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[Predator Drones] CIA killing hundreds of Pakistanis with robots

QinguQingu Registered User regular
edited December 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
America is upping the number of Predator Drone strikes in Pakistan along with our Afghanistan escalation.

The political consensus in support of the drone program, its antiseptic, high-tech appeal and its secrecy have obscured just how radical it is. For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war.

I can certainly see the appeal of the drones, and I'm personally susceptible to it. The drones represent an awesome use of technology to overwhelm a fairly despicable enemy force.

Predator2.jpg

But Jesus Christ. Imagine if China or Russia—a country who we aren't at war with, but many people here hate—flew robots over our towns and periodically blew up houses. And then brazenly denied the entire thing over and over again. And our government was utterly powerless—or politically unwilling—to stop it. It would be humiliating; we would rightfully feel "oppressed." It's something that the evil empire does in a fantasy or sci-fi story. The fact that this program is operated by the CIA, a semi-autonomous agency completely bereft of any accountability—is even more troubling.

I'm not 100% against the drones. But because they kill civilians, and because they rightfully stir up so much hatred in Pakistan, I'm not convinced they're worth it. Going forward, I'd like to see the CIA acknowledge the program exists. Denying its existence when every single fucking person on the planet knows about it is just infuriating and disrespectful to people's intelligence.

And I'd also like to see footage from the drone attacks made public. The CIA claims only 20 or so civilians have been killed. Well, prove it. If we are going to use robots to kill hundreds of people in countries we are not at war with, playing world police, there needs to be accountability, and a record that people can examine. It's not like the footage needs to be classified since the insurgents already know when their compounds get blown up, and how.

Qingu on
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    Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think it's a good sign, it shows our soldiers are getting at least 5 kills in a row without dying.
    Sorry, but someone had to take the low hanging fruit here.

    Raiden333 on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think they're fantastic as a technology. Makes it easy to setup and maintain no fly zones. Keeps our people out of harms way.

    I don't really know how I feel about the CIA involvement. I don't know enough about the program to really weigh in, but at this point I think I'm more for than against using them.

    firewaterword on
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    101101 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Woah, hold up a sec.

    The CIA is hitting targets in a country the USA is not even at war with?

    How the hell is that accepted internationally?

    EDIT: Though I will say its some hella cool technology.

    101 on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    101 wrote: »
    Woah, hold up a sec.

    The CIA is hitting targets in a country the USA is not even at war with?

    How the hell is that accepted internationally?
    That's basically why they refuse to comment on its existence.

    Along with Israel's nukes, it's the worst kept secret in modern history.

    Qingu on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I think it's a good sign, it shows our soldiers are getting at least 5 kills in a row without dying.
    Sorry, but someone had to take the low hanging fruit here.

    What if they get 50 though, then we're screwed.

    Seriously though. Are the Americans actually sending these drones into pakistan to kill people? It would seem like the fallout from something like that would be horrendous, and this is the first I've heard of it?

    Leitner on
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    JokermanJokerman Everything EverywhereRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I think it's a good sign, it shows our soldiers are getting at least 5 kills in a row without dying.
    Sorry, but someone had to take the low hanging fruit here.

    yeah but whats the point if the enemy can shoot them down with a clip from any AR??

    Jokerman on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Seriously though. Are the Americans actually sending these drones into pakistan to kill people? It would seem like the fallout from something like that would be horrendous, and this is the first I've heard of it?
    It's been going on for years, dude!

    And the fallout in Pakistan is horrendous.

    I'm honestly surprised you haven't heard of it. Has anyone else not heard of this program? That is actually kind of disturbing.

    Qingu on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Here's the thing, what they're doing is no different than what they've done in the past. It's just that instead of infiltrating what you're attacking with agents, you can fly around and launch a missile. They've both removed the possibility of friendly (American agents) casualties while making it easier to pursue and eliminate targets.

    The problem with it is, when you remove the potential for your-side casualties, you have no risk of loss aside from a machine, and thus take more action. I have no problem with them existing, or doing what they do, but it's kind of left to be seen how they're applied to the battlefield. If the CIA turns Pakistan into their own goof-off Predator drone shooting range, then yeah, it's a problem.

    matt has a problem on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The story about how they got Baitullah Mehsud is a trip.

