CIA chiefs face arrest over horrific evidence of bloody ‘video-game’ sorties by drone pilots
By David Rose
October 21 2012
The Mail on Sunday today reveals shocking new evidence of the full horrific impact of US drone attacks in Pakistan.
A damning dossier assembled from exhaustive research into the strikes’ targets sets out in heartbreaking detail the deaths of teachers, students and Pakistani policemen. It also describes how bereaved relatives are forced to gather their loved ones’ dismembered body parts in the aftermath of strikes.
The dossier has been assembled by human rights lawyer Shahzad Akbar, who works for Pakistan’s Foundation for Fundamental Rights and the British human rights charity Reprieve.
Filed in two separate court cases, it is set to trigger a formal murder investigation by police into the roles of two US officials said to have ordered the strikes. They are Jonathan Banks, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Islamabad station, and John A. Rizzo, the CIA’s former chief lawyer. Mr Akbar and his staff have already gathered further testimony which has yet to be filed.
How the attacks unfolded…
‘We have statements from a further 82 victims’ families relating to more than 30 drone strikes,’ he said. ‘This is their only hope of justice.’
In the first case, which has already been heard by a court in Islamabad, judgment is expected imminently. If the judge grants Mr Akbar’s petition, an international arrest warrant will be issued via Interpol against the two Americans.
The second case is being heard in the city of Peshawar. In it, Mr Akbar and the families of drone victims who are civilians are seeking a ruling that further strikes in Pakistani airspace should be viewed as ‘acts of war’.
They argue that means the Pakistan Air Force should try to shoot down the drones and that the government should sever diplomatic relations with the US and launch murder inquiries against those responsible.
According to a report last month by academics at Stanford and New York universities, between 2,562 and 3,325 people have been killed since the strikes in Pakistan began in 2004.
The report said of those, up to 881 were civilians, including 176 children. Only 41 people who had died had been confirmed as ‘high-value’ terrorist targets.
Getting at the truth is difficult because the tribal regions along the frontier are closed to journalists. US security officials continue to claim that almost all those killed are militants who use bases in Pakistan to launch attacks on Western forces across the border in Afghanistan.
In his only acknowledgement that the US has ever launched such attacks at all, President Barack Obama said in January: ‘This is a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans.’
But behind the dry legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday lies the most detailed investigation into individual strikes that has yet been carried out. It suggests that the US President was mistaken.
Missile attacks in in Pakistan have had devastating affects, the dossier revealed
The plaintiff in the Islamabad case is Karim Khan, 45, a journalist and translator with two masters’ degrees, whose family comes from the village of Machi Khel in the tribal region of North Waziristan.
His eldest son, Zahinullah, 18, and his brother, Asif Iqbal, 35, were killed by a Hellfire missile fired from a Predator drone that struck the family’s guest dining room at about 9.30pm on New Year’s Eve, 2009.
Asif had changed his surname because he loved to recite Iqbal, Pakistan’s national poet, and Mr Khan said: ‘We are an educated family. My uncle is a hospital doctor in Islamabad, and we all work in professions such as teaching.
‘We have never had anything to do with militants or terrorists, and for that reason I always assumed we would be safe.’
Mr Khan said: ‘Zahinullah, who had been studying in Islamabad, had returned to the village to work his way through college, taking a part-time job as a school caretaker.
‘He was a quiet boy and studious – always in the top group of his class.’ Zahinullah also liked football, cricket and hunting partridges.
Asif, he added, was an English teacher and had spent several years taking further courses to improve his qualifications while already in work.
Mr Khan said: ‘He was my kid brother. We used to have a laugh, tell jokes.’ His first child was less than a year old when Asif was killed.
Included in the legal dossier are documents that corroborate Asif and Zahinulla’s educational and employment records, as well as their death certificates. Killed alongside them was Khaliq Dad, a stonemason who was staying with the family while he worked on a local mosque.
Mr Khan, who had been working for a TV station in Islamabad, said he was given the news of their deaths in a 2am phone call from a cousin.
Drones have caused untold damage, and the dossier reveals just how devastating they have been for families
‘I called a friend who had a car and we started driving through the night to get back to the village,’ he said. ‘It was a terrible journey. I was shocked, grieving, angry, like anyone who had lost their loved ones.’
