President Barack Obama continued his defense of his drone program, citing a preference for the super hero Iron Man to defeat terrorists rather than the still evolving drone technology.
“I wish I could just send in Iron Man,” he said. “I don’t mean that as a joke. I just mean I wish that the tragedy of war, conflict, terrorism, et cetera, did not end up creating circumstances where we wielding kinetic power don’t end up hurting anybody that shouldn’t have been hurt.”
Obama was asked a question by a student about his constitutional authority to conduct drone warfare while the strikes were killing innocent civilians, during a conversation at the University of Chicago today about the Supreme Court.
“I don’t have the luxury of just not doing anything and then being able to stand back and feel as if my conscience is completely clear,” he replied. “I have to make decisions because there are folks out there that are genuinely out there trying to kill us and would be happy to blow up this entire room without any compunction and are actively trying to find ways to do it.”
Obama supported the process behind the authority, saying that there was a lot of “misinformation” about the program from anti-drone activists, and cited important progress in reducing civilian deaths. “There is no doubt that some innocent people have been killed by drone strikes. It is not true that it has been this sort of willy-nilly ‘Let’s bomb a village,’ that is not how folks have operated,” he said.