Amnesty International says US drone strike program = War Crimes, Pakistan PM Agrees

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posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 08:50 PM
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Pakistani PM Urges US to stop drone strikes in his country.

www.voanews.com...

Highlights:


In the document released Tuesday Amnesty International says that the United States “appears to have committed very serious” human rights violations with its drone program in Pakistan, some of which could even amount to war crimes. The rights group is now calling on U.S. authorities to end the secrecy surrounding the controversial program and bring to justice those responsible for civilian deaths in drone attacks.



Contrary to official claims that those killed were “terrorists,” Qadri claimed Amnesty International’s research has established that some of those targeted were not involved in fighting, posed no threat to anyone, and certainly were not an imminent threat to the United States.


For example, the report identifies a 68-year old grandmother killed in October last year as Mamana Bibi. She was picking vegetables in her family’s fields in the village of Ghundi Kala, in North Waziristan, when a drone strike killed her.



Amnesty has demanded the United States publicly disclose the legal basis for the drone strike program in Pakistan. It also urges U.S. authorities to investigate all suspected unlawful killings.



Heavy words from the Pakistan PM, not that anyone cares about anything besides Obamacare. I can see how this may have developed, the US... offers Pakistan to go after targets (massive corruption there) and a week later a few villages in the borderlands are lit up.




posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:10 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


I think this is good news.

The US needs to get their drone program under some type of better control.
Drone strikes are not going away. But the targeting, ID, and use of them leaves much to be desired. Too many incidences of civilian casualties while talibán fighters planting bombs in roads are left to get away.

I doubt anything will really come from this, but maybe it will cause a tightening up of the program.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:11 PM
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This has been all over the news here today - Australia



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:17 PM
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I wonder, is all that aid money just reported as sent to Islamabad for military support transferred or is it too late to take it back and cut up the check, so to speak?

Pakistan has been hand in glove with as much of that as they have complained when it's gone off the rails and made a high profile OOPS ...or deliberate hit with bad results. If they want full disclosure, I only say it BE FULL ..to INCLUDE the complicity of host nations, nations giving overflight permissions AND nations that add their own little "honey-do" tasking orders on the top of what our guys are already handling.

That's a mighty big glass house some Pakistani officials are standing in, as they throw rocks on this one.

As for Amnesty International? Well... Can't blame them. This is their whole mission in life....and it's about time for what comes from them. Nice of them to finally notice a problem after 10+ years, in a major way.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:25 PM
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The leader of a country having its citizens blown up by hellfire missiles raining from the sky thinks its a war crime. How novel. Can't say I blame him, ya know?



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:26 PM
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Wrabbit2000
I wonder, is all that aid money just reported as sent to Islamabad for military support transferred or is it too late to take it back and cut up the check, so to speak?

Pakistan has been hand in glove with as much of that as they have complained when it's gone off the rails and made a high profile OOPS ...or deliberate hit with bad results. If they want full disclosure, I only say it BE FULL ..to INCLUDE the complicity of host nations, nations giving overflight permissions AND nations that add their own little "honey-do" tasking orders on the top of what our guys are already handling.

That's a mighty big glass house some Pakistani officials are standing in, as they throw rocks on this one.

As for Amnesty International? Well... Can't blame them. This is their whole mission in life....and it's about time for what comes from them. Nice of them to finally notice a problem after 10+ years, in a major way.


None of that negates the crime.

Civilians are being killed by the collateral, thats all that matters.

Not why, not where, not who.

Innocent lives being taken by a heartless government.

Is that not what we all supposedly where up in arms about with Syria?

War should cost, it should hurt, America has turned it into a video game.

When the US wages war, it should hurt each and every American, From the POTUS on down.

War should not be taken to lightly, drone warfare has allowed that very thing to happen.

Its disgusting.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:29 PM
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benrl

Is that not what we all supposedly where up in arms about with Syria?


Affirmative, same # different day, bigger pile smaller shovel.
edit on 22-10-2013 by Rosinitiate because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:35 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 


Negating the crime isn't the point.. Politics in leveling the charge is. It's why I distinguish clearly between Amnesty International, whom I respect and follow fairly closely as half way neutral brokers of event information (as much as anyone gets these days) from the duplicitous leadership of Pakistan and the ISI...which blurs enough to be hard to tell apart, in my personal opinion.

