Can War Crimes Charges Be Far Off?

William A. Jacobson
Legal Insurrection
5/28/2010

The U.N. is taking the first steps in a process which inevitably will lead to various U.N. agencies and international N.G.O.s claiming that the drone strikes ordered by the U.S. government constitute war crimes, as reported by The New York Times:

A senior United Nations official is expected to call on the United States next week to stop Central Intelligence Agency drone strikes against people suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda, complicating the Obama administration’s growing reliance on that tactic in Pakistan.

Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Thursday that he would deliver a report on June 3 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that the “life and death power” of drones should be entrusted to regular armed forces, not intelligence agencies. He contrasted how the military and the C.I.A. responded to allegations that strikes had killed civilians by mistake.

…I warned about this previously in Drone Strikes Put Obama Admin Officials At Risk, noting how the same Mr. Alston previously raised the issue of drone strikes constituting human rights violations:

“My concern is that drones/Predators are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law,” he said.

The use of human rights laws against democracies defending themselves against terrorists is a favorite tactic, and Israel is the usual target. The goal is to tie the hands of civil societies through false moral equivalencies, in which the terrorist trying to kill civilians is equated to the people trying to stop the terrorist…

Read the entire article at Legal Insurrection.

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