You are herecontent / UVA Professor / Former CIA IG Calls Drone War "Astonishing Success"

UVA Professor / Former CIA IG Calls Drone War "Astonishing Success"


By Brett McCully

After a helpless, innocent drone was shot at by nefarious Iranians in the Persian Gulf on November 1st, drone strategy was in need of some comforting.  Enter Frederick Hitz, a professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Law and at the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, who called drone warfare an "astonishing success." He teaches, among other things, a class on anti-terrorism, though it would appear that the terrorism inherent in bombing funerals and killing rescuers is conspicuously absent from the reading list (that is, when the U.S. is the perpetrator).

Tuesday night I attended a seminar on the future of the drone moderated by Professor Hitz, who was wondering what rules we needed to put in place regarding drone use now that Russia and China could have them; of course the rules are only necessary for such evil actors as they, and not for such a benevolent force as the United States.

However, the U.S. is not even following its own laws; the killing of U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16 year old son made that much clear. Hitz offered that al-Awlaki was clearly a terrorist, and that by relying on the post-9/11 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) it is permissible to kill him far from any battlefield. Remember: the U.S. has essentially decreed the whole world as a battlefield, via the aforementioned AUMF and the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

Furthermore, any attempt to obtain information on the secret kill list, official figures on drone strikes, or any information related to the program is denied, as it is a matter of national security and thus obscured from democratic decision making. When I noted to Hitz that Anwar al-Awlaki’s father had attempted to petition the U.S. government to remove his son from the kill list, and that the Department of Justice responded by refusing to even address the case, citing state secrets, Hitz showed little interest in this grievous breach of due process.

Finally, I posed a hypothetical: suppose some Pakistanis acquire intelligence that the U.S. military is very likely to bomb a Pakistani funeral. Then aren’t the Pakistanis entitled to preventively assassinate the potential killers, wherever they may be? Say, drone operators in Las Vegas? Of course not; that is outrageous. (Though little outrage was expressed when the U.S. deliberately did exactly that: bomb a funeral). Yet this is typically the reason given for drone strikes; these militants represent an imminent threat to the U.S., thus they must be eliminated. If it is ok for us, why not for them? Instead we ought to apply the same moral standard to both Americans and Pakistanis: it is not right, regardless of who does the killing.

Tags

Speaking Events

2016

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 28, San Francisco, CA
11 a.m. to 1 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Daniel Ellsberg, at San Francisco Main Public Library, 100 Larkin Street.
Sign up on FB.

May 28, Marin County, CA
4 to 6 p.m., David Swanson in conversation with Norman Solomon, at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710
Contact Dan Yaseen 559-251-3361, danyaseen@comcast.net
Sign up on FB.

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

June 24 Roanoke, Va.
7:30 pm @ Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke (2015 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015) Contact: plowshare@plowshareva.org


Other Events Here.

 

 

 

 

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.