I'm going to beat Unseen to this one!

So Eric Holder in a recent Congressional hearing has left the door open to preforming a drone strike against terrorists on American soil in an "extraordinary circumstance."

From CNN:
"Attorney General Eric Holder is not entirely ruling out a scenario under which a drone strike would be ordered against Americans on U.S. soil, but says it has never been done previously and he could only see it being considered in an extraordinary circumstance.

He began to winnow the list of those possible extraordinary circumstances Wednesday. In testimony Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, pressed Holder whether he believed it would be constitutional to target an American terror suspect 'sitting at a cafe' if the suspect didn't pose an imminent threat.

'No,' Holder replied."

Given the fact that there are people out there who want to kill us, who want to die for their cause, and who label themselves as an enemy to America, do you think that they Attorney General makes a valid point? Might there be some circumstance where a drone strike is the best option to prevent even more loss of life including that of law enforcement? Is he just plain wrong and this can't be permitted at all? As Senator Paul is now filibustering on the Senate floor and making the point, is there zero room for a lethal military/law enforcement drone strike on an individual? Might there still be a comparison with the use of lethal force by a police officer to a person that is known to be armed, dangerous, and looking to kill?

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Now you're talking.

Perhaps we should go back to the days where you went out onto the field of battle with a sword and hacked at each other as if we were sides of pork hanging from a hook in an abattoir. Drones are used to deliver the goods in a relatively focused way. One can kill a target, taking out relatively few innocents with a drone vs. using a thermobaric bomb or block buster dropped from a B52. One could be more surgical by sending in a Seal team as we did to kill Bin Laden, but that risks valuable soldiers' lives and not every target has a high enough value to justify such a strike. It's not the President's job to risk American lives unnecessarily. Quite the opposite.

Without the exposure to the horrors of war,  We may not try to resist, and have a complacency in war.

Reminds me of the inverse of Santayana's famous quote, the inverse being "If we don't repeat history, we are condemned to forgetting it."

@ Blaine Leavitt, Great episode!

@ Ed,

I'm a little lost Ed.  Are you saying that you don't have a problem with people killing each other, but you're uncomfortable if the killing is done from a comfortable chair?

Ed, can you see why this makes no logical sense to me?  

The Commander and Chief in this country hasn't set foot on a active battlefield in a long time.  That's remote warfare.

What should really concern you is that the guy in Colorado just pushed the button to launch a Hellfire missile at your house, because your fellow Americans sanctioned it.  After impact it's not going to matter that they had the wrong address (remember the Chinese Embassy?).

War is the most insurmountable of scourges to afflict mankind. I detest all war and believe it demonstrates that we have a long way to go on the evolutionary trail. But if you're going to kill you're enemy then at least have the common courtesy to gut him face to face.

The answer to this question is NO, No, and no - each no corresponding to the degrees in which drones could hypothetically be used within the US on its own citizens.  There is such a thing as the Constitution, and such uses of authoritarian power and force are IMO serious violations of it.  Oh, and I don't care what party is in control of the administrative branch of government - it's illegal regardless of who is in power.

Under no circumstance? Not even the example I gave of the van driving through the mountains toward Denver or Seattle with an atomic weapon on board, where the threat can be eliminated in a relatively deserted location? 

How would you handle it if you were the President?

If the intended blast zone could be determined, I'd require Rand Paul, his crazy daddy, and any other anti-drone people who could be rounded up to be rounded up and left in the blast zone to think about their view on drones.

That is what intelligence gathering is for during a criminal investigation.  The only reason why the 9-11 hijackers got away with what they did was because the government ignored the all the warning signs.  After all, there are numerous crimes prevented every day by the FBI and local law enforcement through the normal, lawful, constitutional procedures. Why? because of informants and whistle blowers to unusual and suspicious activity as well as well organized law enforcement.  

As for your scenario, the other side of the coin is that tragedies and are going to happen because the government is full of inept officials who care more about politically maneuvering the advancement of their careers than they do about the general welfare of the people.  But I would much rather deal with holding an inept government accountable than having to fight a tyrannical one. 

Preaching violence...sad

I think you need to expand on that a little bit, otherwise your post is a rather vague little vote rather than a contribution to the discussion.


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