Are You Going to Kill Us or Not? Drone Questions for Eric Holder

So are you going to kill us? Just wondering, because you mentioned you might.

You mentioned some drones. They’ll be up there, buzzing and swooping, and we’ll be down here, walking with a slice of mushroom pizza. And the reason we’re asking, we would prefer not to be terminated with extreme prejudice by a Hellfire missile while we are walking with a slice of mushroom pizza.

To be clear, we would prefer not to be terminated at all, down here, but there is something about eating a slice of pizza, folded perfectly down the middle, while walking that brings contentment, like that Simon & Garfunkel song, and then to be a charred skeleton standing in a smoking crater on Madison and 38th, and the pizza is still perfectly folded, it would just be so humiliating. Doo-do-doo-doo, feelin’ BLAM. We would just be so dead and so stupid-looking that we wanted a little clarity on the circumstances under which you might consider killing us.

So what’s the latest, you guys won’t kill us if we won’t kill you? That seems fair.


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But what if you think we’re trying to kill you even though we’re not? You know, bad intel. What then?

It’s not like you’re worried about what we might do if we got bad intel that you were trying to kill us. In fact, we did hear that you were getting ready to kill us, and it actually seemed like pretty good intel, because it came from you.

So, just to ask the question, are you? Are you trying to kill us?

Might you?

We know you hate hypothetical questions. We watch the Sunday shows. We see how you guys react. You say, “I will not be drawn into a hypothetical argument,” or simply, “That’s a hypothetical question.”

Well, you know how much you hate hypothetical questions? That’s how much we hate to be terminated with extreme prejudice by a Hellfire missile while walking with a slice of mushroom pizza. Especially if rather than waging war on the government of the United States we are plotting ways to pay for orthodontia.

What about a hunch? Would you kill us on a hunch, when we just want to walk with our folded pizza in such a fashion that we are likely to make it to the crust? Even if we don’t like the crust? We’re still not entirely clear on this, down here, or on the new TSA knives-and-golf-clubs policy, up there. So we can now stab and chip as long as the seatbelt sign is off?

How about a strong conviction? If you and POTUS and CIA had a pretty strong conviction that we were waging war on you, would that be enough? And then would you all go into the war room to watch the feed from the drone? And is there a guy in the war room — say, Maverick — gripping a remote control with a little red button on it? And what kind of mood would you say Maverick is in? Would you characterize it as an order-taking mood? Or more of a courage-he-didn’t-know-he-had-in-standing-up-for-what’s-right sort of mood?

Put it this way: Which scenario is likelier – this one?

You: Okay, Maverick, go ahead and kill that guy.

Maverick: Did he do something wrong?

You: Well …

Maverick: Because he just looks like a guy.

You: Not an enemy combatant?

Maverick (peering): Not as far as I can see.

You: Al Qaeda lieutenant?

Maverick: Nope.

You: Trainee?

Maverick: No, sir.

You: Traffic scofflaw?

Maverick: Possibly. He does look a little guilty.

You: Hmmm. Well. Let’s call it a day.

Or this one?

You: Okay, Maverick, go ahead and kill that guy.

Maverick: Subject terminated. Mushroom slice intact. I wonder where he got it.


Write to Peter Jeffrey at pjeffrey@bloomberg.net

 

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