Sen. Angus King: Drones "A Lot More Civilized Than What We Used To Do," A "More Humane Weapon"


Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) defended the use of drones on "Morning Joe" today. King, who caucuses with Democrats, says drones are "a lot more civilized" than what armies have done in the past. King also calls drones "humane" because it can be used to target "specific enemies and specific people."

SEN. ANGUS KING (I-MAINE): To be honest, I believe that drones are a lot more civilized than what we used to do, you know, when Sherman shelled Atlanta or when the Allies firebombed Dresden in World War II, it was all collateral damage. It was virtually all civilians. And that was the way of war until very recently.

The drones, although there is some collateral damage, basically is a very smart artillery shell. And we've been shooting artillery shells over miles and miles for many years, and hoping they hit the right target. So, I think there’s just something creepy about drones that they can be controlled and people are uneasy about it.

But if you put it in a context of 1,000 years of war, I think it’s actually a more humane weapon because it can be targeted to specific enemies and specific people. Now, I do think there’s a problem, and you saw that little clip at the beginning that I raised with Mr. Brennan yesterday, about targeting Americans. There is this little item of the Fifth Amendment that says no person shall be denied life, liberty or property without due process of law.

Now, if an American joined the Wehrmacht in World War II, I don’t think anybody would say Patton had to get a warrant in order to shoot them. But on the other hand, the difference in this case is time. By and large, as I understand it, these strikes don’t happen in a matter of minutes. They happen over — they’re planned over a matter of days and weeks. (Morning Joe, February 8, 2013)

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