Posts Tagged ‘Drones’

ACLU files lawsuit against U.S. Use of Drones, and What Countries have Armed Drones?

July 22, 2013

This blog has been posting information on the U.S. use of Drones for many years. See past articles under “Drones”.

Grim-Reaper with 4 Hellfire Missiles, 2 sidewinder air to air missiles, and 2 GBU 12 Paveway Laser guided bombs

Grim-Reaper with 4 Hellfire Missiles, 2 sidewinder air to air missiles, and 2 GBU 12 Paveway Laser guided bombs

From The Guardian:

The director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national security project talks about why the Obama administration’s drone assassinations are not just illegal in many cases, but are becoming increasingly risky for the US itself. She states that what the U.S. has been using as the grounds for its use of Drone attacks on persons on the “Kill List” will be used by other countries as the basis for them using Drones for their “Kill Lists”. If the U.S. believes it has the right, so will other countries. Then What? READ AND VIEW THE VIDEO HERE.

And from “The International Business Times, here’s an interactive list of countries with Drones, and also a list of which of those countries have “Armed Drones” READ AND VIEW THE COUNTRIES HERE.

We have let the cat out of the bag. What will the future look like? And sucking up all human correspondence in all countries, the U.S. is turning into a “watch all citizens and track them” state. Change we can believe in, yes Mr. President?

“I won’t take it anymore” Last Blog Dec. 2010 “Where’s the “Change”?

June 12, 2013

UPDATE: Today, Glenn Greenwald published an article in The Guardian (guardian.co.uk) entitled “On PRISM, Partisanship and Propaganda” It is A MUST READ. Link is here:

From Greenwald’s article:

“I don’t have to listen to your phone calls to know what you’re doing. If I know every single phone call you made, I’m able to determine every single person you talked to. I can get a pattern about your life that is very, very intrusive. . . . If it’s true that 200 million Americans’ phone calls were monitored – in terms of not listening to what they said, but to whom they spoke and who spoke to them – I don’t know, the Congress should investigative this.”

That was a quote from JOE BIDEN, 2006 commenting on Bush Adm. “not passing the 4th Amendment Test” So Joe, what do you say now? Here’s Biden in 2006 debates Obama in 2013 over NSA spying program

In the article, Greenwald points us to an interview with Chris Hayes, View it here

Greenwald also points us to a story by the Daily Beast writer Kirsten Powers “The Sickening Snowden Backlash” View it here

(END OF UPDATE)

Dear Friends: I became so wrapped up in what governments were doing in the name of “Protecting our Citizens”, that I could no longer do a daily blog on these events. It was making me a very bitter U.S. Citizen.

Since then, I’ve been avoiding Nightly News on TV. Getting most news from the web. Now I have a few bones to pick.

There are 41 Guantanamo “prisoners” on a hunger strike right now. Taken from Washington Post link below.

  • The hunger strike began in early February and grew steadily, as more and more detainees joined the protest. The initial catalyst was a decision by the guard force at Guantanamo Bay to search detainees’ Korans. The military said that detainees have used Korans to hide contraband, and that the searches were conducted by Muslim cultural advisers, not ordinary guards.

    The prisoners objected and said the searches amounted to desecration.

  • Obama: Nobel Peace Prize Winner Becomes Drone Warrior-in-Chief, taken from ABC News

  • Since January 2009, the U.S. has launched at least 281 drone strikes in Pakistan alone, according to the New America Foundation, which has tracked them based on news reports and other sources. During the last five years of George W. Bush’s presidency — 2004-2008 — the group counted just 49. The government has not put out its own totals, which are also said to include strikes in Yemen and Somalia, other known havens for suspected terrorists.
  • And the last for today:

    “NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things'”> Thank you Glenn Greewald for your reporting and interviewing Mr. Snowden. Follow the story at guardian.co.uk

    From the Ground: Carnegie Endowment for Peace reports “Afghanistan Strategy has all ready Failed”

    September 11, 2010

    A special Thank You to Rethinkafghanistan for their review of Giles Dorronsoro’s reporting for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, read their review here. Please support RethinkAfghanistan, visit their site here.

