Sorry Guys, Americans Love Obama’s Killer Drones
Right now, as you’re reading this, American remote-controlled planes are flying over mountains and deserts in the Middle East, occasionally firing missiles at people who—in the estimation of an “informed, high-level” official—are engaged in some kind of activities that might, conceivably, harm the United States. Sometimes, these missiles incinerate (as in, consume with fire until their bones and flesh are turned to ash) precisely the wrong people. Very occasionally, the missiles kill American citizens. The Obama administration is doing this without declaring war on any nation in particular, without getting the permission of Congress, and without explaining to the public in detail why it’s OK to order the death of pretty much anyone it wants to kill. Just how broad the administration believes its powers to be was revealed in a Justice Department memo obtained byMichael Isikoff of NBC. “Basically, it argues that the government has the right to carry out the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen,” Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU told Isikoff.
If you are upset about all this, you’re not alone—there are plenty of people on both the right and left who aren’t happy that the executive branch can now kill whomever it wants. Call them antiwar isolationists or civil libertarians or simply people who don’t like to see other people die for little apparent reason and with no explanation. Whatever their name, they came out in force to attack Touré, the liberal writer and talking head who went on MSNBC, the “lean forward” progressive network, to say, in essence, It’s OK for the president to order the deaths of anyone, even American citizens, even 16-year-olds, since they probably hated the USA or whatever. Those who disagree with Obama’s drone policy are hardly shy about saying so.
The thing is, they’re in the minority, and few people in power have paid much attention to them. Sure, most voters, according to a Fairleigh-Dickinson poll, don’t think that it’s legal to assassinate American citizens abroad (even if you’ve never heard of drones, that’s got to sound like a pretty awful prospect), but take away the “American citizen” part of that question and voters are like, “Oh, sure, kill whoever.” In fact, according to aWashington Post-ABC poll, Americans are perfectly happy with the way Obama is running the war on terror. They like the fact that he’s kept Guantanamo Bay open, even though he said he’d close it—53 percent ofDemocrats feel terrific about him breaking that particular campaign promise. A whopping 83 percent of Americans and 77 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats approve of Obama’s use of drones to kill people. And remember, the administration has refused to discuss its drone policies in detail so these people are supporting a policy they have no way of understanding beyond, Terrorists bad. We kill bad people.