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Tomorrow, June 18th, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, will speak out against drone strikes when she addresses the UNHRC in Geneva. From the advanced copy of her remarks:

While acknowledging the enormous challenges which Pakistan is facing, including constant attacks by armed extremists and criminal organizations, I remain concerned by allegations of grave violations in the context of counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations. During my visit, I also expressed serious concern over the continuing use of armed drones for targeted attacks, in particular because it is unclear that all persons targeted are combatants or directly participating in hostilities. The Secretary-General has expressed concern about the lack of transparency on the circumstances in which drones are used, noting that these attacks raise questions about compliance with distinction and proportionality. I remind States of their international obligation to take all necessary precautions to ensure that attacks comply with international law. I urge them to conduct investigations that are transparent, credible and independent, and provide victims with effective remedies.

I want to commend Navi Pillay for again having the courage to speak truth to power.

Just yesterday I was at a Code Pink program on the problem of military and intelligence drones at the Church in Ocean Park in Santa Monica so this question was already on my mind when this "heads-up" came across my desktop. I wanted to pass it on.

Medea Benjamin has a new book out about drones, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and while I haven't had a chance to read it, according to Robert Scheer, who also headlined the event, it is a very important book and a very good read.

She is one the book tour and will be in Northern Calif or Tuesday.

Here are some YouTube reports of the event:

Stop Killer Drones 3
Stop Killer Drones 4
Stop Killer Drones 5
Stop Killer Drones 6
Stop Killer Drones 7
Stop Killer Drones 8
Stop Killer Drones 9
Stop Killer Drones 10
Stop Killer Drones 11

Medea Benjamin just sent me this article which was published in the NY Daily News

Look up in the sky and see a drone

Ready or not, drones are coming to a law enforcement agency near you.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, have been primarily used for surveillance and targeted killings in wars in faraway lands. Now, with apparently minimal debate, local police departments have begun using them for surveillance directed at American citizens.

To us, this is a grim illustration of the post-9/11 militarization of America.

While drones can serve valid purposes, like monitoring forest fires, surveying land and search-and-rescue missions, they pose a threat to our freedoms.

Their domestic use should be strictly controlled, and current legal standards updated to reflect this powerful new technology.

Instead, it has been authorized largely outside the public eye.

The Federal Aviation Administration began issuing permits for the domestic experimental use of drones in 2006. A lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation forced the FAA to start releasing the names of government agencies, companies and universities that have been granted permits. The FAA has issued about 750 permits, some 300 of which are still active.

The FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection applied for these permits, as did local police departments from small towns like Gadsden, Ala., to big cities like Houston. Many police departments received Homeland Security grants to buy drones and train their police forces to use them.

Facing slowing business as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wind down, drone manufacturers solicited the help of the 58-member Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus to speed up the pace of the FAA permit process.

In February, Congress passed sweeping legislation that forces the FAA to fully integrate drones into our national airspace by 2015, and sooner for government agencies. By May, the FAA waived the application process for police use of drones weighing up to 25 pounds, and is now streamlining the approval process for larger drones.

As the Electronic Privacy Information Center explains, enhanced drone technology is capable of “peering inside high-level windows, and through solid barriers, such as fences, trees, and even walls.”

Worse, drones could move from surveillance to offensive action. The Montgomery County sheriff’s office in Texas used a $300,000 Homeland Security grant to buy a helicopter drone. The CEO of Vanguard Defense, the company that sold the drone, said it is designed to be weaponized and could easily be outfitted with tasers and stun batons.

This is a slippery slope. If confronted with a stand-off similar to the one at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco in 1993, will authorities resort to drones?

When FBI Director Robert Mueller was asked at a ongressional hearing in March if Americans could be targeted for assassination by drones here at home, he simply said that he did not know. That’s not very reassuring.

All Americans should be asking their elected officials about the limits of the use of drones — before it’s too late.

One option is to eliminate federal grants that subsidize drones for police departments. Another is to mandate that police obtain a warrant in circumstances where drones can surveil a private residence or anywhere else citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Militarization at home, as the Founding Fathers argued centuries ago, is inconsistent with the values of a free society.

