On Thursday the US government admitted that a drone strike this past January accidentally killed two innocent hostages – American Dr. Warren Weinstein and Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto. President Obama expressed regret for the accidental deaths of the two innocent men: “As president and as commander in chief I take full responsibility for all our counterterrorism operations including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni. I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.” The government announced that they believe two other Americans who were suspected of joining al Qaeda had also been killed.
The news of the accidental deaths and the targeting of more suspected American terrorists is reigniting the debate over drone warfare and the constitutionality of killing American citizens without due process.
The problem with using drones to kill Americans suspected of being terrorists is that the 5th, 6th and 8th Amendments all seem to indicate that such treatment is Unconstitutional. I know that none of us like Anwar al-Awlaki, Ahmed Farouq and Adahm Gadahn… but they were all American citizens who have been targeted and killed by the US Government for their support (and leadership) of al Qaeda. The question is… should these men have seen a trial in a court of law instead of being assassinated by drones?
Former Congressman Ron Paul is one who believes that targeted drone strikes like these are immoral and that targeted strikes on American citizens is unconstitutional. He had a lot to say about Thursday’s news of these new deaths.
President Obama announced today that a drone strike in Pakistan last January had inadvertently killed an American and an Italian aid worker. Two other Americans were killed in attacks around the same time on the president’s orders. They were not convicted or tried for a crime. But they were assassinated.
So, Eagle Rising Nation – where do you stand? Are drone strikes immoral? Should US citizens suspected of being terrorists be given a trial, or are they simply casualties of the war on terror?