He got home soon after dawn and describes his return ‘like entering a village of the dead – it was so quiet. There was a crowd gathered outside the compound but nowhere for them to sit because the guest rooms had been destroyed’.
Zahinullah, Mr Khan discovered, had been killed instantly, but despite his horrific injuries, Asif had survived long enough to be taken to a nearby hospital. However, he died during the night.
‘We always bury people quickly in our culture. The funeral was at three o’clock that afternoon, and more than 1,000 people came,’ Mr Khan said. ‘Zahinullah had a wound on the side of his face and his body was crushed and charred. I am told the people who push the buttons to fire the missiles call these strikes “bug-splats”.
‘It is beyond my imagination how they can lack all mercy and compassion, and carry on doing this for years. They are not human beings.’
Mr Khan found Mr Akbar through a friend who had attended lectures he gave at an Islamabad university. In 2010, he filed a criminal complaint – known as a first information report – to police naming Mr Banks. However, they took no action, therefore triggering the lawsuit – a judicial review of that failure to act.
If the judge finds in favour of Mr Khan, his decision cannot be appealed, thus making the full criminal inquiry and Interpol warrants inevitable.
According to the legal claim, someone from the Pakistan CIA network led by Mr Banks – who left Pakistan in 2010 – targeted the Khan family and guided the Hellfire missile by throwing a GPS homing device into their compound.
A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or allegations against specific individuals.’
Mr Rizzo is named because of an interview he gave to a US reporter after he retired as CIA General Counsel last year. In it, he boasted that he had personally authorised every drone strike in which America’s enemies were ‘hunted down and blown to bits’.
He added: ‘It’s basically a hit-list . . . The Predator is the weapon of choice, but it could also be someone putting a bullet in your head.’
Last night a senior Pakistani security official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that Pakistan’s own intelligence agency, the ISI, has always been excluded by the CIA from choosing drone targets.
‘They insist on using their own networks, paying their own informants. Dollars can be very persuasive,’ said the official.
He claimed the intelligence behind drone strikes was often seriously flawed. As a result, ‘they are causing the loss of innocent lives’.
But even this, he added, was not as objectionable as the so-called ‘signature strikes’ – when a drone operator, sitting at a computer screen thousands of miles away in Nevada, selects a target because he thinks the drone camera has spotted something suspicious.
He said: ‘It could be a vehicle containing armed men heading towards the border, and the operator thinks, “Let’s get them before they get there,” without any idea of who they are.
‘It could also just be people sitting together. In the frontier region, every male is armed but it doesn’t mean they are militants.’
One such signature strike killed more than 40 people in Datta Khel in North Waziristan on March 17 last year. The victims, Mr Akbar’s dossier makes clear, had gathered for a jirga – a tribal meeting – in order to discuss a dispute between two clans over the division of royalties from a chromite mine.
Some of the most horrifying testimony comes from Khalil Khan, the son of Malik Haji Babat, a tribal leader and police officer. ‘My father was not a terrorist. He was not an enemy of the United States,’ Khalil’s legal statement says. ‘He was a hard-working and upstanding citizen, the type of person others looked up to and aspired to be like.’
Khalil, 32, last saw his father three hours before his death, when he left for a business meeting in a nearby town. Informed his father had been killed, Khalil hurried to the scene.
‘What I saw when I got off the bus at Datta Khel was horrible,’ he said. ‘I immediately saw flames and women and children were saying there had been a drone strike. The fires spread after the strike.
‘I went to the location where the jirga had been held. The situation was really very bad. There were still people lying around injured.
‘The tribal elders who had been killed could not be identified because there were body parts strewn about. The smell was awful. I just collected the pieces that I believed belonged to my father and placed them in a small coffin.’
Khalil said that as a police officer, his father had earned a good salary, on which he supported his family. Khalil has considered returning to the Gulf, where he worked for 14 years, but ‘because of the frequency of drones I am concerned to leave my family’.
He added that schools in the area were empty because ‘parents are afraid their children will be hit by a missile’.
In another statement – one of 13 taken by Mr Akbar concerning the Datta Khel strike – driver Ahmed Jan, 52, describes the moment the missile hit: ‘We were in the middle of our discussion and I was thrown about 24ft from where I was sitting. I was knocked unconscious. When I awoke, I saw many individuals who were injured or dead.
