Given that Congress has decided to let the President kill people – including American citizens – without any due process it seems once again America will only face its problems due to outside pressure.
A United Nations expert has launched an investigation of drone attacks and targeted killings, scrutinizing a deeply controversial tool in the United States’ battle against Al Qaeda.
“The plain fact is that this technology is here to stay,” U.N. special rapporteur Ben Emmerson announced Thursday in London, “and its use … is a reality with which the world must contend.”
Drones are not the only way to carry out targeted killings, but the relative ease with which they are used and their devastating effects have spotlighted the legal unease around them, the U.N. expert said. The world urgently needs ways to regulate their use and keep it in line with international law, which has yet to settle how to handle such killings, he stated.
The Obama Administration has been playing the establishment media beautifully – the issue is hardly ever brought up and when it is every empty suit commentator intones with great pathos about necessity conjuring the magic words “national security.” Words that make all sense of law and justice disappear into a vortex of “we have to take this seriously.” You know, unlike the constitution or morality.
“The Obama administration seems to have decided that wherever it conducts a targeted killing, it is by definition engaged in armed conflict, even far from any obvious battlefield,” James Ross of Human Rights Watch said last year. “What would the U.S. say if Russia or China took the same approach to attack perceived enemies in the streets of New York or Washington?”
The New America Foundation estimates that since 2004 as many as 3,279 people have been were killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, including as many as 305 civilians and hundreds of others “unknown.”
The process will ramp up in May with investigators visiting Pakistan and other places the drone program is being used.
Photo by Paul Ridgeway of USAF under public domain.