Thursday, September 27, 2012

The transparency canard (more on drones)

The authors of the Standford-NYU, along with their complaints about drones, have also called for greater transparency and democratic accountability around the program (HT - Andrew Sullivan). Just like "auditing the Fed" it sounds lovely and democratic and nice, but this is an active front of a war. You're not violating democratic principles to keep the details confidential any more than we are violating democratic principles by not trumpeting what banks are facing problems or disclosing CIA ops or publishing grandma's medical consumption (that's Medicare! that's a public program! democratic accountability!).

We ought to have a vigorous public debate about drones, but you don't disclose the war strategy while the war is on.

Democratic accountability means an informed public, but democratic accountability also means that our elected representatives have an obligation to professionally provide for the public defense, and that means not disclosing the details of active military operations.

1 comment:

  1. Quick question Daniel, who are "we" (terrible word to use since I am not fighting a war personally, but you get my point)at war with anyway? Last I checked, U.S. tax dollars are funding Al Qaeda in Syria. So clearly we wouldn't be funding our enemy if we were truly at war. The Obama administration gave support to the toppling of the Mubarak regime and the new president was the Muslim Brotherhood candidate. Obviously radical Islam is not what we are fighting. So again, the question remains, who are we at war with again?

    My democratically elected representatives don't seem capable of giving me a coherent answer. Perhaps I am not a good enough or informed citizen...or something.

    "We ought to have a vigorous public debate about drones, but you don't disclose the war strategy while the war is on."

    This sentence makes no sense. You can't do one without the other since the use of drones is a war strategy in itself that hasn't been officially confirmed by the White House. Debating the drone strikes is disclosing the war strategy.


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