Drones may violate international law

May 24, 2013 by Kelly Wiese Niemeyer

(Phys.org) —As President Obama gives a speech on national security—including defending U.S. use of drones to combat terrorism—Leila Sadat, JD, international law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that such targeted killing by unmanned planes may violate international humanitarian law. Legalities aside, she also questions whether it promotes U.S. interests abroad. Sadat wrote about the subject in her article, "America's Drone Wars," published in the Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law.

Sadat notes that drone strikes have become a major part of U.S. military strategy and counterterror operations, but writes that the U.S. use of raises several troubling legal questions, such as what is the legal foundation for government use of lethal force and whether drone strikes are considered acts of aggression against other countries. She finds that the Obama administration largely continued the policy and legal rationale of former President George W. Bush regarding drones.

The U.S. argues there are no geographical constraints in the war on terror, Sadat writes, but adds that most authorities reject that idea.

"The process used by the executive branch to determine who and when to target human beings for death can be summarized in two words: 'trust us,'" she wrote in the article.

But while she believes the administration is cautious, mistakes still can occur, and innocent civilians get killed, raising legal, political and diplomatic worries for the U.S.

"Some of these 'mistakes' end up as YouTube videos … which serve as recruitment devices for al-Qaeda and its associates, and fuel anti-American sentiment in areas where drones are operating," Sadat wrote.

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More information: law.case.edu/journals/JIL/Docu… 12.Article.Sadat.pdf

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User comments : 13

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John1948
2.6 / 5 (10) May 24, 2013
I have lived in London and Istanbul - both are cities which have experienced terrorist incidents funded by US groups. Perhaps somebody from across the pond would like to comment on the correct US response should the British or Turkish governments decide to use drone strikes on Boston or Chicago?
geokstr
2 / 5 (8) May 24, 2013
Please, John, enlighten us (with cites from somewhere besides al Jazeera) about the supposed terrorist attacks the US funded against London and Istanbul. We're all ears.

Anything else you want to make up while you're here? Taqiyyah much?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1.8 / 5 (10) May 24, 2013
I have lived in London and Istanbul - both are cities which have experienced terrorist incidents funded by US groups. Perhaps somebody from across the pond would like to comment on the correct US response should the British or Turkish governments decide to use drone strikes on Boston or Chicago?
I have lived in US cities which have experienced terrorist incidents funded by foreign terrorist groups. You dont mind if we try to prevent these things from happening do you?

See we dont want the world ruled by people who enjoy doing things like this:
http://www.youtub...ySTx3xH8
http://www.huffin...p_ref=uk
http://www.youtub...uXsBYReI
http://www.youtub...rn9ja5iU

-You do understand dont you?
cantdrive85
2.5 / 5 (14) May 24, 2013
Leila Sadat, JD, international law expert and professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, argues that such targeted killing by unmanned planes may violate international humanitarian law.

That doesn't bother OBAMA!, there is no law he and his administration aren't above!
kochevnik
1.5 / 5 (8) May 24, 2013
I have lived in London and Istanbul - both are cities which have experienced terrorist incidents funded by US groups. Perhaps somebody from across the pond would like to comment on the correct US response should the British or Turkish governments decide to use drone strikes on Boston or Chicago?
I have lived in US cities which have experienced terrorist incidents funded by foreign terrorist groups. You dont mind if we try to prevent these things from happening do you?

See we dont want the world ruled by people who enjoy doing things like this:
http://www.youtub...ySTx3xH8

-You do understand dont you?

