Are computerized drone attacks legal, humane?
caines | 2/21/2013, 4:30 a.m.
In 2013, war is no longer combat between two groups of human beings, but instead it is computerized man-less flying machines that search and destroy designated areas. Technology has created these computerized flying war-machines and they are designed to operate in the Star Wars generation. There are multiple uses for these machines, and the technology is allowing scientist to study conditions and systems that were not available with the human eye. Drone technology is not going away, and the U.S. military will continue to use this warfare, because President Obama, his administration and our military leaders consider this a more humane form of war. The White House has defended drone strikes against terrorist, as legal, ethical and wise and it complied with U.S. law and the Constitution. But many of the U.S. lawmakers were not aware of the counter-terrorism plan with the drone campaign that the White House had in place. Without saying explicitly, the government claims that they have the authority to kill American terrorism suspects in secret. This is very frightening to U.S. lawmakers, because according to a 16 page memo entitled, Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against an U.S. Citizen Who IS a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qaeda or An Associated Force, they can wage war against an American citizen with no geographic boundaries. This has created controversy in the media, with the lawmakers, political experts and the ACLU. Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union has sued to obtain the legal document used to authorize the killing of Awiaki, a radical preacher, called the white paper chilling. According to the white paper, the government has the authority to carry out targeted killings of U.S. citizens without presenting evidence to a judge before the fact or after, and indeed without even acknowledging to the courts or to the public that the authority has been exercised, says Jameel Jaffer. John Brennan has been nominated to head the CIA, and he is the chief architect and central player in the U.S. drone campaign. Many local and state police are using drones in their investigations, and most Americans have no idea that they are being used. Brennan has acknowledged that there have been instances where civilians have been killed, but that has been rare. The problem with this statement is that the drone campaign has been secret and covert and information on the strikes has not been transparent. Therefore, the drone attacks are on a case by case basis, and there is no checks and balance system to control the abuse of power. Now state lawmakers are concerned with the use of drones, because the unmanned vehicles could be used to spy on Americans in their homes. Many local and state police are using drones in their investigations, and most Americans have no idea that they are being used. The U.S. is operating killer drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, and our country is not at war with any of the countries. Many experts say it is illegal under international and humanitarian law for the U.S. to be attacking a country with which it is not at war. Naureeen Shah, association director of counterterrorism and human rights project at Columbia Law School says, This becomes a possible war crime when the US is killing civilians who pose no danger to the U.S. By Roger Caldwell, Miami Times contributor, firstname.lastname@example.org