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High-Tech Death from Above: U.S. Drone Wars Fuel War Crimes
#1
High-Tech Death from Above: U.S. Drone Wars Fuel War Crimes

by Tom Burghardt / May 3rd, 2010
As America continues its uncontrolled flight towards disaster, Israeli-style “targeted killings” (assassinations) of alleged militants and unarmed civilians in the “Afpak theatre” are on the rise.
With indiscriminate attacks by armed drones soaring since President Obama was sworn into office, the Pentagon’s mad dash to achieve what it describes as “full-spectrum dominance” in this regional “battlespace,” has sought to leverage its dominant position as the world leader in robotized forms of state killing and obtain a decisive technological edge over their adversaries.
Judging by proverbial “facts on the ground,” they’ll need it. The World Socialist Web Site disclosed May 1, that a “semi-annual report released by the Pentagon on the Afghanistan war recorded a sharp increase in attacks on occupation troops and scarce support for the corrupt US-backed puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai.”
Despite Obama’s dispatch of 35,000 troops since his inauguration as imperial Consul, socialist critic Bill Van Auken writes that the congressionally-mandated progress report “presented a grim picture of the state of the nearly nine-year-old, US-led war,” and that “the country’s so-called insurgents considered 2009 their ‘most successful year’.”
That the drone wars will escalate is underscored by a piece in Air Force Times. Writing May 1, an anonymous correspondent reports that Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Glenn Walters, the deputy director for resources and acquisition for the Pentagon’s Joint Staff, said “the U.S. military has sent so many of its 6,500 UAVs to the Middle East that other operating theaters are going without.”
Speaking April 28 at an Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) conference in northern Virginia, Walters said that Obama’s Afghanistan “surge” has stripped other Pentagon commands of drones and that it “will likely be a year before U.S. planners have a better handle on how many UAVs will be needed there and how many can be spared for use outside of the Middle East.”
“By 2012,” Walters told the killer robot conclave, “we’ll have 8,000 UAVs that will have to fit into” the Defense Department’s global maintenance and basing structure.
All the more reason then, in keeping with the Pentagon’s twisted logic, to escalate attacks on Pakistan, raining high-tech death from above!
Remote-Controlled War Crimes
Since its inception under the criminal Bush regime, the administration’s robot assassination policy has been called into question by legal scholars and civil liberties’ advocates who charge that CIA, but also military pilots, waging America’s undeclared drone war on Pakistan may be liable for war crimes.
During hearings last week before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s National Security and Foreign Affairs panel, Mary Ellen O’Connell, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame, told the committee that “Combat drones are battlefield weapons. They fire missiles or drop bombs capable of inflicting very serious damage. Drones are not lawful for use outside combat zones. Outside such zones, police are the proper law enforcement agents, and police are generally required to warn before using lethal force.”
The one caveat I would add to the professor’s statement are that “police” would be “proper law enforcement agents” outside combat zones were America a “normal” country that abides by the rule of law, including laws governing armed conflict. Clearly, a nation that squanders nearly $800B of it’s treasure in a single year on death and destruction is anything but normal.
O’Connell went on to say that “restricting drones to the battlefield is the most important single rule governing their use. Yet, the United States is failing to follow it more often than not.” The Notre Dame law prof continued: “At the very time we are trying to win hearts and minds to respect the rule of law, we are ourselves failing to respect a very basic rule: remote weapons systems belong on the battlefield.”
In a sharply worded letter to President Obama, submitted as a statement for the record to the House panel, ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero wrote, “I am writing to express our profound concern about recent reports indicating that you have authorized a program that contemplates the killing of suspected terrorists–including U.S. citizens–located far away from zones of actual armed conflict. If accurately described, this program violates international law and, at least insofar as it affects U.S. citizens, it is also unconstitutional.”
Romero stated that the “U.S. is engaged in non-international armed conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq and the lawfulness of its actions must be judged in that context. … The entire world is not a war zone, and wartime tactics that may be permitted on the battlefields in Afghanistan and Iraq cannot be deployed anywhere in the world where a terrorism suspect happens to be located.”
But as the imperial project goes to ground, we can expect that the administration’s policy of targeting its enemies for liquidation on the streets of Sana’a, Mogadishu or perhaps, even New York or Washington, will continue along on its merry way.