Those were not funded abroad. They were funded and planned by the FBI. Stop playing the "we" card card. There is no we. You are nothing but an easy mark for the FED and friends
mondoblu
3.4 / 5 (10) May 25, 2013
Guantanamo, drones, "freedom" wars: all these items are crimes against humanity. The world is tired of militarism and terrorism: two faces of the same evil.
The so called "war on terror" is terrorism by itself.
kochevnik
1.9 / 5 (9) May 25, 2013
I agree with Otto that religionism and tribalism are the largest threats to humanity itself. But Otto paints such a big picture that sometimes he forgets his own idea and becomes mired in some zionist press-release bullshiyte or some fux newz story. No man is an island
alfie_null
not rated yet May 25, 2013
Other than as a football for politicians (and international law professors), is there some point to international law? It is used to promote or criticize people or causes but is otherwise (depending on your perspective) ineffective, or easy to ignore.
praos
1.9 / 5 (9) May 25, 2013
No terrorist was ever killed by a drone strike, period. So much is clear from presumption of innocence. So each and every killing was illegal.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 25, 2013
Those were not funded abroad. They were funded and planned by the FBI. Stop playing the "we" card card. There is no we. You are nothing but an easy mark for the FED and friends
There is nothing BUT 'we'. Every generation thinks that it has finally reached the point where they are enlightened or civil or godly enough, that they will never need to fight another war. And then along comes an enemy that they absolutely HAVE to fight.

And why is that koch? The PEOPLE have always been the enduring enemies of rulers everywhere. Their rampant tropical reproduction rate means that sooner or later their children will be starving, and they will ALWAYS blame this on their leaders, no matter how benevolent they may be.

And so there will ALWAYS be either war or revolution. Leaders decided long ago that the Only Way to preserve Their Rule and the civilization They struggled so hard to build, was to divide the people up along Predetermined lines, and cause them to fight one another.
cont>
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (4) May 25, 2013
This They so graciously described in Their holy books, so that the informed might read and know that the world would not decend into chaos. All is NOT meaningless. The holy books in this respect do provide a real source of comfort and understanding.

"8 And then there shall be bestowed upon the elect wisdom

"1 And then Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel looked down from heaven and saw much blood being 2 shed upon the earth, and all lawlessness being wrought upon the earth.

"And to Gabriel said the Lord: 'Proceed against the bastards and the reprobates, and against the children of fornication: and destroy [the children of fornication and] the children of the Watchers from amongst men [and cause them to go forth]: send them one against the other that they may destroy each other in 10 battle..." Book of Enoch

-Another god who declares that the world needs to be emptied of the great load of humanity, by causing them to fight in Constructive ways. See Joshua for detailed instructions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (5) May 25, 2013
I agree with Otto that religionism and tribalism are the largest threats to humanity itself. But Otto paints such a big picture that sometimes he forgets his own idea and becomes mired in some zionist press-release bullshiyte or some fux newz story
Im sorry k but you dont think big enough. You fail to look for the Purpose behind things.

I just started reading dan browns new book, 'Inferno'. Interestingly it is about overpopulation and a rather unique way of fixing it permanently.
http://en.wikiped...n_novel)

Most people are coming to accept that overpopulation has always been the primary scourge of humanity, but few have recognized that we are still here only because of the enduring Efforts of Leaders through the ages to MANAGE it Proactively.

One of the most dependable Tools for dividing the people up and causing them to fight predictably and effectively, is religion.

Who They are and why They exist is described in part in platos Republic.
julianpenrod
2 / 5 (8) May 25, 2013
Among other things, not a single individual ascribing the "terrorist" incidents of the last decade or so to "extremist Muslim" groups, and not the New World Order, can or will provide a single shred of actual, palpable, incontrovertible proof. Their "evidence" will rise only to the level of "The New World Order told me to believe it!"
As regards drone strikes, remember, the poorer nations have endured innumerably many documented incidents of Western violation of human rights, fomenting clan warfare, destabilizing legitimate governments, installing bloodthirsty dictators who force the people to work in conditions no better than the factory that collapsed in Bangladesh. Suharto killed a hundred times as many as were ascribed to "terrorists" in the past decade. The U.S. condemns IED's but uses land mines. They applaud stealth sneak attacks that kill civilians, but denounce so called "suicide bombers".