A vehement critic of American drone attacks, and Pakistan’s leading choice as the country’s next Prime Minister, Imran Khan, was detained by U.S. officials yesterday causing him to miss an important fundraiser in New York City.
Before his New York-bound flight could take off, Khan was detained by U.S. immigration authorities who detained him for two hours.
Polls have repeatedly shown Khan to be the most popular leader in Pakistan. The harassment of a state official vital to national security interests hardly bodes well for a future relationship between the two nations.
Khan documented his ordeal in a number of tweets. Continue reading
In a speech to Harvard Law School, UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson QC announced that the United Nations will investigate the legality of the White House’s drone attacks, The Guardian reports.
While Emmerson condemned secret rendition and waterboarding as violations of international law, he made it known that in early 2013, a UN investigations unit will be formed, dedicated exclusively to examining the legality of drone attacks which include civilian deaths.
The UN investigations unit will present the first legal challenge to the Obama Administration’s policy on drone strikes, which has failed to trigger any sort of organized opposition, despite causing much furor in the international community. Continue reading
According to The New York Times’ internal watchdog, the newspaper has not investigated the blurry circumstances surrounding drone attacks to the best of its ability, nor has it challenged the Obama Administration’s extreme secrecy, including the government’s dubious reports of civilian deaths.
Margaret Sullivan is the Public Editor at the NYT, where she occupies a role similar to that of an ombudsman, tasked with the meta- responsibility of reporting on the Times’ reporting. Continue reading
Per CNN, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned a U.S. drone attack today. The drone’s target was a compound shared by militants and civilians, resulting in the deaths of three people, including one woman.
Government officials also reported injuries to two children.
The ministry took action following strikes on October 10 and 11 by filing a complaint with the U.S. Embassy. Officials denounced the attacks as a “clear violation of international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty.”
Episode II: Attack of the Drones
In January of this year, the President took a bold step in revealing the once-covert drone war in Northwest Pakistan.
But even upon this admission, the White House has taken the position that, in court, due to the secretive nature of the Pakistan operation, it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the drone attacks. This ridiculous maneuvering has waived Obama from having to comply with judicial review or any Freedom of Information Act requests, because doing so would supposedly threaten national security.
It’s Bush on steroids. Continue reading
According to yesterday’s Washington Post, the Obama Administration is in the process of expanding the secretive program informally referred to as the “kill list,” intent on making it a permanent American fixture.
The new blueprint for pursuing enemies has been in development for at least two years and is named the “Disposition Matrix.”
The Matrix is a massive, ever-evolving database meant to go far beyond the current kill lists. More of a super-computing network with hunter instincts than conventional storage apparatus, the technology will allow for plans to dispose of terrorist suspects that lie beyond the reach of war drones.
More importantly, the Matrix marks the arrival of a new normal, a seemingly perpetual war against an ever-elusive enemy in the hopes of preventing another terrorist attack on homeland soil. Continue reading
In a shocking display, Time columnist Joe Klein defended Barack Obama’s drone attack policy in a crude and reckless fashion Monday on the MSNBC program, “Morning Joe.” As a justification, Klein used the argument that drones “save American lives,” and followed up with perhaps one of the most offensive, mind-blowing defenses of cold blooded murder I’ve heard in my life:
The bottom line is, whose 4-year-olds get killed?
This discrete, black and white interpretation of the terrorist threat is not only hollow in its simplicity, but dangerous to our own country. Even a Donald Rumsfield-era Pentagon concluded that the killing of innocent Muslim children is precisely what fuels the anti-American sentiment in the first place.
In a display that Glenn Greenwald calls “nakedly sociopathic,” Klein revels in the ease the new technology has provided U.S. presidents, allowing the military to kill using “joysticks from California.” Continue reading