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tv   Book Discussion on Drones and Targeted Killing  CSPAN  May 28, 2016 7:45pm-9:01pm EDT

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racist ideas to justify segregation, people continue to create racist ideas to now justify mass incarceration. and so i am finding that we have these policies in place , these disparities in place and then people were creating racist ideas over the course of american history to justify and rationalize, and then it caused you and i have a consume these ideas to look out of america and the sea disparities or to see people enslaved or a c 2000000 by people in jail or to see hundreds of thousands of people in chains coming over to america and he that is normal. and you that as normal. that is the power that racist ideas of out of the course of american history command i try chronicle that from the beginning. these ideas have been powerful enough to make us believe that inequities are
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normal. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> this memorial day weekend book tv features three days of nonfiction books and authors, and here are programs to watch for.
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go to for the complete weekend schedule. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good evening. my name is hisham ashur.
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good evening. thanks for coming. my name is hisham ashur. i'm with the local amnesty international group. i would like to thank you for coming here for this presentation tonight. the use of drones is becoming more and more widespread. issues related to this topic, local, national, international, war, peace, privacy, you name it. before i introduce our special guest, moderator of the event, i want to do some. he is a local piece activist, the chair of the center for peace and justice he has been over 15 missions over the world for piece.
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he is a retired from the university of virginia. as you know, amnesty international is a human rights group that has been working for more than 50 years. most interest in this local group is conscious. if you would like to work on people who are detained illegally, unlawfully for the simple expression of their opinion like we do right now here, please join us. we meet every month and work on activities relating to human rights. without further ado,ado, i will introduce doctor anderson. [applause] >> thank you so much. it is an honor and a pleasure to welcome you to this event on behalf of the virginia foundation for the humanities. the festival of the book.
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i am sure most of you have gotten this brochure, which you can get down at the omni and some other stores on the mall like the new dominion book stop. we have got such a wonderful program here today. you can hear me? >> it just has to be -- >> okay. all right. >> technical difficulties. is this better? okay. no, that is not the one. this is the one. >> both. >> both of them. >> both of them. okay. [laughter] but we really want to thank you for coming out. this event which is a very timely event. i want to ask you all to
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please silence your cell phones. i have one that has a very irritating ring. turn any kind of cell phones or other electronic devices off now at this time, and, and i want to encourage you to tweet to others about the event and #va book 2016. i really want to thank the schaum a shut -- hisham ashur and the amnesty international for bringing ms. miss marjorie cohn cohnms. marjorie cohn hear, and i want to thank ms. miss marjorie cohn for coming. i want to ask you also to remember to support the festival of the book. it is free of charge, but not of cost, and you can either go online to give a
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gift of support or you can make a contribution by picking up an envelope, these envelopes are available down at the omni. at the end i will remind you to please give an evaluation because that also helps to strengthen the festival of the book, and it will help it to endure, the contribution and your evaluation will help us to endure for years to come. the topic for discussion today, as i said, is by ms. ms. marjorie cohn, and she will talk about her book. ms. marjorie cohn is a professor at the thomas jefferson school of law in
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san diego, and she is the author of several other books which are related and are fascinating books. among those are, republic, six ways the bush gang has defined the law, rules of disengagement, the politics of honor and military sent command she is the editor of another volume entitled us and torture interrogations, incarceration and abuse. today's book is really interesting. it starts off with a very interesting forward by archbishop tutu, and then it he asked the question, talks about the problem of drones and now the valuable contributions that have been made in editing this book and bring together a number
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of authors, but he says a very interesting thing that i thought we should ask ourselves, did this an article people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not the same, the same value as yours. president obama can sign off on the decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny that if the target is an american. would your supreme court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave dred scott in the 19th century are not as human as you are? i cannot believe it, he says. i hope that his disbelief is true, that we won't tolerate
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this, that we will find ways to resist. but now i would like to introduce ms. miss marjorie cohn and have her say some things about this really, really interesting book, which i found to be very revealing. [applause] >> i want to thank amnesty international charlottesville chapter for inviting me and bill for his very nice introduction, and i thank you all for coming. i am delighted to be here. in his 2009 acceptance speech for the nobel peace prize president barack obama declared wherefores -- and i'm going to go like this were a quote, wherefores like this is necessary we have a moral and strategic interests and binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct, and even as we
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confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules to my believei believe the united states of america must remain a standardbearer in the conduct of war. by the time obama accepted the award one year into his presidency he had ordered more drone strikes than george w. bush an authorized during his two presidents terms. the bush administration detained and tortured suspected terrorists. the obama administration has chosen to illegally assessed met them. often with the use of drones. the continued indefinite detention of men at guantánamo allies obama's pledge two days after his 1st inauguration to close the prison there. however, obama has added only one detainee to the guantánamo roster.
