One of the lesser talked-about legacies of the George W. Bush administration is a group of prisoners who are, almost literally, in limbo.
Because of the ways in which they were interrogated (torture) and imprisoned (inhumanely), they cannot be prosecuted. Yet, as it happens, they contain genuine threats to national security, so neither can they be released. So what should a president do?
And the idea of drone warfare can be scary, because it brings to mind thoughts of cold, emotionless killings. The thing is, though...how much do "we the people" really know about it?
Based on this compelling; well-written-if not wholly encouraging-book, probably less than we should. For instance, the argument is made by a player within that drone operators are actually *more* forced to confront the human costs of their actions.
In previous wars, soldiers dropped bombs on people they'd never even seen. The process of a drone strike requires the operator to carefully study a potential target's day-to-day life, which often includes their family. They must watch the strike unfolding in real-time video and stick around to watch the mourning and the aftermath.
I'd say reading this book is the very *least* necessary before forming an at least partially informed opinion on drones. After doing so, mine is: While I may not love it...it may also be the least of an unending list of evil choices.
And one line from the book that does give me at least some hope is this, about two of the men responsible for signing off on targets: "...they were serious, intelligent men who genuinely struggled with excruciatingly difficult questions of security, morality, and law."
I don't know if that's good--this is the kind of thing where likely there is no good--but it is at least, less bad.