Barack Obama’s drone use: A human rights violation?
The New York Times is reporting that when Barack Obama felt he was going to lose his reelection bid he began drafting a “kill list rulebook” for drone use because he felt the next administration would abuse its killing power–unlike Barack Obama I suppose. This would mean that while Barack Obama was using drones to kill insurgents and enemies of the United States that he had no set rules in place for their usage and he wanted to ensure that Mitt Romney was bound by rules with which he didn’t find necessary to explain while he was president.
This news has drawn the ire of human rights groups and anti-war groups because they claim international law is a rulebook which Barack Obama has been violating with his drone policy.
Here is what the ACLU had to say:
To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there isn’t already a rulebook” said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Democracy. “But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war].”
The ACLU is suing the Obama regime for memos related to drone use:
It is frustrating how we are reliant on self-serving leaks” said Jaffer. “We are left with interpreting shadows cast on the wall. The terms that are being used by these officials are undefined, malleable and without definition. It is impossible to know whether they are talking about something lawful or unlawful.
“We are litigating for the release of legal memos. We don’t think the public should have to reply on self-serving leaking by unnamed administrative officials
And even Code Pink–which has not shown nearly the same anti-war zeal since Barack Obama assumed the presidency–is belatedly starting to ask questions:
That they are trying to write the rules for something that is illegal is disgusting” said Benjamin. “They are saying, ‘The levers might be in the wrong hands.’ What about the way they are using them right now? There is nothing about taking drones out of the hands of the CIA – which is not a military organisation – or getting rid of signature strikes, where there is no evidence that people are involved in terrorist activities
Personally, I don’t have a problem with using drones to take out high level al Qaeda targets but this policy does come with collateral damage–IE the possibility that innocent people will also be killed in the strike–and I always found it interesting that while every single civilian killed in bombing attacks while George Bush was president was reported lustily in the mainstream media that no media outlets seemed interested in reporting the civilians and innocents killed in these drone attacks.
Finally people are starting to ask questions–albeit, too late–and I would think that if George Bush and Dick Cheney are still considered war criminals by the left that they would also label Barack Obama and Joe Biden as war criminals as well.