Last October, investigative journalist Jane Mayer reported in The New Yorker that the Air Force UAV fleet “has grown from some fifty drones in 2001 to nearly two hundred; the C.I.A. will not divulge how many drones it operates. The government plans to commission hundreds more, including new generations of tiny ‘nano’ drones, which can fly after their prey like a killer bee through an open window.”
And given the classified rules governing the CIA’s “geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force,” the highly-compartmented program affords the President another plausibly deniable weapon in the Executive Branch arsenal. Because of this, Mayer writes, “there is no visible system of accountability in place, despite the fact that the agency has killed many civilians inside a politically fragile, nuclear-armed country with which the U.S. is not at war.”
“Should something go wrong in the C.I.A.’s program,” Mayer reports, “it’s unclear what the consequences would be.”
Judging however, by the response of our “forward looking” President and his “liberal” acolytes in Congress, academia and the media to widespread constitutional abuses (warrantless wiretapping), the waging of preemptive, aggressive wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan), and illegal detention and torture by the previous, and current, U.S. regimes, it’s pretty obvious what those “consequences” will be.
“The Predators in the C.I.A. program,” Mayer observes, “are ‘flown’ by civilians, both intelligence officers and private contractors.” Described as “seasoned professionals” by Mayer’s counterterrorism source, the CIA has outsourced “a significant portion of its work.” And “from their suburban redoubt,” we’re informed, “they can turn the plane, zoom in on the landscape below, and decide whether to lock onto a target.”
But therein lies the rub for the CIA.
During last week’s congressional hearings, Loyola Law School professor David Glazier, told the House panel that the CIA’s crew of killer drone pilots could, in theory at least, be prosecuted because they aren’t combatants in a legal sense.
“It is my opinion, as well as that of most other law-of-war scholars I know, that those who participate in hostilities without the combatant’s privilege do not violate the law of war by doing so, they simply gain no immunity from domestic laws,” Glazier said.
“Under this view” Glazier continued, “CIA drone pilots are liable to prosecution under the law of any jurisdiction where attacks occur for any injuries, deaths or property damage they cause.” Here’s where things get interesting. “But under the legal theories adopted by our government in prosecuting Guantánamo detainees, these CIA officers as well as any higher-level government officials who have authorized or directed their attacks are committing war crimes.” (emphasis added)
There it is, plug-and-play state killing; but fear not.
As a top Bush administration aide told investigative journalist Ron Suskind in 2004: “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality–judiciously, as you will–we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
While the swagger and imperial hubris of the Bush regime may have been swapped for the vastly superior Obama (PR) product, the results are inevitably the same: death and destruction on a planetary scale and to hell with the law and human rights.
Drone Wars Escalate
As The Long War Journal noted in January, the American drone campaign “in Pakistan’s tribal areas remains the cornerstone of the effort to root out and decapitate the senior leadership of al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other allied terror groups, and to disrupt both al Qaeda’s global and local operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
CNN reported that CIA Director, Leon Panetta, told the Pacific Council on International Policy in Los Angeles last May that the American drone war is “the only game in town in terms of confronting or trying to disrupt” the leadership of the Afghan-Arab database of disposable Western intelligence assets known as al-Qaeda.
But with civilian deaths spiking, the robot reign of terror has sparked widespread opposition across all political sectors in Pakistan, from far-right Islamist factions to the socialist left. While Pentagon and CIA officials claim that civilian deaths are “regrettable,” an unintended consequence of America’s global imperial project, facts on the ground tell a different tale.
Last year, investigative journalist Amir Mir reported in Lahore’s English-language newspaper, The News, that of 60 “cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent.”
According to Mir, the “drone attacks went wrong due to faulty intelligence information, killing hundreds of innocent civilians, including women and children.” The Pentagon and CIA dispute these figures.
In February however, Mir disclosed that Afghanistan-based Predator drones “carried out a record number of 12 deadly missile strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan in January 2010, of which 10 went wrong and failed to hit their targets, killing 123 innocent Pakistanis. The remaining two successful drone strikes killed three al-Qaeda leaders, wanted by the Americans.”
