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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)

ProudToBeUnAmerican

Feb-20-13 6:47 PM

The drones were a great idea when Bush began using them. However, their continued use by Obama is just plain wrong.

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killers

Feb-20-13 12:37 PM

I find it fascinating that during the Bush administration that water boarding was so inhumane and now drone strikes are okay. I would say that many of the left who took that position on water boarding and now have no problem with drone strikes are hypocrites. But being hypocrites are the nature of the beast.

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DKexpat

Feb-20-13 10:25 AM

In other news...DOD reported today that Predator MQ-9, a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has been diagnosed with PTSD.

While the disorder tens to afflict humans, doctors at Walter Reed said they aren’t surprised to see the pressure of drone attacks getting to the drones themselves. One psychiatrist said, “We think drones don’t notice, but they have hi-def cameras that see everything, and can’t help but be impacted.” MQ-9 still wonders, “Why was I programmed to feel guilt?”

To combat the onset of psychological trauma in the field, the USO has arranged for hi-hop artists to entertain the robotic troops stationed overseas. “They love the beat,” said USO organizer Ricky Remf, “because that division has a reputation for some pretty hard partying and data downloads.”

Def Sec Panetta could not be reached for comment as to whether drones will be simultaneously awarded the Distinguished Warfare Medal along with their pilots.

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bulldog10

Feb-20-13 10:01 AM

Its all ones opinion of what a "hero" is. Some may think its not stressful to unload dead bodies at Dover AFB thousands of miles from the combat zone, but is it? There are alot of non-combat positions that are stressful, just like each person has his/her stress level.

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DKexpat

Feb-20-13 8:27 AM

From an article in Stars and Stripes - -

"For its part, the Air Force was apparently not eager to allow servicemembers in Afghanistan to express their thoughts about the new medal. The Air Force Public Affairs Office would not allow a Stars and Stripes reporter to gather comments from airmen at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan."

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Christopher

Feb-20-13 8:14 AM

"And, BTW, drone operators are qualifying for PTSD. Very stressful to know you’re going home to your family at the end of your shift" Not much different than "Blue water Navy" firing at targets on the Vietnam mainland some 5 miles away, at an enemy without a Navy or Air Force of their own. Great job, was always happy they were there when I needed the help, but PTSD?

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 8:19 PM

AQnd Phil twice in the same week, I agree with you 100%. I'm heading to the store for a lottery ticket!

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 8:18 PM

Vietnam veterans, COMBAT veterans, fought for decades to even DEFINE PTSD.(Originally, back in the late 70's, it was called "Post Vietnam Syndrome", further stigmatizing Vietnam veterans) Now it seems as if anyone who flies by a combat zone gets an automatic 30%.

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PhilJulian

Feb-19-13 7:47 PM

Are drones the problem or is the real problem a military/industrial complex with an insatiable appetite for money? Imagine if Canada invaded the U.S. and claimed New York State to be their territory. Would the Americans who fought back be known as TERRORISTS? We invaded Iraq and Afghanistan for no good reason and it cost thousands of young American lives and billions of American dollars. Who really gained other than Halliburton and other military suppliers. Maybe no one will be happy until the U.S. and Israel are the only two countries with nuclear weapons and drones but then who will be do battle with? Maybe the real heroes in this country are the taxpayers who pass out billions to pay for all this nonsense. I say let's pass out medals for the taxpayers!

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stangv8

Feb-19-13 7:45 PM

Christopher, looks like I agree with you on something. Very few military are actually hero’s. A hero is someone who went above and beyond the call of duty. Doing what your receiving a paycheck for is not heroism; I always though of it as my job. As someone who was career military, rising to the top enlisted ranks, I spent a lot of my time dealing with those whose only uniform should have been a bright orange jump suite. You could always tell someone who was a clerk as they always had a chest full of ribbons but for some reason, the submissions for your folks always got lost. Today an E-4 or E-5 will have two to three times the ribbons of an E-8 or E-9 of twenty years ago. And, BTW, drone operators are qualifying for PTSD. Very stressful to know you’re going home to your family at the end of your shift

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Christopher

Feb-19-13 6:20 PM

The hero worshipping of all things Military ever since September 11 has finally reached a level of nonsense many have been striving for. It's no different than saing ALL who wear a uniform are heroes. Bullfeathers. I served with some heroes, and I served with some scum. It's no different now. Clerks and such are necessary, but please, hero!? To even suggest otherwise these days is to solicit cxries of being anti-Military and anti-American. Again, bullfeathers. To call all soldiers equal is to disrespect those in the most danger. Anyone thinking an Infantryman is no different in deserved respect than a clerk is an idiot...or a clerk basking in that Infantryman's glory. The club's are full of them. Check out a lot of your local Veterans Biker groups. See how many were ever in danger of anything but a stubbed toe. But they all sure look the part, don't they?

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joew

Feb-19-13 6:02 PM

Look we can recognize these people by awarding a BADGE much like ones expertise with a rifle,pistol,or the Airborne badge. No way in h*** ranking with or above the Bronze Star or Purple Heart or anything close to those decorations.

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joew

Feb-19-13 6:01 PM

Look we can recognize these people by awarding a BADGE much like ones expertise with a rifle,pistol,or the Airborne badge. No way in*****ranking with or above the Bronze Star or Purple Heart or anything close to those decorations.

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DarkStar

Feb-19-13 5:09 PM

DKexpat,

Seriously? That's simply pathetic.

I could see a campaign type ribbon, but a medal, seriously? How about a "Stateside supply room award for heroism" for those supply clerks who issued gear that was used overseas in combat operations?

Sort of reminds me of how rangers felt when the Army decided to make the black barret a standard uniform after it's use being limited rangers for more then 20 years.

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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SmallTownSmallMind

Feb-19-13 9:53 AM

Steiner never disappoints.

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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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