Preview: Are Drones Destroying our Democracy?

January 30, 2013

In the fight against terrorism, the American military’s escalating drone program has become the face of our foreign policy in Pakistan, Yemen and parts of Africa. And while the use of un-manned drones indeed protects American soldiers, the growing number of casualties — which include civilians as well as suspected terrorists — has prompted a United Nations investigation into both the legality and the deadly toll of these strikes.

On the next Moyers & Company (check local listings), Bill explores the moral and legal implications of using drones to target our enemies, both foreign and American. His guests include Vicki Divoll, a former general counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and former deputy legal adviser to the C.I.A.’s Counterterrorism Center, and Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Also on the show, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi on the continuing lack of accountability for America’s big bankers.

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  • Anonymous

    I have such high hopes Bill Moyers and his guests in this interview will give momentum to a different collective U.S. citizen conversation on this topic.

    I have been watching the unfolding of a coordinated public infomercial here in the U.S. that could be titled “why drones?” Last week Jon Stewart have a fawning interview with MIT professor and former fighter pilot Missy Cummings on the Daily Show as she disputed the popular dystopian vision of drone warfare. Then the same pretty, but not too pretty, brilliant woman was featured in a PBS Nova Special last week as well.

    While the U.N. investigation is initiated, it appears we’ve essentially got the All-American woman being used by the corporate/political infrastructure of this country sell the electorate on the idea of drones as helpful, not harmful in ways we should worry ourselves about. And we the electorate are all to willing to absorb the message without question.

    As PBS noted at the airing of the Nova Special on the rise of drones – the program had received funding from the David H. Koch Foundation for Science. It also received “additional funding” from Lockheed Martin, which on its face looks like a violation of PBS’ underwriting guidelines.

    What has me doing a double take here is how easily the American public’s gullibility reveals its most vulnerable side. We are allowing the human cost of this technology to be pushed to the margins in favor of the discussion that focuses instead on “gee whiz look at the technology we’ve employed! Aren’t we are awesome!”

    At what point will we realize the bully that killed Trayvon Martin, the psychopath who killed all those children in Newton – is the very same role we Americans are allowing the U.S. to play in the lives of many many citizens in countries we are not even at war with. And drones are facilitating that perpetual war, that perpetual psychopathic action. It is us Americans that are feared with our drones that can strike at any time. We are the terrorists to be feared.

    Let’s change this. Let’s look deeper than the technology. Let’s have a collective conversation that isn’t dictated by a PR campaign funded by the Koch Brothers or Lockheed Martin…but by humans, global citizens, who value life, not just our children and our future, but their children, and their future….because after all, it is all OUR future.

  • Jonathan Toth from Hoth

    They are definitely creating more enemies for the US government every time an innocent person is killed (especially a child). It makes me think when drones begin killing Americans in the continental USA, people here might get angry.

  • Strawman411

    “… when drones begin killing Americans in the continental USA, people here might get angry.”

    Sad to say, the only angry ones will be supporters of the opposition party. Partisan loyalists will stand by their man, come what may.

  • Michael Pokrivnak

    I think we are beyond caring. We have lost our humanity to the almighty buck.

  • Jon

    Drone “warfare” is further proof of the corruption of Amrican morals. The drone warror needs no courage. He risks nothing. And he need take no account of the suffering of the innocent. Imagine what your reaction would have been had the English used drones to kill IRA “terrorists” in Ulster in the 70’s. Imagine what your reaction would have been had the Afrikaner South African government used drones against the ANC “terrorists.”

  • BobK

    In World War II thousands of innocent civilians were killed by bombing cities. We grieved for them but accepted it. It wasn’t a good idea to tell Hitler that we won’t drop a bomb unless we see him or one of his cronies there. War is not pretty. Innocents will die especially at the hands of the Islamic Terrorists who target them. We did’t start WW2or this one but we had D*** well better win again or learn to like sharia law.