Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Unlawful Killings by US Drones

-From the Amnesty International USA website:
In the words of the recent report compiled by NYU and Stanford University:
“Drones hover twenty four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan striking homes, vehicles and public spaces their presence terrorizes men, women and children giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities”
Drones operating under the CIA do not require any form of approval from the United States Senate or the U.S House of Representatives, in official terms there is no drone program and no war declared against Pakistan, or Yemen or Somalia.

Until now, 500-800 civilians have been killed killed from the  drone strikes, including 176 children. When killing by remote control fails to distinguish between funeral processions and weddings and alleged militants, they should be concerned about the glaring lack of accountability surrounding the drone program.

The New York Times has reported that President Obama has placed himself at the helm of designating a “secret kill list” that decides without any judicial or legislative input who the drones can target.
In Pakistan, the country where the majority of drone killing is taking place, the funerals and refugees coming from villages plagued by drone attacks are harder to ignore. Drone strikes have displaced hundreds of thousands of innocent people sending them into overcrowded refugee camps and teeming cities. Even more alarming, the anger and outcry at the violations of Pakistani sovereignty have actually driven many to be sympathetic to the militants allegedly targeted by the attacks.  Instead of focusing on the ravages and cruelties imposed by militant groups like the Tehreek-e-Taliban in Pakistan, the imperial over reach of the drone program, the ease with which it can target anyone at any time and shoot them from afar, has prevented the very reckoning that would allow Pakistanis to defeat and purge terrorism based on their own impetus.
In June of this year, the UN Special Rapporteur on extra judicial killings Christof  Heyn said that “drone strikes threaten 50 years of international law” expressing special concern about the fact that in several cases one strike closely following another actually kills rescuers attempting to aid casualties from the attack.  It is time end “the conspiracy of silence” the UN rapporteur said emphasizing that drone attacks were most devastatingly an attack on the system of international law. Amnesty International has also repeatedly condemned drone attacks, what we know about the attacks already demonstrates that they are unlawful and violations of the fundamental human right to not be arbitrarily deprived of life.

Stop the NDAA act from being passed. Save the civilians, save the children, save the innocent and protect justice.

You can sign petitions to be sent to:Leon Edward Panetta (Democrat), Eric H. Holder (Democrat), Hillary Rodham Clinton(Democrat), Barack Obama (Democrat).

Do not sit idly by. We are the ones who have to make things better. Stop complaining, start doing.

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