Follow the Implications of Obama's "Kill List"
Thanks for the response to my column last week on giving Obama "more time" for what? As I prepare for the American Humanist Association conference this week in New Orleans, where I'll be speaking on the theme "Humanity and the Planet Come First: Stop the Crimes of Our Government," I'm reading more on Obama's "Kill List" - and I recommend you look further into it as well.
People find it challenging, I know, to confront what's being done in our names internationally. A chilling example of the U.S. drone doctrine was on display in Pakistan in the first 3 days of June. Three drone strikes killed up to 30 people on successive days; the second killed mourners at the site of the first strike.
This pattern of targeted killing since the Obama administration launched the drones on Pakistan and Yemen is what the U.S. is becoming known for by the rest of the world. It will create more "collateral murder." It's an outrage, and it must be stopped.
Glenn Greenwald, in U.S. Again Bombs Pakistani Mourners, details the approval of former Bush regime officials and other right-wingers which Obama is receiving:
Many progressives like to fantasize that conservatives refuse to give President Obama credit no matter what he does, but that is absolutely false. While the ACLU and human rights groups have repeatedly sued the administration and denounced Obama himself in the harshest possible terms, while U.N. investigators formally condemn him, the neocons and warmongers who were once so despised in progressives circles have watched as he has vindicated their record, and have, in return, become his most enthusiastic defenders.
Last week we reported on the protest at Fordham University's graduation, where "drone czar" and Kill List Keeper John Brennan gave the commencement address. I credit Ray McGovern, an active advisor to our project, War Criminals Watch, for encouraging the Fordham students to make a visible protest. And, special appreciation to graduating senior Ayca Bahce who went on stage with a photo of Anwar al-Aulaqi's son, aged 16 (father and son, pictured, were killed in US drone strikes in Yemen) as a protest. Ayca's opinion was published in the Bergen Record Friday.
Ray, who also graduated from Fordham, and has been a critic of the CIA since he left it, goes into moral and political questions of how Obama orders drone strikes in The Kill List of Barack Obama:
In an extraordinary article in Tuesday’s New York Times, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” authors Jo Becker and Scott Shane throw macabre light on the consigliere-cum-priestly role that counterterrorist adviser John Brennan provides President Barack Obama.
At the outset, Becker and Shane note that, although Obama vowed to “align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values,” he has now ordered the obedient Brennan to prepare a top secret “nominations” list of people whom the President may decide to order killed, without charge or trial, including American citizens.
Kevin Gosztola also covers the peculiar information on Obama's personal role revealed by The Times:
...anyone nearby a terrorist is likely a terrorist. This is perhaps one of the most significant parts of the New York Times story. President Obama uses a method for counting civilian casualties that does not “box him in.” All “military age males in a strike zone” that are found dead are considered “combatants” unless “there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.”
This morning Chris Woods of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism expanded on the policy exposed last week of how the US identifies drone targets. Every adult male in the targeted area is assumed to be an "insurgent" unless proven innocent. Of course there is no chance for them to prove themselves innocent, being that they're dead, killed either by the first strike, or when they went to rescue or mourn those killed then.
Watch: As U.S. Escalates Pakistan Drone Strikes, Expansive "Kill List" Stirs Fears of Worse Civilian Toll (Democracy Now)
by Debra Sweet, Director, World Can't Wait