Obama's itchy trigger finger on drone strikes: what happened to due process? | Peter Van Buren Terrorism (ter-ror-ism; see also terror) n. 1. When a foreign organization kills an American for political reasons. Justice (jus-tice) n. 1. When the United States Government uses a drone to kill an American for political reasons. How’s that morning coffee treating you? While you’re savoring your cup o’ joe, imagine the president of the United States hunched over his own coffee, considering the murder of another American citizen. Through what seems to have been an Obama administration leak to the Associated Press, we recently learned that the president and his top officials believe a US citizen – name unknown to us out here – probably somewhere in the tribal backlands of Pakistan, is reputedly planning attacks against Americans abroad. Supposedly, the one thing that’s held up sending in the drones is the administration’s desire to make sure the kill is “legal”. Last May, Obama gave a speech on the subject. Short-Term Questions The answer is: we don’t know. Not the First Time
Targeted killing, wikipedia Targeted killing is the premeditated killing of an individual by a state organization or institution outside a judicial procedure or a battlefield. Targeted killings were employed extensively by death squads in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Haiti within the context of civil unrest and war during the 1980s and 1990s. Targeted killings have also been used in Somalia, Rwanda, and in the Balkans during the Yugoslav Wars. Currently the US government practices targeted killings semi-publicly, as with the killing of Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Awlaki. Targeted killings have also been used by narcotics traffickers. Early History In Central and South America The United States Department of State's Human Rights Report in 1994 decried such killings, noting that in Haiti, "right-wing thugs, closely allied with the military, assassinated the legitimately appointed justice minister and conducted many other targeted killings By drug cartels In Somalia and Rwanda Background
US drone strikes listed and detailed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen Spies in the sky. Click image to embiggen Are drone attacks becoming the face of modern warfare? The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has collected the comprehensive database of reported drone attacks. It shows hundreds of attacks: up to 337 in Pakistan, largely along the tribal areas of Waziristan, especially in the northern part - something which becomes very obvious in the chart below. Plus there are another 35-45 recorded in Yemen and up to nine in Somalia. The data also records the number of deaths, which could be up to 3,247 across the three countries, including up to 852 civilians. Drone strikes interactive map. It comes as the MoD decides to start developing a new generation of armed drones for use in strikes across the world. For the first time, the TBIJ have released its full data as a spreadsheet, for you to download via the Datablog. Download the data • DATA: download the full spreadsheet NEW! • Facts are Sacred: the power of data (on Kindle) More open data World government data
Anwar al-Awlaki, wikipedia U.S. officials say that as imam at a mosque in Falls Church, Virginia (2001–02), which had 3,000 members, al-Awlaki spoke with and preached to three of the 9/11 hijackers, who were al-Qaeda members. In 2001, he presided at the funeral of the mother of Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who later e-mailed him extensively in 2008–09 before the Fort Hood shootings. During al-Awlaki's later radical period after 2006–07, when he went into hiding, he was associated with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian who attempted the 2009 Christmas Day bombing of an American airliner. Al-Awlaki was allegedly involved in planning the latter's attack. The Yemeni government began trying him in absentia in November 2010, for plotting to kill foreigners and being a member of al-Qaeda. A Yemeni judge ordered that he be captured "dead or alive. In April 2010, U.S. Early life In 1991, al-Awlaki returned to the U.S. state of Colorado to attend college. Islamic education
US drone war must be 'brought into the light' - video "This is a very dangerous trend in the youth of the area," he said. "This is the youth which can easily be converted into becoming suicide bombers against any western interest in the area." He added that there is an "atmosphere of fear" in the region, to the extent that children are frightened by the slamming of a door, for fear it is a drone attack. Lat year a report to British MPs by a clinical and forensic psychologist found that, in Yemen, drone attacks were causing "serious psychological harm" to a generation of children. Concerns have been raised that GCHQ is providing intelligence on drones to the US, which have then facilitated the drone strikes in Pakistan which have resulted in the deaths of civilians, including women and children. Mr Khan and Mr Behram are touring European countries with human rights charity Reprieve. The US is not accountable to the ICC because it is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the court in 2002.
TomDispatch - On the UN report identifying 30 drone UN report identifies 30 drone strikes that require ‘public explanation’ A UN counter-terrorism expert has published the second report of his year-long investigation into drone strikes, highlighting 30 strikes where civilians are reported to have been killed. The report, by British lawyer Ben Emmerson QC, identifies 30 attacks between 2006 and 2013 that show sufficient indications of civilian deaths to demand a ‘public explanation of the circumstances and the justification for the use of deadly force’ under international law. Emmerson analysed 37 strikes carried out by the US, UK and Israel in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza, to arrive at a ‘sample’ of strikes that he believes those nations have a legal duty to explain. States must ‘conduct a prompt, independent and impartial fact-finding inquiry and to provide a detailed public explanation of the results’ - Ben Emmerson Britain and the US conduct strikes as part of the armed conflict in Afghanistan, and the US also conducts covert strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.