According to the journalist, the spike in drone assaults indicated that “revenge is the major motive for these attacks,” and can be “attributed to December 30, 2009 suicide bombing in the Khost area of Afghanistan bordering North Waziristan, which killed seven CIA agents. US officials later identified the bomber as Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian national linked to both al-Qaeda and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”
In other words, the slaughter of 123 civilians was viewed by the CIA and Pentagon as a splendid means “to avenge the loss of the seven CIA agents and to raise morale of its forces in Afghanistan.”
Sensitive as always to the suffering of others, The Washington Post reported April 26, that “CIA is using new, smaller missiles and advanced surveillance techniques to minimize civilian casualties in its targeted killings of suspected insurgents in Pakistan’s tribal areas, according to current and former officials in the United States and Pakistan.”
According to the Post, “technological improvements” in recent months “have resulted in more accurate operations that have provoked relatively little public outrage,” the unnamed officials said.
Stung by the growing furor over civilian deaths, the Agency defensively claims their assassination program delivers “precision unsurpassed in the history of warfare.”
Chief among the “improvements” cited by the Post, CIA Predators are now fielding a Lockheed Martin-designed “Small Smart Weapon” called the Scorpion. Clocking-in at 21 inches, weighing 35 pounds and having the diameter of a “small coffee cup,” the Post reports that it causes far less damage than a Hellfire “and it can be fitted with four different guidance systems that allow it to home in on targets as small as a single person, in complete darkness.”
According to Lockheed Martin, the Scorpion “provides the warfighter with low cost lethality against a broad target set” and “ensures accuracy to less than one meter and dramatically reduces the possibility of collateral damage.”
I’m sure this comes as a comforting reassurance of America’s pure intentions, especially for “Afpak” women and children who’ve been turned into smoldering body parts scattered across the landscape of our latest “good war.”
An Evolving Marketplace…for High-Tech Death
As the United States continues its drive to dominate resource-rich, but politically unstable regions of the world, the Pentagon, in a throw-back to the “Camelot” era of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations’ have embraced the counterinsurgency doctrine of fighting multiple “brushfire” wars in inhospitable global hot-spots.
Increasingly, as the “battlespace” morphs from fighting in jungles, deserts or that former Cold War set-piece, the European plain, directly into large urban areas, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) takes center stage. While “situational awareness” of the hot zone has always been a preoccupation of Pentagon planners, the nature of urban combat places a premium on complex technological systems that gather intelligence–from low earth orbit to right outside your door.
Such preoccupations have been a boon for America’s defense and security grifters.
During 2010’s first quarter, Washington Technology reported, that “contracts announced during January, February and March had values that ranged from $266 million to $2.8 billion.”
According to reporter Nick Wakeman, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., “secured” a $266 million contract from the Air Force for “program and technical support for the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial systems.”
Work will include “program and configuration management, logistics, technical services, flight and operations, software maintenance and data collection.”
As investigative journalist Nick Turse reported for TomDispatch in January, the Pentagon “cut two sizeable checks to ensure that unmanned operations involving the MQ-1 Predator and the MQ-9 Reaper will continue full-speed ahead in 2010.” In addition to the General Atomics deal, Turse reported that the Air Force inked a “$38 million contract with defense giant Raytheon for logistics support for the targeting systems of both drones.”
As combat operations across the “Afpak theatre” escalate, the use of drones by both the CIA and Air Force have sharply increased; indeed, the Pentagon is on a veritable shopping spree.
This is borne-out by the flight hours logged by unmanned systems. “In 2004″ Turse writes, “Reapers, just beginning to soar, flew 71 hours in total, according to Air Force documents; in 2006, that number had risen to 3,123 hours; and last year, 25,391 hours.”
According to Air Force estimates Turse avers, “the combined flight hours of all its drones–Predators, Reapers, and unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks–will exceed 250,000 hours, about the total number of hours flown by all Air Force drones from 1995-2007. In 2011, the 300,000 hour-a-year barrier is expected to be crossed for the first time, and after that the sky’s the limit.”
Such estimates can only be music to the ears of General Atomics’ shareholders.
While these systems are powerful reminders that being an Empire means never having to say you’re sorry to the victims, it seems they’re not quite good enough.
Air Force Times reported last May that the Air Force “is already looking at a third generation of armed remote-control planes even as it continues to build up its fleet of MQ-1 Predators and MQ-9 Reapers.”
