Skip to comments.The Panopticon State - Where the government can see, it can send a drone. (Mark Steyn)
Posted on 03/08/2013 6:52:20 PM PST by neverdem
I shall leave it to others to argue the legal and constitutional questions surrounding drones, but they are not without practical application. For the last couple of years, Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, has had Predator drones patrolling the U.S. border. No, silly, not the southern border. The northern one. You gotta be able to prioritize, right? At Derby Line, Vt., the international frontier runs through the middle of the town library and its second-floor opera house. If memory serves, the stage and the best seats are in Canada, but the concession stand and the cheap seats are in America. Despite the zealots of Homeland Security’s best efforts at afflicting residents of this cross-border community with ever more obstacles to daily life, I don’t recall seeing any Predator drones hovering over Non-Fiction E–L. But, if there are, I’m sure they’re entirely capable of identifying which delinquent borrower is a Quebecer and which a Vermonter before dispatching a Hellfire missile to vaporize him in front of the Large Print Romance shelves.
I’m a long, long way from Rand Paul’s view of the world (I’m basically a 19th-century imperialist a hundred years past sell-by date), but I’m far from sanguine about America’s drone fever. For all its advantages to this administration — no awkward prisoners to be housed at Gitmo, no military casualties for the evening news — the unheard, unseen, unmanned drone raining down death from the skies confirms for those on the receiving end al-Qaeda’s critique of its enemies: As they see it, we have the best technology and the worst will; we choose aerial assassination and its attendant collateral damage because we are risk-averse, and so remote, antiseptic, long-distance, computer-programmed warfare is all that we can bear. Our technological strength betrays our psychological weakness...
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
I suppose Mark is right about this but somehow I would
prefer killing at a distance rather than watching the
light go out of someones eyes because I plunged a
bayonet into their heart, and besides blood stains
are hard to remove from herringbone twill.
My problem is that it becomes too easy to accept collateral damage.
Obviously there is a role for drones but I think we need more restraint. For instance, I could have accepted killing Bin Laden with a drone strike even if it killed his whole family because they were at least intimately connected to him. However I have more trouble with using a drone strike that targets the car we want...and kills everyone around it stuck in traffic.
However, I don’t recall these drone strikes being so widely used when Bush was still president. Obama seems to have really ramped up the drone strikes.
For, surely, this is what Steyn warns of.
“...I would prefer killing at a distance..”
Flash back 45 years. How would bombing alone have worked in Vietnam? Would it have eradicated all the VC and NVN? The only way to eradicate the VC/NVN was to use a four-fold approach:
- Feet on the ground
- Pressure from local government
- Elimination of Democrats
Unfortunately, we never succeeded with the fourth approach but the other three were succeeding.
Killing from a distance is only a “piece” of a strategy.
Yes, because this is how the Democrats fight war. Think about Clinton. When fighting terrorists, or just distracting the press from his own legal problems, he would launch some tomahawk missles at Saddamm Hussien. Or the time he did the Serbian war entirely from bombing strikes, then claiming to be the first president to win a war entirely from the air, with no casualties. This is democrat war doctrine, they certainly don't mind war, but they are reluctant to admit it, so they do these things to pretend they are not in a war.
It is Obama that had gone farther than Bush in claiming the right to attack with no legal justification. It is also Obama that claims the right to declare war without congressional approval, something Bush never did.
“...I would prefer killing at a distance rather than watching the light go out of someones eyes because I plunged a bayonet into their heart,...” Don’t go soft on me marine.
Or has it always been happening, and now it just seems to be advancing so rapidly ?
Either way, sad and frightening. I fear for my children, but I wonder, will they know any difference when they are older ?
What is the spirit of the bayonet?
Bunch of P***ies, I CAN’T HEAR YOU!
That’s quite a montage! What’s the origin of the lower left pic?
Rand Paul, are your here?
What if some of the protesters are armed?
I think these are legitimate questions. (though I never thought I would be asking them ).
Nobody ever comments.
Pretty sure that lower-left pic is the result of photoshop. I don’t recall that there were any M88 engineer vehicles at the Waco siege.
That’s a long-range camera shot of Waco, with the tanks going in on attack day to ram the walls and pump in the CS. The press was kept miles back, so it’s hazy, and the zoom foreshortens and compresses, but that was Waco on the day of the massacre.
Now your talkin’ my brother!
I do remember M88s at that outrageous attack on innocent Americans. I was assigned to two units that had them in 1971.
I just didn't remember that pic from Waco.
I entered M88 Waco at Google Images.
Travis' pic is at the top left. That flag should have been upside down.
The tank recovery vehicles were used to ram the walls, and pump in massive quantities of CS gas. They were the “secret weapon” modified for that very purpose. In sufficient quantities, the CS gas not only will extinguish life, but it will become explosive, as in a grain elevator explosion.
I remember the news reports at the time and a government official, I think was military, even described the use of the tank recovery vhicle to ram through walls and deliver CS gas.
Without question, this is proof the military will attack civilians and they won’t even question why.
