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Is it time for Congress to clip drones' wings?

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Philippines US Drone.jpg If you looked closely Monday at the Inauguration events, you might have seen a sign saying "Drone Strikes = War Crimes."

But other than that, drone warfare wasn't getting much attention, unless you happened to be in Yemen, where a drone airstrike killed three suspected al-Qaida militants and wounded two others, according to security officials.

Robert Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy, was at DePaul University last week to talk about U.S. policy on drones.

"The record suggests that only a tiny fraction of people [killed by drone strikes] have been top-level terrorist leaders," Naiman says. "What I am telling people is that we need to engage Congress on this."

Asking Congress to stop all drone attacks "is a nonstarter," but Congress needs to push for some restrictions, he says. Independent reporting suggests that only 2 percent of those killed by drones since 2004 have been top-level terrorist leaders - one third the number of children who have died in the attacks, he says.

While talking at DePaul, Naiman says, he asked those in the audience how many believed drone warfare entails significant moral and ethical problems. Everybody raised their hands.

But when he asked how many people thought citizens can affect drone policy, only about a third raised their hands.

"This is a big obstacle, this belief that there is nothing we can do about the policy," he says.

Read Robert Naiman's Jan. 22 essay here.

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3 Comments

The government says drones are used only on terrorist leaders after they have been identified by intelligence sources. Well, we now know how good the "intelligence" was that got us into the Iraq war. Considering that drone attacks are causing "collateral damage" it does seem that tighter restraints should be in place.

So... Should we invade Yemen to capture these terrorists and give them an oppurtunity to (A) Garner more sympathy and support for their cause and (B) leave Yemen as soon as they see boots on the ground?

terrorism can you tell us what s terrorism international identification ? can you tell me why in 11 September your CNN Chanel said US under attack not terror attack? because this event don t belong to the international identification of terrorism. and now we need to have a new international identification for this word because this word now just a tool when USA want to kill ppl

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