By Justin Sink - 06/10/12 02:09 PM EDT
Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) offered competing visions of the United States's drone program Sunday, with the Republican lawmaker arguing the strikes were an effective way to disrupt terrorist networks and the California congresswoman worried about civilian casualties and the image of America overseas.
"It's such a trend to dehumanize warfare. It's machines and computers doing the job. You know what, Candy, this is not video games, these are real people and it's real death and we're making real enemies around the world by continuing with the drone strikes," Woolsey told CNN's Candy Crowley on "State of the Nation."
"We're setting a standard for all other nations that when they're ready if they want to, they can send drones at the United States," Woolsey said, adding later that "what goes around comes around, and those drones are going to come right back at us."
King, meanwhile, defended the program as the best way to target terrorist leaders abroad.
"I wish we could live in a world where we could all hold hands and love each other, but the fact is that's not reality. We have an enemy that wants to kill us," King said.
The New York lawmaker said that while civilian casualties were "tragic," that on net "American lives are being saved, [and] the enemy is being killed."
"I am not concerned. My belief is when you're in war, and we are in war, you want to kill as many of the enemy as you can with the minimal risk of life to your own people," King said.
King also said he would support the use of drones in domestic law enforcement action as long as reasonable steps were taken to ensure privacy.
"If you're talking about people out in the open, there's no expectation of privacy," King said.
Last Monday, U.S. drones destroyed the Pakistani hideout of al Qaeda's number two commander, Abu Yayha al-Libi, killing the terrorist leader.
While the strikes have drawn criticism from Pakistan, which is pressuring the Obama administration to end the controversial tactic, military leaders say drones have been successful in weakening terrorist groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.