Amnesty International does a service. Pakistan's PM, on the other hand, probably bets everything that this won't go anywhere and what I'm sure his own direct involvement in some drone operations over his soil have been won't be in any international court records in our lifetimes.

Exposing wrong doing is one thing.. exploiting it for politics is another and obviously not just an American failing by any means. Ironically, the game here is to have us condemning our own nation while applauding the co-conspirator who is personally reporting it to the world.

That makes it the worst of all, in how I see it. I do have a different way of viewing some things though.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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Wrabbit2000
reply to post by benrl
 


Negating the crime isn't the point.. Politics in leveling the charge is. It's why I distinguish clearly between Amnesty International, whom I respect and follow fairly closely as half way neutral brokers of event information (as much as anyone gets these days) from the duplicitous leadership of Pakistan and the ISI...which blurs enough to be hard to tell apart, in my personal opinion.

Amnesty International does a service. Pakistan's PM, on the other hand, probably bets everything that this won't go anywhere and what I'm sure his own direct involvement in some drone operations over his soil have been won't be in any international court records in our lifetimes.

Exposing wrong doing is one thing.. exploiting it for politics is another and obviously not just an American failing by any means. Ironically, the game here is to have us condemning our own nation while applauding the co-conspirator who is personally reporting it to the world.

That makes it the worst of all, in how I see it. I do have a different way of viewing some things though.


On the merit of Amnesty International alone we should condemn this as unacceptable, I don't give two flying *(&$ about what other countries think of the US and that should be pretty clear by my history.

WHAT I care about is it lessens us, it weakens the US, its another black mark on an already dark section of US history.

To me its not about the enemy, its about who we are as a people and what we allow as a society.

Politics is what it is, and we the people need to cut through that BS and sees what matters, THE US in an effort to stomp out something, became that very thing.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 09:51 PM
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From your source article

In preliminary findings released last week, Emmerson quoted Pakistani officials as saying drone attacks have killed at least 400 civilians. However, Emmerson also said he is still in the process of confirming reports of civilian deaths in drone strikes with the states involved.


So we're not talking about one or two people here but a whole lot more. At what point does the killing of civilians constitute a war crime? To the families of the innocent, there has been no compensation nor apology, nor has there been any owning up to this.

I agree with those who say the whole program ought to be reviewed and a proper evaluation of every incident be done before their surviving family members develop a real thirst for revenge. Remember how people felt after 9/11. Operating a drone ought not be treated as a video game when innocent bystanders become the victims time and again.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:08 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 


We do need to work as citizens to reign in our Government. I absolutely agree. I'm doing what I can to the extent I can manage personally, while I'm attending college to learn how to do more ...among other things I'm there to do. (earning a living fits in there somewhere too..)

The issue I see..and it's an insurmountable issue on this story, is that the change needs to come from us. Not from change imposed by force (which is the only way it will ever happen) from outside nations or bodies. If that's what people welcome, I'm on the opposite side and as far as one gets. That will never change for my position.

Seeing that change is what the Pakistani PM is apparently rallying for.

Now I'm sorry if he's sore that he's sold the soul of his nation to the CIA on one hand, with drones ....and China on the other for Gwadar. However, tough for him...and like I said, if war crime investigations are ever to be had, he can step up and stand for the same trial on the same or worse charges.

Pakistan has been hammering away at the same Taliban/AQ "civilians" that our drones have been hitting from above since well before 9/11 happened. More recently, direct hits into Waziristan on the level of full military incursions.

...It's not that change isn't needed within our nation. What change, and in what language it's dictated determines support or not though and to very strong degrees either way. Absolute degrees, really.
edit on 22-10-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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First off, war is hell, and I'd like for anyone to find a way to wage war without killing civilians. It's just not possible.

That being said, I missed where we declared war on many of the countries where we are making drone strikes.

I understand the need to take out a lot of the targets being killed by the drones, but I think a drone is better understood as a weapon of war we can use to make targeted strikes on an enemy from afar. And yes, drone strikes will have collateral damage.

I tend to lose sympathy for the drone thing when they go so far as to start droning people who are US citizens and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and the press secretary makes a flippant remark about having the wrong father as an excuse. If you want to use the drones, declare war.

If you want to take out high value terrorist targets, find another way. Although, some people might have to understand that we may have to ultimately settle for some ugly tactics like very personal assassination rather than simply assassination via drone to deal with some of these targets.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:20 PM
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I concur

Can we put the government in the corner for a timeout?