      The latest report from Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Giles Dorronsoro has a stark warning for the U.S.: the counterinsurgency strategy has already failed. The Taliban, he says, are solidifying a shadow state across Afghanistan, and the longer the U.S. waits to begin negotiations in earnest, the less likely the Taliban will be to make concessions. His report confirms what we’ve said for months: the U.S. military strategy in Afghanistan isn’t working, and it’s not worth the costs.

    The full Question and Answer session with Mr. Dorronsoro is presented below for your review. But first, watch Rethinkafghaistan video entitled “General Petraeus’ “Progress” Spin on Afghanistan: We’ve Heard It Before”:

    Worsening Outlook in Afghanistan
    Gilles Dorronsoro
    Q&A, September 9, 2010
    Even with the surge of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, the coalition’s position continues to erode as the Taliban gain strength. Ahead of the July 2011 date to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the Obama administration approaches a strategic review of the war in December and will have to decide whether to maintain course or change direction. Meanwhile, American public support for the war is waning.

    Just back from another trip to Afghanistan, Gilles Dorronsoro details in a Q&A the deteriorating security situation on the ground in Afghanistan, analyzes U.S. strategy, and makes the case for negotiations with the insurgency. Dorronsoro argues that Washington’s approach is failing and talking with the Taliban—through the Pakistani military establishment—is the least-bad option available. The best hope for exiting the war is to Afghanize the conflict and establish a coalition government that includes Taliban leaders.

    ■How is the situation changing on the ground?

    ■How strong are the Taliban?

    ■How important are the parliamentary elections in September?

    ■Is the current U.S. strategy on course? Did the influx of U.S. troops change the war?

    ■Has the arrival of General Petraeus altered the U.S. war strategy? Will the policies be rethought this year?

    ■How should the United States shift its current policy?

    ■What role is Pakistan playing in the war in Afghanistan? Can the United States trust the Pakistani government and military?

    How is the situation changing on the ground?
    Security in Afghanistan is clearly deteriorating. When I arrived in Afghanistan this summer, I didn’t anticipate a major change in the safety conditions since my last trip in April. Even with the surge of U.S. troops, I expected things to have stayed mainly the same within the short window of time between trips. I was wrong. There was a palpable regression.

    The conditions have only gotten worse since the new U.S. counterinsurgency strategy was rolled out. While the coalition is talking about progress in a few districts, the general picture is quite different.

    In Helmand, where the coalition has used its best troops, progress will take at least five years to materialize, according to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, James T. Conway. With an aggressive counterinsurgency campaign in Marja, coalition troops have been working to suppress the local insurgency. But months after the offensive started, Marja remains unstable and insecure. The lack of progress in Helmand delayed plans to move onto Kandahar, the second largest city in Afghanistan, and forced the United States to rethink its ambitious agenda.

    Operations in Kandahar will be even more difficult because the insurgents enjoy strong popular support west of the city and this is where the most severe fights will take place in the next few months. The fighting is currently strongest in a small district north of Kandahar city where there are a series of military bases. While this is a strategically important location for controlling the city, U.S. forces have been unable to extend control beyond their bases—it takes hours to go just hundreds of meters outside on patrol. And they have failed to build a local militia or strong ties with influential people. The Taliban are too powerful in the south to defeat.

    Things are also going badly in the north. The Taliban are in charge in many places and, even where they are not, the Afghan government has no real support. Of course it’s not a situation where areas wholly support the government or the Taliban, it’s more complicated than that as there are locations with local commanders who are not dependent on Kabul.

    In the east, the United States is trying to implement a political strategy, but these efforts are unlikely to change the course of the entire struggle. Special forces have been able to build a tribal shura, or leadership council, in the Chamkani district in the east and according to early indications this has been received positively. While it’s too early to tell how these efforts will progress, minor progress in the east won’t have any concrete impact on the overall direction of the war itself.

    How strong are the Taliban?
    The Taliban are trying to take the fight to every part of Afghanistan and are successfully gaining control as the group becomes more of a national movement. The strategy is working as the conflict spreads across the country. Without many more troops than would ever be feasible for the United States or NATO to supply, the coalition will be unable to face all the threats at once, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to gain a tactical success in a single location that could have wider tangible implications for the war. The progress of the insurgency is now irreversible as the Afghan government is too weak to roll back the insurgents.