Although General Atomics has the lock on providing the CIA and Pentagon with MQ-1 and MQ-9s, the “service has started an analysis” for a next gen killer drone, the MQ-X, “with the goal of choosing a plane in 2012, Lt. Gen. Mark Shackelford told reporters.”
According to Air Force Times, “General Atomics has already unveiled a jet-powered UAV called the Avenger, able to fly at 460 mph–about twice as fast as the Reaper–and carry 3,000 pounds of weapons and sensors.”
Last week, Defense Systems reported that the Defense Department “is reassessing its view of unmanned aerial vehicles–a key component of modern combat operations–and deciding what the military needs from UAVs beyond their traditional use as a platform to gather intelligence and fire weapons.”
Defense Systems’ reporter Amber Corrin wrote that “next-generation UAVs will need to take on additional duties including cargo transport, refueling and possible medical applications, and they will need to be interoperable with different platforms, users and military services.”
One wag, Col. Dale Fridley, the Director of the Air Force Unmanned Aerial Systems Task Force, said that the Air Force is looking for a “plug-and-play” approach and that “interoperable command and control, multi-access controls and enhanced human-system interfaces are among the most important short-term enablers in developing next-generation UAVs.”
Fridley described the proposed MQ-X as the “embodiment of the flight plan.”
According to General Atomics, the firm’s next-gen, jet-powered Predator C drone, the Avenger, can attain air speeds far greater than the lumbering systems currently operating. With a 41-foot long fuselage and 66-foot wingspan, the system can “can carry the same mix of weapons as Predator B,” the MQ-9 Reaper. The company envisages the manufacture of both armed and unarmed reconnaissance models for the Defense Department and other willing customers.
And with Predators clocking more than 30,000 hours of flight time per month, and with more than 40 UAVs aloft “every second of every day,” as GA boosters put it, and with the Air Force and the CIA seeking the capability to fly anywhere from 50-75 daily “missions” above Afghanistan, Pakistan and who knows where else, the always-open wallet’s of the American people will continue feeding, and accelerating, the imperialist “kill chain.”
Tom Burghardt is a researcher and activist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to publishing in Covert Action Quarterly and Global Research, an independent research and media group of writers, scholars, journalists and activists based in Montreal, his articles can be read on Dissident Voice, The Intelligence Daily and Pacific Free Press. He is the editor of Police State America: U.S. Military "Civil Disturbance" Planning, distributed by AK Press. Read other articles by Tom, or visit Tom's website.
This article was posted on Monday, May 3rd, 2010 at 9:00am and is filed under Afghanistan, Anti-war, Assassinations, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Imperialism, Legal/Constitutional, Military/Militarism, Obama, Pakistan, War Crimes.

http://dissidentvoice.org/2010/05/high-t...more-16698
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
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#2
In the comments section for the above, the first two comments (thus far):


  1. mary said on May 3rd, 2010 at 9:25am #
    This is Obomber’s idea of a joke when he was addressing the press.
    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/wo...114565.ece
    ‘Hollywood figures including Michael Douglas and Steven Spielberg were joined in the Washington Hilton on Saturday night by a new generation of entertainers, including the 16-year-old Canadian singer Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers. “Jonas Brothers are here; they’re out there somewhere,” Mr Obama said. “Sasha and Malia are huge fans but boys, don’t get any ideas. *Two words for you: predator drones. You will never see it coming*.”
    Is he as psychopathic as Bush and Blair? Is killing by remote control as nothing to him?
  2. Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 3rd, 2010 at 11:03am #
    mary, he is, I think,far worse. Obummer is, in my opinion, a plausible,charming psychopath,by far the most dangerous type. A sort of political Ted Bundy, completely programmed and controlled by the Zionists, as they boasted after his election became certain.The murder of innocents is bi-partisan policy in Washington, because it reflects Zionist genocidal plans for the Islamic untermenschen and because killing is the highest good in Yankee psychology. That pathopsychology itself is based on Old Testament (ie Torah) injunctions to genocide, which were expressly appealed to by Yankee killers from the days of New England, through the various Indian Wars, always genocidal and continuing across much of the world up to the present day.
