After four years of the Obama administration’s increasing use of remote-controlled, unmanned drones to kill our enemies, there are suddenly a few more in the media feeling obligated to report on the policy.
A new set of ethical issues is being discussed. The FAA is looking into how to regulate what some call ‘the drone age.’ When liberals say things like ‘Bush would have been impeached if he did what Obama is doing,” rest assured it’s newsworthy and conservatives should jump on the story.
Tina Brown, editor for the Daily Beast/Newsweek basically admitted to media hypocrisy saying:
“He’d be impeached by now for drones if he was George W. Bush… a Republican president; the outcry about drones would be far greater.”
Recently, memos on the president’s drone-use policy were released, perhaps to make Obama look stronger in fighting terror. Ironically, when first elected, Obama used the word “terror” only once in his 2009 inaugural address. Times have changed. The Obama administration has openly carried out more than six times the drone attacks approved by the Bush White House; and the main reason most Americans are unaware is the media looks the other way.
Obama made closing the Guantanamo Bay prison a campaign issue and has been unable to follow up on his promise. Instead, he now seems to favor a policy of killing to avoid prisoner detention. With few exceptions, the media has apparently been fine with openly using drones – that have killed many innocent bystanders – when they feverishly protested the use of enhanced interrogation techniques under Bush. They and Obama considered waterboarding prisoners to be ‘torture’; but they justify this policy of bombing suspects with no judicial review or trial.
The drone controversy has been brewing for months now. Judge Andrew Napolitano recently emphasized that the government’s legal memos on Obama’s policy to kill people overseas includes American citizens. Memos were released after a year of stonewalling federal judges who were seeking legal justification on drone use. What is this administration’s legal basis for claiming the right to kill without due process, thus suspending guaranteed constitutional protections?
The undated and unsigned 16-page document leaked to NBC refers to itself as a Department of Justice white paper. Its logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”
Under the Constitution, the president can only order killing using the military when the United States has been attacked, or when an attack is imminent. Obama and his advisers have used the word “surgical” to defend the use of drones as humane and necessary; but the fact is that out of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths, approximately 14 percent have been innocent civilians.
Such gravitas caused PBS’s Bill Moyers to question those who gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, implying it has become tarnished. Moyers now feels the president is indifferent to collateral damage and even called Obama’s drone use “cold-blooded.”
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