    The presence of the Taliban can even be felt in Kabul. They are progressively surrounding the capital and tightening their control in adjacent areas. With the center of the city remaining safe, even to foreigners, there are fewer and fewer places outside the city that are reachable by car. The Taliban have placed checkpoints on the roads out of Kabul in the north and south. It’s dangerous to drive as government employees risk being killed and foreigners are in danger of being captured. The isolation of Kabul is putting further strain on the government and coalition as they cannot easily travel outside the capital.

    In the south, the Taliban are successfully holding their ground with low levels of casualties in Kandahar and Helmand, despite concerted American campaigns. And the Taliban have successfully discouraged local partners from working with the coalition.

    In essence, the Taliban are building a shadow state. Right now, the Taliban are the only effective force in many areas. The services provided are limited, but efficient. A clear indication is that international nongovernmental organizations are beginning to deal directly with the Taliban as they need their support to operate effectively. The process has become so formalized, for example, that international groups can now expect to receive a paper that is stamped and sealed by the Taliban to work in some Taliban-controlled areas.

    How important are the parliamentary elections in September?
    The parliamentary elections scheduled for September will in many ways be a rerun of last year’s presidential campaign. The political process will be extremely corrupt and the international community won’t be able to monitor the election on the ground. President Karzai will marginalize progressives and use the elections for his own political gain.

    Still, the elections will not be a major development in determining Afghanistan’s fate. Karzai is increasingly going around parliament and through a jirga—a tribal gathering of leaders—to establish new policies. If Karzai wants to do something, he simply marginalizes the parliament.

    Is the current U.S. strategy on course? Did the influx of U.S. troops change the war?
    The United States has a failing strategy in Afghanistan. Since last year there has not been one serious element of progress and the situation will not improve without a strategic recalculation.

    Washington wants to weaken the Taliban by beefing up the counterinsurgency campaign to the point where the Taliban will be forced to ask for amnesty and join the government. But the Taliban are growing stronger and there are no indications that U.S. efforts can defeat the insurgents.

    So far, additional troops have not translated into a tactical victory. Despite arguments to the contrary, the higher levels of casualties in the coalition do not equal progress on the ground. The coalition has not been successful in Marjah and is fighting without clear political objectives in Kandahar because it’s not able to reform the local administration. The idea that the coalition can win the hearts and minds of the people is too optimistic without concrete results. And even if the situations in Kandahar and Marjah improve—two big ifs—the Taliban will remain a strong movement across Afghanistan, while the United States would have to use a large portion of its forces just to hold them.

    Complementing the additional forces was a civilian surge. The idea behind providing more money for development was that it would improve the lives of the local population and marginalize the Taliban. The concept, however, is not proven as there is no empirical data to support the theory.

    It’s quite the opposite in fact. When billions of dollars are dumped into the local economy, it destabilizes the population and society. The provincial reconstruction team poured $80-90 million into Kunar province in east Afghanistan in 2008 and 2009, but the local economy wasn’t able to absorb the cash. It fed corruption and reinforced a war economy where beneficiaries are interested in perpetuating a low level of conflict.

    In a year, the Taliban will not disappear as a political force or even be weakened militarily—the longer it takes for negotiations to begin, the harder it will be for the coalition to carry out the best possible exit strategy. Negotiations are the least bad option.

    Has the arrival of General Petraeus altered the U.S. war strategy? Will the policies be rethought this year?
    General Petraeus has not yet fundamentally changed U.S. strategy, but he wants to change the rules of engagement slightly so U.S. forces will be less restricted and more able to respond to the Taliban attacks.

    Petraeus wants time to implement the counterinsurgency tactics and win the war. Debate over the future of the war will liven in the run-up to the December review by the Obama administration. The evaluation of U.S. strategy, however, will be about politics, not about the situation on the ground. All sides will try to manipulate public opinion. At the end of the day, President Obama will essentially have two possibilities—he can either maintain the current course or begin negotiating with the insurgents.

