I have written on why I think drones are unethical, here. I spelled out a scenario:
Let us imagine I have a repair guy come over to fix my furnace. It turns out he is moonlighting as a terrorist. Homeland Security has recently identified him as a terrorist. They have just figured out the vehicle he drives and the license number. Because drones are perfectly fine to use in the war on terror. Homeland Security has one over St. Louis looking for him.
The drone spots the van outside our house and sees the man entering our home. So the drone pilot pulls the trigger and fires a hellfire missile at the house…
But let’s change up the scenario. Let’s say that Seal Team 6 raided my house instead. In that case, they would be trespassing, since they would be entering with weapons before they had time to explain the situation to any of us. And there would be dangers of an accidental shooting. But, if people were doing the assassination then it is quite possible the warriors would shoot the terrorist and leave the rest of us alive and even uninjured.
Supposedly, Seal Team 6 went to Pakistan and killed Osama Bin Laden. We have absolutely no evidence that they did so, but several contradictory stories say they did, so let’s go with it:
If drones are so great, why did they use Seal Team 6? Why not just fly a drone overhead and fire a predator missile? No version of the story has claimed that Osama was holding a hostage whom the Seals wanted to rescue. So what was their reason for not using a drone?
I think we all know why the stories all need Seal Team 6. In order to win a real and certain victory, we need people who serve both as soldiers and witnesses to do things right. Leaving a house in a rubble heap will not provide a confirmed kill. There will be doubts. But a person with a gun can provide a much more certain outcome.
And that shows you what the drones are: throwaway death that we toss at relatively unimportant targets.
“Are we sure that’s him?”
“Who cares–it’s not like we’re risking anyone.”
Drones aren’t for important targets that must be killed. They’re busy-work that has more advantage in providing money for drone manufacturers and terrorizing all the people in a region where the drones are heard flying overhead. When someone really important is targeted, we don’t use them. We send real people.
(Cross-posted at Kuyperian Commentary)