Drone attacks - are there any circumstances where they are OK?

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  1. SimeyC profile image90
    SimeyCposted 9 years ago

    I, like many, am amazed that the US would have Drones over the US and will not specifically say they will never be used on American Citizens in the US. The whole problem being that there should be 'due-course', trials etc - "innocent before proven guilty' always comes to mind.

    However it has made me think of certain circumstances where it might be OK (possibly).

    For example - what if the Whitehouse was taken over by American terrorists? Would that justify an attack? Do we have to wait for them to kill the President (or other members of the administration) before we 'attack'? (This assumes that every other standard protocol in a similar circumstance has been tried)

    I do not have an answer - I'm just interested if there are any circumstances that would be justified?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I think you would have to define "attack" to get any real answer.

      Is an "attack" taking pictures?
      lobbing in a tear gas canister?
      firing rubber bullets or beanbags?
      smashing the drone into your leg or body?
      shooting lead bullets?
      or is it only firing missiles?

      Now, given that its controlled remotely and not with AI, what is a "drone"?
      The little cars we play with?  Big, full size cars?
      only planes? 
      a stationary object that can perform operations - a computer or bomb? A factory robot?

    2. PhoenixV profile image63
      PhoenixVposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Any alleged president that considers using drones over American soil is a terrorist imo.

  2. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 9 years ago

    If Godzilla attacks New York.

    1. SimeyC profile image90
      SimeyCposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Zombie Apocalypse? They would technicaly be American Citizens!

  3. SimeyC profile image90
    SimeyCposted 9 years ago

    "Paul has since told CNN’s Dana Bash that he is satisfied with Attorney General Eric Holder’s response to him today that the president does not have the authority to use drones to kill an American citizen not engaged in combat on American soil. " I guess this answers my question!

  4. Stacie L profile image88
    Stacie Lposted 9 years ago

    I only instance I can think of using a drone on American soil is in the case of militia groups that are plotting to or have already bombed America citizens.
    Yes there may be foreign groups doing the same thing on American soil
    All this should be done outside of a highly populated area, and maybe use a little commons sense?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Won't work.  Terrorists aren't interested in bombing the farmers barn - they want and operate in populated areas - and whatever common sense is used (or not) there will be complaints it was wrong.

  5. Jeff Berndt profile image83
    Jeff Berndtposted 9 years ago

    I think a lot of people are thinking about this in entirely the wrong way: they're focusing on the tool rather than what might be done with the tool.

    If I went hiking and get lost, I'd be tickled pink if a drone spotted my signal fire.

    If there's a guy suspected of a crime, I'd be just as outraged if a sniper shot him as I would be if a manned aircraft dropped a bomb on him as I would be if a drone dropped a bomb on him.

    Drones aren't evil in and of themselves.

    Using drones (or any other tool) to kill a US citizen on US soil without due process is evil.

    1. profile image57
      Education Answerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I don't blame drones any more than I blame guns.  I blame the government who flies these things over us, the government who feels that it must keep a closer eye on us.

    2. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I'm having a little trouble with that concept as well.  If we don't want cameras in the sky, for instance, keep police helicopters grounded.  If we don't want snipers (or drones) killing without a trial, disband the SWAT teams. 

      Drones add nothing to the mix but a relatively cheap tool and some safety for those who would otherwise be out there being shot at.  If we don't care, if we're that afraid of a drone, then let them be shot at and pay their funeral expenses.

      1. profile image57
        Education Answerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        The difference is that the SWAT team isn't called to your home without just cause, most of the time.  Who is to say that is the case with drones?  Drones can watch anybody without any consequence.  There is absolutely no way to check or balance this power.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Who is to say the SWAT team doesn't just decide to "get" you, jump up and go do it?  Certainly easier that assembling the drone, fueling it, getting the electronics out and running, arming the drone and finally flying it.  Lots more people involved there, and all it takes is one to put the brakes on.  The guy with the fuel, say.

          Have you any evidence a drone was sent without cause?  Cause, not necessarily "just" in you opinion.

  6. profile image57
    Education Answerposted 9 years ago

    For me, the bigger question is why does the government need to fly drones in its own nation?  Look, I'm a conservative, but I had grave concerns about George Bush's Patriot Act.  Then President Obama renewed the Patriot Act and then started flying drones over his own people.  This is way too intrusive.  When are both democrats and republicans going to stand together and put an end to this kind of government activity?  This is probably one topic where both sides can largely come together.  Flying drones over America is too much.  The fact that we are even discussing possible attacks, on American citizens, from drones is amazing.  What does that say about our country?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Is a drone with a camera worse than a camera on a light pole or stoplight arm?

      Is a drone with a gun worse than a SWAT sniper?

      1. profile image57
        Education Answerposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I don't like the cameras on the poles either.  Is a drone worse than a SWAT sniper, yes.  A swat sniper has to have some responsibility and some accountability.  A drone can be remotely opperated.  There doesn't have to be any accountability.

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Cams on poles: I very much appreciated them recently when checking the road for a 150 mile trip found it closed in 4 places and the live cams alongside the road plainly showed traffic in only one direction.