    Advocates of a continued push will argue that only now are the resources in place for the counterinsurgency strategy to be effectively carried out and more time is needed to assess results. But this line of reasoning ignores reality that the strategy has already failed on the ground and there is no evidence that the situation can be reversed in strategically decisive ways. This is dangerous because the Taliban are less likely to talk in a year.

    Moreover, the growing strength of the insurgency, combined with the withdrawal of Canadian and Dutch forces, means that reinforcements will be needed in the next few years. Not only will the United States not be able to begin a withdrawal next summer, but more troops will be needed just to slow the Taliban’s forward momentum.

    Instead, the White House can take the situation into its own hands and admit that the American-led coalition is not going to win the war. Recognizing the deteriorating conditions, the United States can lead the effort to negotiate with the Taliban through the Pakistani military.

    How should the United States shift its current policy?
    While the interest in a calm, secure, and stable Afghanistan is widespread, the longer the United States waits to begin negotiations the smaller chance they will have to succeed. The United States needs to Afghanize the war. Instead of a global war pitting the United States against jihadis, the future needs to be in the hands of Afghans and only then will they find local solutions to the war.

    The way forward is apparent. In the coming months, the American-led coalition needs to declare a ceasefire and begin talking to the Taliban. While negotiations could be an extremely long and fraught process, the sooner they begin the more likely they are to achieve results.

    Negotiations must include the United States, Taliban, Pakistani military, and members of the Afghan government and Northern Alliance. It needs to be relatively small at first as bringing in too many regional powers would only complicate negotiations.

    The idea of negotiating only through President Karzai is not a good idea. He is both too weak and surrounded by influential advisers who oppose the United States. He is no longer a partner of Washington and it would be irresponsible to leave the talks in his hands. Plus, neither the Taliban nor Pakistan wants to negotiate with Karzai because he can’t deliver results. The United States must play a leading role as it would be dangerous not to.

    The talks will need to establish a coalition government in Kabul—that includes Taliban leaders—and security guarantees for the Western alliance that al-Qaeda will not return and use Afghanistan as a base to mount terrorist attacks abroad. As negotiations proceed, there will need to be a political agreement detailing the withdrawal of coalition forces. Ideally, 10,000-20,000 troops will stay in the country to defend against external threats, but this would depend on how the talks are going.

    After a broad-based government is set up, a larger international conference will be needed to garner global support for the new body. This certainly must include India, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. It could perhaps be under the auspice of the UN, which might provide some of the important outside powers more incentive to cooperate than if the United States were driving it alone.

    If the United States starts now, it can work. If the international community waits too long, the Taliban will be too strong and will be unwilling to make concessions.

    What role is Pakistan playing in the war in Afghanistan? Can the United States trust the Pakistani government and military?
    It’s clear that the Pakistanis are still supporting the Taliban. This was known well before WikiLeaks disclosed secret documents detailing supposed links between the Pakistani military and Taliban.

    In February, the Taliban’s operational commander, Abdul Ghani Baradar, was arrested in Karachi. As the second-ranking Taliban official after Mullah Muhammad Omar, the arrest was heralded as Islamabad’s new devotion to eradicating the Taliban and fighting terrorism. But the arrest was not a change in strategy, it was designed to cut off secret peace talks between Kabul and Baradar that left out Pakistan. The Taliban’s connections with the Pakistani military persist.

    U.S. policy on Pakistan, however, is disconnected from reality. Washington continues to funnel money to the Pakistani government to move against the Afghan Taliban—but this is yesterday’s policy. It’s far too late for the Pakistani army to reverse course. And even if Washington got what it wanted and high-level Taliban leaders were arrested, it would not kill the insurgency. The Taliban are too strong and the remaining players in Afghanistan will refuse to negotiate.

    In fact, if Islamabad loses influence over the Afghan Taliban, it will be a loss for Washington. Instead of trying to disconnect the Pakistani government from the Taliban, the United States should use the links to start talking. The United States must start using the situation to its own advantage.

    Ed. Note: It is time to stop war funding. Give the same amount of funds for the next two years to a Muslim Based Charity to do the reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq (and Pakistan). End the bloodshed, it is only making more “terrorists/insurgents/patriots”, whichever definition of those fighting against us may be.