‘I have lost the use of one of my feet and have a rod inserted because of the injuries. It is so painful for me to walk. There are scars on my face because I had to have an operation on my nose when it would not stop bleeding.’
Mr Jan says he has spent £3,600 on medical treatment but ‘I have never been offered compensation of any kind . . . I do not know why this jirga was targeted. I am a malik [elder] of my tribe and therefore a government servant. We were not doing anything wrong or illegal.’
Another survivor was Mohammed Noor, 27, a stonemason, who attended the jirga with his uncle and his cousin, both of whom were killed. ‘The parts of their bodies had to be collected first. These parts were all we had of them,’ he said.
Mr Akbar said that fighting back through the courts was the only way ‘to solve the larger problem’ of the ongoing terrorist conflict.
‘It is the only way to break the cycle of violence,’ he said. ‘If we want to change the people of Waziristan, we first have to show them that we respect the rule of law.’
A senior CIA officer said: ‘We do not discuss active operations or allegations against specific individuals.’ A White House source last night declined to comment. Source
Most of the links in the story below lead to a story. You will have to mouse over them and if an ad doesn’t pop up it is a legitimate link.
Unfortunately those ad links, are all over the web and are rather annoying.
By Robert Taylor
While the 2012 presidential election racket focuses on gaffes, Romney’s binders, and Big Bird, the CIA and the Pentagon are currently busy finding ways to increase their military power and influence around the globe. According to the Washington Post, CIA Director David Petraeus wants an increased drone fleet to “bolster the agency’s ability to sustain its campaigns of lethal strikes in Pakistan and Yemen and enable it, if directed, to shift aircraft to emerging Al-Qaeda threats in North Africa or other trouble spots.”
And with the final presidential debate on Monday focusing on foreign policy, the issue of drone strikes could not be more prescient. President Obama and former Governor Romney both carefully tiptoed around discussing anything of real substance concerning domestic issues and the economy, and will both look to outhawk each other next week concerning the use of unmanned armed drones overseas — if it is even discussed at all.
It’s easy to see why they might want to avoid the subject. The use of drone strikes have increased exponentially under the Obama administration, becoming a signature aspect of his incredibly aggressive and reckless foreign policy. And while the president and his advisers defend both their supposed legality and precision while simultaneously bragging when convenient and denying when pressured that the drone program even exists, a closer look at the use of Predator drones tells a very different story.
Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports confirm that Obama is severely downplaying the wreckage that these drone strikes inflict. It is ultimately impossible to get exact numbers, but a new study from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute finds that the number of Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes are “significantly and consistently underestimated” by tracking organizations which are trying to take the place of government estimates on casualties.
There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one “suspected terrorist”). The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report detailing how the CIA is deliberately targeting those who show up after the sight of an attack, rescuers, and mourners at funerals as a part of a “double-tap” strategy eerily reminiscient of methods used by terrorist groups like Hamas.
These numbers and reports alone should cast much doubt on the effectiveness at protecting the U.S. and combating terrorism that the Obama admnistration uses as justification for drone strikes. If a drone kills an actual terrorist but leaves multiple, sometimes dozens, of innocent civilians vaporized as well, this creates a brand new set of enemies and blowback. According to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting at The Nation, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are the primary source for Al-Qaeda’s presence in the Arabian Peninsula. Obama’s “signature strikes” — where targets are hit for displaying “suspicious behavior” and which Petraeus also wants to expand — are backfiring and can only boomerang back to us.
While the CIA claims that the drone program operates “under a framework of legal and close government oversight,” multiple legal experts are challenging the legality of the drone program under both American and international law. But much like how the Obama administration is blocking any challenges to the provisions in the NDAA that essentially nullify habeus corpus and Posse Comitatus, any lawsuit or inquiry into the drone program has been met with staunch opposition — especially concerning the targeted assassinations by drones of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his 16-year old son, both U.S. citizens.
The Obama-CIA drone program is the perfect example of government secrecy, lawlessness, and the inevitable next step in the U.S. government’s long tradition of claiming the right to intervene military anywhere and everywhere it pleases. Government programs, whether they be welfare transfer payments or weapons contracts, like cancer, grow for growth’s sake.