    They new this guy had diabetes, and regularly got leg massages to get relief. So a drone is flying over Pakistan, and comes over the house of this guy's father in law. The operator sees someone on the roof getting a massage who matches Mehsud's description.

    Operator fires a missile from the drone, strikes the house, and takes out a top Taliban chief. Just like that.

    So, yeah, I guess I support their use in Northern Pakistan / Afghanistan.

    firewaterword on
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    Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against Russian warships) Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Jokerman wrote: »
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I think it's a good sign, it shows our soldiers are getting at least 5 kills in a row without dying.
    Sorry, but someone had to take the low hanging fruit here.

    yeah but whats the point if the enemy can shoot them down with a clip from any AR??

    You still have to hit it.

    Gabriel_Pitt on
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    LeitnerLeitner Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Then again Matt, it seems that you're less likely to make sudden rash attacks if you've just got a piece of kit in the area, rather then actual people. So yeah I'm not against it per se.

    Any rumoured British involvement out of interest, this seems like the kinda thing we'd get in on.

    Leitner on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The story about how they got Baitullah Mehsud is a trip.

    They new this guy had diabetes, and regularly got leg massages to get relief. So a drone is flying over Pakistan, and comes over the house of this guy's father in law. The operator sees someone on the roof getting a massage who matches Mehsud's description.

    Operator fires a missile from the drone, strikes the house, and takes out a top Taliban chief. Just like that.

    So, yeah, I guess I support their use in Northern Pakistan / Afghanistan.
    Doesn't it bother you that there is absolutely no accountability?

    I have no problems, in a theoretical sense, with America/NATO playing World Police. I have no problems with using super-advanced robots to target and kill terrorists. But part of being "the police" means being accountable and having limits and checks to your power.

    It is very, very frightening that the CIA has this kind of power with no accountability. Even if it's "awesome."

    Qingu on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    In this case, the existence of this technology is independent in my mind from the misuse of this technology.

    Robotic warfare? Cool, awesome, let's do it. Secret missions in countries we're not at war with, where we hit civilian targets? Not cool.

    Feral on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Leitner wrote: »
    Any rumoured British involvement out of interest, this seems like the kinda thing we'd get in on.
    The NYT article says over 40 countries have drones, but that we're the only ones using them to shoot missiles.

    It also says they're operated from CIA headquarters in Virginia. But then I've also heard that many are operated from bases in Afghanistan (presumably to reduce latency?).

    Qingu on
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    enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Seriously though. Are the Americans actually sending these drones into pakistan to kill people? It would seem like the fallout from something like that would be horrendous, and this is the first I've heard of it?
    It's been going on for years, dude!

    And the fallout in Pakistan is horrendous.

    I'm honestly surprised you haven't heard of it. Has anyone else not heard of this program? That is actually kind of disturbing.

    This has been in the news for what seems forever now. Mark me surprised there's anyone left who hasn't heard of the drone strikes. And of course it's happening with the tacit approval of Pakistan. They made not be a first world military, but they would have shot down a number of drones by now if they had tried.

    1. They are not stealthy.
    2. No fallout from killing Americans.
    3. Would be inside Pakistan's borders anyway.

    Of course, the Pakistani government can't just come out and say: "Yeah, we're allowing the CIA to blow up Al Qaeda, Taliban, and the occasional civilians inside our borders." So the CIA has to pretend its secret, Pakistan has to be pretend its totally pissed, and we can all keep business going as usual.

    enc0re on
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    kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The main issues are that the military isn't running this (civilian agencies should not wage war. If it's not a war, we shouldn't be firing weapons in another country..), and that this is actually getting into the sticky part of asymmetric warfare: one side can pop rounds at you and walk back over the border, technically you can't pursue them. It's not a fair fight when either side can touch a pole and yell olly olly oxen free or however you spell that.

    We've also blown up a lot of shit that wasn't a target because, well, long range camera doesn't really tell you the entire story, and you pull a trigger. I find them nice as intel gathering, but actually having a drone camera determine if you blow up a target seems iffy.

    On a warfare note, though, these would revolutionize any large scale warfare. Nothing says oh shit like a small aircraft with, iirc, anti armor missiles loaded.

    kildy on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Doesn't it bother you that there is absolutely no accountability?
    I'm not sure, to be honest.

