, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

March 6, 2013

Letter: Oversight accountability in drone strikes

To the editor:

During President Harry Truman’s tenure, we dropped two atomic bombs on Japan.

“Oh, it saved thousands of lives,” was the rejoinder when this horrific act took place. It seemed not to matter that Japan was on the point of surrender if the citizens could keep their emperor, since we were really demonstrating our superior military prowess to the then-Soviet Union. On and on it went through the Cold War and out the other side, leaving military bases in 800 locations throughout the world, proof positive of our superiority.

Fast forward to the use of drones. A third of the aircraft the military has invested in are drones, up from only 5 percent in 2005. They have the distinguishing characteristic of being capable of long-distance remote control killing and a resulting preemptive elimination of suspected enemies — never mind that countless civilians, including women and children, are killed.

Drone strikes have killed thousands of Pakistanis and children are fearful of going to school and have dropped out and adults avoid going to public gatherings like weddings and funerals.

The president has the self-declared power to authorize lethal force against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil and without trial. He even has a “kill list.”

These drone strikes and targeted killings are immoral and illegal under international law and a violation of the sovereignty of nations with whom we’re not at war. And they create blowback, serving to recruit extremists who are prepared to battle us. Drones are also used for surveillance and come in different sizes from small ones that are capable of being in peoples’ houses collecting supposedly incriminating data to large “predator” drones.

We should be alarmed and insist on clear restrictions, transparent practices, independent oversight and accountability — the elements of the “rule of law.”


Chapel Street, Gloucester

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters/My View

NDN Video
Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Serious Flash Flooding in Arizona Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot Christina Aguilera Has a Baby Girl Marvel Fans: Watch Dancing Baby Groot Over and Over! Raw: Protesters, Police Clash in Ferguson Gov. Rick Perry responds to indictment Breaking: Officials release name of police officer in Ferguson shooting Man Shot As Protesters Defy Curfew in Ferguson Justin Bieber & Selena Gomez Back Together for Two ‘Secret’ Dates