    For the Yankee killing is religiously sanctified and redemptive. It gives the killer the delusion of control and mastery over death, that ultimate, terrifying, reality that the Yankee fears so viscerally. Apart from denying death and pretending it doesn’t exist, the act of murder produces a great psychic release and a sense of mastery over life and death.How else do you explain the relentless cruelty of the extermination of the Indians, the viciousness of slavery,the group ecstasies of lynching, the hideous massacres in the Philippines, the devastation of Korea and Indochina, the absolutely unnecessary obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Madeleine Albright’s insouciant observation that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children were a price that was ‘worth it’.
    It is plain that the US, under Zionist control and influence, has committed itself to a policy of state destruction and mass murder, without restraint or pity, in order to shore up the global empire of the Zioamerican Reich. That this slaughter is planned to be implemented by amoral and pitiless robopaths, sitting at computer consoles thousands of miles from their victims, simply reflects the growth amongst the US elite and their hired murderers of a pathopsychology of intense hatred and pitiless indifference to the fate of others seen as untermenschen. This psychology is absolutely congruent with that of the Nazi mass murderers, although they often suffered dreadful psychic angst at the loathsome duties expected of them. The US seems to have perfected the production of pitiless killers, trained in violent computer games, brainwashed by relentless Zionist agit-prop to hate their Islamic victims pitilessly and incapable of seeing their ‘targets’ as fellow human beings.Unless something opposes US/Israeli malevolence and death worship and lust for absolute global control, in perpetuity, then the horrors of the 20th century will soon pale into insignificance before the massacres to come. The whole planet will become a vast Auschwitz,and death will descend, in an instant, from the heavens sparing no-one.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#3
Here's the video of the comments by obummer referenced in the first comment: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWKG6ZmgAX4&feature=player_embedded
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#4
From http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2010/05/...e-targets/

No-Name Terrorists Now CIA Drone Targets


[Image: p1000351.jpg]
Once upon a time, the CIA had to know a militant’s name before putting him up for a robotic targeted killing. Now, if the guy acts like a guerrilla, it’s enough to call in a drone strike.
It’s another sign of that a once-limited, once-covert program to off senior terrorist leaders has morphed into a full-scale — if undeclared — war in Pakistan. And in a war, you don’t need to know the name of someone on the other side before you take a shot.
Across the border, in Afghanistan, the rules for launching an airstrike have become tighter than a balled fist. Dropping a bomb from above is now a tactic of last resort; even when U.S. troops are under fire, commanders are reluctant to authorize air strikes. In Pakistan, however, the opposite has happened. Starting in the latter days of the Bush administration, and accelerating under the Obama presidency, drone pilots have become more and more free to launch their weapons.
You’ve had an expanded target set for [some] time now and, given the danger these groups pose and their relative inaccessibility, these kinds of strikes — precise and effective — have become almost like the cannon fire of this war. They’re no longer extraordinary or even unusual,” one American official tells CNN.
This official — like many other officials — insists that the drone strikes have torn up the ranks of militants.
“The enemy has lost not just operational leaders and facilitators — people whose names we know — but formations of fighters and other terrorists,” the official tells the Los Angeles Times. “We might not always have their names, but … these are people whose actions over time have made it obvious that they are a threat.”
National security law experts, inside the government and out, are in the middle of an intense debate over whether the remotely piloted attacks are legal. One leading law professor told Congress last week that the drone operators could be tried for “war crimes,” under certain circumstances. The State Department’s top lawyer counters that the drone attacks are a legitimate act of self-defense.
The connection between the robotic strikes over there and our safety here appears to be growing, The Pakistani Taliban, who have claimed credit for the botched Times Square bombing, say the car bomb was in retaliation for drone strikes. But the robotic aircraft are only one component in the war in Pakistan. American troops are on the ground there, and getting into firefights. American contractors are operating a fleet of helicopters above. Higher in the sky are the American drones, flown by the U.S. Air Force and the CIA.
The most relevant literature regarding what happened since September 11, 2001 is George Orwell's "1984".
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#5
U.S. Government Can Execute Its Own Citizens With No Judicial Process And Based On Secret Intelligence

May 15th, 2010 What do we learn from the New York Times in the article below?
