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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:39 PM

If Our Drones Are So Accurate, Why Do Their Missiles Keep Hitting Children?

...setting aside the ethical bankruptcy of certain people for the moment, what to make of the claim that drones are exceptionally good weapons because of their accuracy in light of the fact that civilians are commonly being killed? I have to say that I think this might be the thing that causes the most problem for the US in the long run. If people believe they are as accurate as advertised and they are killing civilians, including at least 178 children, then the only thing that the people on the other end of the bombings (and their friends and relatives) can conclude is that we are targeting these civilians and children. You can't have it both ways.

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/12/can-drones-make-mistakes.html

46 replies, 1785 views

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply If Our Drones Are So Accurate, Why Do Their Missiles Keep Hitting Children? (Original post)
phantom power Dec 2012 OP
woo me with science Dec 2012 #1
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #4
jody Dec 2012 #2
dmallind Dec 2012 #3
ManiacJoe Dec 2012 #5
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #13
ManiacJoe Dec 2012 #14
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #18
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #32
ManiacJoe Dec 2012 #33
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #34
ShadesOfBlue Dec 2012 #43
dmallind Dec 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #20
dmallind Dec 2012 #35
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #44
lunatica Dec 2012 #25
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #38
lunatica Dec 2012 #36
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #37
lunatica Dec 2012 #39
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #40
oldhippie Dec 2012 #22
OldDem2012 Dec 2012 #30
Posteritatis Dec 2012 #41
msongs Dec 2012 #6
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #7
quaker bill Dec 2012 #8
Angleae Dec 2012 #9
quaker bill Dec 2012 #11
Kaleva Dec 2012 #10
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #12
Nye Bevan Dec 2012 #15
Comrade Grumpy Dec 2012 #19
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #27
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #21
cpwm17 Dec 2012 #31
randome Dec 2012 #16
sabrina 1 Dec 2012 #23
randome Dec 2012 #24
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #26
Agnosticsherbet Dec 2012 #28
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #29
quaker bill Dec 2012 #45
DirkGently Dec 2012 #42
quaker bill Dec 2012 #46

Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:54 PM

1. The US government admits purposely aiming bombs at children.

They have approved the practice. And we have already had ghoulish posts here attempting apologism for this depravity.

Purposely aiming bombs at children: "It kind of opens our aperture."
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021931748

The US Military Approves Bombing Children
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021930268

"Some Afghan kids arenít bystanders"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021931789



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Response to woo me with science (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:34 PM

4. "Some Afghan kids arenít bystanders"

I'm not surprised by her avatar with a disgusting viewpoint like that.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:15 PM

2. No one has seen Obama's kill list, even your name could be there. nt

 

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:15 PM

3. Why are those claims mutually exclusive?

http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=17251

There are no good choices to the following scenario, which is hardly fanciful and contains statements that are all drawn from real situations..

X is a known bomber of civilian targets, who is also known to be planning more attacks.

X uses Y as a base of operations

Y is also populated by women/children/innocent people, because X knows you will at the very least get negative publicity from attacking them, and possibly be less likely to do so.

To capture Y with ground forces would be to risk the ground forces AND the innocent people to booby traps and crossfire.

To hit Y with missiles risks the innocent people, but not the ground forces

To leave Y alone risks the original civilian targets and leaves them and many future targets vulnerable to X, who has thus achieved invulnerability by choosing Y, and will also spread this valuable tactic to his fellow extremists Z and A etc to use to make themselves invulnerable while they attack civilian targets too.

Who do you choose to risk, and why? There is NO answer which means you don't risk some innocent life. The answer "stop using drones" still does not say whether you risk the original targets or the human shields and the ground forces.

Choosing "don't piss off X enough so he wants to bomb civilians" might be a nice try, but lacking either a time machine or a cure for all psychoses is not available.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:35 PM

5. That about covers it.

The innocent civilians are collateral damage. Family members are often used as human shields, passively (sharing a car/house) or actively.

On a related tangent, women and children are not always "innocent civilians".

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #5)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:55 AM

13. No one in the world thinks that the US would not kill women and children

so what would be the point of using them as human shields. Do you really not know what this country has been doing for decades now?

Every Iraqi man, woman and child slaughtered in their OWN country by this country, was an innocent civilian. Over one million of them. Including the half a million killed before that illegal invasion by sanctions.

Every Afghan man woman and child, killed, raped, tortured in their own country by us was an innocent civilian. None of these people did anything to the US. Saudis killed Americans, NOT Iraqis or Afghans or Yemeni, or Pakistanis or Somalians. So why are we killing them?