    Accountability and the CIA have never been close bedfellows. I'd never expect the development and implementation of this sort of technology to change anything. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't really think I should expect accountability in this sort of situation. They're fighting a group that's defined by its decentralized command structure. A group that shows absolutely no reservations when it comes to hiding behind civilians/non-combatants. It's pretty deplorable.

    But I think if we're going to be committed to this thing, we have to use every advantage we can muster. Doubly so if it's the kind of advantage that can prevent the loss of our soldiers.

    firewaterword on
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    descdesc Goretexing to death Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Leitner wrote: »
    Any rumoured British involvement out of interest, this seems like the kinda thing we'd get in on.
    The NYT article says over 40 countries have drones, but that we're the only ones using them to shoot missiles.

    It also says they're operated from CIA headquarters in Virginia. But then I've also heard that many are operated from bases in Afghanistan (presumably to reduce latency?).

    I had read an article discussing military, not CIA use, that said they had one pilot locally who would do the takeoff/landing because it was crucial to have as little lag as possible, but once airborne they'd hand over control to pilots in Nevada who guide it during its patrol. Can't find the article in my history, though.

    desc on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Maybe I'm naive, but I don't really think I should expect accountability in this sort of situation. They're fighting a group that's defined by its decentralized command structure. A group that shows absolutely no reservations when it comes to hiding behind civilians/non-combatants. It's pretty deplorable.
    You can make the same argument about police interactions with organized crime members.
    But I think if we're going to be committed to this thing, we have to use every advantage we can muster. Doubly so if it's the kind of advantage that can prevent the loss of our soldiers.
    Well. If we used every advantage, we could just nuke Afghanistan and Waziristan and solve the whole problem.

    The reason we don't do that is because such a use of our technology would violate our moral code, or perhaps more cynically, the political and psychological fallout from such strikes would not be worth the benefits.

    I think the same balance ought to apply to the drone attacks. Obviously they aren't as indiscriminate as nuclear weapons. But they are overwhelming force, and any use of overwhelming force is going to cause political and psychological reverberations beyond its immediate effects.

    Qingu on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Feral wrote: »
    In this case, the existence of this technology is independent in my mind from the misuse of this technology.

    Robotic warfare? Cool, awesome, let's do it. Secret missions in countries we're not at war with, where we hit civilian targets? Not cool.

    You know what? I take this back. I agree with enc0re. This is exactly the sort of response we should have had against Al-Qaida in the first place - "covert" (using that term loosely) action against hidden targets in Pakistan.

    I don't like it, but it's the least-horrible of all possible courses of action.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    The story about how they got Baitullah Mehsud is a trip.

    They new this guy had diabetes, and regularly got leg massages to get relief. So a drone is flying over Pakistan, and comes over the house of this guy's father in law. The operator sees someone on the roof getting a massage who matches Mehsud's description.

    Operator fires a missile from the drone, strikes the house, and takes out a top Taliban chief. Just like that.

    So, yeah, I guess I support their use in Northern Pakistan / Afghanistan.
    Doesn't it bother you that there is absolutely no accountability?

    I have no problems, in a theoretical sense, with America/NATO playing World Police. I have no problems with using super-advanced robots to target and kill terrorists. But part of being "the police" means being accountable and having limits and checks to your power.

    It is very, very frightening that the CIA has this kind of power with no accountability. Even if it's "awesome."
    Everything they do with the drones is taped. They're more accountable than a ground soldier.

    Hoz on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Hoz wrote: »
    Everything they do with the drones is taped. They're more accountable than a ground soldier.
    It's not accountability if nobody sees those tapes outside the CIA.

    Edit: But you do bring up a good point. The potential for reshaping warfare into something more accountable and less prone to error is actually pretty exciting. I'm just not holding my breath for the CIA to make any waves in this regard.

    Qingu on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    Hoz wrote: »
    Everything they do with the drones is taped. They're more accountable than a ground soldier.
    It's not accountability if nobody sees those tapes outside the CIA.

    and the second oversight asks for them they'd be destroyed or lost
    like the torture tapes

    nexuscrawler on
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    Saint MadnessSaint Madness Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    more_accurate.png

    Saint Madness on
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    ArchonexArchonex No hard feelings, right? Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    The CIA has a track record of doing horrible, unconstitutional, or just plain monstrous shit at times, it sort of goes with their job. When you've got a semi-autonomous agency with feasible access to military-grade hardware, and a decent amount of political power, occasionally stupid decisions are made. Not sure how this should surprise anyone.

