Sen. Graham: I Support Drone Strikes

Senator Lindsey Graham on judicial approval of drone use: “We're not fighting a crime, we're fighting a war.”

Senator Lindsey Graham said he supports the president's use of drone strikes in the Middle East.

Graham spoke to Easley Rotary Club members Tuesday afternoon, and was asked by Mayor Larry Bagwell to give his opinion on the use of drones during a Q and A session afterwards.

“It's a weapon that needs to be used,” Graham said. “It's a tactical weapon. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle that is now armed.”

The Pakistan/Afghanistan border is “very hard to get to,” he said.

“We don't have any troops in that area,” he said. “So that's where Al-Qaeda and terrorists groups like the Akani Network and Al-Shabaab are residing, very remote regions. These drones can stay in the air for up to 24 hours and we can monitor people's movement on the grounds.”

He said the idea of judicial oversight of drone strikes and targets is “crazy to me.”

“I can't imagine in World War II for Roosevelt to have gone to a bunch of judges and said, 'I need your permission before we can attack the enemy,'” Graham said.

He said the drone program “has been very effective.”

“We've killed 4,700,” Graham said. “Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we're at war, and we've taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda.”

He spoke of Anwar Al-awlaki.

“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.”

He said drones are needed along the US border.

“I don't want to arm them, but we need drones along the border so we can really control illegal immigration,” Graham said.

Kent Dykes February 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Good position on the drones. I agree.
Ted the Jackal February 21, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Does Senator Graham think Major Hassan and the Underwear Bomber should be given trials? Should the Senator himself be granted a trial if he commits a crime, or if somebody thinks he's going to? What do we need judges and juries for if Senator Graham already knows who needs to die, why bother with "evidence" and "charges" and "laws" when the Senator can tell by looking at someone through a video camera that they should be killed? Indeed, if Senator Graham can actually tell that much from a video image he could obviously discern far more from actually meeting the person, so why don't we just get rid of the legal system and give Senator Graham a gun and have him interview every "suspect" in the country and let him kill the ones that should die? We would save billions of dollars, nobody would have jury duty again, and we could get rid of all the lawyers.
Elston Gunn February 21, 2013 at 09:55 PM
“He's a guy that (sic) was born in the United States . . . " Jason, if the senator has a grammar problem then it's up to you to separate it from your own writing. Use that little "sic" thingy. In that way you don't both look like doofuses.
Azam Khan February 22, 2013 at 03:58 PM
If the US sanator and others want to be truly democratic, they must respect the opinion of the people where drone attacks are carried out, like they will not allow the use of drone on US soil against any person. True America is at war, but is there any end to the war. This war will never end until America and Americans become truly democratic.


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