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Letters: The other side of the drone debate

March 10, 2013

Re "Drone debate opens a GOP divide," March 8

Here's a simple way to look at U.S. drone policy and its immorality, illegality and hypocrisy:

Luis Posada Carriles — a Cuban-born Venezuelan who has been convicted of terrorist acts in Panama and other plots in the Americas, including a string of bombings in Cuba and the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner — lives in Miami. Cuba and Venezuela have asked for his extradition, but the United States has refused, saying he might be tortured in those countries.

Lest there be any doubt about his terrorist activity, the Justice Department labeled him "an admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks."

Imagine our response if Cuba or Venezuela used drones to launch missiles into Miami to take out Posada, causing "collateral damage" in the process.

The U.S. can assassinate and spy with drones around the world because it can; it has the military might and technology, but not the legal and moral right.

Donald R. Hodel

Alhambra

As a liberal, I was baffled by Sen. Rand Paul's (R-Ky.) filibuster to protect the rights of "citizens" who join the terrorist crusade against America. Demanding that President Obama promise never to order a drone strike on U.S. soil may be a feel-good gesture that calms Paul's paranoid fears, but it's just not realistic. With an enemy whose battlefield is the world, it's entirely possible a scenario could arise that makes the unthinkable necessary.

Why demand only that Obama renounce drone strikes on U.S. soil? Why not demand that he also promise never to scramble military jets to shoot down a passenger plane? If fighter jets had shot down the passenger planes headed for the World Trade Center, President Bush would have ordered the deaths of hundreds of innocent civilians but saved thousands more lives.

Demanding that any president vow to limit his options in such scenarios is irresponsible.

Tim Paine

Burbank

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