The EU

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

UAV Missile Shots

There is a small piece by Bill Roggio over at Long War Journal on the ACLU filing suit to learn more about decisions taken with regard to targeting individuals who we believe are involved in terrorism activities and who are schedule for liquidation by PREDATOR Drone missile attacks.
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.

"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."
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.

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.


Craig H said...

Even blunt weapons like infantry troops with small arms or a rogue helicopter gunship or two can wind up doing unintended evil in cases of intelligence error or what have you. (RIP, Pat Tillman). The fact that they, as well as predator drones, also carry the potential to be used for intentional evil, just points to the greater issue that we really need to better figure out what we're doing "over there", and how we're doing it.

The command process, in my opinion, needs to be scrupulously well-documented, and carefully checked and balanced, much like we currently handle our nukes. If someone is afraid of having the who and why exposed to the press (after the fact, of course, so to maintain battlefield integrity), then that, to me, is reason #1 why it needs to be.

I still think we need to get ourselves extricated entirely from the extra-judicial killing business, which is exactly what our "war on terror" is become.

Anonymous said...