Sending in the Drones
Just to be clear, I'm not anti-drone. I am an
In that feeling, I'm hardly alone. An
Over the last three years, the Obama administration has carried out at least 294 covert drone strikes in
The foundation compiles its data from news sources because the administration refuses to discuss the program for national security reasons. The secrecy is understandable but also a problem, because sometimes our drones hit the wrong target.
The most infamous example of a tragic drone error came in March of last year that killed more than 40 civilians attending a tribal gathering in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan, which is reported to have received more drone attacks than any other region.
"The community is now plagued with fear," said one survivor's testimony reprinted in the current
But as unmanned drones have become the weapon of choice for surveillance and targeted killing in our war against terrorists, many questions have been raised about the policy's legality, morality and effectiveness. Cloaked in secrecy, the program essentially had charged, tried and executed suspects, including at least one American citizen, without a hearing, a trial or official conviction.
To tighten up standards for such decisions, various news reports quoting unnamed sources have described President Obama as taking that decision into his own hands -- literally. The
"Several were Americans," the Times piece by
This report and others ignited outrage in
It would be more productive for
For example, one revelation in the Times story stands out regarding Obama's "disputed method for counting civilian casualties." His approach, the story says, "in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent." In other words, shoot first and ask questions later.
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Sending in the Drones | Politics
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