In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed today, the American Civil Liberties Union asked the government to disclose the legal basis for its use of predator drones to conduct "targeted killings" overseas. In particular, the ACLU seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killings.You say war is war, but in the area of non-governmental organizations waging war, it is not all that clear. For example, since there folks are not military personnel, we don't have to apply the rules of the Geneva Convention to those we capture on the battlefield.♠ So, do we try them as civilians? If that is the route to go, then what are we doing playing judge, jury and executioner, all rolled into one. This is a somewhat murky area and the Obama Administration is making even more use of the PREDATOR tool than the Bush Administration.
"The American public has a right to know whether the drone program is consistent with international law, and that all efforts are made to minimize the loss of innocent lives," said Jonathan Manes, a legal fellow with the ACLU National Security Project. "The Obama administration has reportedly expanded the drone program, but it has not explained publicly what the legal basis for the program is, what limitations it recognizes on the use of drones outside active theaters of war and what the civilian casualty toll has been thus far. We're hopeful that the request we've filed today will encourage the Obama administration to disclose information about the basis, scope and implementation of the program."
This will be an interesting trial to follow. The outcome could change the direction of the long war.
Regards — Cliff
♠ I am NOT advocating hanging them from the lamp posts, as the Germans did toward the end of the Franco German War in 1870-71.
PS: The Long War Journal says to go here to read more, but at this point it looks the same as the link above.