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this government has decided that instead of detaining members of al qaeda at guantánamo they are going to kill them according to john bellinger who formulated the bush administration drug policy. on terror tuesdays obama and john brennan, his former counterterrorism advisor, now cia director, go through catalysts to identify which individuals should be assassinated that week. obama orders two different types of drone strikes, personality strikes which target named, high-value terrorists, and signature strikes which target training camps and suspicious compounds in areas controlled by militants. and we often see in newspapers like the new york times a us drone strike kills four militants are ten militants were 12 militants. not sure what a militant
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looks like. in the signature strikes sometimes called crowd killing, the obama administration often does not even know who it is killing. but some state department officials have complained to the white house that the criteria used by the cia sees three guys doing jumping jacks -- i'm sorry, the signature for identifying a terrorist signature was to lax. the joke was when the cia sees three guys doing jumping jacks the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp. when loading a truck with fertilizer could be bomb makers, but they also to be farmers. as the news broke on march 7, 2016, the us drone strikes had killed 150
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people in somalia, the white house announced it will reveal for the 1st time the number of people killed by drones and manned ends -- manned airstrikes outside areas of active hostility since 2009, including civilian deaths which is a critical 1st step toward much-needed transparency. it will not go far enough. the obama administration has been lying for years about how many deaths result from us drone strikes and manned bombers. in 2011 john brennan falsely claimed that no civilians have been killed and drone strikes in nearly a year. the bureau of investigative journalism -- and this is an anthology collection. one of the chapters is written by the bureau of journalism which is a
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premiera premier organization the tally civilian deaths from drone strikes based in london, the bureau of investigative journalism and other organizations that calculate drone deaths put the lot to brennan's claim. it is believed that of the estimated 5,000 people killed on obama's watch, approximately 1,000 were civilians. .. which -- responding to international criticism about men starving themselves to death that guantánamo and his joan
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policy, obama delivered delivered a speech at the national defense university at washington d.c. he proclaims, america does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists. our preference preference is always to detain, interrogate, and prosecute them. then why does he add only one man to guantánamo during his tenure? as he gave his 2013 speech, the white house released a fact sheet that purported to contain pre-can additions for the use of lethal force outside areas of hostility. the presidential policy guidance on which the fact sheet was based remains classified. so what does the fact sheet say? first, there must be a legal basis for the use of lethal force. it does not do fine find
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whether legal basis means complying with ratified treaties and when the united states ratified the treaty it becomes part of u.s. law, domestic law under the supremacy clause of the constitution which says treaties that shall be the supreme law of the land. these treaties include the united nations charter which prohibits the use of military force except in self-defense or when approved by the security council. it also includes that geneva geneva convention which prohibits the targeting of civilians. also the international covenant on civil and political rights which guarantees due process and the right to life. the administration justified its drone strikes by reference to the 2001 authorization for the use of military force, or the, or the au ms that congress gave george w. bush after the 9/11 attacks.
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that au ms authorizes only via targeting of affiliated forces. in somalia the 150 people killed according to the administration, were from al shabab. al shabab did not even exist in 2001 when exist in 2001 when the au ms was enacted. al shabab had nothing to do with nine 9/11. the administration says that the people killed, the 150 people killed in somalia were terrorists and militants and members of this group, al shabab, but provided no evidence to prove that assertion. the dead fighters were assembled for what american officials believed were a graduation ceremony and a prelude to an eminent attack against americans. i guess that's what people do before they mount an eminent, they go to graduation
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ceremonies. secondly, .. to the fact sheet to requirements. the target must oppose a continuing eminent threat to u.s. persons. the fact sheet does not define continuing or eminent. but a u.s. department of justice white paper that was leaked into thousand 13 says that a u.s. citizen can be killed even when there is clear evidence that a specific attack on u.s. persons and interest will take place in the immediate future. you wonder, what does does eminent mean? presumably the administration sets a lower bar from noncitizens. third, there must be near certainty that the terrorist target is present. the fact. the fact sheet does not address the signature strike where the obama administration does not even target individuals, but rather rather areas of suspicious activity. fourth, there must be near
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certainty that noncombatants will not be injured or killed. the administration defined combatants as all men of military age in a strike so unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. five, there, there must be an assessment that captures not feasible at the time of the operation. i do not like capture, animals are captured, people are apprehended, people are apprehended, nevertheless will use their terminology. an assessment that capture is not feasible at the time of operation. it is unclear what feasibility means. the department of justice white paper seems to indicate that in feasible means inconvenient. it was feasible to capture osama bin laden, who is not armed at the time the u.s. military assassinated him. now, i just want to diverge for a moment and talk about this
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idea that people have that osama bin laden was this evil man, it's a good thing we took him out, you know, let's forget about due process. after world war ii and the holocaust, the leader said the victorious powers got together to decide what to do with the nazi leaders. winston churchill said just take them out and shoot them. to his credit, justice robert jackson who took a leave from the. her court said no. he said if we do not provide due process even to the nazi leaders, we will pass a poisoned chalice to future generations. when my feeling is that if due process is good enough for the nazi leaders, it would have been good enough for osama bin laden. number six, there must be an assessment that relevant governmental authorities in the country were action was
