Thursday, March 7, 2013

Drone-ing on

Thanks, Sen. Paul, for bringing the rarely used filibuster to the Senate floor last night. It was fun to watch. If you were looking to earn headlines, you succeeded. But if the filibuster was intended to carry out a serious policy discussion, you fell short. As The Wall Street Journal pointed out in its editorial today, if only your “reasoning matched the showmanship.”

Does anyone really believe that any American president would be so indiscriminate in using force that he or she would level an American shopping mall? We’re talking about enemy combatants, not Americans shopping at the Gap. As Sen. McCain said, Paul’s concern that the government could kill any American with a drone is “totally unfounded.”

The rhetoric over unmanned aircraft systems has really hit a fever pitch in some corners, and much of it is way off base. UAS is a growing area of aerospace technology, bringing with it jobs that states are clamoring for. It’s a technology that should be celebrated. UAS are the way of the future in waging war, as well as in other civilian and public safety uses, such as fighting forest fires, and we are better off for it. They are used in parts of the world none of us would want to send our sons or daughters into, while protecting American lives.

Sen. Paul was entertaining last night, but he was not right on the facts.

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