Since 9/11, some in Washington seem to have forgotten that a free society depends on a citizenry whose natural rights are protected by a limited and accountable government — not by a government that uses high-tech, stealth video cameras to constantly surveil the public wherever and whenever it wants.

Innocent is a foreign policy analyst at the Cato Institute. Benjamin is the author of “Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is actually not the first time that Navi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, truong son traveler

    Pillay raised concerns about drone strikes

    On June 8, 2012:

    UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] declared on Friday that US drone strikes in Pakistan raise grave legal concerns under international law. Pillay expressed particular concern that the drone strikes do not comport with the international law principles [BBC report] of proportionality and distinction. Pillay also called for an investigation [AFP report] into civilian deaths caused by drone strikes, saying that such deaths are a violation of human rights. The US has attempted to justify its drone strike policy on the grounds that the strikes are necessary in order for the US to be able to defend itself.

    http://jurist.org/...

    •  Proportionality? Is he on drugs or what? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, gramofsam1

      Or perhaps he doesn't like the fact that drones cause fewer civilian casualties than any form of conventional warfare?  

      As for Pakistan, the Pak government is more infested with Al Qaeda than a cheap New York hotel is infested with bedbugs.  They can go f--- themselves with telephone poles until they clean up their act.  They have zero moral standing to complain.

      If it was up to me I'd install a chain-link fence around the entire region and then find a covert way to arm the WOMEN.  That would be the end of Al Qaeda, the end of the Taliban, and the end of the opium warlords, as well as the end of child sex slavery.  Bottom line is, the males of the region have proven themselves incapable of creating civilized societies, so it's time for the females to take over and keep the males on leashes.  Then we'll see progress.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 02:52:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thankfully (4+ / 0-)

        nothing in that region is up to you.

        •  "thankfully"?? So, do you support the Taliban... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster, gramofsam1, doc2

          ... or only male supremacy, child brides & dancing boys included?

          Or do you just hate America and therefore reflexively hate anything America does, including shooting at people who blow up girls' schools with the girls still inside?  

          Or are you some kind of postmodernist who believes that Afghani children don't really hurt when they get porked by old men, and it's cultural imperialism for us to impose our standards of human rights?  If so, does that also apply to Irish children who got porked by priests, since after all Ireland is a Catholic country?  

          Let's hear it!  Inquiring minds want to know!

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:22:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm sure s/he thinks any use of force (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            doc2

            is per se wrong and a violation of whatever international law principles he just made up.

            •  the problem is the absolutism. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doc2

              Someone who holds that all use of force is immoral a-priori is committing the error of failing to recognize that "not-doing" is doing, and not-doing has moral consequences.  

              Failure to use force to stop the Taliban, incurs moral culpability for the deaths the Taliban cause.  

              There is no way out of this without some measure of moral culpability.  There is less moral culpability in killing Taliban plus some civilian casualties, than there is in letting the Taliban run rampant and kill three times as many civilians.  

              And I still believe we should arm the women.  That would solve most of Afghanistan's problems right quick.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:59:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  So there are only two options ... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chipmo, Shawn Russell, Clay Claiborne

            Killing innocents, women, children, first responders and funeral mourners and  along with a "militant" here and there with drones, or if we don't, that means we support the Taliban.

            Stop motivating people to hate the U.S., unless perhaps that is the intent. Endless war, endless killing and profit for the well-connected.

            Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

            by truong son traveler on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:40:03 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  get real. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doc2

              75% of civilian casualties are caused deliberately by the Taliban as their POLICY.  

              Drone strikes cause fewer civilian casualties than any other usage of military force this side of sharpshooters, and we don't have enough sharpshooters to do the job.  (We can't, by definition: that MOS is a very limited specialty, people are hand-picked for it by chain of command based on an extraordinary degree of emotional stability and level-headedness.  This I know from talking to a Marine who was in that MOS.  One of the most idealistic guys you'd ever meet, who completely understood that by taking direct personal responsibility for killing specific other humans, he was saving the lives of not only Americans and civilians, but also enemy combatants who would otherwise be killed by the use of conventional force.  That moral calculus is something most of us can't even contemplate taking on first-hand.)

              There is no profit in Afghanistan.  

