informationliberation
The news you're not supposed to know...




An Introduction to Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand Everything
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
(more)
Article posted Sep 13 2012, 1:22 AM Category: Commentary Source: The New American Print

Obama Lists His Five Criteria for Death by Drone

by Joe Wolverton, II

President Obama is tearing the shroud of secrecy off his once hush-hush death-by-drone program.

From his interview with Ben Swann, host of Fox 19'sReality Check, to his sit-down with CNN's chief White House correspondent Jessica Yellin, the kill-list compiler-in-chief is gradually exposing details of the principles he purportedly follows before targeting someone for assassination.

The president may assume that there is little reason to try hiding something that is being publicized daily-- except in the mainstream media. In fairness, the New York Times has done fine work chronicling the expansion of the use of drones, as well as their involvement in the killing of innocents overseas caught in the blast zone of missiles aimed at alleged militants.

An exception to the official policy of silence on the matter of the death-by-drone program being carried out by the White House and the CIA was made earlier this year. In April the White House's top counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, admitted for the first time publicly to the government's significant reliance on drones in prosecuting the War on Terror. Brennan said that the remote control killing of suspects on foreign soil who have been charged with no crime whatsoever, is "in full accordance with the law."

Brennan also said the United States "respects national sovereignty and international law."

Speaking with Margaret Sanger at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Brennan defended the president's drone program. "So long as AQAP [al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] seeks to implement its murderous agenda, we will be a close partner with Yemen in meeting this common threat," he said.

Later in the interview, Brennan said that the president deploys drones to target only "militants" with designs on attacking the United States or its allies abroad. He admitted that American intelligence agents provide tactical support to Yemeni armed forces battling al-Qaeda on the ground.

When asked about the collateral deaths of innocent civilians during these attacks, Brennan responded that American drone pilots "make every effort" to avoid killing innocents. Said Brennan:

Today I'd simply say that all our CT [counterterrorism] efforts in Yemen are conducted in concert with the Yemeni government. When direct action is taken, every effort is made to avoid any civilian casualty. And contrary to conventional wisdom, we see little evidence that these actions are generating widespread anti-American sentiment or recruits for AQAP. In fact, we see the opposite; our Yemeni partners are more eager to work with us. Yemenese citizens who have been freed from the hellish grip of AQAP are more eager, not less, to work with the Yemeni government. In short, targeted strikes against the most senior and most dangerous AQAP terrorists are not the problem; they are part of the solution.

Describing the disregard for innocent human life as part of a "solution" is eerily reminiscent of similar statements made by despicable tyrants in the recent past.

The death toll of innocent people killed by the United States in the Middle East continues to increase. AsThe New American reported on September 6, 29 Yemenis were killed by U.S. drones in one week. Many of these had not even tenuous ties to terrorists and were killed simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When asked by CNN what process he uses to make the life or death decisions to deploy the drones to kill a "militant," President Obama listed five criteria:

First, "It has to be a target that is authorized by our laws."

Second, "It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative."

Third, "It has to be a situation in which we can't capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States."

Fourth, "We've got to make sure that in whatever operations we conduct, we are very careful about avoiding civilian casualties."

And fifth, "That while there is a legal justification for us to try and stop [American citizens] from carrying out plots ... they are subject to the protections of the Constitution and due process."

Examining this list reveals that in none of the deaths authorized by the president has any one of these criteria been met.

Let's take as a test case the remote-control murder of a young American in Yemen. What law authorized the murder of 16-year-old Abdulrahaman al-Awlaki, son of the American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also killed by Hellfire missiles fired by a Predator drone?

Neither man (both of whom were Americans) was ever charged with a crime or permitted to answer for his alleged crimes before an impartial judge -- a violation of the fifth point provided by the president.

What threat did the younger al-Awlaki pose to the United States? The Obama administration has never informed the country of any wrongdoing by this teenager other than being related to a man who posted anti-American videos on the Internet that allegedly influenced others to commit crimes. This violates the president's first criterion.

