Lindsey Graham tells Easley Rotary Club, ‘We’ve killed 4,700′, speaking of drone program
South Carolina Senator and huge supporter of the use of drones, Lindsey Graham told Easley, SC Rotarians that the US drone program has killed 4,700 people, calling it “very effective”, according to an Easley Patch report Wednesday.
Graham, who recently said the commander-in-chief has the right under our laws and authorization to use military force, such as a drone strike, to designate the enemy (American citizen) without judicial review, told member in a Q&A session that “It’s a weapon that needs to be used. It’s a tactical weapon. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle that is now armed.”
He also reiterated his disdain for judicial review saying it’s “crazy to me”.
“We’re not fighting a crime, we’re fighting a war. I support the president’s ability to make a determination as to who an enemy combatant is. It’s never been done by judges before. I support the drone program.”
Graham then added: “We’ve killed 4,700. Sometimes you hit innocent people, and I hate that, but we’re at war, and we’ve taken out some very senior members of Al-Qaeda.”
However, the numbers that Graham stated is higher than most estimates, the Council on Foreign Relations noted.
As author Micah Zenko notes, Graham’s figure is about 1,200 cases higher than an average of several investigating organizations, saying Graham’s number matches those of The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
Zenko says, either Graham is a big fan of TBIJ’s work, or perhaps he inadvertently revealed the U.S. government’s body count for nonbattlefield targeted killings.