Dave Weigel, at Slate, highlights some numbers:
Via CNN, the new Farleigh-Dickinson poll finally, finally separates two questions about drone warfare. Question one: “In general, do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. Military using drones to carry out attacks abroad on people and other targets deemed a threat to the U.S.?” The answer here, as it’s been in every poll, is a thudding “yes.” Seventy-five percent of people (the sample is 815 registered voters) approve. The lowest approval comes from self-identified Democrats, only 66 percent of whom are warm to drone warfare.
Then there’s this question:
To the best of your knowledge, can the U.S. target U.S. citizens living in other countries with drones, or is that illegal?
When the question’s asked that way, only 24 percent of people answer “yes.”…
To the best of our knowledge, we don’t wanna know. Alex Pareene, at Salon, explains why “we” prefer knowing things that ain’t so:
… Most of the objective press considers issues to be worthy of debate and adversarial questioning only if they’re the subject of specifically partisan disagreement. If it’s a left-wing (or far right, or libertarian) objection to something on which there is broad bipartisan agreement — like the invasion of Iraq in 2003 — it’s a silly fringe concern unworthy of serious attention. The media are “soft” on Barack Obama on the subject of foreign policy because Republicans can’t object to the worst and most controversial foreign policy decisions of the Obama administration, and most elected Democrats won’t. If Lindsey Graham and Dianne Feinstein agree, then for the purposes of the Sunday shows there’s no “debate” to be had. When liberal senators like Ron Wyden object to administration actions, it’s just not considered as important or newsworthy as Republican objections to perceived liberal actions by the administration….
There was broad bipartisan agreement on the FISA Amendments Act renewal. John Brennan will get confirmed. The actual OLC memos laying out the legal argument for targeted killing will remain sealed and secret. The right hasn’t and won’t object to any of this. (Modern American conservatives seem to believe that the government can’t be trusted to do anything competently or efficiently besides decide who lives and who dies.) Instead of making the case against the administration based on those reality-based controversies, conservatives fixate on insane bullshit, like the idea that the administration purposely allowed the Benghazi attacks to happen and then refused to call them terrorism. Then they complain that their conspiratorial nothing-scandals don’t get enough pickup in the mainstream press.