WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Obama Administration's use of drones opening Pandora's box?

Let's face it. The average American gives little thought to this country's escalating use of drones. Or, sees drones as a logical alternative to the use of manned aircraft. Fewer American service members in harm's way.

But could we rue the day that this country vastly expanded its use of drones -- with virtually no public debate in Congress, in the media, anywhere?

Have we opened a Pandora's box?

A committee of former intelligence and military brass raises questions.

On the other hand, the panel doesn't condemn the use of drones per se, and challenges some assumptions about the use of drones: More civilian deaths than from other types of warfare, or that the distant operators of drones end up psychologically detached -- like the players of a video game -- not having to wrestle with the inevitable consequences of making war.

But if the Bush and Obama Administration's escalating use of drones gives other countries an excuse to use them against neighboring countries (or their own people); if it can be shown that even targeted drone attacks create new enemies for America; if we enter a world of drones everywhere, history may not look kindly on those who championed their use.

And let's remember Vice President Joe Biden - who's been receiving praise from some quarters for his prescience on perhaps the need to establish a loose Iraqi confederation - given the profound ethnic-religious divide in Iraq - has championed the use of drones.



Posted at 7:42am on June 26, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Thu, Jun 26, 2014 8:44am
Using drones makes war a video game literally, except that real-life people die, not cartoons. This technology, while cool and interesting and very "Star Trekish, may be an evil, and literally bring Big Brother to our front doors or bedroom windows. These drones can also have cameras and listening devices instead of bombs or bullets. They could have both.

I read an article the other day where there have been over 400 drone crashes around the world including in the U.S.


Sadly the genie has been let out of the box. If we've drones, it won't be long before others have it. Big Brother, New age of Terrorism, etc, may be on our doorstep. George Orwell would be totally amazed.

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 9:51am
Looks like Muqtada al-Sadr is back....

"Iraq's firebrand Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr vowed his supporters will "shake the ground" in the fight against Sunni militants (ISIL) wreaking havoc across his country."


Thu, Jun 26, 2014 2:32pm
The American people don't care about drones now since they are killing those people, over there. But when drones become prevalent in our skies, then people will be up in arms. Just look at the reaction to when the streetlight cameras were shortened. Uproar! Big brother! Money grab! Imagine when drones are patrolling Route 1 or I-95 and issuing tickets when you are doing 77 mph. Or when drones are flying over your backyard as a report of suspicious activity in the area or a bank robbery has taken place a mile away, and you are being buzzed and photographed in your yard by them. Anything the government does, once they have started, they never stop or curtail, only heighten.

Thu, Jun 26, 2014 4:32pm
As I told you before, we don't have to worry about drones. Jack Bauer killed Margot Al-Harazi this past Monday night.

Here's proof:


Fri, Jun 27, 2014 2:57pm
I'm reminded the first drone I ever saw, was on Star Wars II.. It discovered and reported its sighting of Luke on the ice planet Hof....

We are there, folks.

I was just about to send this when this just occurred to me... It just occurred to me that the more we try to crack down on criminals by amping up technology, the more we have to amp up the criminal to function in threat of that new advance... Nothing changes but the violence and effort required by both parties....

We used to worry about pickpockets... (Do they even exist now?) Today, millions of dollars are siphoned out of Target's customers' accounts... What have we gained?... I would like to see a comparison of the number of crimes per population in 1949 compared to today, and then see the total crime cost per GDP then, compared to now.

Point is by increasing drones here for surveillance, we amp up the crimes to meet that threat.... Not having drone and using tactics of 1949, would mean the same criminal element would exist, and the crimes might occur more often, but result in less overall cost than they do now....

Mike from Delaware
Sun, Jun 29, 2014 5:43pm
Kavips: One thing that also has changed since 1949 is the enforcing of the laws. People tended to not speed, because the cops would pull them over and give them a ticket. People didn't spit on the sidewalk, or litter as they do today. There used to be signs along Delaware's highways that said $500.00 fine for littering. I've not seen such a sign in many years [not that it would be enforced].

What also happened is an attitude change. People in the 1940's and 50's tended to be rule followers, so following the law, being a good citizen, respecting other people, etc, etc, was the society norm [sort of a secularized version of the 10 Commandments minus the religious parts]. Of course the fact that faith and religion also played a far bigger part of our American life than it does today also is part of why all of this is happening today.

Then the 60's happened with the JFK, RFK, MLK assassinations, Vietnam along with the Civil Rights Movement where people were protesting the war and marching for civil rights. It didn't take long to discover that if ENOUGH people are disobeying the law, it becomes irrelevant. Passive resistance. Do what you want, apologize later if caught. Folks like that were the minority in the world of the 1940's and 50's [the Eddy Haskills of the neighborhood].

Today most folks do not do the speed limit, etc. I remember hearing a news story about 10 years ago on a Philly radio station of someone getting a ticket for not keeping up with the speed of traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway. They were doing the posted speed limit, obeying the law and THEY got the ticket, because enough other folks were NOT obeying the speed limit making that law irrelevant. I'm serious.

We no longer enforce the little laws, so as we "get away" with not following the little laws some feel empowered to break more laws, so now folks run red lights unless there's a camera there. Folks drive down the shoulder of the road through intersections to get around the traffic, etc, etc. As more of this happens then even bigger laws start getting violated.

We see this all the time with politicians, wealthy people, and famous folks who violate laws that would get you and I a room in the Barbed Wire Hotel for an extended stay, but they get away with it.

Anyhow, all of this contributes to what we're seeing today.

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