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contemplated cannot, or will not effectively address the threat to u.s. persons which is left undefined. and seven, there must be an assessment that no other reasonable alternative exist to a address the threat to u.s. persons, also left undefined. finally, the fact the fact sheet would excuse all of these preconditions when the president takes action in extraordinary circumstances which are both lawful and necessary to protect the united states and its allies. there is no definition of extraordinary circumstances or what would be lawful. releasing the presidential policy guidance, declassify an will clarify the gaps in the guideline for the use of lethal force listed in the fact sheet. in february 2016, the bipartisan simpson tax force on drum policy gave the obama administration and ask in three areas the task
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force has plagued in improvement in its report. the first area is focused on the progress of releasing information on drone strikes. the second involves explaining the legal basis under u.s. and national law for the drone program. the third is about developing more robust and oversight accountability mechanisms for targeted strikes outside fields. regarding the first area, releasing information. they concluded that the administration had made almost no information public about the approximate number, location, or death toll of legal lethal drone attacks. which agency is responsible for what strike? the cia or military? the organizational affiliation of people known to have been killed by strikes, and the number and identities of civilians who are known to be killed. speaking about the second area
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of focus, the legal legal basis for the drone program, it was mentioned that the few governmental documents have been made public that relate to the u.s. lethal drone program, primarily primarily as a result of court orders. one was a rejected, that means editing, black lines and through much of it, a rejected memo from the department of justice about the legality of the 2011 targeted killing of u.s. citizens on -- without due process of law. this followed a successful aclu new york times freedom of information act request. the other release document was the department of defense law of war manual with three short sections on the use of remotely piloted aircraft's in war. the only qualification it contained was that the weapons cannot be inherently indiscriminate or calculated to cause injury. but
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the geneva conventions prohibited the targeting of civilians in all instances. regarding the third area, oversight and accountability, the, the stimson report says the administration continues to oppose the release of any public information on the lethal drone program which has obstructed mechanisms for greater oversight and accountability. the lack of action reinforces the culture of secrecy surrounding the use of armed drones according to the report. the stimson report noted the administration has, as a rule been reluctant to publicly acknowledge the use of lethal force by on demand vehicles in foreign countries. stimson identified one notable exception however, after the discovery that two westerners who are held by al qaeda had been killed by u.s. drone strike in june or 2015, the administration admitted the death but provide a few specific
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details. note, no, they were westerners who were killed. i want to just say that when we hear about isis beheading someone, we're justifiably outraged. of course we do not hear about saudi arabia, one of our closest allies beheading people on an almost daily basis. but we we do not hear about or see the images of the babies whose limbs are strewn about after they are killed with drone strikes. interestingly, one of the essays in this book, the the only one that has been reprinted from elsewhere it was called the predator war, it was a 2009 piece in the new yorker by jane mayer. it was the first comprehensive report on the drone program. jane mayer mayer interviewed a former cia lawyer, vicki devol who now teaches at the u.s. naval economy in annapolis. this
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was in 2009. vicki devol nine. vicki devol told jade mayer, people are a lot more comfortable with a predator drone strike that kills many people then with a throat slitting that kills one. vicki devol was nonoaud. lethal drone strike had been reported in yemen, pakistan, libya, afghanistan, and smalley a and against isis and iraq and syria. the stimson report identified 12 countries believed to host u.s. at drone basis. they include afghanistan, djibouti, ethiopia, kuwait, the philippines, qatar, saudi arabia, turkey, the united emirates, the united emirates, and yemen. former cia director michael hayden mounted a full throated defense of the u.s. drone program in a february 2016 new york times op-ed.
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hating claim, the targeted killing program has been the most precise and effective application of firepower in the history of armed conflict. annihilating the ranks of al qaeda. his claims his claims are impossible to verify without documentation. hayden also said, we kill people based on meta-data, you have probably heard about metadata when edward snowden, famous whistleblower revealed that the national security agency, the nsa was collecting meta-data on all of us. that is the phone calls we make, the sites we visit, the emails we make, and metadata. they are supposedly not reading or listening to the content, but are supposedly not reading or listening to the content, but just looking at this meta- data. so hayden said quote, we we kill people based on metadata, but it recently revealed that the nsa's skynet program, which uses an
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algorithm together metadata to identify and target terror suspects in pakistan, somalia, and afghanistan would result in 99000 false positives. so what happens is, they target a cell phone believed to be carried by a terrorist, let's say he gives it to his mother. she is the one who gets killed based upon this metadata. obama said in an interview in the atlantic recently that he has no second thoughts about the drone strikes in the middle east. armed drones are operated by pilots located thousands of miles from their target. how many of you saw the film good kill? do you know who is in that film? january jones and ethan hall. two very famous popular actors, yet it never made it into the major theaters. i. i sighed in a tiny little venue
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in san diego. "good kill" refers to a people sitting in the little trailer outside las vegas in the military say after one of the pilots presses the button that drops them as long kills people then they say good kill. it traces, ethan hawke plays a drone operator who, even though even though he is thousands of miles from his target and can go home to his family every night in the suburbs of las vegas, he developed posttraumatic stress disorder from what he is doing. you can see pictures of the strike zone and between the time that the button is pushed to release the muscle and the missile deployed, it takes ten seconds. seconds. meanwhile, a woman and child walk in to the strike so and after doing this enough times, he got very, very ill. i wonder if that had anything to do with why it never made it into the big theaters.