Many Americans may display indifference to the use of drones and the CIA’s desire to expand the program. After all, these strikes are done thousands of miles away, and our noble public servants would never mislead us or fearmonger about a supposed foreign threat. Besides, it is far better to have CIA agents in Virginia or Nevada flying weaponized robots by remote control than to send in thousands of Marines, right?
The problem with this, of course, is twofold. First, the basic justification for the use of drones is the threat of terrorism. But terrorism is simply a predictable consequence of an interventionist foreign policy, the propping up of puppet dictators, and the embrace of empire that began after World War II (at least). The use of drones simply compounds this problem, creating more potential terrorists for every one that is killed.
Secondly, foreign and domestic policy are incredibly intertwined, and empires always eventually turn inward. During the occupation of the Philippines, the U.S. government experimented with drug prohibition and torture, programs that eventually became standard domestically. Police are now increasingly resembling, in both attire, attitude, and tactics, their overseas counterparts in Baghdad and Kandahar. Given that in just a few years, drones are set to police American skies, how long will they remained unarmed?
This is why the the drone program, and the CIA’s desire to expand it, are so troubling. More than anything, the issue of whether the President, in a supposedly free society and a constitutional republic, should have this type of power at his fingertips should be front and center.
But since the only critique of Obama’s foreign policy that Romney offers is that it isn’t aggressive enough, the American people will sadly once again be deprived of a debate on the most substantive issues facing the future of what’s left of our republic. Source
Drone attacks kill innocent people. If the US did this in Canada, France, Britain or any other NATO country do you think it would be condemned or condoned?
There is no excuse to do this in Pakistan. Pakistan is not at war with the US. Just like Canada, France or the UK are not at war against the US.
This type of arrogant behavior is not acceptable on any level.
Pakistan is not the only country, who have had many civilians killed by US drones.
Killing innocent people, is murder no matter what the circumstances.
Drone killings are illegal.
Five Reasons Drone Assassinations are Illegal
May 15, 2012
By BILL QUIGLEY
Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer who teaches at Loyola University New Orleans and works with the Center for Constitutional Rights.
US civilian and military employees regularly target and fire lethal unmanned drone guided missiles at people across the world. Thousands of people have been assassinated. Hundreds of those killed were civilians. Some of those killed were rescuers and mourners.
These killings would be criminal acts if they occurred inside the US. Does it make legal sense that these killings would be legal outside the US?
Some Facts About Drone Assassinations
The US has used drones to kill thousands of people in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. But the government routinely refuses to provide any official information on local reports of civilian deaths or the identities of most of those killed.
In Pakistan alone, the New America Foundation reports US forces have launched 297 drone strikes killing at least 1800 people, three to four hundred of whom were not even combatants. Other investigative journalists report four to eight hundred civilians killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan.
Very few of these drone strikes kill high level leaders of terror groups. A recent article in FOREIGN AFFAIRS estimated “only one out of every seven drone attacks in Pakistan kills a militant leader. The majority of those killed in such strikes are not important insurgent commanders but rather low level fighters, together with a small number of civilians.”
An investigation by the Wall Street Journal in November 2011 revealed that most of the time the US did not even know the identities of the people being killed by drones in Pakistan. The WSJ reported there are two types of drone strikes. Personality strikes target known terrorist leaders. Signature strikes target groups of men believed to be militants but are people whose identities are not known. Most of the drone strikes are signature strikes.
In Yemen, there have been at least 34 drone assassination attacks so far in 2012 alone, according to the London based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. Using drones against people in Yemen, who are thought to be militants but whose names are not even known, was authorized by the Obama administration in April 2012, according to the Washington Post. Somalia has been the site of ten drone attacks with a growing number in recent months.
Civilian deaths in drone strikes are regularly reported but more chilling is the practice of firing a second set of drone strikes at the scene once people have come to find out what happened or to give aid. Glen Greenwald of Salon, a leading critic of the increasing use of drones, recently pointed out that drones routinely kill civilians who are in the vicinity of people thought to be “militants” and are thus “incidental” killings. But also the US also frequently fires drones again at people who show up at the scene of an attack, thus deliberately targeting rescuers and mourners.
Here are five reasons why these drone assassinations are illegal.
One. Assassination by the US government has been illegal since 1976
Drone killings are acts of premeditated murder. Premeditated murder is a crime in all fifty states and under federal criminal law. These murders are also the textbook definition of assassination, which is murder by sudden or secret attack for political reasons.
