Rand Paul stands tough against drones

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by 63dot, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #2
    I loathe this man's politics but kudos to him for keeping this issue out front. Funny thing is I just read he will likely vote to confirm Brennan.
     
  2. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #3
  3. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    You need to do some more reading on him. He is way outside the mainstream.
     
  4. 63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #5
    Drones are so incredibly deadly but also at times inaccurate. The thought of using them is insane. Their range is so long that there is really no way to hear them before they strike. Not only do they not use pilots and can be prone to error in this still new technology, they shoot from afar.

    Innocents, or the target, have no chance because the idea of the drone is also to let off the weapon long before anyone can hear it. The only thing the victim will hear is, well, nothing. It sounds science fiction, ala Terminator, but without politicians weighing the issues while the technology improves, we are headed for a huge disaster.
     
  5. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Those are all great features to have in a war machine. The argument here is whether or not it's acceptable to use a war machine against Americans, even on American soil.
     
  6. 63dot, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

    63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #7
    I don't like the idea of this type of weapon on anybody, especially Americans.

    The Geneva Convention disallows for certain things and I certainly don't see this as an acceptable form of warfare. Just like I don't condone torture, this and certain chemical and biological weapons must never be used. The rumored, and still debated, Doomsday Project was not about warfare but more of something in the minds of madmen. The drone is not too far from that.

    At the same time, if I only hear the argument that you don't want to send your sons and daughters to a foreign land and the drones keep our soldiers safe back home, then it almost sounds like it makes sense. But the first hand accounts, especially of non-targets, is scary. One minute you are in your house, and the next minute you are convinced somebody planted a bomb there when it goes off. You don't have enemies per se that would warrant an IED, but the confusion is tremendous. You assume the rival Islamic faction did this to you and the next morning you go out and retaliate. The mess that ensues is unimaginable and causes more trouble down the line. Look how we reacted to a terrorist attack, but now since drones many consider us the terrorists. It's a sneak attack in the same heinous nature of a Pearl Harbor and it's us waging guerrilla warfare, sometimes on friendlies.

    Anyway, on drones in general:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4f_RDOyKFs

    2% percent accuracy in war on terror over there (16:24) ? How many Americans then will be killed in the search to kill just one American target?

    Using the well worn phrase of throwing a match into a vat of gasoline, this still holds. What peace there is, barely, in Afghanistan, does not need us sending deadly and quiet drones (often totally undetected) in an attack not knowing the outcome. Those different sides are like those vats of gasoline and sending in a drone could be like throwing a match into the fray. The innocents we kill will not be forgotten and people we may have once considered allies can change sides. One longtime visitor I know who has spent decades in and out of the country basically said the poverty is stronger than the alliances. Freedom fighters fighting for one side can be persuaded to change sides for a dollar a day. It's naive to think we can send in drones and not have any consequences with our allies there.

    I know some people are on the fence about drones against Americans. But what if we had secret troops who went in and blew up homes of suspected American traitors or terrorists going in and doing their work undetected? The drones are no different. Authorities can just chalk up the attack to unknown causes and blame somebody else. These things are not large military aircraft and by design they are as silent as the technology allows to be possible. It's a sneak attack weapon meant to go in, blow something up, and leave with no witnesses. While it doesn't automatically make Obama a "Big Brother", drones against us, or our enemies, are a step in the wrong direction. The once ridiculous arguments against Obama calling him a hawk as much as George W. Bush start sounding plausible. Any original thoughts I have had about the drone being just another weapon have been dashed by the truth and reality of this awful weapon.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIPFkJtOO10
     
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

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    #8
    I am grateful that Rand Paul is taking a stand on this issue, even if he is a Republican. :p He is absolutely correct that Obama is not a judge. If there are identifiable military threats then Obama can act as commander-in-chief, but many of these drone strikes seem to be based on weak intelligence that requires interpretation and evaluation.

    Also, I think the long-term issue is not the use of drones on US citizens on US soil (this will happen - fighter jets were sent up to shoot down civilian airliners on 9/11 and nobody batted so much as an eyelid). The real issue is that the use of the drones is going to light a fire under the a$$es of terrorists who realize that remote controlled vehicles are cheap, heard to intercept, hard to notice, and deadly. I can foresee the day when the next terrorist attack in the US is delivered by glorified model airplanes. We are setting a very dangerous precedent using the drones, just like we did with area bombing and nuclear weapons in WWII. Quite apart from everything, using drones will make much of our current military advantage obsolete, just like Dreadnought made much of the British fleet obsolete prior to WWI.
     
  8. hulugu macrumors 68000

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    #9
    This argument doesn't work. A sniper's bullet strikes from afar and the victim won't hear a thing since the report of the shot is seconds behind the bullet. And, this isn't particularly new.

    As someone mentioned on Twitter, drones tend to make otherwise smart people go crazy. The questions remain:

    1. Does the president have the ability to execute an American citizen without judicial review on foreign or American soil?
    2. Has the ability to assassinate Americans replaced the requirement to otherwise arrest targets at home and abroad? And, if so, why?
    3. Does the war powers act give the president this right?
    4. Does Congress need to authorize or at least review the target list?
    5. What steps will be taken to audit the attacks, to ensure that the people killed by drones are actually the intended target?
    6. How will the Executive Branch deal with civilian casualties? What balance test exists to ensure the minimum number of civilian deaths?
    7. How does International Law operate within this framework? Or, are we currently breaking International Law?
    8. Why are the legal reviews secret?
    9. Etc.?