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before launching its payload, the drone hovers above the area, it admits a buzzing sound buzzing sound that terrorizes communities. the drones were terrifying, observed a journalist david rhody, who was captured by the taliban in afghanistan in 2008 and later escaped. from the ground it is impossible to determine who or what they are tracking as they circle overhead. the buzz of a distant propeller is a constant reminder of imminent death. drones fire missiles that travel faster than the speed of sound. a drones victim never hears the missile that kills him. after the drone drops the bomb on the target, a second strike often bombs people rescuing the wounded from the first strike. that is called a double tap. frequently, third strike targets mourners at funerals for those
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killed by prior strikes. it really should be called a triple tap. u.s. drones have killed children, rescues, and funeral processions on multiple occasions according to the council on foreign relations. the council on foreign relations also reports that the best majority were neither al qaeda nor taliban leaders. instead, most were low level, anonymous, suspected militants were predominantly engaged in insurgent or terrorist operations against their governments rather than an active, international terrorist plots. drones are obama's weapon of choice. unlike piloted fighter aircraft they do not jeopardize the lives of u.s. pilots. there are claims that the use of
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jones results in fewer civilian casualties than manned bombers. however, a steady based on classified military data conducted by the center for naval analysis and the center for civilians in conflict found that the use of drones in afghanistan has caused ten times more civilian deaths than manned fighter aircraft. in the the united states, the dominant narratives about the use of drones in pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the u.s. a saber by enabling targeted killing of terrorists with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. this narrative is false. according to the comprehensive report, living under drones issued by stanford law school and nyu law school. many killed by drones are civilians or in the administrations parlance, bug splat. referring to the collateral damage methodology the u.s. military and the cia employee. targeted killing with drones is
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counterproductive. general stanley mcchrystal, mcchrystal, architect of the u.s. counterinsurgency strategy in afghanistan declared that drones are hated on a visceral level and contribute to a perception of american arrogance. kurt vogler, former u.s. ambassador to nato, concurs. john stakes do not sell or terrorist problem, in, in fact drone use may prolong it. even though there is no immediate retaliation, in the the long run the contributions to radicalization through drone use may put more americans at risk. melissa barro, a southern tribal shake from yemen told the journalists, jeremy's cahill that the u.s. sees al qaeda as terrorism and we consider the drones terrorism. the drones are flying day and night, frightening women and children,
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disturbing sleeping people, this is terrorism. the council on foreign relations reported a strong correlation in yemen between stepped-up targeted killing sense december 20, 2009 and heightened anger toward the united states and allegiance to al qaeda in the arabian peninsula. drone strikes breed increased resentment against the united states and lead to the recruitment of more terrorists. jones have replaced guantánamo as a recruiting tool of choice for militants according to becker and shane. they quoted who while pleading guilty while trying to detonate a bomb in times square told the judge when the drones hit, they do not seek children. jeremy's cahill writes, the secret war on pakistan became largely a drone bombing campaign describe ica a officers in
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islamabad by boys with toys. by the end of obama's first year as presidents, he and his new counterterrorism team would begin building the infrastructure were formulated, formalize u.s. assassination program. with an aggressive a brace in its assassinations as a centerpiece of u.s. security policy. the united states uses two types of armed drones. the predator, the predator, which costs 4,450,000 dollars each, and the reaper $5 million each, and the reaper file you'd and 15 million. both produced in san diego. since i live in san diego, i feel like i qualify as an expert on drones because that is where they are manufactured. the reaper houses up to four missiles and 2500-pound bombs. it can fight a height of 21,000 1000 feet for up to 22 hours. it's cameras enable the pilot operating the drone, 7500 miles
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per way to see the faces of their targets on the computer screen as the bomb hits. tom dispatch has identified 60 bases used in u.s. drone operations, although there could be more as there is a cloak of secrecy surrounding the drone warfare program. the drone industry does not like to refer to their killer robots as drones because of the negative connotations of these machines are droning above communities. they preferred to call them, uavs, on manned aerial vehicles. an interesting story is that on the amazon page for my book, there is room for comments of any of you read the book i want to comment, feel free. one of them, actually actually for those comments were from people who worked for north rick grumman who manufacture the global hawk. the first one, the first, which
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which with the other three agreed, said, how can you believe anything she writes in that book because the picture on the front cover is a global hawk , which is a surveillance at drone, it's not a killer drawl. now the book the book also has a chapter on surrealist drones. so i found a quote from a researcher from columbia who referred to the global hawk as it drones because he said, by the way google blog is not a drone. yet. yet they are referred to by experts as drones. then the other three chimed inches but they do not like to refer to them as drones. targeted killing, which is really the death penalty without to process, is an example of american exceptionalism, reflecting the view that people in the united states are somehow superior to those in other countries. in his 2013 speech to the un