In 1976 U.S. President Gerald Ford issued Executive Order 11905, Section 5(g), which states “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.” President Reagan followed up to make the ban clearer in Executive Order 12333. Section 2.11 of that Order states “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” Section 2.12 further says “Indirect participation. No agency of the Intelligence Community shall participate in or request any person to undertake activities forbidden by this Order.” This ban on assassination still stands.
The reason for the ban on assassinations was that the CIA was involved in attempts to assassinate national leaders opposed by the US. Among others, US forces sought to kill Fidel Castro of Cuba, Patrice Lumumba of the Congo, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, and Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam.
Two. United Nations report directly questions the legality of US drone killings
The UN directly questioned the legality of US drone killings in a May 2010 report by NYU law professor Philip Alston. Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, said drone killings may be lawful in the context of authorized armed conflict (eg Afghanistan where the US sought and received international approval to invade and wage war on another country). However, the use of drones “far from the battle zone” is highly questionable legally. “Outside the context of armed conflict, the use of drones for targeted killing is almost never likely to be legal.” Can drone killings be justified as anticipatory self-defense? “Applying such a scenario to targeted killings threatens to eviscerate the human rights law prohibition against arbitrary deprivation of life.” Likewise, countries which engage in such killings must provide transparency and accountability, which no country has done. “The refusal by States who conduct targeted killings to provide transparency about their policies violates the international law framework that limits the unlawful use of lethal force against individuals.”
Three. International law experts condemn US drone killings
Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international affairs and politics at Princeton University thinks the widespread killing of civilians in drone strikes may well constitute war crimes. “There are two fundamental concerns. One is embarking on this sort of automated warfare in ways that further dehumanize the process of armed conflict in ways that I think have disturbing implications for the future,” Falk said. “Related to that are the concerns I’ve had recently with my preoccupation with the occupation of Gaza of a one-sided warfare where the high-tech side decides how to inflict pain and suffering on the other side that is, essentially, helpless.”
Human rights groups in Pakistan challenge the legality of US drone strikes there and assert that Pakistan can prosecute military and civilians involved for murder.
While stopping short of direct condemnation, international law expert Notre Dame Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell seriously questions the legality of drone attacks in Pakistan. In powerful testimony before Congress and in an article in America magazine she points out that under the charter of the United Nations, international law authorizes nations to kill people in other countries only in self-defense to an armed attack, if authorized by the UN, or is assisting another country in their lawful use of force. Outside of war, she writes, the full body of human rights applies, including the prohibition on killing without warning. Because the US is not at war with Pakistan, using the justification of war to authorize the killings is “to violate fundamental human rights principles.”
Four. Military law of war does not authorize widespread drone killing of civilians
According to the current US Military Law of War Deskbook, the law of war allows killing only when consistent with four key principles: military necessity, distinction, proportionality, and humanity. These principles preclude both direct targeting of civilians and medical personnel but also set out how much “incidental” loss of civilian life is allowed. Some argue precision-guided weapons like drones can be used only when there is no probable cause of civilian deaths. But the US military disputes that burden and instead directs “all practicable precautions” be taken to weigh the anticipated loss of civilian life against the advantages expected to be gained by the strike.
Even using the more lenient standard, there is little legal justification of deliberately allowing the killing of civilians who are “incidental” to the killings of people whose identities are unknown.
Five. Retired high-ranking military and CIA veterans challenge the legality and efficacy of drone killings
Retired US Army Colonel Ann Wright squarely denies the legality of drone warfare, telling Democracy Now: “These drones, you might as well just call them assassination machines. That is what these drones are used for: targeted assassination, extrajudicial ultimate death for people who have not been convicted of anything.”
Drone strikes are also counterproductive. Robert Grenier, recently retired Director of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center, wrote, “One wonders how many Yemenis may be moved in the future to violent extremism in reaction to carelessly targeted missile strikes, and how many Yemeni militants with strictly local agendas will become dedicated enemies of the West in response to US military actions against them.”
Recent polls of the Pakistan people show high levels of anger in Pakistan at US military attacks there. This anger in turn leads to high support for suicide attacks against US military targets.
