Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


UVA Professor / Former CIA IG Calls Drone War A Success

UVA Professor / Former CIA IG Calls Drone War "Astonishing Success"

By Brett McCully
November 19, 2012

http://warisacrime.org/content/uva-professor-former-cia-ig-calls-drone-war-astonishing-success

After a helpless, innocent drone was shot at by nefarious Iranians in the Persian Gulf on November 1st, drone strategy was in need of some comforting. Enter Frederick Hitz, a professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Law and at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, who called drone warfare an "astonishing success." He teaches, among other things, a class on anti-terrorism, though it would appear that the terrorism inherent in bombing funerals and killing rescuers is conspicuously absent from the reading list (that is, when the U.S. is the perpetrator).

Tuesday night I attended a seminar on the future of the drone moderated by Professor Hitz, who was wondering what rules we needed to put in place regarding drone use now that Russia and China could have them; of course the rules are only necessary for such evil actors as they, and not for such a benevolent force as the United States.

However, the U.S. is not even following its own laws; the killing of U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son made that much clear. Hitz offered that al-Awlaki was clearly a terrorist, and that by relying on the post-9/11 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) it is permissible to kill him far from any battlefield. Remember: the U.S. has essentially decreed the whole world as a battlefield, via the aforementioned AUMF and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

Furthermore, any attempt to obtain information on the secret kill list, official figures on drone strikes, or any information related to the program is denied, as it is a matter of national security and thus obscured from democratic decision making. When I noted to Hitz that Anwar al-Awlaki’s father had attempted to petition the U.S. government to remove his son from the kill list, and that the Department of Justice responded by refusing to even address the case, citing state secrets, Hitz showed little interest in this grievous breach of due process.

Finally, I posed a hypothetical: suppose some Pakistanis acquire intelligence that the U.S. military is very likely to bomb a Pakistani funeral. Then aren’t the Pakistanis entitled to preventively assassinate the potential killers, wherever they may be? Say, drone operators in Las Vegas? Of course not; that is outrageous. (Though little outrage was expressed when the U.S. deliberately did exactly that: bomb a funeral). Yet this is typically the reason given for drone strikes; these militants represent an imminent threat to the U.S., thus they must be eliminated. If it is ok for us, why not for them? Instead we ought to apply the same moral standard to both Americans and Pakistanis: it is not right, regardless of who does the killing.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

David Swanson: Torture Is Mainstream Now

As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it's not hard to see why that would be the case. More>>

Uri Avnery: In One Word: Poof!

Poor John Kerry. This week he emitted a sound that was more expressive than pages of diplomatic babble. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee he explained how the actions of the Israeli government had torpedoed the “peace ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Poverty Incentive: Making The Poor Carry The Refugee Can

The poorer you are, the more likely you need to shoulder more. This axiomatic rule of social intercourse, engagement and daily living is simple and brutal enough: the poor shall hold, conserve, preserve. More>>

Nureddin Sabir: BBC Misreports John Kerry On Talks Failure

For once, US Secretary of State John Kerry was not mincing his words when he blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinians. But you would not have known this if you were following the story from the BBC News website. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Narendra Modi, And The Elections In India

On the upside, the gigantic election process that began yesterday in India is the largest exercise in democracy on the planet. Reportedly, a staggering five million people are employed, directly or indirectly, in the election process. The likely outcome is not quite so welcome... More>>

ALSO:

Ramzy Baroud: Kerry’s Looming Deadline And The Peace Process Industry

As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a ‘framework’ agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. More>>

Harvey Wasserman: Fighting Our Fossil-Nuke Extinction

The 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster has brought critical new evidence that petro-pollution is destroying our global ecosystem. The third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan confirms that radioactive reactor ... More>>

Shobha Shukla: Rise In Global Health Financing, But Funding Priorities Shift

A new research done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, indicates that globally the total development assistance for health (DAH) hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013 (a year-over-year ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news