    Anyone remember the "Citizen Plus" program they tried to get voted in and put into effect, nationally? That program, according to some family members I talked too, has had several other attempts, under different names in the past.

    And if you're wondering, yes, "Citizen Plus" is exactly how it sounds. People could essentially get superior treatment to the rest of the populace for spying on their neighbors and co-workers. It was delightfully dystopian.


    Just be glad that we've moved on from the days where the CIA was the saturday morning cartoon villain of espionage. The sheer amount of attempts (and methods) on Castro's life by the CIA are hilarious if you read about some of the more desperate assassination attempts.

    Archonex on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Maybe I'm naive, but I don't really think I should expect accountability in this sort of situation. They're fighting a group that's defined by its decentralized command structure. A group that shows absolutely no reservations when it comes to hiding behind civilians/non-combatants. It's pretty deplorable.
    You can make the same argument about police interactions with organized crime members.
    I suppose I could. I mean, I probably wouldn't, but you're right.
    But I think if we're going to be committed to this thing, we have to use every advantage we can muster. Doubly so if it's the kind of advantage that can prevent the loss of our soldiers.
    Well. If we used every advantage, we could just nuke Afghanistan and Waziristan and solve the whole problem.

    The reason we don't do that is because such a use of our technology would violate our moral code, or perhaps more cynically, the political and psychological fallout from such strikes would not be worth the benefits.

    I think the same balance ought to apply to the drone attacks. Obviously they aren't as indiscriminate as nuclear weapons. But they are overwhelming force, and any use of overwhelming force is going to cause political and psychological reverberations beyond its immediate effects.
    I'd say there's a pretty massive gap between a hellfire missile fired onto an identified convoy or something and nuclear warfare, regardless of how "tactical" it is!

    Anyway, regarding Pakistan, I think it's appropriate for the theater they're operating in. Zardari's government is unwilling/unable to govern the region, so I think different rules apply. I don't know, it's a murky issue.

    firewaterword on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'd say there's a pretty massive gap between a hellfire missile fired onto an identified convoy or something and nuclear warfare, regardless of how "tactical" it is!
    It was more of a philosophical point I was trying to make.
    Anyway, regarding Pakistan, I think it's appropriate for the theater they're operating in. Zardari's government is unwilling/unable to govern the region, so I think different rules apply. I don't know, it's a murky issue.
    Yeah, the situation would be a lot less complicated if Pakistan just ceded those areas to the Taliban like they said they would.

    Qingu on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Qingu wrote: »
    I'd say there's a pretty massive gap between a hellfire missile fired onto an identified convoy or something and nuclear warfare, regardless of how "tactical" it is!
    It was more of a philosophical point I was trying to make.
    Anyway, regarding Pakistan, I think it's appropriate for the theater they're operating in. Zardari's government is unwilling/unable to govern the region, so I think different rules apply. I don't know, it's a murky issue.
    Yeah, the situation would be a lot less complicated if Pakistan just ceded those areas to the Taliban like they said they would.

    Yeah, I hear you on the first point.

    And it's crazy to think that your second point is a real possibility! At least it looks like the Pakistani forces are trying to do something in the Swat Valley, as ineffective as it may seem.

    firewaterword on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    Robman on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    firewaterword on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    You're making two bold assumptions here.

    Firstly, that I feel differently about cruise missile strikes against 'militants'.

    Secondly, that these extrajudicial executions aren't an abortion of ethics. Why aren't Americans using Predator Drones to target gang operations in America? If you can't support the use of Predator strikes on all armed (or at least, possibly armed) personnel in order to minimize risk to government agents, why are the targeted people in Pakistan different?

    Robman on
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    enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    Nonsense. Unless you want to label any military strike an extrajudicial execution. Whether it's a soldier shooting Bin Laden in the face, an artillery strike from 10 miles away, or a bomb from 20,000 feet makes no difference in the legality of said kill.

    enc0re on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    I think the difference here is who's doing it

    Call me naive but I think the CIA should be an investigative and information gathering agency

    this stuff is the job of the military

    nexuscrawler on
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    kildykildy Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    The main concern would be the amount of intel that would need to be vetted for the cruise missile strike, versus targets of opportunity seen by a drone in the area.

