This article about the US drone program was published a few days ago, by someone who claims to be a target of the program and additionally claims to have witnessed various mis-targeted attacks that have killed other family members and bystanders.
The drone program has always sat rather uncomfortably with me. To US voters and lawmakers, it appears to be a case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind. This is simply not acceptable.
This should should called out for what it is: extra-judicial execution with an unacceptably high risk of collateral damage.
There are two scenarios to imagine that might help to understand how unacceptable this program is.
How about this for a possible scenario. In an attempt to control the war on drugs the US government, in co-operation with the Mexican government starts a drone execution program. You driving through a poor neighbourhood, approaching some traffic lights. The lights turn orange, and you think to yourself, do I run the lights or stop?
You stop at the lights and see the Cadillac Escalade (stereotypical, I know amirite?) that you had been following explode after being hit by a missile. Take that war on drugs! Shrapnel scatters everywhere with a few pedestrians falling down injured. Well, at least it was for a good cause. Think all all the potential drug deaths that have been saved.
Surely the US government wouldn't do anything that wasn't carefully planned and executed. The evidence seems to say otherwise.
Now, let's assume that this sort of attack is acceptable to you. These are clearly drugs dealers and potential terrorists, . And maybe a few by-standers and family members. No big deal.
Now consider some other countries out there. Think about Russia. Think about China. Think about Israel. This drone technology can't be that hard to create. Surely if the United States has it, other countries can have them too.
Use of the drone as a panacea is creating the situation where the unacceptable has become acceptable.