          The key word is "operated".  Someone has the responsibility for pulling the "trigger" whether it's a sniper on the rooftop or a "video game player" in the bunker.

        2. Jeff Berndt profile image83
          Jeff Berndtposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          "A drone can be remotely opperated.  There doesn't have to be any accountability."

          An unarmed drone can't deliberately kill anyone unless the pilot kamikazes it into the person's car or something.

          An armed drone, well, we shouldn't have those operating inside our borders at all, quite frankly, but if there were an armed drone and the pilot killed someone with it, there's no way the pilot is going to be able to claim that it was necessary to shoot the suspect because the suspect was resisting in a way that made the pilot fear for his life.

          That's what happened to Amidou Dialo, the guy who pulled out a deadly wallet when confronted by a bunch of cops, who then unloaded 41 rounds on the guy, 19 of which struck him. The cops were acquitted of wrongdoing, even though Diallo was completely unarmed, because apparently his wallet looked enough like a handgun to make it reasonable for an officer to fire on him when he pulled it out.

          A guy flying a drone won't be able to say "Well, I thought he was going to shoot me, so I fired."

          Of course, a drone can be used secretly to blow someone up, but the secret will be out as soon as the explosion happens. A sniper would be a lot more unaccountable, because it'd be a lot more easy to secretly snipe someone to death than to secretly drone-bomb them to death.

          1. wilderness profile image97
            wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            "Unarmed"  Tear gas?  Rubber bullets?  Bean bag shotgun?  Flash-bang?

            Lots of ways to arm a drone that could be very beneficial, providing more safety for law enforcement, and yet are extremely unlikely to allow deadly force.

  7. profile image57
    Education Answerposted 9 years ago

    The government erodes our freedom under the guise of protecting us from terrorists.  I fear our government's actions as much as I fear terrorists.  At what point do we start calling our own nation a terrorist?  They listen to us on our phones, scan our emails, spy on us with satellites and drones, and now, we have to wonder if they are going to kill us without due process?  We're told that we won't be killed as long as we're in America; if we leave our country, our own country could potentially kill us if we are on their kill list?  Americans are on the kill list?  What is going on here?  This doesn't sound like America.

    This is the same president who said he wanted to take the terrorists from Guantanamo Bay and put them in our courts.  Yet, there is a kill list for American citizens?  Terrorists get a trial; Americans get a bullet or a bomb from a drone.  I see a problem.

    1. PhoenixV profile image63
      PhoenixVposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Sounds like the Gestapo to me.

  8. sabrebIade profile image75
    sabrebIadeposted 9 years ago

    Search and Rescue, border patrol (I MIGHT even be okay with them being armed in that case), wildfire spotting and control...I think those would all be good tasks for them.

    If you start bringing law enforcement into it...you have to worry about collateral damage.
    And what happens when a Drone malfunctions over downtown LA, crashes and takes out a hospital or a school?

    Or a 12 year old kid in his mom's basement hacks one and starts joy flying?

    1. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Agreed.  But what is it armed with?  I don't recall ever sending the cops in with an Abrams tank, bazookas or even an RPG - do we need missiles on a drone?  A gun with a handful of bullets, or a tear gas grenade maybe.

      Malfunctions - what are we talking about here?  Something the size of a Piper Cub or a little 2' remote control plane?  Don't think I'd like a full sized plane over the city.

      Security?  I don't worry about someone hacking in too much - something flying over enemy territory will have to have top notch security.  "War Games" was only a movie.

      1. sabrebIade profile image75
        sabrebIadeposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        American researchers took control of a flying drone by "hacking" into its GPS system - acting on a $1,000 (£640) dare from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

        1. wilderness profile image97
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          Now that's scary.  Although I do wonder why a drone is flying with unencrypted signals when the military uses encrypted...

  9. profile image57
    Education Answerposted 9 years ago

    Drones were developed for the military.  They are now being used on the American public.  Shouldn't that say a lot?

    1. SimeyC profile image90
      SimeyCposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      big_smile it says a lot about the American public!

    2. wilderness profile image97
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Did you see the episode of Storage Wars where Barry brought a drone to fly inside the locker and look around because you're not allowed to enter?

      There are drones flying every weekend about a mile from me in an empty field.  I even have one myself.

      The American public has used drones themselves for years; they just don't (usually) arm them.

  10. Topeka Husker profile image60
    Topeka Huskerposted 9 years ago

    I have problem with the use of drones within the territorial boundaries of the United States based on who is in control of the drones.  Based on my experience in the military most of the drones that have the ability to attack targets are flown by either the U.S. Air Force or intelligence agencies.  The Posse Comitatus Act forbids the armed forces from acting domestically in a law enforcement capacity.  The FBI and Homeland Security are responsible for counter terrorism.  If the drones were under the control of these agencies I have no problem as long as they use their existing rules of engagement.  Some Air Force kid flying a Global Hawk (or what ever they have now) should not be operating in the U.S.

    However, if you are outside the US and you are an American operating with a know terrorist cell, sorry Charlie.  We can't pull up the black and whites in front of a terrorist hideout in Yemen, so you are in the same boat as all the other guys plotting the destruction of America.


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