Suspend their allowance as well, indefinitely.

Lethal autonomy
edit on 4925x6749America/ChicagovAmerica/Chicago10 by six67seven because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:21 PM
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reply to post by aboutface
 



aboutface
So we're not talking about one or two people here but a whole lot more. At what point does the killing of civilians constitute a war crime? To the families of the innocent, there has been no compensation nor apology, nor has there been any owning up to this.

I agree.

According to other sources like the Bureau of Investigative Journalism or the Stanford International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic that number is even higher, and less than 2% of the victims are high-profile targets. The rest are civilians, children and alleged combatants. (The Obama administration classifies any able-bodied male a military combatant unless evidence is brought forward to prove otherwise.)

Sources:
Covert Drone War (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)
Living Under Drones (Stanford International Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Clinic)
edit on 22-10-2013 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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GD21D also made a thread about this topic here yesterday.

I myself made a thread about a HTML5 visualization that lists all victims of every known drone strike in Pakistan since 2004 here: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

edit on 22-10-2013 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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Yeah, I think the Drone Program should be monitored by a third party, also.

Each missile should be accounted for, along with the video footage. The data on the targets should be available to this third party as well.

Basically, each time a person is killed, there better be a damned good reason, because there is a missile by missile audit system.

If the U.S. has nothing to hide about the program, then I think every allied country as well as the U.N. and amnesty should have access to the records.

Any violations should be dealt with seriously.

If it becomes too much of a problem, well ... oh, who am I kidding.





We're all doomed.



posted on Oct, 22 2013 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by Unrealised
 


Can we get the Taliban and Al Qaeda to supply the same on Suicide Bombers, IED's in populated and crowded areas as well as the reprisals taken against civilian populations thought to have collaborated or been sympathetic to Western Forces?

No sane person can say that crap like follow up missiles into first responders is right. If Al Qaeda was doing it to us, we'd scream bloody murder. In fact, we literally have ..when they HAVE run secondary blasts designed to catch responders and crowds after the primary. So I'll never defend the drone program as being entirely or even generally sound at this point. Especially when follow up shots HAVE been taken enough times, as reported by some of the 'pilots' themselves, to remove doubt as to it being some warped part of policy...as hard to believe as that is.

I sure want to see those war crimes charges come fair though... War Crimes is a VERY large word to use, after all. Leaders are literally arrested right out of their own nations on those charges..which, in some today, would start wars and kill plenty more innocents in the process.

It should be interesting to see develop here and who in the world, if any, next come to attack the US openly and in terms which wouldn't have been heard...even a year or two ago.



posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 01:19 AM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Meanwhile, in Pakistan...




posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 03:27 AM
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Oh noes...Amnesty International! I'm sure Obama is quaking in his boots!

Even if they got the Hague to agree, who would enforce it?



posted on Oct, 23 2013 @ 09:33 AM
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This is for sure an issue now. Even my rag of a newspaper had the same article. In his last years, the now totally marginalized Bin Laden, wrote a 46 page memo to one of his deputies about the sad state of al-Qaeda's jihad because of the American drone program. In increasing amounts of sheer paranoia, along with micromanaging a movement in which he had been totally pushed aside, he gave bizarre advise on avoiding the killing machines. Some of the highlights include:

When kidnapping a heretic bags of ransom money should be thrown aside to avoid American tracking devises.

In meetings brothers should adjourn to tunnels or overpasses to avoid drones.

American spy machines can distinguish between men and women going into to safe houses so they should be interspersed accordingly ???

Members should refuel and eat hearty before long road trips to avoid American spy satellites???

High ranking members should always move about with civilians and family???

The fateful should move about on days of cloud cover to avoid the drones.

Obviously, he is somewhat off his rocker, and angry and resentful, that the Arab Spring movement that swept through the Middle East wanted nothing to do with his message, his brutal killings of Muslims, or his band of God's warriors.

I point this out because the reputation of the drone program, and it hot pursuit of jihadist, should be sufficient to limit it's use. I don't think the CIA, or President Obama, need to reenforce the ability of these killing machines and the defenseless nature of those they pursue.

This is a difficult subject, the killing of the innocent. Obviously, the enemy has no qualms about blowing up a place of worship and killing hundreds, however I believe the drone program needs to find some limits.

Perhaps this is waffling on my part and I guess I have to accept that as it's time to stop some of these random assaults.





 
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