The Obama administration uses drones to liquidate enemies beyond our borders. Fair enough.
But the Obama administration’s policy position on this … is bizarre and frightening.
That’s right. I think the motivation to pull the trigger is worse than pulling it. I can’t think of another situation where this is true. Let’s review.
- The Bush administration had a policy of capturing, detaining, and interrogating some terrorists. Obama is on record as opposing this, although in practice his administration has continued the policy.
- Both the Bush and Obama administrations used drones to liquidate terrorists beyond our borders.
- Some of those terrorists are American citizens.
- The Bush administration argued that all terrorists were military targets. The Obama administration argues that some are not military targets, but rather are criminals.
- American citizens are entitled to due process when caught engaging in criminal activity. This is true even if they are caught overseas.
Again, fair enough. The Obama administration has shifted the policy mix towards less capture and detention to more liquidation.
But now … we have a policy that says it’s OK not to catch them if you can liquidate them remotely. In fact … it says it’s OK to not even try and catch them. This is a huge problem if you’re also claiming that they are criminals that have a right to due process.
And, it’s not fair enough. This is like saying that if the cops see you speeding and turn on their lights, and you flee across the border into Canada … they can pursue and shoot you because they’re only required to pull you over first in America.
The Obama administration says this is OK because … well … they’re the good guys.
"We trust the president," the former Michigan governor [Jennifer Granholm] told the Times, "And if this was Bush, I think that we would all be more up in arms because we wouldn't trust that he would strike in a very targeted way …
Oh. I get it: the good cops always shoot straighter than the bad cops, and we get to decide that we’re the good cops. This is kind of like the game show she was on in the 70’s, which she won merely by being chosen to be on it.
I think you need a really deep draught of the Kool-Aid to buy that one.
Ah … well … you say … this is intellectual navel-gazing, because for practical purposes this would never come up in other situations.
But how about a drug mule?
We already use drones in the “war on drugs”. Check. A drug mule is committing a criminal offense outside of our criminal jurisdiction. Check. The only other thing required to pull the trigger and liquidate the drug mule is … a belief that the drug mule presents a clear and present danger. People who already possess that belief are a dime a dozen. Check.
I think what we have here is policy being run by people who are so unused to reflecting on whether they can be wrong, that they are incapable of determining that they are wrong. They lack meta-cognition.
Think about it: an American president has taken a position that Israel chose not to take with Adolph Eichmann. That’s astounding.
Here’s the Obama position, in broad strokes:
- We’re not inclined to use the military against the bad guys because we have issues with the military.
- We are willing to use the criminal justice system against the bad guys because we’re more comfortable with that.
- But, we’re not willing to put people on the ground to enforce the criminal justice system we do like because that would be too much like using the military system we don’t like.
- So instead we’re going to pull the trigger on these bad guys, even though the criminal system we do like says we shouldn’t do that, but it’s OK because they’ve chosen to go outside of the jurisdiction of the criminal system we do like, even though that’s now within the jurisdiction of the military, but we don’t like the military, so we won’t call this a military thing, even if it means gutting the rights at the heart of the criminal system we do like, it’s still OK because it’s the good people like us that make the criminal system work, not the fact that it’s a system or anything … yada yada yada
Calvin presented Hobbes with better logic than this steaming pile of offensiveness.