Drone Killings in Yemen, and Our Presidential Terrorist
By William Boardman
Burning Drone in Effigy by (theatlantic.com)
Who Are The Terrorists, And Can You Know One When You See One?
How is President Obama NOT a terrorist, like President Bush and other presidents before him?
What does it mean to be a terrorist? Isn't someone who commits or colludes in a terrorist act quite simply a terrorist?
What is a terrorist act? Isn't a terrorist act an act of violence designed to murder, main, and terrorize civilians?
Is there a difference between a terrorist act and an act of war? Not necessarily. The bombing of London 1941 and Hiroshima 1945 were acts of war, and they were both terrorist acts. The former failed, the latter succeeded, and the ripples of nuclear terror continue spreading almost 70 years later.
American drones, Reapers and Predators especially, are weapons of terror. Sometimes they are aimed at specific targets, sometimes they hit those targets, and sometimes they kill indiscriminately. People on the ground can hear or see the drones, but can't know what the drones will do, and that uncertainty gives drones their power to terrorize.
Even unarmed surveillance drones terrorize populations below, who have no way of knowing if unarmed drones are armed or not.
What Terrorist Wouldn't Love to Have a Drone Fleet?
The drone is the American government terrorist's weapon of choice in recent years. Government officials have said they like it because they can target particular individuals who pose some real or imagined threat to the U.S. They don't say, although it appears to be true, that they also like killer drones because even when they miss their target and only achieve wanton killing, that "protects" Americans, too.
American government terrorists have used lethal drones to kill people abroad for a decade or more. The government still keeps much of the drone program secret, especially the actual results of drone strikes. It seems actual carnage, actual dead women and actual dead babies, might undercut widespread popular support for drone killings that are believed to be highly selective and accurate in taking out our legitimate enemies, and only our legitimate enemies.
Most of Congress has apparently felt that way and still does. Until recently, no Senate or House committee had held a single public hearing to find out just what the program of presidential assassination-by-drone was, much less why it was right or even legal for the executive branch to execute people, based on secret "evidence," without due process that included a trial or verdict.
Finally, on April 23, 2013, the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights, chaired by Democratic Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, held a hearing entitled "Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing." The hearing began at 4 p.m.