|* Predator Drone and Hellfire Missile *|
Fighting Terror with Terror
* By: Larry Walker, Jr. *
“Last week officials in the Obama administration talked to the New York Times about the “Secret Kill List” drawn up for drone assassinations. Democratic strategists in an election year calculate that the article will prove a vote-winner, dispelling any notion that Barack Obama is soft on terror.” ~ Clive Stafford Smith
Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, his not so secret “Kill List” has proven him to be even weaker than most of us already knew. He is clearly a loser on the economy, a near Enemy of the State when it comes to preserving, protecting and defending the Constitution, and now he has abased himself to the level of a cold-blooded murderer, assassin, and international terrorist. He has done irreparable damage to any sense of justice in the World.
Picture this. A friend calls me and says, “Hey, I want you to meet a guy named so and so. He has a few dollars to spend and he wants to hire you to do such and such.” I agree to meet him. I don’t know this guy from Adam. I have no idea that he’s on Obama’s “kill list”. He arrives at my home along with two other guys. I don’t know any of them, or what they are about, I’m simply meeting with them to find out. The doorbell rings. I open the door. Within seconds, 4 hellfire missiles rain down on my house killing me, my family, and the alleged bad guys. The story comes out that my family and I were a group of “suspected militants” meeting with some top commander of some militant group when we were killed by a U.S. drone. You cheer. But an innocent family was just murdered, and for no good reason.
An article appeared on Saturday entitled, “We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, unaware of the consequences.” It was written by Clive Stafford Smith, the founder of Reprieve, a group of international charities dedicated to assisting in the provision of effective legal representation and humanitarian assistance to impoverished people facing the death penalty at the hands of the state. Mr. Smith has spent 25 years working on behalf of defendants facing the death penalty in the USA.
According to Mr. Smith, who visited Pakistan last October, “The CIA is paying bounties to those who will identify “terrorists”. Five thousand dollars is an enormous sum for a Waziri informant, translating to perhaps £250,000 in London terms. The informant has a calculation to make: is it safer to place a GPS tag on the car of a truly dangerous terrorist, or to call down death on a Nobody (with the beginnings of a beard), reporting that he is a militant? Too many “militants” are just young men with stubble. At least 174 have been children.”
Whenever I read a news headline, stating that “we” just killed another group of suspected militants, I don’t feel any sense that justice was served, none at all. I think to myself, ‘Great, now we’re killing suspects.’ There’s a big difference in my mind between a “suspect” and a “known terrorist”. What are we fighting now, the War on Suspected Militants? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind hearing that the CIA took out Abu Yahya al-Libi, al- Qaeda’s second-in-command, in its latest bombing raid. That doesn’t bother me so much, although I would rather he had been captured, interrogated, and tried. But what disturbs me is that 16 other people were killed in the attack, and no one has bothered to mention who they were.
When we read the story from Bloomberg, we learn that the bad guy, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was spotted by a drone, which followed him to a house and killed him. There’s no mention of whose house he went to, or of the other 14 people (aside from his driver and personal bodyguard) who lost their lives. Were the others terrorists, suspects, or just innocent victims who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? The problem is that we may never know.
The Bloomberg story reads, “The U.S. drone that spotted al- Qaeda’s second-in-command getting into a car, followed him to a house in a North Waziristan tribal region and killed him on June 4 dealt another serious blow to the terrorist group’s remaining core in Pakistan, administration officials said.” It just sounds like a drone followed a bad guy and killed him. But when we read the story from the Guardian UK, we learn that actually up to 17 people were killed in the attack.
“Four missiles launched by a US drone has killed up to 17 people in north-west Pakistan, according to security sources, in the latest in a series of remote-controlled attacks which are straining relations between Washington and Islamabad… The most recent drone operation targeted a hamlet in North Waziristan on Monday, a tribal area regarded as a hub for al-Qaida and Taliban fighters waging insurgencies on both sides of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border. U.S. and Pakistani government sources said Abu Yahya al-Libi, a senior al-Qaida leader who had survived previous drone attacks, was a target of one of the strikes. It was the third such strike in as many days – similar operations over the weekend claimed a dozen lives – and the eighth in two weeks.”
On the previous day, Mail Online reported that 10 people went to a home to console the brother of a suspected militant killed in a drone attack on the previous day. When they arrived at the home, they were killed by hellfire missiles launched from another U.S. drone. Of course, they were all classified as “suspected militants,” although the story reported that the brother was among the dead along with at least two who were believed to be foreigners. Is this the new justice? Kill a suspect, and then when friends of his survivors come to mourn, kill them too?
The story reads, “A U.S. drone strike today killed 10 suspected militants in Pakistan as they ‘offered condolences’ to the family of a commander who died in an attack 24 hours earlier… Four missiles were fired at the tribal village of Mana Raghzai in South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan, intelligence officials reported… A strike by the remote-controlled aircraft in the same area killed two suspected militants on Saturday.”
Following a group of people who have gone to a home to offer condolences to the family of someone you murdered yesterday, and then killing them, along with the family of the deceased, is an act of terrorism. Are we following al Qaida’s playbook now? Do we know who we killed? Or more importantly, do we care? Apparently, Barack Obama doesn’t. He just wants to look like he’s doing something, but we must never confuse motion with action. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
If this is justice, then I’m living in the wrong country. What really worries me is what’s going to happen in the future, when the bad guys get their own drones, and start targeting U.S. households. We’re not the only ones with drones now, so what makes us think we can control them? Are we controlling them? This reckless Administration has set a dangerous precedent, and it may be too late to reverse. I think we need to revisit the idea of what it means to bring someone to justice.
By using terrorist tactics to assassinate alleged terrorists and suspected militants, without due process, Barack Obama has presumed the role of judge, jury, and executioner, and has single-handedly destroyed any sense of justice in the World. Yet justice must be served. It’s up to the rest of us to right Obama’s wrongs. Step one is his removal from office. Step two is ensuring he stands trial for war crimes. If you are a Democrat, and don’t agree with Obama’s policies, then either jump ship now and help to ensure his defeat, or keep your mouth shut and get out of the way. You have no defense.