USA Devoted to Illegal Killing from a Distance
By Peter Franke
The selected victims haven't received that which marks a state governed by law: a trial, a defense attorney and a sentence. Instead, it's the CIA that establishes a death list, which is then approved by President Obama. With that the president becomes nearly all-powerful as a court of law, jury and executioner.
Translated By Andrew Pratt
30 May 2014
Edited by Laurence Bouvard
Sweden - Allehanda - Original Article (Swedish)
By all rights, the EU and the rest of the world are protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin's annexation of Crimea and his use of violence. But there is also reason to protest against the United States’ President Barack Obama, who is operating a low-intensity war far away from the country's own borders. It was George W. Bush who declared war against terrorism after the attacks on the U.S.A. on Sept. 11, 2001. The peace prize recipient, Barack Obama, has taken over not just the rhetoric, but also some of the methods of his warring predecessor.
Since 2004, the U.S. Air Force, commissioned by the CIA, has killed suspected terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia via unmanned, remote controlled aircraft armed with guided missiles. After there was criticism of the Guantanamo detention camp, the U.S.A. began, with the help of drones, to kill suspected rebels instead of taking them captive. According to the White House, this tactic is successful. Barack Obama claims that no missiles are fired if it isn't “almost certain” that no civilians will die. But there are many contradictory examples.
In Yemen in December 2013, 12 people were killed in a wedding entourage that was suspected of being an al-Qaida troop. The total number of casualties is difficult to determine, but approximately 4,000 people have been killed over a 10 year period. Of them, at least half are suspected to have been civilians and include just less than 200 children. In distant Waziristan in Pakistan, casualties are more than those at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. The “losses,” in other words, are big.
In addition, all these executions clash with international law and the United States’ own constitution. The U.S. has not declared war against Pakistan or Yemen, though they carry out almost daily war activities in the countries. The selected victims haven't received that which marks a state governed by law: a trial, a defense attorney and a sentence. Instead, it's the CIA that establishes a death list, which is then approved by President Obama. With that the president becomes nearly all-powerful as a court of law, jury and executioner. The U.S.A. defends itself by saying that the war against terrorism is an international conflict, but suspected criminals should be taken captive, put on trial and sentenced — not killed from a distance.
The drones are controlled from a military base in the Nevada Desert, among others. “Pilots” are often young men who grew up with video games. The distance creates a sort of indifference, as if it were a PlayStation war, but the victims are painfully real. The United States' drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are no longer a war against terrorism — it has become a counterproductive and illegal war of terror.
The drones insult the right to life and disturb the whole framework of international law. In his speech in Oslo for the peace prize ceremony in 2009, Barack Obama spoke of how the U.S.A. must be a standard bearer in terms of warfare, but America has become the opposite. By continuing to execute suspects extrajudicially, Obama is making war into a permanent state with no geographic boundaries.http://watchingamerica.com/News/239910/usa-devoted-to-illegal-killing-from-a-distance/