I find this disgusting claim that 'these people' in 'foreign countries' are so inferior to us here in the US, that they do not love their children the way we do and are such savages that they would use them as human shields. There is not a shred of evidence for this claim. But there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. This is simply NOT true. This is racism.

Do you seriously believe that? Have you ever met an Iraqi father, an Afghan mother, a Jordanian father, an Iranian family?

There is something seriously wrong with this society. It really is sick. We go around the world killing people for profit. We are NOT killing people for security, we kill them for profit. Killing people puts us in MORE danger not less. If the goal to make the US more secure we would STOP killing people. Wars are for profit, nothing else.

At this point over the past two decades, the US has killed at least one and a half million children, women and men who did nothing at all to us.

Someone would have to be pretty stupid to think they could 'hide behind children' to save themselves from the US. They KNOW we blow children away on a regular basis.

Best place to hide would be in an Oil Field. We would never destroy an Oil Field, but children? They are nothing to the US.

I guess Americans really do still think this is a moral country that would not harm a child. How sad. We are the single biggest threat to the world today and every poll asking that question around the world, confirms that.



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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:53 PM

14. If you are going to use a nonstandard definition of innocent,

you should at least tell us what definition you are using.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:07 PM

18. Iraq ... explain what standard was used to kill all those Iraqis.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:14 PM

32. What kind of question is that?

When a country murders during unprovoked wars they're all innocent. You must have an American imperialist definition of what constitutes innocent.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:29 PM

33. Thank you for that nonstandard definition.

Using that definition, the previous post does make more sense.

Personally, I prefer the standard definition. Using that, some Iraqis are innocent while some are not. Unfortunately, those getting killed fall into both groups.

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Response to ManiacJoe (Reply #33)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 04:51 PM

34. Everyone that we murder in our unprovoked wars is innocent

Any Iraqi that murders other Iraqis in the civil war that we caused may not be innocent, and neither is the US for starting the war in the first place. This is about the Iraqis, and others, that the US murders.

Ultimately, everyone that dies as a result of wars that the US starts is the responsibility of the US.

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Response to cpwm17 (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:51 PM

43. hate to break it to you....

but this happens in every war. Including those that Americans have fought in from WW2 to the present. I just finished reading the amazing WW2 book "Inferno" and it reminded me that there were far more deaths of innocent civilians during that war than there were of soldiers involved in battle. Civilians, including innocent children, are collateral damage. During WW2 the USA was involved in non-stop bombing of Germany that Americans knew were killing very few military personnel but a whole lot of non-military civilians. But that didn't matter, the result was what counted. And while you and I both know that is morally wrong it is nonetheless FAR easier for us to sit down and judge those folks who made those decisions and took part of that process. And should I even bring up using the nuclear bomb in Japan? Twice! Should we go over all the innocents killed in places like Vietnam? You see what makes any are especially terrible is the loss of lives of those who are not even part of the fighting.


Am I for the drones? Not these days. I liked it at first only because it kept our own troops out of harm's way, or at least it lessened the amount of times in which American troops would be put in a dangerous position. And for those who dismiss that concern my question is : are you serving in the military? Do you have family that is doing so? Maybe that has something to do with it. If you are an American do you place the safety of American troops below the safety of children of the countries we are engaged in? Maybe your position is that you want all military engagements to cease so no one will get hurt. These positions are understandable. But whether people want to admit it or not these drone strikes, despite all the problems, have managed to kill off a good number of (accused) terrorists. Let's say if we stop the drone strikes tomorrow and one of the wanted terrorist come into sight but the CIA/military are not allowed to take him out by a drone. Now let's pop ahead a few months or a few years and that particular terrorist strikes the US (at home or abroad) in a devastating way that leads to hundreds of deaths. Are those of you against the drone strikes bold enough, if these set of events occur, to come out at that time and state publicly that it was the right for our leaders to have not taken out that terrorist because of the possible collateral risks? I hope you guys are. I hope I am bold as well because the louder and more numerous voices would be those who would blame any leader for not taking out that terrorist earlier when he/she had the chance.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:01 PM

17. Sticking your fingers in your ears and saying la-la-la does not stop the practice of human shields.

Why do you seem to believe that they can only use their own children as human shields by the way? There are schools, hospitals, orphanages and families unable to resist their involuntary use as such are there not? How is it racism? I don't think for one second that white Americans wouldn't or don't do the same, even with their own children. Waco and Ruby Ridge were not in Afghanistan. You cannot show me even the fraction of an inference that I suggested this tactic was used only by minorities.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:11 PM

20. Why do you think that non-Americans have so little regard for their children

that they would place them in that kind of danger? Where is your evidence of this?

Especially since we know it is a certainty that NATO will kill their children. That is not even in dispute. The bodies are all over that part of the world. Did you ever see Dahr Jamails war photos from Iraq? Can babies be a threat to us?

