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Drone attacks need scrutiny

February 19, 2013

Penning hard-core terrorists up at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba was a bad idea, President Barack Obama has said....

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(39)

Carlaw

Feb-19-13 5:03 AM

Yes, great editorial comment! Why doesn't the media focus more attention on this double standard?

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 5:52 AM

Remember when President Bill Clinton tried to take out Bin Laden? The Conservatives attacked him, gave him no support, saying he was only trying to divert attention from his personal problems. We know how that worked out, don't we? The people targeted for these actions aren't boy scouts. They are known terrorists participating with or helping those who would do us harm. This is a non-issue.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 6:25 AM

I have a HUGE problem with Drones being used in this country!! (and they are!)

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judeye

Feb-19-13 7:46 AM

How do we target those who target us?

If we are not to use drones (which I do not like at all)...how should we go after those we know are planning attacks on us?

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 7:58 AM

The prison at Guantanamo was and is still a bad idea.

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Steiner

Feb-19-13 8:21 AM

Obama is using his chicago learning experiences, where they have many gang shootings. When Bush used drones it was terrible, worse than water boarding. When a liberal uses it it is OK. At least obama is not water boarding , right libs ? Hey christopher, when prisoners from guantanamo were released, many went back to hostilities against americans. perhaps you could use your skills as a union supporter, ie, go to mideast and offer to negotiate. Judeye, how do we kill people without drones ? you have no history.we do it the old fashioned way, the CIA of the 50s- 60's. Send in death squads. uhoh, a violation of rights again.

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joew

Feb-19-13 8:37 AM

This pains me to say this but I do think the President as the CinC has the constitutional authority to take those people out,even an american citizen.(not on American soil however)I agree with Christopher on that issue. A citizen who turns treasonous in my mind forfeits all protection afforded by the constitution. GITMO is a good thing,those rats deserve to be there,not on American soil. Now I do think however that some of the people who are being vaporized by the hellfires could be providing actionable intelligence if captured and subjeced to enhanced interrogation methods. Hope I satisfied both sides of the aisle.

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DarkStar

Feb-19-13 8:39 AM

Would everyone feel better if instead of using drones we had F-18s, f-117s, or B-2s dropping the bombs?

I have no problem with those targeting those who target the US using these methods, assuming they are outside our reach via other methods.

Is a policy such as this open to abuse? Sure it is, just as the US justice system, tax code, and most other governmental functions are but most who will should we eliminate all these things as well?

While drone strikes aren't the perfect tool they are the best option currently available for most of the situations they have been used in.

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Dcronlg

Feb-19-13 9:20 AM

I agree with DarkStar and Christopher: securing ourselves against a global enemy of fanatical serial murderers who are decentralized,difficult to identify, name and position is a new type unprecedented warfare and defense, requiring constant evolving strategy and tactics.

Much of it requires solid, highly operational field intelligence, police work and I believe, ruthless black ops.

Yet, there is a solid line we should not cross: we should neither torture nor neutralize the threat from domestic enemies on US soil without due process.

As long as these are met and mitigation against any potential egregious abuses against US citizens (checks and balances)are established, I'm fine with any president of any party using drones.

I don't see a double standard at all -- the enemy is constantly changing, and so must we.

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stangv8

Feb-19-13 9:24 AM

Christopher, Clinton never tried to take out bin Laden. Sudan offered him to the Clinton Administration but he turned them down; allowing bin Laden to walk.

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stangv8

Feb-19-13 9:30 AM

Obama has kept Gitmo open and has admitted enhanced interrogation techniques is what enabled us to get bin Laden. I guess this is one where Bush was right.

On the use of drones to go after enemy combatants, I support Obama 100% as long as they're not used over the United States. Once an American Citizen joins the enemy combatants and fires upon American Soldiers, he's a traitor and therefore a legitimate target.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 9:41 AM

Stang, yes he did, Cruise Missiles were fired. Do a little research before spitting the usual dogma.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 9:43 AM

In my estimation, after this much time, the prisoners in Guantomino are either so dangerous they should have been executed, or they should be released, take your pick. No more information will be gained by keeping them under highly specious terms of imprisonment.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 9:44 AM

Hey Steiner, take your meds!!! It's past 9AM, and your Dr.'s will be very, very upset with you!!