Yes, I think the Army from Fort Hood provided the armor, and trained FBI agents to drive the tanks. The CS pumps they used to pump the gas inside the building full of children was the type of pump only to be used outside in open spaces against huge riots over large areas. To use it inside a building full of children was pure murder.
I’m looking for some response to my post at #15.
Am I crazy to ask this?
Tank brings down the back wall and roof of the Mount Carmel gymnasium.
First smoke rises from a second floor bedroom
Last remnants of Mount Carmel Center burn dow
Hellfire missiles from drones would be much easier to launch, and the result would be the same.
Your question was to the regime. What kind of answer are you looking for from us?
Because the Branch Davidians were heavily armed, the FBI’s arms included .50 caliber (12.7 mm) rifles and armored CEVs. The assault took place on April 19, 1993. CEVs used booms to puncture holes in the walls of buildings of the compound so they could pump in CS gas (”tear gas”) and try to flush out the Branch Davidians without harming them. The stated plan called for increasing amounts of gas to be pumped in over two days to increase pressure. Officially, no armed assault was to be made, and loudspeakers were used to tell the Branch Davidians that there would be no armed assault and to ask them not to fire on the vehicles. When several Branch Davidians allegedly opened fire, the FBI’s response was to increase the amount of gas being used.
FBI also delivered 40-millimetre (1.6 in) CS grenade fire from M79 grenade launchers; very early in the morning, the FBI fired two military M651 rounds at the Branch Davidian construction site. About mid-morning the FBI began to run low on 40mm Ferret CS rounds and asked Texas Ranger Captain David Byrnes for tear gas rounds; the tear gas rounds procured from Company “F” in Waco turned out to be unusable pyrotechnic rounds and were returned to the Company “F” office after the fire. 40mm munitions recovered by the Texas Rangers at Waco included dozens of plastic Ferret Model SGA-400 Liquid CS rounds, two metal M651E1 military pyrotechnic tear gas rounds, two metal NICO Pyrotechnik Sound & Flash grenades and parachute illumination flares. After more than six hours no Branch Davidians had left the building, sheltering instead in a cinder block room within the building or using gas masks. The FBI claimed that CEVs were used to punch large holes in the building to provide exits for those inside.
At around noon, three fires broke out almost simultaneously in different parts of the building. The government maintains the fires were deliberately started by Branch Davidians. Some of Branch Davidian survivors maintain the fires were accidentally or deliberately started by the assault. As the fire spread, Branch Davidians were prevented from escaping[how?]; others refused to leave and eventually became trapped. In all, only nine people left the building during the fire. The remaining Branch Davidians, including the children, were either buried alive by rubble, suffocated by the effects of the fire or shot. Many who suffocated from the fire were killed by smoke or carbon monoxide inhalation and other causes as fire engulfed the building. According to the FBI, Steve Schneider, Koresh’s top aide who “probably realized he was dealing with a fraud”, shot and killed Koresh and then committed suicide with the same gun. Footage of the blaze was broadcast live by television crews.
I’m thinking there might be a journalist
or ? amongst us who could put that question
to the regime.
I’m just a Joe Six pack out here wondering.
Yup. Holder and his ilk seem unconcerned by others at the coffee shop.
Per Wikipedia, the engineer vehicles used at the siege were M728s based on the M60 tank, not the bigger M88s. As I said, I don’t recall seeing the M88 there. I was in the Army myself at the time, though stationed in upstate NY. The M88 has always been one of my favorite tracks, after seeing them during Basic at Ft. Knox, so I would have remembered seeing them if they were there.
The FLIR video in "Waco - Rules of Engagement" makes a fairly good case that those trying to escape out the back of the building were machine-gunned.
The FLIR tapes are undeniable - federal personnel exited the tanks and fired at the back of the building.
There also was brass discovered from the FBI sniper posts at the back of the building. (Lon Horiuchi?)
A blue ‘ribbon commission’ (John Danforth) declared the machine gun fire to be sunlight reflection is the worst attempt at a white-wash in decades. The findings were so absurd that it actually proved the opposite of their conclusions.
Sunlight reflection from debris on the ground would have looked like one of those mirrored disco balls; the FLIR flashes looked more like a strobe light.
Or muzzle flashes.
The gymnastics that Danforth went through in his failed attempt to make people think machine-gun fire really were reflections of sunlight are amazing.
The original FLIR tapes clearly show machine-gun fire, and the personnel exiting the tanks in the area shortly before the machine-gun fire starts.
The Danforth report is a joke. It is so poorly done that a thoughtful reading actually proves the original action (firing on the Davidians) and a conspiracy to cover it up.
Mark Steyn ping.
Freepmail me, if you want on or off the Mark Steyn ping list.
Thanks for the ping neverdem.
Thanks for the ping -
I’ll respond that it looked like a rhetorical question. Answers are generally not expected to rhetorical questions.
No, you aren’t crazy.
True. But that is only because the Liberal's don't care about "victory".
However, the Liberal's "war on guns" has both a means and an end. When they get serious about something, they get really serious. They can also precisely define "victory" and "the enemy".
Janet and goons don't understand the difference between living in a free society and a totalitarian one is a fine line...
And when burned, as at Waco, CS powder in suspension in the air converts to phosgene gas.