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PostSubject: Liberals love drones too   Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:00 pm

Civil libertarians are hoping to use John Brennan’s testimony today before the Senate Intelligence Committee to call attention to the administration’s controversial drone program, which too often seems to go unscrutinized. Brennan, President Obama’s nominee to lead the CIA, and Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, is perhaps the government’s leading advocate of the expanded use of lethal drones, and an architect of Bush-era terrorist detention policies, making the stakes especially high. Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, one of the Senate’s most ardent defenders of civil liberties, suggested he may even filibuster Brennan’s nomination.

Civil libertarians often gripe about the fact that no one, especially mainline Democrats, seems to care much today about their issues, even though civil liberty concerns helped galvanize the opposition to George W. Bush in his second term and propel Democrats to victory in 2006 and 2008.

The problem for the mostly liberal elites (opinion columnists, lawyers and lawmakers) trying to build a campaign against the excessive use of drones is that the Democratic base simply isn’t with them. And unfortunately, the gulf is even wider than most people probably realize.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza pointed out Wednesday that all the polling data on drones (of which there is surprisingly little) shows that Americans really love their flying autonomous death robots. A whopping 83 percent of Americans approve of the Obama administration’s use of the aircraft to kill terrorists, according to the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll on the subject, from February 2012. The same poll found that 65 percent of Americans favor the use of drones against American citizens suspected of terrorism overseas.

But it gets worse. Among self-described liberal Democrats, fully 77 percent endorse the use of drones against terrorist targets. On the question of killing Americans in drone strikes, Democrats approved of the use 58-33 percent, as did liberals, 55-35 percent, as the Post’s Greg Sargent pointed out last year.

more here: http://www.salon.com/2013/02/07/liberals_love_drones_too/

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