So we killed a dude and no one seems too fazed. What's the deal with that? You'll excuse my casualness, I hope, but it seems to be the way we're approaching this. A Kiwi dude got killed by a drone. It took months to even identify him. But meh, it is what it is. Back to your brioche and latte.

Technically of course, we didn't kill him. We may not have even advocated his killing and we apparently only found out after the fact. He was a dual New Zealand and Australian citizen linked to al-Qaeda in Yemen.

They had issued a warrant for his arrest should he return Downunder, but the US got in with a drone and blew him and several others to smithereens instead.

Isn't a drone attack a very 2014 way to go? They have been a hallmark of Barack Obama's presidency and though the US isn't the only country to use the technology, its remote-controlled pilotless attack plane programme continues, despite all manner of criticism.


Former drone pilots have described remote attacks in which they believe they accidentally killed innocent children.

No part of war can ever be as clean as it might seem on paper, but any time a politician or general describes drones as a "precision" tool, my bullshit-dar rings pretty hard.

Need I remind readers that some of the militaries running drones are the same ones who lack the technology to find a fully laden Boeing 777?

If religious fundamentalism isn't enough for a young extremist to get involved with al-Qaeda, collateral damage from a remote controlled death-bot seems a pretty good motivator indeed.

We don't know much about the New Zealander killed. He may have been planning attacks in this country and probably deserved most punishments he had received.

I certainly wouldn't have wanted to bump into him at the Grey Lynn shops if he had jihad on his mind.

But as is often the case when American drones target Americans, we've had no oversight, let alone a trial. We've almost no information as to actually what happened. All we know is that a Kiwi got done.

It's hardly the democratic transparency we value. Democracy that supposedly separates us from our enemies.


Jack Tame is on Newstalk ZB, Saturdays, 9am-midday.