The fog of Democratic hypocrisy has obfuscated some of the facts concerning the Obama drone program.
Jay Carney said the drone program, which allows the president to kill al Qaeda linked terrorists, including US citizens, abroad is legal, and it is.
By an Act of Congress, the US is legally at war against al Qaeda. Congress passed a broad authorization of military force:
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons. [Christian Post]
Al Qaeda’s operations are global and under international law, we are able to target our enemy wherever they are.
The question of whether the use of drones is moral is a concern worthy of discussion. However, if using drones will keep our soldiers out of harm’s way and eliminate people who would do us harm, it would appear that the drone program is moral. It is an effective program against our enemies.
It is bad for our reputation but that is partly because of how successful it is. There is collateral damage but far less than if there were boots on the ground. The drones are becoming better and better at pinpointing specific targets. There is always the concern that the targets are the wrong ones.
John Brennan actually made a good case in support of the drone program during his testimony last week. He explained, as he has in the past, that drones are only used in a limited area of Pakistan and only on al Qaeda or al Qaeda-linked terrorists when there is no other option. It is only used overseas.
“We only take such actions as a last resort to save lives when there’s no other alternative,” he said, adding that drone strikes are not ordered to punish terrorists for past attacks.
It is difficult to trust him, however, when he claims that the preference is always for detention given that we have detained only one person in four years.
The question of a president having the unilateral authority against US citizens abroad centers around Habeas Corpus – due process.
We can’t start mirandizing terrorists on the battlefield and habeas corpus for terrorists, citizens or not, would be the equivalent.
Some have suggested judicial review on each case but trying to go through the slow-moving courts when we are at war is unworkable and unreasonable.
Congress came up with the idea of a congressional “assassination committee.” That sounds like a worse idea.
John McCain was on Fox News Sunday with another suggestion – take control of the drones out of the CIA and put it in the DOD. The oversight by the military would make the program more acceptable to a lot of people who are concerned about the covert nature of it.
Meanwhile, with the exception of the ACLU, Democrats aren’t all that upset. They are having a very different reaction from the one they would have if Bush were doing this. The hypocrisy is mind-numbing.