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general assembly in his state of the union addresses, specifically to the general assembly, obama stated, some may disagree, but i believe america is exceptional. in part because we have shown a willingness through the sacrament vice of blood and treasure to stand up not only for own narrow self-interest, but for the interest of all. but in addition to u.s. soldiers killed in iraq and afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of people in those countries have been killed and untold numbers wounded. time columnist, joe klein considered by many to be a liberal, bought into american exceptionalism in a disturbing way in a 2012 interview by joe scarborough on msnbc's, morning joe. scarborough observed, you have 4-year-old girls being blown to bits because we have a policy that says, you know what instead
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of trying to go win, take the risk, get the terrace out of hiding, we're just going to blow up everyone around them. he mentioned collateral damage. joe klein retorted, the bottom line in the end is, whose four-year-old gets killed? what we are doing is limiting the possibility that for -year-olds here are going to get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror. so it is preferable that foreign little girls get killed in order to protect american little girls. american exceptionalism also reared its head after the 2013 leak of the department of justice white paper that described circumstances under which the president ordered the targeted killing of u.s. citizens. there had been little public concern in the united states about drone strikes killing people in other countries. but when it was revealed that u.s. citizens might be targeted, americans were outraged. this was exemplified by senator rand paul's of 13 hour
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filibuster of john brennan's nomination for cia director. it is this double standard that motivated our chernobyl peace prize arch bishop desmond tutu to write in the new york times, which bill mentioned to the united states and it people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? and when i read that letter in the new york times, i said to myself, i would love arch dish up to two to write forward to this book and he graciously agree. he elaborates elaborates on that thought in his forward. a new whistleblower has joined the ranks of edward snowden, chelsea manning, manning, john kerry accu, and other courageous individuals. the unnamed person who chose to remain anonymous because of the obama administration unprecedented and vigorous prosecution of whistleblowers is a member of
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the intelligence community. in the belief that the american public has the right to know about the fundamentally and morally flawed u.s. drone program, the source provided the intercept with a treasure trove of secret military documents and slides that china critical light on the country's killer drone program. these files confirm that the obama administration's policy and practice of assassination using armed drones and other methods violate the law. the documents revealed the kill chain that describes who will be targeted and decides who will be targeted, as the source said, this outrageous explosion of watchlist income of monitoring people and racking and stacking on list, of assigning numbers,
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assigning the baseball cards, assigning them death sentences without notice on a worldwide battlefield, it was from the very first instance wrong. the secret documents demonstrate that the administration killed innumerable civilians due to its reliance on signal intelligence, an undeclared war zones and as i said following cell phones or computers that may or may not be carried i suspected terrorists. the document show that more than half of the intelligence used to locate potential targets in somalia and yemen was based on this method. it isn't a surefire method. you're relying on the fact that you have these all-powerful machines capable of collectible external amounts of data and intelligence which can cause those involved do think they possess godlike powers, according to the source. it. it is stunning the number of instances when selectors are misattributed to certain people, and he characterize a missile fired it at the targeted group of people as a leak of space. the administration's practice of minimizing civilian casualties
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is exaggerating at best if not outright lies, according to the source. from january 2012 until februard operation haymaker was carried out in the afghan province of hunan and north stand. according to the drone papers, during the five-month period almost 90% of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. this campaign parallels an increase in drone is tax and civilian casualties throughout afghanistan, what's more the campaign did not significantly degrade al qaeda's operations there, according to the source. obama's preference for killing instead of apprehension, according to the source, actually prevents the administration from gathering critical intelligence. obama stated in 2013, america
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does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual tears, are preferences to detain, interrogate, prosecute. but michael. but michael flynn, former head of the defense intelligence he agency told the intercept, we do not capture people anymore". slides provided by the drum paper source site 82013 study by the pentagon's intelligent gins, surveillance and recognizance task force that says kill operation significantly reduce the intelligence from available detainees and captured material. so the task force recommended capturing and interrogating rather than killing a drone strikes. the american public is largely unaware of the high number of civilian casualties from drone strikes. a study conducted by american university professor concluded that both the new york times and washington post substantially
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underrepresented the number of civilians killed in drone strikes in pakistan and yemen, failed to correct the public record when evidence emerged that the reporting was wrong, and ignore the importance of international law. gregory mcneil, an expert on national security and drones at pepperdine wrote that in afghanistan and iraq, when collateral damage did occur, 70's% of the time it was attributed to fail that was a mistaken identification. anyone caught in the vicinity is guilty by association, the drone paper source notes. if a drone attack killed more than one person, there is is no guarantee that those person deserved their fate, so it is a phenomenal gamble.