Some legal authorities are deeply uneasy about the U.S. Government’s arbitrary assassination of Americans. That is supposed to soothe us, I think. We can rest assured that someone feels deeply uneasy about the government murdering its own citizens.
I don’t know about you, but I feel better already. *phew*
But read on, and what we find is that, actually, the drone atrocities aren’t so bad because only a “few dozen nearby civilians” were killed in attacks that killed “hundreds” of militants. The source for these figures? “Counterterrorism officials.” That’s ok. The sensible, Volvo driving Democrats who subscribe to the New York Times know that you’ve gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. It is helpful to know that people feel uneasy about all of this anyway. Deeply uneasy, I mean.
Maybe the “counterterrorism officials” meant that only dozens of civilians had been killed in about a day’s worth of botched drone attacks? And since Barry cracks wise about it, so what:
On June 22, the US struck at a house officials called a “suspected militant hideout,” burying a few locals inside. When others rushed to the scene to rescue them, they launched another missile, killing 13 apparently innocent Pakistanis. When they held a funeral procession on June 23, the US hit that too, ostensibly on the belief that Baitullah Mehsud might be among the mourners. He wasn’t, but the attack killed at least 80 more people.
Next, we learn that communications intercepts on Americans are subject to legal restrictions. Ah, that’s nice. Let’s go to Starbucks and read the rest of the New York Times there.
Intercept programs that are publicly acknowledged have legal restrictions. What about black world intercept programs? Perhaps the New York Times forgot about Mark Klein and the secret NSA rooms inside the telecom carriers’ facilities.
What legal protections are in place for the millions of Americans who are targeted by MAIN CORE? “The Gray Lady” shrugs its shoulders and thinks, “I don’t deal with conspiracy theories.”
Surely, all of the information on Americans that will be stored in the NSA’s newly built data centers (three million square feet worth) will have been collected with court issued warrants. Mmm hmm.
Oh well, at least the main point is there: The outlaw U.S. regime arbitrarily murders Americans with terminator robots. Here it is with sugar on top.
Via: New York Times:
The Obama administration’s decision to authorize the killing by the Central Intelligence Agency of a terrorism suspect who is an American citizen has set off a debate over the legal and political limits of drone missile strikes, a mainstay of the campaign against terrorism.
The notion that the government can, in effect, execute one of its own citizens far from a combat zone, with no judicial process and based on secret intelligence, makes some legal authorities deeply uneasy.
To eavesdrop on the terrorism suspect who was added to the target list, the American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is hiding in Yemen, intelligence agencies would have to get a court warrant. But designating him for death, as C.I.A. officials did early this year with the National Security Council’s approval, required no judicial review.
“Congress has protected Awlaki’s cellphone calls,” said Vicki Divoll, a former C.I.A. lawyer who now teaches at the United States Naval Academy. “But it has not provided any protections for his life. That makes no sense.”
Administration officials take the view that no legal or constitutional rights can protect Mr. Awlaki, a charismatic preacher who has said it is a religious duty to attack the United States and who the C.I.A. believes is actively plotting violence. The attempted bombing of Times Square on May 1 is the latest of more than a dozen terrorist plots in the West that investigators believe were inspired in part by Mr. Awlaki’s rhetoric.
“American citizenship doesn’t give you carte blanche to wage war against your own country,” said a counterterrorism official who discussed the classified program on condition of anonymity. “If you cast your lot with its enemies, you may well share their fate.”
President Obama, who campaigned for the presidency against George W. Bush-era interrogation and detention practices, has implicitly invited moral and legal scrutiny of his own policies.
But like the debate over torture during the Bush administration, public discussion of what officials call targeted killing has been limited by the secrecy of the C.I.A. drone program. Representative John F. Tierney, who on April 28 held the first Congressional hearing focused on the lawfulness of targeted killing, said he was determined to air the contentious questions publicly and possibly seek legislation to govern such operations.
The reported targeting of Mr. Awlaki “certainly raises the question of what rights a citizen has and what steps must be taken before he’s put on the list,” said Mr. Tierney, Democrat of Massachusetts and chairman of a House subcommittee on national security.
Counterterrorism officials, with the support of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, say the drone missile strikes have proved to be an extraordinarily successful weapon against militants in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the location of all the known C.I.A. strikes except one in Yemen in 2002. By their count, the missiles have killed more than 500 militants since 2008, and a few dozen nearby civilians.