Would Americans or Europeans use their children as human shields or are we more 'civilized'?

And please post some evidence of this claim. I have never seen a shred of evidence from anyone who uses this to justify the killing of innocent civilians.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #20)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:07 PM

35. Are you missing my very simple words? What fucking reason do you have to imply that?

I expressly said I don't limit the likely use of human shields to non-Americans, and listed two American examples in black and white. I'm not some shrinking fucking patsy you can silence with absurd false chickenshit claims of racism so stop that dishonest tactic now.

How many cites of human shield use do you want? One was already in my first comment. You ignored that too, right? Why is it important to you to pretend that it's impossible when it's common knowledge?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/17/taliban-using-human-shields_n_465119.html That terrible RW source! That anti-Arab writer Rahim Faiez making shit up!


http://www.smh.com.au/national/battle-footage-shows-afghan-insurgent-using-child-as-human-shield-20110708-1h6f6.html
Damn American extremist Sydney Australia newspaper making fake movies showing human shield use of a child!

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Response to dmallind (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:54 PM

44. I watched the video twice, and I could not tell what was going on in the

compound. I read the text also.

This is what I see in that video. I see dozens of foreign troops, heavily armed, shooting at the citizens of that country. And I wonder what they are doing there and why anyone thinks that when a country is occupied by foreign troops, the citizens of that country won't fight back.

Even if the text is true, the man was wounded, he was apparently in his own country, his home was nearby. We don't know if he was terrified that these foreign troops were going to kill his family and that he ran to his home to try to appeal to them not to do so. It's not as if many children had not been killed as is evidenced by McCrystal having to try to minimize the civilian death toll.

Reverse that situation and pretend that it was this country. That an American is being chased and fired on by foreign troops in his own home town. He knows they have killed many of his neighbors and friends and their families. His children are in his home. He is terrified and now wounded. What would he do? What would any American do if their country had experienced years of a brutal occupation which included the kidnapping of their fellow citizens who were brought to foreign land and tortured and kept like animals for years without having done anything to deserve it?

The Huffpo article states that the Taliban was using civilians as human shields. That is very possible and it's also likely that they viewed those civilians as enemies, from a tribe that has been fighting them for a decade. As you must know, there are many factions in Afghanistan at war with each other. The article doesn't say the civilians were allies of the Taliban.

It also says that over 2000 civilians had been killed which was causing great anger in the country against Nato which is why McCrystal ordered that they be more careful about killing civilians. That is to his credit. But apparently that angered other military personnel because they did not want to be hampered by such restrictions.

We do not belong in other people's countries. We have no right to whine when they let us know they do not want us there killing their people. I don't know why this is such a hard concept. It used to not be, when Bush was responsible.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:32 PM

25. I totally fucking agree with you!

This is the American part that I hate with every fiber in my body. I am against war of any kind. Period.

There is always another way, and if it was the people declaring war who actually went to war we'd see the 'miraculous' end of war.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #25)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:38 PM

38. Thanks, and I absolutely agree with your last sentence. If I had my way,

people like Bush/Cheney who wanted war so badly that they lied to get us into it, would have to lead the troops on the battle field. So long as they can be comfortably in their mansions here at home collecting profits from their wars, we will keep on having wars. If their lives and their children's were on the line, we would see far fewer of them.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #13)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:17 PM

36. Do you have me on ignore?

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Response to lunatica (Reply #36)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:24 PM

37. No, I don't have anyone on ignore!

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:30 PM

39. thanks!

I don't either because I think it's cowardly, but I just recently found out that 11 people have me on ignore. I'm so happy you're not one of them because I really like you!

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Response to lunatica (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:39 PM

40. If I did, you would definitely not be one of them, as I like you too!

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Response to dmallind (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:25 PM

22. That is one of the best, coherent explanations of the situation ....

.... that I have ever seen. Thank you for that.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:46 PM

30. I think you've covered it...there are no totally safe options. nt.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

41. Yep. It's easy to soundbiteize The Rules but stuff like this is actually complicated. (nt)

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:09 PM

6. american presidents can kill anyone they want, thanks. your concern is noted :-) nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:11 PM

7. There's a thought experiment that asks

whether someone could cause an anonymous person to die for a million dollars. They wouldn't do the killing them self or ever know who died. A large minority of respondents answer yes.

It seems that just about all of our presidents answer yes, except they do it for personal gain and to act tough while in office.


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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:52 PM

8. One can only be so accurate with 500 or 1000 pound bombs.

It may well land to the inch of where you intended it to go, and still kill lots of people.

It is pretty much the identical to the same missle being fired from a manned F-16.