US Defense of Drone Assassinations
US officials claim these drone killings are not assassinations because the US has the legal right to kill anyone considered a terrorist, anywhere, if they can argue it is in self-defense. Attorney General Holder and White House counterterrorism advisor John Brennan recently defended the legality of drone strikes and argued they are not assassinations because the killings are in response to the 9/11 attacks and are carried out in self-defense even when not in Afghanistan or Iraq. This argument is based on the highly criticized claim of anticipatory self-defense which justifies killings in a global war on terror when traditional self-defense would clearly not. The government refuses to provide copies of the legal opinions relied upon by the government.
Growing Resistance to Drone Assassinations
In signs of hope, people in the US are resisting the increasing use of drones.
CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the London-based human rights group Reprieve co-sponsored an International Drone Summit in Washington DC to challenge drone assassinations. Investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill noted that Congress only managed to scrape up six votes to oppose the assassination of US citizens abroad. “What is happening to this country? We have become a nation of assassins. We have become a nation that is somehow silent in the face of the idea that assassination should be one of the centerpieces of US policy.”
The American Society of International Law issued a report “Targeting Operations with Drone Technology: Humanitarian Law Implications” in March 2011. Concerned that drones may be the future of warfare, scholars examined three questions in the US use of drone technology: the scope of armed conflict (what is the battlefield upon which deadly force of drone killing is authorized); who may be targeted; and the legal implications of who conducts the targeting (since it is often not military but clandestine CIA agents who decide who dies). Concluding that the US may soon find itself “on the other end of the drone” as this technology expands, they criticize official US silence on these key legal questions.
Others are taking direct action. Select examples include: fourteen people arrested in April 2009 outside Creech Air Force base in Nevada in connection with a protest against drones by the Nevada Desert Experience; in January 2010 people protested drones outside the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia; in April 2011, thirty-seven were arrested at Hancock Air Force base in upstate New York as part of a four hundred person protest against the use of drones; in October 2011, as part of the International Week of Protest to Stop the Militarization of Space there were protests outside of Raytheon Missile Systems plant in Tucson; in April 2012, twenty-eight people were pre-emptively arrested on their way to protest drones at Hancock Air Force Base.
There is a brilliant new book, DRONE WARFARE authored by global activist Medea Benjamin which documents the nuts and bolts of the drone industry and the money involved in their production and operation. She collects many global media reports of innocent civilian deaths, investigations into these deaths, and gives voice to international opposition groups like her own CODEPINK, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Fellowship of Reconciliation, War Resisters International, Human Rights Watch, the Catholic Worker movement, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and others working against the drones.
As National Public Radio and The New Republic jointly editorialized, there is good reason to doubt the veracity of US claims that drone killings are even effective. Drone use has escalated and expanded the US global war on terror and thus should be subject to higher levels of scrutiny than it is now. As the use of drones escalates so too does the risk of killing innocents which produces “legitimate anti-American anger that terrorist recruiters can exploit….Such a steady escalation of the drone war, and the inevitable increase in civilian casualties that will accompany it, could easily tip the delicate balance that assures we kill more terrorists than we produce.”
There is incredible danger in allowing US military and civilians to murder people anywhere in the world with no public or Congressional or judicial oversight. This authorizes the President and the executive branch, according to the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, to be prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner.
The use of drones to assassinate people violates US and international law in multiple ways. US military and civilian employees, who plan, target and execute people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are violating the law and, ultimately, risk prosecution. As the technology for drone attacks spreads, protests by the US that drone attacks by others are illegal will sound quite hollow. Continuation of flagrantly illegal drone attacks by the US also risks justifying the exact same actions, taken by others, against us. Source
If the US did this in your country or you, how would you feel about it?
Imagine for a few moments, that it happened to your family or friends.
Imagine it happened to your next door neighbors or to you, yourself.
Well you could be next. Something to think about for a while.
Something else to think about. Those who tell the truth, can end up in prison.
President Obama Keeps a Yemeni Journalist in Jail
As the battle continues against NDAA the indefinite detention a journalist is being detained for exposing US lies about the murder of civilians in a drone strike.
Why would President Obama want a Yemeni journalist, known for his reports of human rights abuses, to remain in Yemeni prison?
That’s the question Abdul Ilah Haydar Shayi’ wants to know after two years in detention following his reports – later proven correct — that the United States was involved in a deadly attack on an alleged al-Qa’ida training camp which took place on Dec. 17, 2009. For the entire story go to the Source