The United States has a long history of assassinating “threats” to their sovereignty but when does it go too far? Even thought President Obama will never be tried for international war crimes, members of the UN are now suggesting that the President’s drone bombing campaigns could be a violation of human rights. Personal Liberty explains the illegality and inhumanity of America’s drone policy:
The United States uses military drones to carry out attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia. In a 28-page report addressed to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Christof Heyns, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that Washington must clarify the legal basis for the policy of killing suspected al-Qaida and Taliban leaders and associates rather than trying to capture them.
“The government should clarify the procedures in place to ensure that any targeted killing complies with international humanitarian law and human rights and indicate the measures or strategies applied to prevent casualties, as well as the measures in place to provide prompt, thorough, effective and independent public investigation of alleged violations,” the report says.
Details about the effectiveness of and collateral damage that comes with the United States’ continual use of drone strikes are sketchy by most accounts. In his report, Heyns cites figures from the Pakistan Human Rights Commission that claim American drone strikes killed at least 957 people in Pakistan in 2010 alone. The report also states that since 2004, roughly 20 percent of the thousands of people killed by drones overseas have been civilians.
Heyns says that international humanitarian law mandates that every effort be made to arrest a suspect and any use of force “comply with the principles of necessity and proportionality.” Washington, he says, has failed to respond satisfactorily to concerns voiced by others, including his predecessor, that have raised questions about U.S. drone policy.