These machines are not used for enhanced precision. They are used to kill in pretty much the same way F-16s, tanks, and apache helicopters are used to kill.

We target who we target, and regardless of means, other people are pretty much always killed in the process. Often this includes civilians, women and children. "Shock and Awe" in Baghdad did not use drones, but I would bet killed quite a few civilians, women, and children. Dropping 160,000 pounds of high explosives on a city of 4 million people in one evening will tend to do that.

I prefer we stop killing people, regardless of the means used to do it.

I think we use drones for at least 2 reasons, only one is because they can't shoot back at our troops. I think sudden and silent death from the sky, when you least expect it, and with no chance to face and kill the enemy makes a particular statement, and one that some wish to make as many times as it takes for folks there to hear it.



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Response to quaker bill (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:58 PM

9. They're also usually cheaper to buy & use.

The MQ-9 Reaper being an exception to the buy part.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:14 AM

11. Yes, but in general

money has not been an impediment when we have felt the need to fry someone. I am sure that cheaper is a factor at some level, as long as we are sure the job will be done either way. If the mission required a more expensive tool, we would use that instead.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:06 PM

10. Becasue the missiles are armed with high explosive warheads?

Warheads that are powerful enough to blow up a building and send debris flying in all directions.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:21 AM

12. because we hate children.

 

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:55 PM

15. Because the terrorists use human shields (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:11 PM

19. You mean they have families? Is that you, Bibi?

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #19)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:37 PM

27. Yes. And possibly.

 

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:16 PM

21. Could you post some evidence of that? And since they know killing children

is no impediment to Western Imperial nations, what would be the reason for them to use such a useless method to try to stop bombs from falling on them?

We certainly use our children in these for-profit wars. Thousands of them have died over the past ten years. It's not as if anyone thought those wars were for security. We went to the wrong countries for that.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:46 PM

31. No, terrorists bomb humans

and blame the victims.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:58 PM

16. I would like to know why but agree with other posters who point out that bombs are worse.

The only thing we should be debating about warfare is why we're still engaged in it. People tend to throw around the word 'drone' like it's some evil device from the loose bowels of Hell.

ALL devices designed to kill are evil. We need to work on why we are still using them.

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Response to randome (Reply #16)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:27 PM

23. Have you read any of the reports by Robert Fisk and other war correspondents

who witnessed the aftermath of a drone attack on remote villages in Afghanistan?

People tend to throw around the word 'drone' like it's some evil device from the loose bowels of Hell.


Maybe because watching mothers run to the scene of a drone attack fighting over the body parts of children so that they will have something to bury, to some people does seem like Hell released an evil device. Graphic descriptions by war correspondents, not OUR war correspondents of course, we don't seem to have any, probably gave the idea that blowing up children in remote villages was evil.

Do you think if it happened here we would have this blase attitude about it? Are we different? More superior in our love for our children?

I do not understand your point. Drones ARE an evil device designed to kill people and we have zero information on this program at all. We are told we don't need to know who is on our 'kill list'. Makes Dems sound tough, according to the Third Way so I suppose that's something, IF you have no principles.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:31 PM

24. I agree they're 'evil' insofar as anyone can define that term.

My point is that bombs will likely kill MORE innocent civilians. If we are going to be at war -and I maintain that we should have gotten out of Afghanistan a long time ago- then the use of drones will likely mean fewer civilians are killed.

We need to focus on getting out of the conflict, not get bogged down in discussions about drones versus bombs.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:37 PM

26. Well the missiles are accurate. It's the people who are deciding to launch the missiles at...

...targets they shouldn't be which is the problem. This is not like a howitzer barrage from miles away. These are very accurate $60,000-a-pop guided missiles. They're simply being launched by individuals who are casually targeting almost anything, using specious intel/guidelines at best.

PB

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:38 PM

28. Physics... as expressed in the expansion of energetic gasses hit children.

Once initiated explosions don't discriminate.

Drones don't kill children.

The person guiding the drone from an air conditioned van in Nevada kills children and whatever else he or she shoots at.

Drones are remote controlled guns.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:40 PM

29. For those on this thread that like drones, here's good news for you.

 

Other countries are going to have them as well.

And "our" companies are probably going to sell them the plans, the parts, and/or the finished products.

Here's the good news. If you are a stockholder in such companies, you're probably going to get rich.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #29)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:28 AM

45. Don't care for drones

Don't like guns, tanks, fighter planes, dumb bombs, smart bombs, cluster bombs, mortars, rockets, bazookas, mini guns.... We sell all those too.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 08:43 PM

42. As long as there's no oversight & no consequences, this atrocity will get worse.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #42)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 07:30 AM

46. If there was oversight and consequences, "shock and awe" would have been prosecuted first.

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