Oct 25, 2012
While GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney won’t go the record about the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detention facility, at the third presidential debate he did indicate he would continue President Obama’s controversial drone strike program against alleged terrorist suspects.
The debate moderator, CBS News Bob Schieffer framed the question this way; “What is your position on the use of drones?”
“I support that (drone strikes) entirely and think the president was right to use that technology,” Romney said at the foreign policy debate.
The brief exchange did not delve into the ramifications of controversial drone strikes. Topping that list is the lack of intelligence gained from dead terrorists, the large number of civilian causalities, combat operations conducted in undeclared regions, and the U.S. government’s ability to kill American’s without due process. The latter resulted in a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that charges President Obama’s administration with sanctioning the killing of three American citizens, including a minor. (Story link here)
The complaint contends President Obama’s top military team, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director General David Petraeus, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) Admiral William McRaven and current Commander of JSOC, Lieutenant General Joseph Votel carried-out drone strikes that deprived three U.S. citizens of due process rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.
When it comes to fighting the “war on terror” by drone strikes, President Obama continues to outpace his predecessor George W. Bush. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, who monitors worldwide drone strikes, Mr. Obama has authorized 297 attacks in three and a half years and former President Bush launched 349 during his eight-years in office.
Of course death by droning has consequences. The number of civilian deaths remains fuzzy, as most journalists cannot reach the tribal regions where Islamic radicals typically hide, but reports estimate that number reaching past 3,000. This number is significant, because it’s surpassing the death toll of 9/11.
According to a new Washington Post story on the CIA, “White House approval, reflects the agency’s transformation into a paramilitary force, and makes clear that it does not intend to dismantle its drone program and return to its pre-September 11th focus on gathering intelligence.” The death by drone program also has the approval from CIA top-spook and former Army General ret. (Who oversaw the Middle East Wars), David Petraeus.
In fact, Petraeus and President Obama have been working, covertly, on the “re-branding” of the “Terror Tuesday’s” program, by renaming it the “disposition matrix.” The Washington Post story concluded that, “U.S. officials said the database is designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the “disposition” of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.”
However, some argue that the remote control war will not solve the world terrorism problem.
“The problem with the drone is it’s like your lawn mower,” said Bruce Riedel, former Obama counter terrorism adviser and CIA analyst. “You’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.”
War by drone’s critic Judge Andrew Napolitano explains the perils American’s risk by keeping “kill lists.” “We live in perilous times. The president acts above the Rule of Law and fights his own wars. Congress acts below the Rule of Law by letting the president do whatever he can get away with.”
Terror Tuesday’s land on front page
Eleven years, trillions of dollars, 6,527 dead U.S. warriors and the Middle East is still embroiled in an endless war. Americans and its warriors are tired and broke. With all the U.S. blood and treasure expended, one would think the folks in the Middle East would be grateful, thankful; America has dedicated precious resources to “give” the Middle East democracy and freedom. They’re not.
According to a new Pew Research Center poll, 74 percent of Pakistanis think America is the enemy, a sentiment that has increased the last few years from 69 and 64 percent respectively. This shocking poll reverberates throughout the Middle East region.
But why do countries hate America more now than under the Bush Administration? Drones, targeted killings and corruption have garnered ill will with tribal leaders as well as those attending wedding parties.
“Drones have replaced Guantánamo as the recruiting tool of choice for militants; in his 2010 guilty plea, Faisal Shahzad, who had tried to set off a car bomb in Times Square, justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, ‘When the drones hit, they don’t see children,’” the New York Times stated.
© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.