They express discomfort at the indefensible, then talk as if it can't be reformed without giving up on targeted killing entirely.
There's a Columbia University grad who runs a Tumblr I follow called "The Political Breakdown." I can't remember why I started reading it, but I am glad I did. I am glad because of the post, "Breakdown: The Truth about Drone Strikes." What I love about it is how perfectly it captures the mindset of apologists for President Obama's drone war. The approach the blog takes is to summarize all the facts about a controversy. The summary on drones is pretty good. The anonymous author cites many of the same excellent sources that I rely upon, has a similar understanding of the facts, and reaches a conclusion that leaves me flabbergasted.
Could I take you through it?
While summarizing the facts, the author neutrally states five things that cast America's drone war in a negative light:
- "Much of what we know is pieces from conjecture, comments, anonymous sources, and a good deal of guessing thrown in."
- "Though the legality is questionable, it isn't stopping the United States. What's more, there is no congressional oversight to the drone strikes."
- "Due to the extreme secretive nature of the drone strikes and the lack of public oversight," we have no idea how many innocent civilians are killed, "and just have to take the government at its word."
- "The government counts all adult males killed in drone strikes as militants, regardless of evidence to the contrary." It's more accurate to say that they're regarded as militants if they are military-aged males even if there's no other evidence, but keep in mind what the author believes.
- "There is massive backlash against the drone strikes .... innocent Pakistanis live in constant fear of the
buzz of drones. The stories of innocent men, women, and children blown
up by a drone strike while going about their daily lives are countless."