Obama and Drones (my reply to comments)

Posted on February 8, 2013 by

A devastating terrorist attack against the U.S. during Obama’s first term could have destroyed his presidency and opened the door to a victory by the hard right. I want this president to have the option to target suicide bombers who plot to blow up planes, buses and buildings.

Of course, the national security state is a threat to our democratic institutions and future presidents could find new ways to use “remotely piloted aircraft” against American citizens.  More debate, transparency and accountability in the use of drones are inevitable and necessary.

But I still want our government to have the tools to identify and kill extremists intent on committing mass murder and wrecking our country (see comments here).

Comments (5)


  1. Gavin Koon says:

    A trickey subject. Our rights versus protection. I am one who perfers a careful balance between them but approipriate protections for the society must be in place to guard against abuses – which always seems be the human course of events if let unchecked. I am less concerned with the President – what will happen will happen with his or someone elses presidency.

  2. Buddy Gottlieb says:

    My issue with Obama’s use of drones is not the choice of weaponry per se, though there are issues about responsibility and the severance of a tie between the use of violance and its consequences making it that much easier to order and inflict lethal harm on others. But it is surely not a justification for violation of civil liberties that the POTUS might lose reelection. I have no doubt that presidents and their advisers make those kinds of cynical, short-sighted ultimately irresponsible calculations all the time, but we who vote for them and contribute to their compaigns should not condone, let alone approve, of such viewpoints. If we violate the constitution in order to keep power out of the hands of those who (we self-servingly believe) would do even greater damage to our rights and freedoms, then what have we become? Who will actually stand up for the Bill of Rights by modeling it?

  3. nodrama says:

    I don’t think the issue is whether or not he would get reelected. The issue is whether he is viewed as a president who takes the issue of the protection of the electorate seriously. And with this program I think he does. I sincerely believe, however that if W had paid attention, drones would not be necessary and we would not have fought two endless wars, at least one of which was totally unnecessary.

  4. Buddy Gottlieb says:

    Nodrama, the host of this page seems to think it’s about President Obama’s ability to win reelection, and that if Obama hadn’t taken unconstitutional actions, perhaps “figleafed” by a legal memo, a more bellicose opponent would now be in charge. But is violating our founding principles the only way to prove one’s gravitas? One could deploy drones consistently with the constitution, and not unilaterally murder people suspected of conspiring to harm this country. Probably because of the culture in this country, and the facts that we have superior firepower and a schoolyard mentality, we seem to prefer shooting first and asking questions later. That is not the way to aachieve lasting peace and a dminished threat against the US; what is needed is long-range, not str-powered persistent diplomacy.

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