    The important aspect is not drones, but the ability of the Executive Branch to target a specific person and then kill them without any other checks and balances, including those on American soil.

    Secondly, though drones can be fairly accurate (respectively speaking—a Hellfire was designed to destroy Soviet Main Battle Tanks, so when it hits a car in the middle of a city, it nearly vaporizes the car and damages the whole block) we still have lots of civilian casualties. How the Executive Branch deals with this reality is also very important.
     
  9. 63dot, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

    63dot thread starter macrumors 603

    63dot

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    #10
    Good points. The key issue is using it illegally against Americans, per the first post.

    As a weapon, with Washington Times, Newsweek, and New York Times reporting the 2% percent accuracy does not make this an accurate weapon imho. (see youtube link from my previous post). I would think a sniper is more accurate than 2% percent in his kills, don't you?

    That being said, the B52 is not exactly accurate, either and warrants equal discussion.
     
  10. Peace, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

    Peace macrumors Core

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  11. bradl, Mar 7, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2013

    bradl macrumors 68040

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    #12
    The Reds are still well and truly far behind (nearly obsolete) on a number of things. Want to debate those, let's save it for another thread, or let the search button here do the work for you.

    Back on topic: Rand at least did it in true filibuster fashion, instead of doing it just to say "no", which is another failed trait of the Reds. I'll admit that Holder's statement was the cause of all of this. It was so cryptic and full of double speak that it was confusing even to an intellectual type, not just Joe the Plumber. Holder updated his comment, as well as the POTUS stating what exactly should have been said, but bungled by the AG.

    Anywho, it was all for naught: The AP just reported that the Senate confirmed Brennan to head the CIA, 63-34.

    BL.
     
  12. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    #13
    In the past I've thought Rand Paul was a buffoon.

    Which American citizens would those be? Some poor innocent person minding their own business or someone actively engaged against U.S. interests in the region? I'd need to know more about it.

    What is his beef with John Brennan?
     
  13. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #14
    Ran Paul is delusional. He based his argument on the President using drones to take out American citizens who disagree with his policies.

    ----------

    The Wall Street Journal

     
  14. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #15
    He based his argument on a letter he received from Eric Holder. Who wouldn't say no.
     
  15. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #16
    Holder did say no. Read the quote above from the Wall Street Journal.
     
  16. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #17
    Here's the difference between yesterday and today.

    "After first saying it would be "inappropriate," Holder attempted to clarify his answer by giving a firm "no."

    Paul was up in arms when holder wouldn't say no.

    If you've followed the topic you would know this.
     
  17. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I took inappropriate as a no. it's ridiculous to think the President will start targeting US citizens on US soil with drones.
     
  18. Peace macrumors Core

    Peace

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    #19
    A lot of ridiculous things are happening in this country right now.

    ;)
     
  19. edk99 macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Please!! Where have you been for 5 years. The then presidential candidate and now president has said a lot of things that have not been true. All Rand was looking for was some clarification into the vague response from Holder yesterday.
     
  20. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

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    #21
    Rand Paul's filibuster was nothing but a circus performance.

    Even McCain(who's usually anti Obama anything) thought he was a rambling idiot.
     
  21. samiwas macrumors 65816

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    #22
    So, you think it's within the realm of possibility that Obama would send drones up to just start killing random Americans out having a picnic in the park?
     
  22. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #23
    Well, keep in mind that this number refers specifically to the number of civilian deaths versus the number of militant leaders.

    Rather than a video, let's look at some analysis by the New American Foundation.


    The rate of civilians killed by Predator drone strikes is about two percent in 2012 from a high of 61 percent in the 2004-2007 period.

    One thing to keep in mind is people often conflate air strikes from fighter-bombers and bombers with attacks from drones. Of course, the end result is the same awful tragedy, but we shouldn't shy away from acknowledging that the Predator drone allows for pilots to pick and choose their targets in a manner that significantly different from the air strikes by a fighter-bomber or bomber.
     
  23. jeremy h, Mar 8, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2013

    jeremy h macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I too am impressed with this guy's actions. I am though a little confused by the seeming emphasis on the arguments about the legality of drone use being concentrated on the issue of Americans being killed on American soil.

    I guess it's to do with not being signed up to International Criminal court? Here, we are and this issue has been on the radar (excuse the pun) for a while. For example just last week, Radio 4 (national radio station) carried a programme discussing the leaglity of it all.

    We have an up and coming court case about the death of a Pakistani national due to a US strike citing UK GCHQ staff (in supplying targeting information) as secondary parties to murder. I think that CIA and GCHQ staff are civilians and not combatants so are subject criminal law.

    I personally can't see how it can be legal. It would have been great to have been able to 'take out' IRA members who were granted asylum or were resident in the US (they were involved in a 'war' against the British crown) and also their US national Noraid paymasters but would it have been legal?
     
  24. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #25
    No, I think the key issue is using it on anyone as a substitute for due process. This is called "murder".
     

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