As one who has challenged the killer drone research at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, I read with great interest Jeffrey Ian Ross' commentary on the subject ("Drones are different," June 20). While he mentions the recent crash of a drone in Maryland, he provides no insight on its mission or what caused it to fail.
He does, however, point out that this monstrosity cost $176 million. As the fiscal battles continue between the mayor and the Baltimore City Council, imagine what Baltimore could do with $176 million. So cost is one problem with drones.
Mr. Ross also mentions the drone killing of a U.S. citizen, the Yemeni-born radical Muslim cleric Anwar Awlaki. This of course is another problem. How can our government ignore due process and assassinate U.S. citizens?
This leads to a third problem. On what authority can the U.S. violate the sovereignty of several countries and kill their people? Imagine the uproar if some country used a drone to kill a perceived terrorist living in Baltimore.
Killer drones are wrong on many levels. And it is awful that the prestigious Johns Hopkins University is doing research on them.
I have this vague hope that my government will one day realize the folly of waging war and commit wholeheartedly to diplomacy. At the same time, I will continue to protest the use of killer drones.
Max Obuszewski, Baltimore