Growing Opposition to US Drones Program: IT’S REAL PEOPLE!

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The United States has a long history of violating international law when its leaders believe foreign policy objectives justify doing so. The belief in the right of the United States to overthrow democratically elected governments (Guatemala), to train and arm insurgencies (Nicaragua), and to launch aggressive wars (Iraq) free of the inconvenience of the law grows out of the nationalistic fervor of “American Exceptionalism.”

Currently, President Obama is directly overseeing a drones program that potentially violates a number of international legal norms. In October 2009, Philip Alston, then UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, stated that the drones program would be illegal if the U.S. was failing to take “all of the relevant precautions to make sure that civilians are not killed, in accordance with the relevant international rules.” Alston continued, “The problem is that we have no real information on this program.”

In May we learned that the President personally maintains a “Kill List” and holds weekly meetings during which, as judge, jury and executioner, he determines who lives and who dies. It was also revealed that the President counts all military-age males killed in drone strikes as militants. However, as a show of his compassion and fairness, the President does leave open the possibility for those killed to be proved innocent posthumously.

Such brazen counting and book cooking would make the sneakiest Wall Street accountants blush. It is also what allowed Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan to maintain for over a year that there had not been a single civilian casualty from drone strikes. In May, Brennan corrected his patently absurd and dishonest claim, stating that innocent loss of life “is exceedingly rare, but it has happened.”

Growing oppostion to US drones program [continued]

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