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SmallTownSmallMind

Feb-19-13 9:51 AM

I tip my hat to all those who responded honestly instead of in a partisan way. When I finished reading the article, I thought for sure that the comments would be a bunch from the right criticizing Obama and another bunch from the left sticking up for him. I was very surprised to see those from a solid political persuasion actually think and respond objectively. Thank-you for that. For those that responded in typical partisan fashion, thank-you for meeting my expectations.

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SmallTownSmallMind

Feb-19-13 9:53 AM

Steiner never disappoints.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 10:08 AM

Aug.1998, 2 separate strikes in The Sudan and Afghanistan, based on intelligence that showed both targets to be associated with Al Quida, and that in fact Bin Laden MAY have been at the camp in Afghanistan. He wasn't, and the strike more or less missed anyway, but that's certainly not Bill Clinton's fault, he DID make the effort, and was roundly derided for it by the Conservatives in power, that would have been the Newt Gingrich led HOR's. Hey, never noticed that before, the House of Representatives abbreviated to HOR,is pronounced..hahahahaha! Perfect, no matter who's in charge!!

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American

Feb-19-13 10:42 AM

As far as drone strikes, do what is needed and if there is an American that has gone over to the other side then he's not an American any longer. Take him out. Drones over American soil if that is authorized then whoever authorized it should be tried and convicted for whatever charges they can find to use. Gitmo, been there really a he77 hole of a base and any prisoners still there should never be released. Execute them. Save a bundle of that way. One well placed round or even two per prisoner is cheaper then feeding them much less all the other costs associated with it.

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stangv8

Feb-19-13 11:56 AM

Christopher, the missiles were fired at terrorist bases in Afghanistan and pharmaceutical factories in Sudan in response to the bombings of our embassies. Both Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott strongly supported Clinton in launching the missiles. But, they weren't an attack to get bin Laden as you claim. The pharmaceutical factories were suspected in manufacturing nerve agents and the bases in training the terrorists who attached our embassies. Like I said, Sudan offered us bin Laden and we turned them down.

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DarkStar

Feb-19-13 12:33 PM

stangv8 and Christopher are both right to some extent.

The right didn't criticized Clinton, not for the attack but because Cliton showed a pattern of these types of actions occuring within a couple days of embarrassing revelations about him and/or his actions.

As for trying to get Bin Laden, he was offered the US Bin Laden but Clinton instead wanted him deported to Saudi Arabia, and eventually simply expelled from Sudan. Yes Clinton now denies this but earlier statements by him suggests that he was made the offer but turned it down.

Also it's worth mentioning that according to a former member CIA operator Bin Laden was located by the CIA before the above offer from Suden was alledgedly made, and the CIA had made plans to grab him but they were denied authorization.

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 2:12 PM

I guess it all depends on which "news source" one gets ones "facts from. But saying Gingrich and Lott supported ANYTHING Clinton did is just nonsense. Funny, both of those fine upstanding individuals, both obsessed with Clinton's PERSONAL peccadillios, were forced out of office due to criminal behavior.

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American

Feb-19-13 2:51 PM

Yes if you get your "facts from msnbc, NY Times, Huff Post, fox or obamas website then you have no facts at all.

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DKexpat

Feb-19-13 3:09 PM

In other news...outgoing Sec Defense Panetta announced last Wednesay the creation of a new type of medal for troops engaged in cyber-operations and drone strikes - the Distinguished Warfare Medal - saying the move “recognizes the changing face of warfare.”

Remarkably, the new medal will fall between the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star (both awarded for heroism in battle) in terms of precedence.

Asked one active-duty Marine, "Are we going to start giving [drone pilots] Purple Hearts when they get carpal tunnel?"

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American

Feb-19-13 3:21 PM

DKexpat, That is one reason why most combat veterans don't think much of the "gedunk" on the chest. There are other reasons of course like "we can't give out the 1st MOH in nam to an enlisted black". Had to go to a white officer.

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American

Feb-19-13 4:40 PM

Feb-19-13 4:35 PM What a racist comment if ever there was one. This guy should be banned for it.

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