              We should have armed the women there long ago, after attempts to train the men to run the local army were proven futile.  Arming the women would have solved Afghanistan's problems in short order.  

              Alternately we could conclude that the place isn't worth one more minute of our attention, and just let the Taliban have the place.  Are you sure that's what you want?

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:54:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We've been fuckin' with those people (2+ / 0-)

                for 11 years. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not the same. All of those with the Taliban are not necessarily "Taliban", just pissed off villagers.

                In the beginning there were estimates of 50 to 100 al-Qaeda people still in Afghanistan. What has the world's sole superpower been doing for the past 11 years other than creating more enemies?

                Do you believe we will ever win a war of attrition in Af-Pak?

                The people are in the middle of it. They will deal with the Taliban if we just go home and leave them alone.

                Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

                by truong son traveler on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:06:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  In Falluja US snipers murdered anything that moved (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                truong son traveler

                This included women and children. When the US declares a "free fire zone" as they have now done in certain parts of Afghanistan. Everyone becomes a target.

                You may think a ratio of 30 innocent dead to get one bad guy is moral. Just wait until they take out your apartment building because a gangster was visiting next door. That is where all of this is heading.

                Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

                by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:17:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  OMG I've been saying the same thing- (0+ / 0-)

        since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.  Give every woman an assault rifle and train them all how to use them.

        People think I'm kidding at first cause I generally hate guns- but no woman should be defenseless against rape or violence against herself or her children.  There are very few scenarios where I can imagine wanting a gun.  Living in a society (and there are far too many) where violence against women and kids is so prevalent would definitely qualify.

      •  The bad behavior of others does not excuse ours (0+ / 0-)

        The bad behavior of others is never a rationale for our own bad behavior.

        Yes, al queda is a terrorist organization full of bad people,  Yes, the Pakistani government (or parts of it) seems to support al queda.  Yes, the war in Afghanistan is partly about Pakistan.

        That does not excuse our bombing of civilian non-combatant, including women and children.  

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:07:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The US killed over 3 million in Vietnam (0+ / 0-)

        A like number in Korea were they used chemical and biological weapons. Add to that Iraq and Afghanistan and another million souls on the pile and you have the nerve to talk about other countries "moral standing?"

        See my film [link below] see how it was a My Lai a week and throwing prisoners out helicopters was SOP, not to mention rape on a massive scale,  them come talk to me about moral standing.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 08:03:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  What's so disturbing is how drone use... (5+ / 0-)

    has become the norm without little or any public debate.

    The Secretary-General has expressed concern about the lack of transparency on the circumstances in which drones are used, noting that these attacks raise questions about compliance with distinction and proportionality.
    I applaud the U.N.

    It's about time.

    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

    by markthshark on Sun Jun 17, 2012 at 08:59:53 PM PDT

    •  What is also so disturbing (4+ / 0-)

      is Pakistan's harboring of terrorists within its borders. Drones have drawbacks, but who here has a better plan? Or is the plan to have no plan, and suffer the consequences?

      •  So do the people controlling them... (0+ / 0-)
        Drones have drawbacks
        Your questions are valid. I don't know the answers.

        But, I do know that anything done in our name should require our consent, and that consent can only be given after debate.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 03:01:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not the case. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster

          We are a representative democracy. Which means that we elect people to make these decisions on our behalf. We choose the deciders, and they decide. That has been the case since 1789. When it comes to clandestine activities, particularly, we have no choice but to elect the people we think will make the right choices with the powers we grant them.

          •  Funny, I don't remember granting them power... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chipmo

            to kill innocent victims. Apparently, they gave that power to themselves.

            The immoral aspect aside, killing innocent victims is counterproductive. It only turns their family members into more terrorists.

            If they're supposed to be surgical strikes... we need to find a sharper scalpel.

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:30:07 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  This IS the sharper scalpel. (0+ / 0-)

              Drones are (by far) the sharpest scalpel we've ever seen. I think what you are hoping for is a perfect scalpel, and that may never exist. In any event, this is the best thing we have to deal with a very real problem and minimize innocent lives lost.

              •  Life is invaluable... (0+ / 0-)

                We've learned how to machine metal within tolerances of .00010 thousands of an inch. We've learned to use lasers in eye surgery.

