South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham recently spoke out and said that U.S. drone strikes have killed 4700 people. Brad Bannon, democratic political consultant with Bannon Communications Research in Washington, D.C., says the question is, of those 4700 people, how many were women and children and how many did the U.S. think were terrorists?
Believing this is a serious fifth amendment violation, Bannon says it is a gross violation to kill U.S. citizens without a judicial overview. He believes defense capability is important, but more important than that is the moral authority the U.S. has in the world. "If we undermine our moral authority in the world by killing innocent women and children, in turn, it weakens our national security," adds Bannon. He also thinks it's counterproductive militarily.
As drone attacks become more common, it is becoming a political hot issue in D.C. Bannon says that both republican and democratic senators have put a hold on the nomination of John Brennan as the new CIA Directory until the Obama administration releases more information about drone attacks. There is also a bill in front of senate mandating that if you are targeting American citizens overseas in drone attacks, that there be judicial oversight, meaning that a judge must rule before the strike gets carried out, Bannon notes.
"Every time we get involved militarily, we chip away at civil liberties and the question is if the advances in military technology are worth the trade off," says Bannon.
Brad Bannon is President of Bannon Communications Research, a Washington, D.C.-based political polling and consulting firm. More information can be found at www.bannoncr.com. This video commentary was hosted byThe Legal Broadcast Network, which provides on-demand legal content.