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Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:28 PM

Would Lincoln use drones?

Lincoln probably would have loved drones, but may have held off using them to kill for strategic reasons

First off, Lincoln was obsessed with military technology and innovation, so there’s little question that he would have been intrigued by drones, had they been invented in the 1860s. He often personally witnessed demonstrations of new inventions and pushed for their advancement and field testing through the War Department bureaucracy, in part by promoting officers who held a similar love of innovation. Under his tenure, the Union became one of the world’s first militaries to use repeating rifles (a vast improvement over the single-shot muzzle-loaders it replaced), rifled artillery, machine guns, rockets, armored “ironclad” warships, and torpedoes, and he made advanced strategic use of railroads and especially the telegraph.


He would have loved to have had drones’ surveillance power, as he championed the unprecedented use of balloons to spy on the enemy. When the aging head of the Army initially rejected the balloon idea, Lincoln personally marched inventor Thaddeus Lowe to the War Department and declared that he would be head of the new Aeronautics Corps for the Army. “I have pleasure in sending you this first dispatch ever telegraphed from an aerial station and in acknowledging indebtedness to your encouragement for the opportunity of demonstrating the availability of the science of aeronautics in the military service of the country,” Lowe telegraphed to the president from a balloon over the National Mall.
...
We asked Yale Law School professor John Witt, who wrote a popular book about Lincoln’s code of war. As it turns out, Lincoln spent a lot of time thinking about these kinds of questions. On the eve of Emancipation, the president commissioned New York lawyer Francis Lieber to write the first modern code of war. The resulting guidelines (often called the Lieber Code) are more complicated that today’s left or right like to remember them, Witt argues, banning torture and poison gas on one hand, but also clearly designed to help the North win, on the other.

The code prohibited assassination, but what exactly counts as “assassination” is a debate that remains open to this day and started in antiquity. For instance, the Lieber Code was based on the thinking of 18th century Swiss philosopher Emmerich de Vattel, who laid the foundations for international law with his seminal treatises on the Law of Nations. In Volume III, he has a lengthy parsing of what it means to assassinate an enemy. A true “assassination,” on the other hand, must involve treachery, Vattel wrote. Usually, this would be someone who deceives in order to gain access to his target, such as an “emissary, introducing himself as a supplicant, a refugee, a deserter.” That, Vattel wrote, “is infamous and execrable, both in him who executes and in him who commands it.”


http://www.salon.com/2013/02/11/would_lincoln_use_drones/

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:40 PM

1. Even if he didn't use 'em to take out people, I'm sure he would have used 'em to spy, to take out

equipment and stores, to block the path of advance by the enemy (take out that bridge, that road, that railway, e.g.). ... just knowing what's over the hill was a handy thing to know back then.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 09:49 PM

3. Lincoln was facing an existential threat to the nation.

We aren't.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:07 PM

5. Al Qaeda is existential? nt

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:11 PM

8. "We aren't" => no, al Qaeda is not an existential threat. It is an annoyance.

If we had reacted rationally to the sept 11 attack, it would have remained an international anti-terrorist law enforcement effort instead of an insane bankrupting never ending global war on whatever.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:26 PM

9. I agree--a bunch of well-placed drones, particularly at Tora Bora, and

we would have knocked out much of Al Qaeda's stronghold in Afghanistan/Pakistan, and been able to focus on growing Al Q cells in Africa and India before they spread. Now, we have real threats from AQAP, an AQIM.

Instead, we spent time and efforts in Iraq, where we had Saddam Hussein contained and nearly crippled already. It would have been cheaper to just pay his ass off to keep the lid on the tribal warfare we now see.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:04 PM

4. Native Americans might not have faired well with drones

under the Lincoln presidency:



Dakota War of 1862

~Snip~

Due to the demands of the American Civil War, the region's representatives had to repeatedly appeal for aid before Pres. Abraham Lincoln formed the Department of the Northwest on September 6, 1862, and appointed Gen. John Pope to command it with orders to quell the violence....

~Snip~

Execution

One of the 39 condemned prisoners was granted a reprieve.:252-259 The Army executed the 38 remaining prisoners by hanging on December 26, 1862, in Mankato, Minnesota. It remains the largest mass execution in American history.





The mass execution was performed publicly on a single scaffold platform. After regimental surgeons pronounced the prisoners dead, they were buried en masse in a trench in the sand of the riverbank. Before they were buried, an unknown person nicknamed “Dr. Sheardown” possibly removed some of the prisoners' skin. Small boxes purportedly containing the skin later were sold in Mankato.

At least two Sioux leaders, Little Six and Medicine Bottle, escaped to Canada. They were captured, drugged and returned to the United States. They were hanged at Fort Snelling in 1865.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dakota_War_of_1862#Execution

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Response to think (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:08 PM

6. If you are not with us, you are against us, and therefore legit drone targets

Seems to be the way it goes today.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:05 PM

11. And it didn't help much that the US Govt repeatedly violated treaties

it had legally entered into with the Native American people.

Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851)

....

The treaty produced a brief period of peace, but it was broken by the failure of the United States to prevent the mass emigration of settlers and miners during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush into the territories of the native nations as identified. The US government chose not to enforce the treaty to keep out the emigrants, although its economic wealth certainly allowed it to do so.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Fort_Laramie_%281851%29



Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)

~Snip~

Repeated violations of the otherwise exclusive rights to the land by gold prospectors led to the Black Hills War. Migrant workers seeking gold had crossed the reservation borders, in violation of the treaty. Indians had assaulted these gold prospectors, in violation of the treaty, and war ensued. The U.S. government seized the Black Hills land in 1877.

More than a century later, the Sioux nation won a victory in court. On June 30, 1980, in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians, the United States Supreme Court upheld an award of $15.5 million for the market value of the land in 1877, along with 103 years worth of interest at 5 percent, for an additional $105 million. The Lakota Sioux, however, refused to accept payment and instead demanded the return of their territory from the United States.

~Snip~

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Fort_Laramie_%281868%29



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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:10 PM

7. Yes

But all he had was slash and burn. And so many civilians died. Many, many people died in that war. But I don't think Lincoln would have failed to use any technology that would have cut down the number of deaths. In those days, death was far more accepted fatalistically, however.

Had Lincoln had the benefit of today's technology, he would have used it. He might also have lived through his second term, because the SS has more technology.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 10:29 PM

10. He suspended habeas corpus during his presidency...

and the Supreme Court slapped him down for it.

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:24 PM

12. Probably, he's responsible for 600,000 dead Americans and 1 million + amputations with saws...

 

n/t

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Response to arely staircase (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 12:05 AM

13. You mean war with actual defined territories, battlefields, objectives, capitals,

existential threat, armies, conceivable end and all that fun stuff.

All the who is who and what will cause it to be over pieces that aren't supposed to be blown off.

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