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drone strikes are obama's weapon of choice because they do not result in u.s. casualty. it is a politically advantageous thing to do, low cost, no u.s. casualties, give the appearance of toughness according to former director of national intelligence dennis blair. the place all domestically and it is unpopular only in other countries, the damage it does to the national interest only shows up over the long-term. part of the damage, slim pointed out, is that drones make the fallen into martyrs. they create a new they created a new reason to fight us even harder. the united nations charters mandate for peaceful resolution of disputes and prohibition of military force, except in self-defense is not a pipe train. a study by the rand corporation concluded that between 1968 and 2006, 43% of incidents involving terrorist groups ended by peaceful political resolution with their government. 40% were penetrated and eliminated by local police and intelligence agencies, only
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7% were ended by the use of military force. nevertheless, the wall street journal reported that the military plans to increase the drone of flights by 50% by 2019. in describing how the special operations community views the perspective targets by session nation by drones, the drone paper source said, they have no rights, they have no dignity, they no dignity, they have no humanity to themselves, they are just a selector to an analyst. you eventually get to a point in the targets lifecycle that you are following them, you do not even refer to them by the actual name. this results in dehumanizing the people before you have even encountered the moral question of is this a legitimate tour that. many drum pilots as i said suffer from ptsd. some are refusing to fly the drones.
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last september the air force times ran*ad paid ad paid for by 54 u.s. veterans and vets organizations, urging air force drone operators and other military personnel to refuse orders to fly drone surveillance and attack missions. i want to briefly in a couple of minutes that i have, it remains me of the o.j. simpson trial, remember judge ito had a whole collection of hourglasses. i wrote a look on cameras in the courtroom from that. that's what this reminds me of. i don't know don't know if you ever use them though. so the collection that i put together is it entered disciplinary collection of human rights and political activist, policy analysts, lawyers, legal scholars, philosopher, journalist, sociologist that examine different aspects of the u.s. policy of targeted killing by drones and other methods, the
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contributors explore the legality, morality, and geopolitical consideration in evaluating the impact on relations between the united states and the countries affected the targeted killing. "drones and targeted killing"'s will not solve the problems of terrorism. if you use the drone and the selected killings and do nothing on the other side then you get rid of individuals, but but the root causes are still there. former somali, former minister told jeremy scaly hale, the root carson's are not security, the security, the root causes are political and economic. a pentagon study conducted during the bush administration, the bush administration pentagon concluded, muslims do not hate our freedom, but but rather they hate our policies. it identifies, this is a pentagon study under bush, american direct intervention in the muslim world through the united states one-sided support in favor of israel.
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support for islamic tyrannical regimes in egypt and saudi arabia, and primarily the american occupation of iraq and afghanistan. these policies, these policies, which are rationalized about terrorism, paradoxically support islamic radicals. becker and shane sounded an alarm about the ramification of drone strikes in the future of u.s. relations with muslim countries. they noted, obama focus on strikes have made it impossible to forge, for now, a new relationship with the muslim world that he had envisioned. but pakistan and yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the united states than when mr. obama became president. justly or not, jones jones have become a provocative symbol of american power running roughshod over national sovereignty and killing innocents.
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we ignore this admonition at our apparel. until we stop invading other countries with muslim populations, occupying their lands, torturing their people, and killing them with drones, we will never be safe from terrorism. thank you. [applause]. >> thank you. those a marvelous presentation. the book is just as fascinating. the details, the examples given, they really drive home the whole problem of drones and the legal implications, the moral implications. also the human implications. this whole thing of collateral damage, your mother, your sister, your aunt, your uncle, just being collateral damage because they're shooting at you but these other people get shot
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at two. it is really very problematic. i want to now open the floor for questions and comments that you may have. wait for the microphone, ways raise your hand and then you can make your comments. thank you so much for your question. >> thank you so much for a great overview. i have a very specific question you may or may not be able to address. i am doing a lot of research on the notion of moral injuries, the ptsd, the what happens to those that we put in positions of killing. it was different in world war ii for example when it was very
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visceral and different on the ground. it has taken a different different shape and form with subjective location of people and then killing them. i wonder if you have touched upon that at all if you can talk about that, how this different way of doing something maybe shapes the pilots differently, or the impact on the pilots who are asked to do this. >> yes. one of the chapters is written by a philosopher, terry vanderlinden who vanderlinden who is a professor at butler. he talks about things like during wartime and were talking about active work that to these drone wars that obama basically declare the entire world the battlefield. the surveillance platform where the drones, the surveillance drones are watching people's lives, intimately day and night, and and also the concept of the sleeping soldier.
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use kill someone weather sleeping? is that moral? the issue of the ptsd of the drum pilots, you have these people who are not at any risk of themselves, and that is one of the reasons that obama likes him because we learned that the u.s. government learned during the vietnam war, and i i am a child of the vietnam antiwar movement, i suspect some of you are as well. america's don't like to see americans coming back in body bags. and that really creates opposition to what the u.s. is doing. so if we can kill people, the bad guys, the suspected militants, without endangering our pilots, then that is preferable and that is why obama is using drones on such a widespread basis.
