other weapons used to kill people in other countries. At least fewer innocent people are killed this way, including our own troops.

    However, I think we need to put a lot more scrutiny on our use of all our weapons in other countries that are no military threat to the US.
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  10. #230
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    Re: Assassination Drones are OK or morally questionable?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_recruit View Post
    I'm not opposed to more oversight or establishing a more formal set of rules which to follow. I rather like the idea of a "drone court", as long as it's fast and efficient (ie, unlike any of our other courts).
    I think that would be a slight improvement, but still leaves open the ability to bomb an area of civilians in a country we are not at war with. This is bothersome to me.

    AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.

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