1.24.2013

It's About Damn Time

From MSNBC:
The United Nations formally launched an investigation into the United States’ targeted killing program on Thursday morning. Ben Emmerson, the U.N.’s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, announced the beginning of the inquiry at a press conference in London.

“The central objective of the present investigation is to look at the evidence that drone strikes and other forms of remote targeted killing have caused disproportionate civilian casualties in some instances,” he said, “and to make recommendations concerning the duty of States to conduct thorough independent and impartial investigations into such allegations, with a view to securing accountability and reparation where things can be shown to have gone badly wrong with potentially grave consequences for civilians.”

While Emmerson said his investigation while concern “all use of armed force…for the purpose of targeted killing,” he stressed that “it is the use of drones which has propelled this issue to the top of the international agenda” because of the ease with which the relatively new technology can be deployed.

The American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed several lawsuits challenging the legality of the Obama administration’s targeted killing program, said it welcomed the investigation.

“Virtually no other country agrees with the U.S.’s claimed authority to secretly declare people enemies of the state and kill them and civilian bystanders far from any recognized battlefield,” said ACLU National Security Project director Hina Shamsi in a statement. “To date, there has been an abysmal lack of transparency and no accountability for the U.S. government’s ever-expanding targeted killing program.”

The ACLU Human Rights Program’s director, Jamil Dakwar, said, “We hope the U.S. cooperates with the inquiry, and whether it does or not will show whether it holds itself to the same obligation to cooperate with U.N. human rights investigations that it urges on other countries.”

As President Obama enters his second term, there are signals that he intends to continue the targeted killing program indefinitely. The administration has been working on codifying official rules for the program since shortly before the end of the 2012 election, though there have been recent reports that these rules would exempt the CIA’s Pakistan drone campaign entirely.

Obama may have also signaled his intent to go all-in on drone warfare when he nominated counterterrorism adviser John Brennan to become director of the CIA. Brennan, known by his critics as the White House’s “assassination czar,” has long been one of the key officials involved in developing and implementing the administration’s targeted killing program.

In President Obama’s second inaugural address, he said, “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. ” Similarly, in a recent interview, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said drones were “not something that we’re going to have to continue to use forever.” However, in the same interview, he also described drone attacks as ”a continuing tool of national defense in the future.”
Obama...bruh...the drones have got to go.

12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Mm-hm...that's right Mr. Nobel Peace Prize. Drones have got to go. That's a punk bitch way of waging warfare.

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    2. The minute Romney echoed support for drones in the debates, Obama should have gone, "Wait a minute now.", and done some serious self-reflection. And a massive side-eye to the UN for taking so long to investigate.

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    3. The minute Romney echoed support for drones in the debates, Obama should have gone, "Wait a minute now."

      LOL - imagine if he'd done that mid-debate!

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  2. I am more concerned with this if i'm honest
    :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx9GxXYKx_8&bpctr=1359237336
    Sandy Hook

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    Replies
    1. HAHAHAHAHA EXACTLY...lol but he is speaking truth. And i'm very serious. Before I saw this video, something just did not sit right with me about some of those parent interviews.

      “To date, there has been an abysmal lack of transparency and no accountability for the U.S. government’s ever-expanding targeted killing program.”

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  3. This is good, but unfortunately, I highly doubt it will go anywhere, or lead to any significant change. After a few years in the development sector in South Asia, I've become immensely disillusioned with (and almost resentful of) the U.N.

    “We hope the U.S. cooperates with the inquiry, and whether it does or not will show whether it holds itself to the same obligation to cooperate with U.N. human rights investigations that it urges on other countries.”

    Come on Mr. Dakwar. I can tell you right now, without wasting millions of dollars and time, that there is no way in hell the U.S. holds itself to the same standards as it expects from other (PoC majority) countries.

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    Replies
    1. True. I'm just thankful a step's being taken in the right direction.

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    2. It'd only be a positive step if the investigation actually led to legal consequesences for the US. If not, if the investigation ended up clearing the US of any wrong doing (as is likely to be the case), then it would just strengthen the US's self-professed claim as the "leader of the free world", "beacon of hope", and all that jazz.

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  4. Reminds me of that Colbert Report segment that exposed america's redefining of the term civilian. Basically, america kept reporting low civilian casualties in Middle Eastern conflicts, but people later discovered that america does not consider any military-aged male to be a civilian. They redefined the term "civilian" to artificially lower the civilian casualty count.

    This also reminds me of something Noam Chomsky said: apparently there is a specific provision in the Geneva convention that excludes america from being bound by it. So even though they signed the Geneva convention, america could still "legally" commit genocide.

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    Replies
    1. *nods* Genocide's a time-honored tradition in America.

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