Senator Lindsey Graham supports drone strikes, so much so that he recently proclaimed “We’ve killed 4700″ (people) at an Easley Rotary Club meeting, according to Easley Patch, a local news website.
The senator’s 4,700 is actually higher than some other estimates by far less supportive groups.
Micah Zenko, a researcher on the forefront of curbing drone use, wrote a report titled Reforming Drone Strikes, for the Council of Foreign Relations in January — the report totaled, at 3,430, more than 1,000 fewer killed than Graham’s estimate.
Senator Graham also touched on the killing of Anwar Awlaki. Activists and journalists have staunchly voiced opposition to Awlaki’s death, calling it an “extrajudicial killing.”
Well, Graham had something to say about perceived extrajudicial killing.
From the Easley Patch:
“He’s a guy that was born in the United States, he radicalized Major Hasan, the guy at Fort Hood,” Graham said. “He helped plan the underwear bomber attack that failed. He’s been actively involved in recruiting and prosecuting the war for Al-Qaeda He was found in Yemen and we blew him up with a drone. Good.
“I didn’t want him to have a trial,” he continued. “We’re not fighting a crime, we’re fighting a war. I support the president’s ability to make a determination as to who an enemy combatant is. It’s never been done by judges before. I support the drone program.”
Drone strikes have been, and will likely continue to be a controversial topic. Recently, the Pentagon announced plans to design an award apparently specifically for drone pilots and people operating in cyber space.
The award, like drone strikes, has received a not insubstantial resistance.