“President Barack Obama’s administration on Wednesday refused to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request for basic information on its drone programs,” remarked President of Veterans For Peace Leah Bolger. “While programs of assassination ought not to exist at all, this week’s response provides further evidence of the extreme secrecy now surrounding so much of what our government does.
“The White House has refused to disclose to the ACLU or the New York Times basic information on drone programs that amount to war-making, claiming that Congress has insisted on such secrecy, even while rejecting inquiries into the drone programs from Congress as well. Veterans For Peace supports efforts by the United Nations and the international human rights community to bring U.S. drone programs out into the open.
“It’s hard to know which is more absurd,” said Bolger, “the White House’s refusal to discuss the existence of drone programs (except to trumpet their ‘successes,’) or its failure to explain the legality of such programs.
“Of course the refusal to talk about such matters at all conveniently eliminates the difficult task of constructing an argument for how murder can be legal, as well as conveniently denying justice to the families of victims.
“War, while itself illegal and immoral, is commonly imagined as permitting acts that would be condemned as murder outside of war. In large part this is because we retain vestigial fantasies about fair fights between pairs of armies. In drone wars, one army is in an air-conditioned office on another continent, and the other army is absolutely helpless to fight back, trapped at home with children and grandparents, all of them subject to one-sided slaughter. Drone strikes may kill fewer people than a massive army would, but we never had a massive army in Pakistan or Yemen or Somalia. The drone strikes are an escalation of violence that may lead to major ground wars.
“Law enforcement cannot be the paradigm through which to view drone strikes. President Obama is policeman, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner. There is no right to appeal a ruling. One boy of 16 who might easily have been arrested in Islamabad was instead killed by drone a few days later. Like other victims, he was never charged with a crime. Still other victims are never identified by name, but only by suspicious behavior. And, again, others are accidents known in war as ‘collateral damage,’ a concept not yet imported into law enforcement…………
- News Analysis: Drones and Cyberattacks Renew Debate Over Security (nytimes.com)
- Ron Paul: Down with Deadly Drones, Both Foreign and Domestic (ronpaul.com)
- Govt Lawyers: Drone Strikes Must Remain Classified (news.antiwar.com)
- Protesters Oppose Expanding Drone Use (chicagotalks.org)
- Veterans For Peace Among 33 Arrested Outside Drone Base in New York State (veteranstoday.com)
- Just one reason why I won’t join Veterans for Peace (journeyamerica.wordpress.com)
- Veterans for Peace promotes ‘alternate view and voice’ on Memorial Day (columbiamissourian.com)
- Another right-wing drone skeptic (salon.com)
- EPA Spying on Farmers With Drones (gunnyg.wordpress.com)
- US government refuses to lift lid on drone strikes (dailystar.com.lb)