Thursday, May 09, 2013
The CIA and Drone Strikes
One of the main themes of my forthcoming book Long Wars and the Constitution is that we can gain insight into the unconventional and seemingly novel “war on terror” by looking closely at the history of the cold war. This approach is especially helpful now in assessing the charges being leveled against the CIA because of the ongoing drone war being carried out in multiple countries under the auspices of the September 2001 AUMF. It is doubtful anyone is entirely happy with the results of the drone war and the civilian casualties that are its foreseeable consequences. But the drone war illustrates several things at once about the relationship between the “9/11 War” (my preferred term for the “war on terror”) and the cold war.
Self-defense and law of war targetings that comply with international law are not "assassinations." With respect to the permissibility of self-defense targetings by drone, "due process" issues, and presidential power, see my ABA statement:
One of the more interesting questions is not whether self-defense targetings of DPAA (direct participants in armed attacks) is permissible, but who is a DPAA, under what circ., etc.
The use of drones by the CIA and the military in targeted killings that inevitably result in civilian deaths that in turn radicalize people against the United States is bad policy when used as extensively as is presently the case. It may be "legal" under some interpretations of U.S. law while remaining unlawful under international law norms as I understand them. Bush declined to sign up for the International Criminal Court for just this reason. We will regret this behavior and it will come back to bite us.
I share the first comment's sentiments as to the misuse of some of the term "assassinations." The text underlines the point. A killing of a political leader like Castro is different than targeting OBL. The remarks overall are interesting though I might disagree on certain points.
This doesn't change my agreement with Bruce in Maine as to the negative policy results.
Targeting for a personality strike has a long history for surveillance and killing and both destically and internationally.
Targeting for a group or signature strike also has a long history for surveillance and killing and both domestically and internationally.
Nothing new under the sun with CIA and drones. More tomorrow.
"In the first major Pakistani court ruling on the legality of the CIA’s drone campaign in the country, a Peshawar High Court judge said this morning that strikes are ‘criminal offences’. Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan ordered Pakistan’s government to ‘use force if need be’ to end drone attacks in the country’s tribal regions.
He ruled that US drone strikes in Pakistan constitute a ‘war crime’ and are a ‘blatant violation of basic human rights’, killing hundreds of civilians. He ordered the government to ‘forcefully’ convey to the US that it must end drone strikes and called on the UN Security Council to intervene."
Actually, the intelligence analysis function of the CIA was only a cover for the covert actions for which it was responsible.
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People can have their different opinions on the subject matter and I believe that you have written your opinions down thoroughly.
It may be "legal" under some interpretations of U.S. law while remaining unlawful under international law norms as I understand them. Bush declined to sign up for the International Criminal Court for just this reason.Post a Comment
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