Moral Low Ground


House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King Dismisses Drone Strike Civilian Casualties

The ranking member of the House Homeland Security Chairman said he was “not concerned” that there has been little debate about the use of unmanned aerial drones which have killed hundreds of innocent civilians in countries where the US is waging its decade-long War on Terror.

Speaking to CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) refused to even acknowledge the US drone program but said that drones were used to “carry out the policies of righteousness and goodness.”

Crowley referenced a study by the New America Foundation, a bipartisan think-tank, that concluded US drone strikes in Pakistan have had a 17 percent civilian casualty rate over the past eight years.

“I can’t officially acknowledge that we have a drone program,” Rep. King replied, citing his position on the House Intelligence Committee. Before addressing the topic of civilian deaths caused by drones, King said, “I’m not concerned.”

“My belief is that when you’re in war — and we are in war — the idea is to kill as many of the enemy as you can with minimal risk of life to your own people,” he continued.

“As far as the civilian casualties, every one of those is tragic. But the fact is in every war, there’s a large amount of collateral damage, of civilian casualties — whether it’s World War II, whether it’s the Korean War — and if we were using ordinary explosives, we would also have those type of civilian deaths.”

“There’s evil people in the world,” Rep. King said, referring to al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other Islamic militants targeted by US drone strikes. “Drones aren’t evil, people are evil. We are a force of good and we are using those drones to carry out the policy of righteousness and goodness.”

“We have an enemy that wants to kill us. I live in New York. I lost over 150 constituents on 9/11, and if we can save the next 150 by killing al Qaeda terrorists with drones then kill them,” King said.

Rep. King apparently has not considered how slaughtering innocent civilians could breed sympathy for al-Qaeda and the Taliban or more terrorists determined to strike at the US

According to the London-based Bureau for Investigative Journalism, at least 551 civilians have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. That figure could be much higher, as it has recently been revealed that the Obama administration has embraced a deceptive method of tallying civilian deaths that counts all military-aged males in a strike zone as ‘militants’ in order to artificially lower civilian casualty counts.

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