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so the pilots are not at any physical risk. they put on their flight suits, they go into the trailers out into the deserts. i'm going to stop at the drone week outside of las vegas in a few weeks, creech air force base which is where a lot of these pilots are based that control the drones. and the technologies so incredible that they can see the faces of the people that the are about to be killed. they can see the faces of these people over along. of time because these drones can stay up in the air about 22 hours at a time without having to refuel. they can see these people going about their lives and taking care of their children, their animals, eating, drinking, sleeping, et cetera. then they press a button but not blows them away and clearly civilians, women and children, there's not even an argument in
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most instances that they are combatants. that takes its toll, psychologically i drone pilots. there are four former drone pilots who came out with a public letter to obama in the last few months urging him to reconsider the drone program. we saw almost nothing about it in the corporate media. they really squelched it to. but drone pilots, they're having trouble getting drum pilots. they are offering. they are offering bonuses to get people to become drone pilots because of his ptsd. >> bob. >> thank you bill. if the drones stop tomorrow, is the legal community and our nation, and internationally working on developing an
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effective, international legal legal infrastructure to deal with nonstate actors planning terrorism and state actors committing gross humanitarian violations, slaughtering people in other countries. is is the legal community working to create that kind of international legal infrastructure? >> we have laws that govern off the battlefield killings. they come from our constitution and it is called due process. so if someone is suspected of committing a crime, they are rested and given a full hearing and they go to trial. when you're off the battlefield, the law-enforcement model is what is use, that means if there is an imminent threat of the use of violence, then police action can be taken. unfortunately our leaders, this
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is the obama administration and the bush administration, and hillary clinton who was secretary of state who has vowed to continue this policy, in fact she is even more hawkish than obama is that obama is in many ways, i can give you examples of that, they use military force as a first resort not as a last resort. in fact she has advocated a no strike so over syria which, until russia mysteriously pulled their point that it would shut down russian planes. the preference for diplomacy, for including all of the players in the region and that includes russia, and includes iran, that vicious iran who has threatened no one as far as i know and doesn't have nuclear weapons, has not been fully explored. in the un charter is very clear that military forces a last resort and only in self-defense
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over the security council agrees. the un charter specifically says that negotiation, mediation, mediation, arbitration should be used. also, if you look at that macro picture and you wonder why are people doing us harm, or other people, we are not directly victimized, although on 9/11, after 9/11, before osama bin laden took responsibility for it i suspected he was behind it. shortly after 9/11 i asked myself, how could 19 men, 15 of whom came from saudi arabia, none came from afghanistan, how could 19 men commit 19 men commit suicide and take 3000 innocents with them? so i did some research on osama bin laden and i'm no fan of osama bin laden but there were three things that osama bin laden pointed to. three things that infuriate him about the united states. first, it was the presence of
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what he called the western infidels, the u.s. troops in saudi arabia, in the holy sites of islam, mecca and medina. second was the killing of 1 million people in iraq during the 90s under bill clinton, half of them children. third was israel's treatment of the palestinians. those were the three things that really incensed him. so if we really want to be safe from terrorism, rather than using these band-aid use of force drone strikes, man bombers killing people on this incredible level, we need to completely, completely do a reanalysis of our foreign policy where are we invading, what countries are we occupying? i would recommend to you a book, it's a comic book called addicted to war.
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it is illustrated and it is a tremendous resource. all of the armed invasion the u.s. has undertaken from the beginning, almost all of them to protect corporate interests. no surprise there. >> thank you. while i agree that war is atrocious and war inevitably believes that we objectify the people because that's the way that we have human beings can find her way into killing, i'm a little unclear about what it is specifically that you object to? for one thing, u.s. law is not extraterritorial he applicable to nonresidents abroad. the legal arguments don't strike me as particularly persuasive. the law of war is a discrete area of law, as i'm sure you know, independent of our treaties which over history of never constrained us as warriors.
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i'm not suggesting that they should, should not, but they have not. if the final argument is in effect that we are turning our service people into murderers because of the theater of war has become so extenuating, then i would have to say our people come our country has decided that we are at war and that our theaters haven't necessarily extended, it seems to me that this comes down to the fact that we have not updated either our treaties, our laws, or our understandings of the laws of war so that it incorporates the kind of behavior that you are so concerned about. >> first of all, yes war is atrocious i'm not a pacifist. war can be used not as an
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instrument of foreign policy which is the way the united states uses it, which is prohibited by the un charter, but in self-defense force of national liberation are also just wars. our constitution has what is called the due process clause. it is is not limited to u.s. citizens. it says no person, the government shall not deny any person, you're your shaking your head but you know that this is true. yes, will you know that, other people may not know that's i want to point that out. the due process clause does not just apply to u.s. citizens. it says the government shall not deprive any person of a due process of law. it has been interpreted not just to apply to u.s. citizens. our treaties are fine, if we follow them then we would be
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following the law. we are a nation of laws. if we're not following them, that doesn't mean they should be changed, that means we should be following the law. the law for as you know law bores you know is contained in the geneva convention and it says civilians shall not be targeted. this is that civilians, that the number of civilian casualties cannot be disproportionate to the military advancement sought and that the military has the ability to distinguish between combat since and civilians. the united states has it hundred military bases around the world. 800 military bases. why do we need all of these military bases? what are we doing there? whose interests are we protecting? so rather than amending our treaties which we don't follow anyway, perhaps we should change our policy which means changing our priorities, which means that i'm surprised that bernie sanders has not talked about this more, he talked about it in his 1997 book, taking some of that money from the bloated