    But that's probably not that big an issue, and would also trigger 'target left, we blew up the building 4 hours later' issues. It's a trade off.

    kildy on
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    matt has a problemmatt has a problem Points to 'off' Points to 'on'Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    You're making two bold assumptions here.

    Firstly, that I feel differently about cruise missile strikes against 'militants'.

    Secondly, that these extrajudicial executions aren't an abortion of ethics. Why aren't Americans using Predator Drones to target gang operations in America? If you can't support the use of Predator strikes on all armed (or at least, possibly armed) personnel in order to minimize risk to government agents, why are the targeted people in Pakistan different?
    Last time I checked gangs in America hadn't hijacked planes and bombed military barracks, then fled to a country we couldn't follow them into.

    matt has a problem on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    enc0re wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    Nonsense. Unless you want to label any military strike an extrajudicial execution. Whether it's a soldier shooting Bin Laden in the face, an artillery strike from 10 miles away, or a bomb from 20,000 feet makes no difference in the legality of said kill.

    Any unprovoked attack on a civilian is an execution, yes. I suppose if you're bringing back the concept of the "outlaw" then you can justify these attacks.

    Robman on
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    RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    You're making two bold assumptions here.

    Firstly, that I feel differently about cruise missile strikes against 'militants'.

    Secondly, that these extrajudicial executions aren't an abortion of ethics. Why aren't Americans using Predator Drones to target gang operations in America? If you can't support the use of Predator strikes on all armed (or at least, possibly armed) personnel in order to minimize risk to government agents, why are the targeted people in Pakistan different?
    Last time I checked gangs in America hadn't hijacked planes and bombed military barracks, then fled to a country we couldn't follow them into.

    Last I checked 9/11 was a criminal act, not an act of war by a state.

    Robman on
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    Orochi_RockmanOrochi_Rockman __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    Drone attacks are pretty much all we can do. If we don't use them we might as well just call it quits and give up trying to chase down Bin Laden and the rest of the top tier Al Qaida leadership and hope that the Pakistani Army can handle it, and their poor unstable country doesn't go to hell in the process.

    Orochi_Rockman on
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    firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    You're making two bold assumptions here.

    Firstly, that I feel differently about cruise missile strikes against 'militants'.

    Secondly, that these extrajudicial executions aren't an abortion of ethics. Why aren't Americans using Predator Drones to target gang operations in America? If you can't support the use of Predator strikes on all armed (or at least, possibly armed) personnel in order to minimize risk to government agents, why are the targeted people in Pakistan different?

    Yeah, the "militant hideout" is just an example off of the top of my head.

    And yes, I'd be very concerned if the FBI started flying drones over San Francisco, or anywhere else in the states for that matter. I'd be concerned if the CIA started bombing Karachi or Islamabad. But we're talking about tribal areas with no governmental infrastructure to speak of. If we have to fight there, I feel it's preferable to do so, when possible, via drones. I feel it's far better than putting more boots on the ground.

    Were it up to me, we'd pull out ground forces entirely, and cordon off the area via drones until the Pakistani government was willing/able to properly govern that area of their country. However, and possibly for the better, it's not up to me.

    firewaterword on
    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
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    nescientistnescientist Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Robman wrote: »
    Predator Drones are extrajudicial executions. If you support their use, you piss on the rule of law in general. Shame on you.

    How is using a predator drone to strike a militant hideout any different from using a cruse missile launched from a coastal vessel to strike a militant hideout?

    I'm not trying to split hairs, but do you feel this way about any sort of remote strike?

    I suspect the distinction Robman is making is based on there being no officially declared (or even unoffically acknowledged) war. The problem with this is that by this reasoning every conflict the US has entered since WW2 consists of a series of similar extrajudicial executions.

    I, for one, welcome my robot assassins. Well, welcome may be the wrong word. More accurately, I am less intensely disturbed by them than I am by overthrowing a couple governments to defeat a stateless enemy whose popular support is based on (now accurately, goddamn it) depicting the US as imperialist. So stupid.

    nescientist on
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