Number three above was certainly ignored by the president since no known attempt was ever made to capture this young man and take him into U.S. custody. Of course, that could be because he might actually have ended up in a court of law if he had been apprehended; and President Obama, a former lawyer, knows that trials can be long, messy, and unpredictable. It is much quicker and cleaner just to launch a missile and kill someone without going through the hassle of due process.

Finally, with regard to civilian casualties, not even the White House claims that Abdulraham al-Awlaki was a member of al-Qaeda or any associated organization. He was quite literally killed for being associated with one who was allegedly associated with those allegedly associated with al-Qaeda.

As Tom Junod wrote in Esquire:
But Abdulrahman al-Awlaki wasn't on an American kill list. Nor was he a member of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Nor was he "an inspiration," as his father styled himself, for those determined to draw American blood; nor had he gone "operational," as American authorities said his father had, in drawing up plots against Americans and American interests.

He was a boy who hadn't seen his father in two years, since his father had gone into hiding. He was a boy who knew his father was on an American kill list and who [sneaked] out of his family's home in the early morning hours of September 4, 2011, to try to find him.
Furthermore, the young man was killed while eating dinner on the side of the road in the company of friends and extended family. So much for the limiting of "civilian" collateral damage. Not only was the target of the nighttime drone attack a civilian, but so were all the boys sitting with him when two American missiles lit up the area and killed them all.

Finally, when Yellin asked Obama if he personally approves the targets of the drone strikes, the president answered, "You know, I can't get too deeply into how these things work, but as I said as commander in chief ultimately I'm responsible for the process that we've set up to make sure that folks who are out to kill Americans, that we are able to disable them before they carry out their plans."

If only all advocates of constitutional due process could nonviolently through the electoral process disable those of both parties -- whether in office or seeking to be elected-- from carrying out their plans to destroy the our constitutionally protected liberty.





Latest Commentary
- The Index Card of Allowable Opinion
- Should Government Have the Power to Quarantine?
- Obama Appointee Supports Individual Rights
- Let the Market Contain Ebola
- The State as a Royal Scam
- Glenn Greenwald TED Talk: Why Privacy Matters
- "Crush the Seed of Ishmael": A "Final Solution" to the "Muslim Problem"
- The State Has No Right To Do Anything









Comments Add Comment Page 1 of 1
Anonymous

Posted: Sep 13 2012, 3:45 AM

Link
65110 My credit card transaction has been rejected; bad credit rating sucks. Hey, what's that red light outside the window...


Add Comment
Name
Comment

* No HTML


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below
 


PLEASE NOTE
Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy



Advanced Search
Username:

Password:

Remember Me
Forgot Password?
Register

Mission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement' - 10/23Canadian PM Vows To Take Away Citizens' Rights In Response To Parliament Attacker - 10/24Chicago Cop Who Assaulted 89-Yr-Old For Requesting He Stop Cursing Gets 3 Years - 10/23Protesters Who Planned To Smash 'Police Brutality' Pumpkins Arrested For Littering, Assault - 10/24NYPD Officer Mistakes Fellow Cop For Suspect, Kicks Him In The Head - 10/24NYPD Looking Into Arrest Of Subway Performer After Video Goes Viral; Arrest Voided - 10/24Fla. Sheriff May Be Liable For His Deputy Arresting Man For Videotaping - 10/24Why 'Good Cops' Stay Silent, Continued - 10/24

Rialto, CA Police Made to Wear Cameras, Use of Force Drops by Over Two-ThirdsCop Who Karate Chopped NY Judge In Throat Gets Off Scot-FreeFlorida Cop Smashes Compliant Woman's Face Into Car -- "Maybe Now You Can Understand Simple Instructions"VIDEO: Lapel Cam Reveals A Day In The Life Of A U.S. Police Officer (Tasing, Beating, Breaking & Entering, Stomping On Heads... and Laughing About It)Caught On Tape: Officer Sucker Punches Inmate In Face, Files Report Claiming 'Self Defense'Insult Person On Twitter, Go To JailSWAT Team Brings TV Crew To Film Raid Against Threatening Internet Critic -- Raids Innocent Grandma InsteadCop Karate Chops NY Judge In The Throat
(more)

 
Top