                Why can't we find a way to take terrorists out without killing innocent people?

                Until we do, I won't feel safer.

                "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:23:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nah, you sound like someone (0+ / 0-)

                  who won't be satisfied unless 100% of the risk of killing innocents can be removed, and that will never happen. How about we continue to take out terrorists with the drones we have, while continuing to research better drones and other better methods of eliminating terrorists.(which we are doing)? Because halting drone attacks until we have a perfect method will absolutely result in the murders of many innocent people.

                  •  It won't happen... (0+ / 0-)
                    How about we continue to take out terrorists with the drones we have, while continuing to research better drones and other better methods of eliminating terrorists.(which we are doing)?
                    There's no incentive to be more precise because (1) people accept how we're doing it now, (2) there's no more profit in being right all the time, and (3) there is no redress of grievances for the innocents who are killed. (especially in a poor country ethnically different than our own thousands of miles away)

                    "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

                    by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:50:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  How about we comply with international law (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Claudius Bombarnac

                    and quit being the bully of the world. If we perceive that Pakistan are sheltering our enemy than we should declare war and go conquer their ass. Same with Afghanistan. Be honest and upfront. Reinstate the draft. Prepare to occuply the country for decades well into the future. Raise taxes. Quadruple the armed forces. Persuade the American people that this is a life and death struggle like WWII was. Go long or go home.

                    But to use drones is an act of terrorism. And a cowardly one at that. At least a suicide bomber risks his own life in an attack. But a drone pilot faces no danger at all. Which is why it is so easy to use drones. You do not need to rally the public behind you. As long as no American lives are at risk no one really cares who dies.

                    You are no defending the homeland by killing people in Pakistan or Afghanistan. You are eliminating people that you perceive are a threat to you at some future date. This is preemptive murder. And I would say that if you would condemn some country flying drones into the US to kill our political leaders because someone perceives them to be a threat then you can not believe it is right or lawful when we do it.

                    Drones make war easy. And anything that makes war easy is immoral. Always and under all circumstances.

        •  There's plenty of debate! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2

          What you mean, I suspect, is that your side is losing the debate!  But that's different.

          Romney '12: Bully for America!

          by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:52:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  75% of civilian casualties are direct results of.. (4+ / 0-)

      .... attacks by the Taliban.  These are not accidental casualties, they are the deliberate and intended result of Taliban attacks.

      So, you were saying?

      Would you rather we just walked away and let the Taliban get on with their slaughter, and hypocritically wash our hands of it?

      Or would you rather we went in there with main force, armored infantry and aerial bombardment, with the certainty of much greater civilian casualties than occur from drone strikes?

      Now choose.  Which will it be?  What's your actual proposal?

      Easy to bitch, hard to propose.  Let's hear a proposal or you've got nothing.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 02:44:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't have specific proposals... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevej, chipmo
        Let's hear a proposal or you've got nothing.
        ... but I am not without a heart, a mind and a conscience, which dictate to me what the parameters should be. The price of taking out a terrorist should not be the uncounted lives of innocent people.

        "Collateral damage" is now treated with no more deference than is damage to property.

        "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:02:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the only way out of that, that doesn't involve... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2

          .... the use of force, is to dose the relevant segments of the population with entactogens (empathy-inducing drugs).  I actually proposed that once and was told it was a Geneva violation.  Oh well!

          The "uncounted" lives of innocent people are far fewer using drones than using any other method, and far fewer than the uncounted lives of innocent people killed by the Taliban if we don't take them out.  

          Sucks but true.  There is no way out of this that doesn't entail some measure of moral culpability.  And walking away also entails moral culpability in the same manner as failing to take the keys from a drunk driver, thereby letting them get on the road and kill someone.  

          I discovered the limits of my pacifism when someone I knew was killed by the Contras in Nicaragua.  There are situations where pacifism is not an option.  Afghanistan is another of those.

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:28:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, no offense... but how do you know that? (0+ / 0-)

            Our government doesn't count them. That's why I called them "uncounted."

