Majority of Americans Oppose Drone Strikes in the US. Also Death Panels and FEMA Camps.

Josh Marshall gets it exactly right on the latest poll that shows that 79 percent of Americans disagree with drone strikes on suspected terrorists within the United States.

In other words, we now know that an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose a preposterous idea that no one had ever considered doing. Set aside any constitutional or moral questions about counter-terrorism or the rights of US citizens, the whole point of using drones is to mount attacks in areas where you have no pervasive and secure control over the ground — something that the US has everywhere inside the United States. [...]

A real question is whether police and SWAT teams should use militarized tactics in raids within the US. That’s a real question. Whether we think drone attacks inside the US are alright or not is a silly one.

The whole thing confirms my belief that in most cases the ‘drone issue’ is a distraction from actual civil liberties or war powers questions.

At no point did the administration assert that they have the legal authority or the intention of using drones to target citizens within the United States outside of extreme cases such as another 9/11 or another Pearl Harbor, but because of the hyperbolic and irresponsible rhetoric of certain individuals on the Left, people were lead to believe that they had.

Which brings me to my next point

Local authorities use increasingly militarized tactics because the suspects they may be asked to apprehend or subdue are using increasingly militarized hardware. We can’t expect police departments to not prepare themselves accordingly while more than 300 million guns are in circulation in the country. Because they never know when their next call may involve a crazed gun fetishist who is armed with an arsenal or who seeks refuge in a homemade doomsday bunker

While Fox News is telling viewers that Americans need to arm themselves to thwart operatives from Iran and Syria (really), voices on the Left are feeding the same narrative by telling viewers that they need to watch out for Big Government Drones over their heads.

The scaremongering that leads to a proliferation of weapons and an arms-race between paranoid gun nuts and law enforcement agencies is bipartisan.

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  • MrDHalen

    I’m beginning to think we humans are going to lose our spot at the top of the food chain to the common house cat if we keep up this stupidity.

    • muselet

      Not as long as the cats can’t operate the can opener.

      –alopecia

      • http://twitter.com/tlavely Tony Lavely

        If mice don’t come in cans…
        The cats’ll be fine.

      • MrDHalen

        They’ll hire us to do it for them and we’ll love them for being “Job Creators”.

  • ranger11

    I know it’s a cliche but here’s an example that there is no difference between the Left and Right. I can’t believe the Left has joined the black helicopter and anti-fluoridation crowd. Turns me into a centrist.

    • Scopedog

      It’s a goddamned shame. I can honestly say that the (pardon my crude language) Left’s knob-polishing of Rand Paul because of his anti-drone filibuster was soul-crushing, to say the least.

      Then again, if you go far enough to the Left, you end up running into the Right.

  • muselet

    Local authorities use increasingly militarized tactics because the suspects they may be asked to apprehend or subdue are using increasingly militarized hardware.

    Chicken-and-egg argument, Ashby. Are police departments arming themselves with military hardware because of the paranoid and delusional gun strokers, or are the gun strokers paranoid and delusional because the police are arming themselves with military hardware? (The answer is, of course, ‘yes.’)

    As I said a year ago, my hometown has its very own APC which, as far as I know, has only turned a wheel when it’s time for the annual police department open house. Our crazies are of the common or garden variety, we’re not a hub for the drug trade, there’s absolutely nothing here a terrorist would want to destroy, and there are no survivalists hereabouts that anyone knows about, yet our police department owns a frakking armored personnel carrier.

    Ours is a modest-sized city without a big crime problem. I don’t understand the reasoning, and if I were paranoid and delusional I’d start to wonder what nefarious plans were being cooked up that would require that sort of equipment.

    I absolutely agree with your point about the scaremongering. Irresponsible voices on the Left and the Right need to be told to STFU.

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      Yes but police departments separated by state lines or even across the country collaborate and conference with each other. Some even train with each other. Your hometown may not have an obvious problem or threat to deal with, but others do and there’s no points for being unprepared. And how much of this (buying APCs) only began after the rise of the militia movement?

      I’m not making excuses for their practices or policies, I’m just saying it’s complicated. And ultimately we can’t leave lawmakers out of it.

      Do we blame the police for becoming militarized, or do we blame the senator who represents them for allowing the ban on assault weapons to expire? Or do we blame the voters for electing the senator? Maybe “chicken and egg” is too dismissive.

      It’s something I consider a lot but I would by no means claim to have the definitive take on it.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Yes but police departments separated by state lines or even across the country collaborate and conference with each other. Some even train with each other. Your hometown may not have an obvious problem or threat to deal with, but others do and there’s no points for being unprepared.

        IOW, there’s no need for that big gun here, but because someone somewhere else might have need of one, we better get one?

        • JMAshby

          You’re confusing what I think with how police departments rationalize things.

          • Christopher Foxx

            Sorry. Didn’t realize the sentiments in your first paragraph in that previous post of yours was to be attributed to someone else.

      • muselet

        I wasn’t trying to be dismissive.

        My city’s APC was probably acquired as part of the 1033 program Bob wrote about in December 2011 (leftover military gear is given to law enforcement agencies, effectively for free, under the program) to help fight The War On Drugs. That’s how most police departments get new stuff, after all.

        Are law enforcement agencies dealing with more and better-armed crazies? On the whole, probably so, and they should certainly have contingency plans for that.

        To my mind, the biggest problem with a heavily-armed police force is that officers want to play with their fun, ouchy toys and so will escalate their encounters with “civilians” (I do detest that deliberate misuse of the English language), which not only inflames the crazies but reduces the goodwill of the non-insane citizenry.

        I don’t know how to get out of the cops-versus-crazies positive feedback loop, but I do know we have to do so, and soon.

        –alopecia

      • mrbrink

        The average cop used to carry basic revolvers and standard shotguns, so you can see that the evolution toward heavier gear has been a sort of reluctant effort in just trying to keep up with the competition on the streets.

        I’m pretty sure my suburb with no major lakes doesn’t need a dive and rescue team, but other cities and suburbs do and they do coordinate and share their resources and manpower.

        There are car chases, hostage standoffs, home invasions, daring prison escapes and bank robberies, arsonists, even terrorists willing to take shit over and blow up federal buildings with women and children. Anyone remember the North Hollywood shootout? The Rodney King riots? I think it’s a mistake to forget that shit does in fact go down, and there are times when local police departments, even in L.A., Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, etc., are still totally unprepared and outgunned, despite the military hand-me-downs.

  • kfreed

    Amen.

    Lately, I can’t get this refrain out of my head:

    “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right / Here I am, stuck in the middle with you…”

    And Libertarians fueling both ends of the extreme.