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U.N. Drone Investigator: If Facts Lead to U.S. War Crimes, So Be It


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#1 Joker

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:18 PM

Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones’ existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations.

 

Emmerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it’s the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body. By the next session of the United Nations in the fall, Emmerson hopes to provide the General Assembly with an report on 25 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine where civilian deaths are credibly alleged.

 

That carries the possibility of a reckoning with the human damage left by drones, the first such witnessing by the international community. Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, “is the central purpose of the report.” He’s not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of “war crimes,” should the facts point in that direction. But despite the Obama administration’s secrecy about the drone strikes to date, he’s optimistic that the world’s foremost users of lethal drone tech will cooperate with him.

 

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http://www.wired.com...ne-inquiry/all/



#2 concert andy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:24 PM

Ben Emmerson wants to be clear: He’s not out to ban flying killer robots used by the CIA or the U.S. military. But the 49-year-old British lawyer is about to become the bane of the drones’ existence, thanks to the United Nations inquiry he launched last week into their deadly operations.

 

Emmerson, the United Nations’ special rapporteur for human rights and counterterrorism, will spend the next five months doing something the Obama administration has thoroughly resisted: unearthing the dirty secrets of a global counterterrorism campaign that largely relies on rapidly proliferating drone technology. Announced on Thursday in London, it’s the first international inquiry into the drone program, and one that carries the imprimatur of the world body. By the next session of the United Nations in the fall, Emmerson hopes to provide the General Assembly with an report on 25 drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Palestine where civilian deaths are credibly alleged.

 

That carries the possibility of a reckoning with the human damage left by drones, the first such witnessing by the international community. Accountability, Emmerson tells Danger Room in a Monday phone interview, “is the central purpose of the report.” He’s not shying away from the possibility of digging up evidence of “war crimes,” should the facts point in that direction. But despite the Obama administration’s secrecy about the drone strikes to date, he’s optimistic that the world’s foremost users of lethal drone tech will cooperate with him.

 

More

http://www.wired.com...ne-inquiry/all/

 

Either Obama comes clean first, or his administration stone wall this guy on details.  Claiming confidential due to national security risks.



#3 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:28 PM

What Andy said. The UN is a joke and the Administration will just say "no". At which point nothing happens.



#4 Feck

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 09:32 PM

Spencer Ackerman seems to have his own anti dorne adgenda and needs to go back to school to learn how to write.



#5 Joker

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

Yeah, I don't really expect this to accomplish anything other than perhaps shining a little more light on the situation. The administration is trying their best to keep it out of our own court system, I have no doubt they'll attempt to do the same to the UN



#6 TakeAStepBack

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

Just like the trial for Gitmo prisoners. I heard yesterday morning that any information regarding them being tortured is deemed inadmissible during the trial. They also have no attorney/client confidentiality. All information discussed between the defendant and their lawyer is recorded and can be used.

 

Might as well just let the courts do their worst. That's not a trial, it's a mockery.



#7 hoagie

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 01:48 PM



#8 Joker

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Drone Strike Prompts Suit, Raising Fears for U.S. Allies

 

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http://www.nytimes.c...ce-sharing.html

 

The death of Malik Daud Khan, a Pakistani tribal elder, in a C.I.A. drone strike might have remained widely unremarked upon, lost amid thousands of others analysts have tallied in the American drone campaign, had not the British courts been brought into it.

 

The drone strike, which killed Mr. Khan and dozens of others at a tribal council meeting in North Waziristan in 2011, spawned a lawsuit that accuses British officials of becoming “secondary parties to murder” by passing intelligence to American officials that was later used in drone strikes.

 

The case has put a spotlight on international intelligence-sharing agreements that have long been praised by officials as vital links in the global fight against terrorist groups, but that rights advocates criticize as a way for Britainand other European countries to reap the benefits of the contentious drone program without its political costs.

 

Judges in Britain have yet to decide whether to hear the case, brought forward by Mr. Khan’s son, Noor Khan, a British citizen. (They initially declined, but are considering an appeal that was lodged in January.) It has caused a particular sensation, though, because it raises the prospect of legal liability for European officials by linking them to an American drone campaign that is widely seen as publicly unpalatable, or simply illegal, in their home countries.

 

In interviews, current and former British government and intelligence officials, some of whom worked closely with the United States after the drone campaign’s inception in 2004, said Britain does provide intelligence to the United States that is almost certainly used to target strikes. Many in Britain’s intelligence community, said one person with detailed knowledge of internal discussions, are now distinctly worried they may face prosecution.

 

“The policy on drones and torture is clear: We don’t do any of it,” one former British counterterrorism official said. “But if we pick up on some hostile phone chatter, and we pass the number on to the Americans, who then pinpoint the phone and target the person, did we provide intelligence for the killing?” The official, like others interviewed on the issue, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the legal delicacy of the case.

 

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment. But Bruce O. Riedel, a former C.I.A. officer and the author of “Deadly Embrace: Pakistan, America, and the Future of the Global Jihad,” said, “The British are our most important partner in the war against Al Qaeda in all respects.”

 

The British government, according to the response it filed in Mr. Khan’s case, now refuses to discuss the matter and “neither confirms nor denies” what it carefully characterizes as “any such alleged activities.”