            The "uncounted" lives of innocent people are far fewer using drones than using any other method, and far fewer than the uncounted lives of innocent people killed by the Taliban if we don't take them out.
            We only hear about the "terrorists" that are killed. Not about the innocent people who may have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

            Yes, given the information fed to us by our government, it's logical for us to assume there are less deaths using drones. But we don't really know how many innocents are being killed... or how many times we've been completely wrong.

            I'm not a pacifist. But I deplore the loss of innocent life. And it should not be sanctioned as simply being part of a means to an end.

            "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 05:07:13 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I'm less concerned with collateral damage... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doc2

          ...when it comes to drone strikes in Pakistan because there's ample evidence that most men in the NWFP (women, you might have heard, are completely oppressed and voiceless) support the Taliban.  It's their support that makes the NWFP a safe haven.  

          Romney '12: Bully for America!

          by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 04:51:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The killings by the Taliban do not excuse ours (0+ / 0-)

        The killings done by the Taliban in no way excuses the killings of civilians by Americans.

        "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

        by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:13:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am looking into the gorgeous eyes of Michelle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stevej

    Obama as I read this diary. She is right above, in an ad, and her pearls look so nice, and her smile is so special.

    Come on. You know you'll forgive them anything. We need them in the White House. (Have you seen Ann Romney's ugly-ass five thousand dollar t-shirt omg??!!)

    •  are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc2

      Or would you rather have Romney in office so you have a better target for emotional discharge?  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 02:46:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, serious. Take a look (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        at (short) comment history of the troll.

        •  most interesting. (0+ / 0-)

          "I wouldn't want to be a black American," eh?  

          Yeah that's hide-on-sight material, though TOS doesn't quite allow it except in the most overtly egregious circumstances such as a stalker.  

          OK, so what we do is put out the word that people should not rec any of that user's comments, and HR the ones that are HR-worthy, and the automation should take care of the rest.

          Thanks much for the heads-up.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 03:45:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  we're on to your BS, so if I were you.... (0+ / 0-)

      .... I'd leave voluntarily rather than waiting to get banned, because it ain't gonna be long at the rate you're going.

      Yes I looked at your comment history.

      You really ought to post a diary with "GBCW" as the title.

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 03:47:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not Navi Pillay's job to come up... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    ...with a better idea, but I do think it's the job of people in the US seeking to change their own government's policies to come up with a better idea and I haven't yet heard one!  

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 03:46:10 AM PDT

  •  Won't someone think of the UN's feeling? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA, doc2

    Based on the diary, the UN's "objection" is that they don't have enough information to confirm that drone strikes are lawful.  It hurts their fee-fees that Obama didn't invite a UN observer into the White House to be there for all the targeting discussions.

    •  Absolute crap (0+ / 0-)

      This statement/draft speech uses exactly the language the UN has always used when addressing law pertaining to war.

      Your statement was worthy of Fox and Friends.

      •  Sounds like I hurt *your* fee-fees. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        doc2

        I am deeply sorry that your fee-fees were hurt.  At any rate, the relevant excerpt:

        The Secretary-General has expressed concern about the lack of transparency on the circumstances in which drones are used, noting that these attacks raise questions about compliance with distinction and proportionality.
        IOW, they want in on the process.  Good luck with that, random UN office.
  •  The Peace Prize Winning President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt

    How ironic that three years after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the president justifies bombing of civilians by saying that anyone under where our bombs are falling is a terrorist until proven innocent.

    I am afraid this president is not worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize any more than Bush is worthy of a "Mission Accomplished" celebration on an aircraft carrier.

    "The fool doth think he is wise: the wise man knows himself to be a fool" - W. Shakespeare

    by Hugh Jim Bissell on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 06:16:59 AM PDT

  •  HeyClay, wasn't Medea against the Libya NATO (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Claudius Bombarnac

    bombing?

    "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 07:27:22 AM PDT

    •  Here's a scathing report by Medea on Obama's (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      decision to attack Libya:

      Obama on Libya: George W. Bush 2.0
      by Medea Benjamin and Charles Davis, March 31, 2011

      His lines may be better delivered, but Barack Obama is sounding – and acting – more like the heir to George W. Bush than the answer sold to the public in his award-winning ad campaign. Indeed, when not sending billions of dollars to repressive governments across the globe, the great liberal hope is authorizing deadly drone strikes and military campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and now, in his most morally righteous war yet, Libya.

