Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Respecting Their Rights

The UN is carping about the use by the US of UAVs to target specific people, saying that this looks too much like organized assassination, you know like the use of a suicide bomber to kill Ms. Bhutto, or renegade soldiers to kill Anwar Sadat.

Philip Alston said that unless the Obama administration explains the legal basis for targeting particular individuals and the measures it is taking to comply with international humanitarian law which prohibits arbitrary executions, “it will increasingly be perceived as carrying out indiscriminate killings in violation of international law.”

Alston, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s investigator on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions, raised the issue of U.S. Predator drones in a report to the General Assembly’s human rights committee and at a news conference afterwards, saying he has become increasingly concerned at the dramatic increase in their use, especially in Afghanistan and Pakistan, since June.

Bummer, dude.

The simple and obvious solution is to make sure that the people targeted by the Hellfire missiles, increasingly Al-Q and Talib leaders, are fully informed of their rights first. This is easily accomplished by printing the famous admonition
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
on the nose of every Hellfire missile in current use. Of course, this will need to be translated into Arabic, Farsi, and 3 or 4 of the local dialects in use along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

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