In the fullest administration statement to date, Harold Koh, the State Department’s legal adviser, said in a March 24 speech the drone strikes against Al Qaeda and its allies were lawful as part of the military action authorized by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as well as under the general principle of self-defense. By those rules, he said, such targeted killing was not assassination, which is banned by executive order.


####


Phantom Ray UAV Capable of Completely Autonomous Operation

May 15th, 2010 Via: MSNBC:
Boeing’s sleek fighter-size Phantom Ray stealth jet will make its first flight by year’s end. This unmanned airborne system is designed for a variety of warfighter roles ranging from reconnaissance and surveillance to aerial refueling, electronic attack and hunter/killer missions.
The 36-foot-long aircraft, which will serve as a test bed for advanced technologies, was rolled out May 10 at the Boeing Defense, Space & Security plant in St. Louis, Mo. With its 614-mph (0.8 Mach) cruising speed, operating altitude of 40,000 feet and 50-foot wingspan, the 36,5000-pound Phantom Ray advances the state of the art for unmanned aircraft. The bat-shaped flying wing has a combat radius of 1,200 nautical miles. Power comes from a General Electric F404-102D engine.
Unlike earlier generation drones serving with the military in hot spots such as Afghanistan, where the aircraft is remotely controlled from the ground by a pilot using a joy stick, the Phantom Ray is capable of completely autonomous operation without the need for anyone to be at the controls, according to Boeing.
It’s more fly-by-mouse than fly-by wire. You upload a mission profile to the Phantom Ray’s onboard computer and the aircraft runs the entire mission from takeoff through mission and landing without the needs for human intervention or control unless the need arises to make changes in the mission profile.
"Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"
Reply
#6
Ed Jewett Wrote:In the comments section for the above, the first two comments (thus far):


[*] Mulga Mumblebrain said on May 3rd, 2010 at 11:03am #
mary, he is, I think,far worse. Obummer is, in my opinion, a plausible,charming psychopath,by far the most dangerous type. A sort of political Ted Bundy, completely programmed and controlled by the Zionists, as they boasted after his election became certain.The murder of innocents is bi-partisan policy in Washington, because it reflects Zionist genocidal plans for the Islamic untermenschen and because killing is the highest good in Yankee psychology. That pathopsychology itself is based on Old Testament (ie Torah) injunctions to genocide, which were expressly appealed to by Yankee killers from the days of New England, through the various Indian Wars, always genocidal and continuing across much of the world up to the present day.
For the Yankee killing is religiously sanctified and redemptive. It gives the killer the delusion of control and mastery over death, that ultimate, terrifying, reality that the Yankee fears so viscerally. Apart from denying death and pretending it doesn’t exist, the act of murder produces a great psychic release and a sense of mastery over life and death.How else do you explain the relentless cruelty of the extermination of the Indians, the viciousness of slavery,the group ecstasies of lynching, the hideous massacres in the Philippines, the devastation of Korea and Indochina, the absolutely unnecessary obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Madeleine Albright’s insouciant observation that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children were a price that was ‘worth it’.
It is plain that the US, under Zionist control and influence, has committed itself to a policy of state destruction and mass murder, without restraint or pity, in order to shore up the global empire of the Zioamerican Reich. That this slaughter is planned to be implemented by amoral and pitiless robopaths, sitting at computer consoles thousands of miles from their victims, simply reflects the growth amongst the US elite and their hired murderers of a pathopsychology of intense hatred and pitiless indifference to the fate of others seen as untermenschen. This psychology is absolutely congruent with that of the Nazi mass murderers, although they often suffered dreadful psychic angst at the loathsome duties expected of them. The US seems to have perfected the production of pitiless killers, trained in violent computer games, brainwashed by relentless Zionist agit-prop to hate their Islamic victims pitilessly and incapable of seeing their ‘targets’ as fellow human beings.Unless something opposes US/Israeli malevolence and death worship and lust for absolute global control, in perpetuity, then the horrors of the 20th century will soon pale into insignificance before the massacres to come. The whole planet will become a vast Auschwitz,and death will descend, in an instant, from the heavens sparing no-one.
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I haven't read a better comment from a blogger.
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