      Strutting out to a podium before an audience of uniformed military personnel – wonder where he got that idea from – a confident, some would say cocky, American president offered a fierce albeit belated speech justifying another preemptive war against a country that posed no threat to the United States. And if you closed your eyes, you could almost hear that faux-Texas drawl.

      "As Commander-in-Chief, I have no greater responsibility than keeping this country safe," the president declared, adopting his predecessor’s favorite title for himself. "I’ve made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies and our core interests."

      •  She called Libya (0+ / 0-)
        in his most morally righteous war yet
        I agree. What's your point?

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 10:28:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that was snark Clay. The point is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Claudius Bombarnac

          Medea was against that "war" and I assume would be against one in Syria.  
          Do you not see the disconnect?  

          "The Global War on Terror is a justification for U.S. Imperialism. It must be stopped."

          by BigAlinWashSt on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 12:05:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What war in Syria are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

            The only war doing on in Syria right now is the one Assad is waging against his own people. It has been going on since March 15, 2011 although more recently the people, thanks largely to deflections from Assad's army, have started to fight back.

            We know that Iranian snipers have been in Syria, killing for Assad.

            And the only foreign troops that we know with any certainty are headed to Syria are Russian Marines aboard Russian Assault ships.

            All your speculation about what others might do, only serves to divert attention from what is being done to the people of Syrian and by who.

            But the question is: Why are you hearing this from me? Why aren't the  "anti-interventionists" all over this?

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Mon Jun 18, 2012 at 01:06:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Speaking about "what is being done to the people (0+ / 0-)

              of Syria and by whom":

              U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show
              By Craig Whitlock, Published: April 17, 2011

              The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables.

              The London-based satellite channel, Barada TV, began broadcasting in April 2009 but has ramped up operations to cover the mass protests in Syria as part of a long-standing campaign to overthrow the country’s autocratic leader, Bashar al-Assad.
              ...
              Syrian authorities “would undoubtedly view any U.S. funds going to illegal political groups as tantamount to supporting regime change,” read an April 2009 cable signed by the top-ranking U.S. diplomat in Damascus at the time. “A reassessment of current U.S.-sponsored programming that supports anti-[government] factions, both inside and outside Syria, may prove productive,” the cable said.

              It is unclear whether the State Department is still funding Syrian opposition groups, but the cables indicate money was set aside at least through September 2010. While some of that money has also supported programs and dissidents inside Syria, The Washington Post is withholding certain names and program details at the request of the State Department, which said disclosure could endanger the recipients’ personal safety.

  •  The acerbic Pepe Escobar on drone warfare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigAlinWashSt
    Drone me down on the killing floor
    By Pepe Escobar
    Jun 16, 2012

    As convenient as it is for someone in a cubicle in the Nevada desert to press a button and incinerate a Pashtun wedding party in North Waziristan, now, with only a click, anyone can download a 359 KB file available on Amazon for only $8.99 - including free wireless delivery - and learn everything there is to learn about All Things Drone.

    It's fitting that Terminator Planet: The First History of Drone Warfare, 2001-2050 has been put together by Tom Engelhardt - editor, MC of the TomDispatch website and "a national treasure", in the correct appraisal of University of Michigan professor Juan Cole - and TomDispatch's associate editor Nick Turse, author of the seminal 2008 study The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives.
    ...
    Obama owns his newspeak-drenched "kill list". He decides on a "personality strike" (a single suspect) or a "signature strike" (a group). "Nominations" are scrutinized by Obama and his associate producer, counter-terrorism czar John Brennan. The logic is straight from Kafka; anyone lurking around an alleged "terrorist" is a terrorist. The only way to know for sure is after he's dead.

    And the winner of the Humanitarian Oscar for Best Targeted Assassination with No Collateral Damage goes to… the Barack Obama White House death squad.
    ...
    Any self-respecting jurist would have to draw the inevitable conclusion; the United States of America is now outside international law - as rogue a state as they come, with The Drone Empire enshrined as the ultimate expression of shadow war.
    ...

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