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military budget and putting it into universal healthcare, free education, et cetera. >> virginia. >> i have a couple of questions. first is very short, are any other countries or entities deploying and using killer drones? the second is, whenever there is a new weapon than the arms people get real busy and figuring out how to defend against them. are you aware that other militaries are developing anti- drone weapons are our military is? i think it is only a matter of time before people start shooting them down and then you get there missiles and -- to get
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going on this type of weapon, it is is not going to last forever. >> rights. israel is using killer drones against people in gaza. in fact israel developed killer drones. the united states states is now selling drone technology to our allies. the difficulty and the danger is that our allies today become our enemies tomorrow. there is nothing to say that this technology is not going to get into the hands of people who would do us harm. drones of five very low, it would be very easy to shoot them down. but the terrorists of that we are trying to take out to not have air forces. you wonder why you wonder why we are building up this bloated military as if we are still fighting the cold war when it is a very different situation. so yes, it is, it is not difficult to shoot down the drones, but the bad guys who are
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we're trying to take out do not have air forces, yet. >> thank you for coming to talk on this important topic. it is an interesting thing. you mentioned the kill chain and someone has spoken about ptsd in a remote john pilots and that sort of thing. there's an interesting solution to this that has been posed recently, apparently on the third of this month there is a deputy assistant secretary that is in charge of procurement, logistics, and robotics at the department of defense that had spoken to defense convention and saying that it should be on the table to have autonomous targeting, meaning they have targeted killing so i think the legal, i'm not a lawyer but i think a lot of the legal arguments for what is happening now in terms of remote killing is that there's still a human
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being is soldier at the end making a decision whether to kill her not to kill and a push button and it happens. apparently i assume then that there is an actual framework that is going to justify autonomous killing machines, basically terminators, rubber copper however you want to talk about it. i think it was called the problem of ptsd and drone pilots but i was wondering if you could talk about that a little bit? >> yes, that is addressed in the book, they're called lars, lethal automated robot systems were no individual decides who, when, where who, when, where to kill. it's me completely by computer. the un is very concerned about this in the special people have written reports advocating suspension of the lars in prohibition of it. it's frightening. it's even more frightening than when pilots are deciding who to kill and they make so many mistakes. so this is where the technology is headed, they they have not
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been used yet, they are on the drawing board and likely will be used in the future unless there is a ground swell opposing their use. that is even more frightening than what we have now. i am glad you brought it up. >> another question about the drone programs relation to the war powers act. most people assume that the drone program is a just an instrument in fighting the war on terror, so how, so where does the obama administration get it's a legal justification to use the drone program if it is an instrument of war and how does it supersede the war powers resolution? >> the war powers resolution was passed in 1973 in three in response to the vietnam war. it says that if the u.s. presidents puts u.s. forces into
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active hostilities that he has to report, here she has to report within 60 days to congress. obama technically complies with that, he uses the a ums, that i described as a legal basis. besides the fact that that does not apply to al shabab and groups that were not associated with al qaeda, that particular a ums and he has tried to get updated, we are still bound by the un charter, the geneva, so even if we had an updated a ums, that still would not make the illegal joan strikes legal. >> one of the things that gets to me is that you can talk about the legal constraints when they
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actually apply. the problem is, there are many chapters in this book the talk about the way in which we get around those things, the way in which the people who use the drone who engaged in targeted killing will do those things to sort of keep the killing anonymous and things like that. the thing that really gets to me is what we learned in sunday school, we talk about war, we talk about just wars. there is a very good chapter here about what makes a just war as proposed by san ambrose and saint augustine. there is no just war when we look at the way we use drones. the question i have is, how can we do onto others as that we
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would have them do onto us? what would happen to us if someone did not like our politics and then targeted us with drones? and killed our uncle, our aunt, our friend, when they are trying to get us, even when there has not been any due process to show that i'm really guilty of the thing for which you are trying to target me. i think that is why arch bishop tutu's statement is so powerful. we are doing this to people out there, but what would happen if they did it to us? if the the same thing were being done to us? >> it was very hard to listen to this for me. for for one thing,
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i am an obama supporter, i am a democrat, a lot of looking at the whole picture, i guess i would say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. i had no idea that you could see the faces of people with the drone. i had a tiny amount of knowledge about drones, that is why came here, to learn and to learn what the rest of the world is doing and what the security council is doing. >> . . . . because aa little knowledge
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is a dangerous thing, and i feel i am learning about this, but i am troubled by it, and i would likei would like to know more what we can do comeau what you think all of us can do about these things rather than just increase our knowledge. >> let me respond to that. in a democracy it is the responsibility of the citizens to speak out when the government is breaking the law, doing things in their name that are not right. and so one thing, our government is -- certainly the congress is quite dysfunctional. they respond to pressure from their constituents which means that it is incumbent upon us to contact their representatives in any way we can, by e-mail, by letters, sitting in offices, by demonstrating and telling them that we do not approve


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