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View Diary: Anonymous Administration Officials Lied About Drones (84 comments)

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  •  I disagree they're making things worse (0+ / 0-)

    Al Qaeda Central hasn't pulled off a single attack of significance outside the AfPak area in four years.  US casualties in Afghanistan have been reduced.  The Taliban and Al Qaeda have been forced to train its fighters in much smaller groups and for shorter periods of time, resulting in poor tradecraft allowing easier detection and capture when they do try to travel.

    There is no rule of law in the AfPak tribal areas, save for what the Taliban dishes out.  We can no more execute search warrants there than we could in Nazi-occupied France.  If the Pakistan government had any will to deal with the problem...then arrest and extradition would be options for us (as was the case with OBL's son-in-law)

    This isn't law enforcement.  Its a war.  These strikes are hitting armed men on the battlefield.  As in any war collateral damage is inevitable, but drones offer the best hope of keeping those deaths to a minimum.

    I'm fully in favor of transferring full authority of the strikes from the CIA to the military and treating as many operations as possible like any other military operation...with official public announcements and other oversight.

    But the idea of getting a warrant every time we need to neutralize a Taliban training camp or arms cache is just silly.

    The only reason Bin Laden is dead is because we thought he was 'probably' in that compound based on circumstantial evidence and 'patterns of behavior.'  No one knew for sure he was there until after a Navy SEAL put a bullet in his brain.  And even that brilliantly executed operation resulted in collateral damage.

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    by TarantinoDork on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:19:33 AM PDT

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    •  No, it's law enforcement (1+ / 0-)
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      aliasalias
      This isn't law enforcement.  Its a war.  These strikes are hitting armed men on the battlefield.
      The normal rules of killing are suspended in a war because of the urgency of a battlefield; soldiers simply do not have time to give trials to those they kill. That is perfectly legitimate. However, there is no urgency in drone strikes; we have plenty of time to give them trials. Of course, as you say, a lot of the time we'll lose those trials:
      There is no rule of law in the AfPak tribal areas, save for what the Taliban dishes out.  We can no more execute search warrants there than we could in Nazi-occupied France.
      Indeed. And sometimes, murderers get acquitted because of insufficient evidence. The rule of law is inadequate sometimes. It's still better than "They're terrorists because I, the President, say they are, so it's okay for us to kill them."
      I disagree they're making things worse
      I am not the only one that you disagree with.

      (To be fair, some others are less sure. But even those seem to suggest that drone strikes help in the short-term but likely hurt in the long-term--for example, the second link admits that drone strikes may just be forcing militants to move, not stop altogether.)

      But the idea of getting a warrant every time we need to neutralize a Taliban training camp or arms cache is just silly.
      Why?
      The only reason Bin Laden is dead is because we thought he was 'probably' in that compound based on circumstantial evidence and 'patterns of behavior.'  No one knew for sure he was there until after a Navy SEAL put a bullet in his brain.
      I have issues with the way the bin Laden raid was conducted, and I'm not the only one--but most civil libertarians realized that, unfortunately, the rules are different for him. That's not a fight worth having.

      That being said, a case can be made that, even if it was ok to use certain methods to take out the man who masterminded the deaths of thousands of Americans, it's such a unique circumstance that those methods may very well be unjustified for anyone else.

      "He, O men, is the wisest, who, like Socrates, knows that his wisdom is in truth worth nothing."--Socrates

      by TealTerror on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:41:27 AM PDT

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