    Lahore court rules against drone strikes; Assassination Drones are spreading throughout the world, coming to a city near you soon. End the Wars NOW.

    July 1, 2010

    Lahore court rules against drone strikes

    LAHORE, Pakistan, June 30 (UPI) — Federal authorities should take measures to stop drone attacks in Pakistan if they are carried out without formal approval, a Lahore court said Wednesday.

    A Lahore court Wednesday called on the government to take appropriate measures to halt strikes by unmanned drones in Pakistan if they aren’t approved by Islamabad, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reports. The court was responding to a petition that said drone strikes were a violation of national sovereignty.

    Over 40 Nations have Assassination Drones or are working on developing their own Assassination Drones.

    The United States has been leading the way in killing targeted “terrorists” through the use of Assassination Drones. Friends, the Genie is out of the lamp. View the video below. Who is the leading nation selling Assassination Drones world-wide? The State of Israel. Read this article in dawn.com, entitled “Spy in the sky rakes in millions for Israel”, click here.

    For more information after viewing the video, visit their website, click here.

    * * *

    Read the United National Antiwar Conference Action Proposal Submitted by Conference Co-Sponsors, click here. Stop the Madness, it is up to YOU:

    ACTION: Call: 1-888-543-5234 (toll-free number established by FCNL) connects you with the Capitol Switchboard. Tell your Representatives, No More War Funding. End the Wars NOW.

    Assassination Drones and the “Wired for War” future is here; Sherwood Ross and Bill Roggio Assassination Drone Stories also

    June 12, 2010

    At the beginning of the Iraq war, the U.S. had a handful of Assassination Drones at its disposal for the beginning of the “Unmanned” ariel assassination weapon, now the U.S. has over 7,000 Assassination Drones and over 40 countries are manufacturing their own or are working on doing so. The “FACE” of war is changing. Ed. Note:See our story “UN expert criticizes “illegal” targeted killing policies and calls on the US to halt CIA drone killings” click here. To see the full 29 page report, “Study on targeted killings”**Read full Report, click here.

    Grim-Reaper with 4 Hellfire Missiles, 2 sidewinder air to air missiles, and 2 GBU 12 Paveway Laser guided bombs

    Brookings scholar and, author of “Wired for War”, PW Singer interviewed by Ibrahim Sajid Malick is a Pakistani-American writer, technologist, and social entrepreneur on January 22, 2010. Read Mr. Malick’s latest story from Dawn.com entitled “Civilian Murders: Those condoning illegal Drone Bombings are complicit in War Crimes”, click here

    “USA: Acronym for United States of Assassinations?” written by Sherwood Ross, read it here. Sherwood reports “…So far,” says international legal authority Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois at Champaign, “all CIA drone attacks have been murders, assassinations, and extrajudicial executions – a grave violation of international human rights law, the laws of the countries where the attacks took place, and of US domestic law.” Boyle added, “All CIA drone strikes in Pakistan are criminal and a grave violation of international human rights law.”

    US kills 14 in 2 strikes in North Waziristan by Bill Roggio at The Long War Journal :Background on US strikes in Pakistan

      The latest two strikes are the second and third reported inside Pakistan this month. All three strikes have taken place over the past 24 hours. Yesterday, the US hit a Taliban compound in the town of Norak in North Waziristan, killing three terrorists.

      So far this year, the US has carried out 41 strikes in Pakistan; all but two of them have taken place in North Waziristan. The US is well on its way to exceeding last year’s strike total in Pakistan. In 2009, the US carried out 53 strikes in Pakistan; and in 2008, the US carried out 36 strikes in the country. [For up-to-date charts on the US air campaign in Pakistan, see LWJ Special Report, "Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 - 2010."]

    ACTION: Call: 1-888-543-5234 (toll-free number established by FCNL) connects you with the Capitol Switchboard. Tell your Representatives, No More War Funding. End the Wars NOW.

    Editor’s Note: We at Out of Central Asia Now have been calling the U.S. use of Assasination Drones illegal for some time. We have many Assassination Drone posts at this site. Over 40 Nations have Drones now and when one of them uses the Assassination Drone and claims that the U.S. used the Assassination Drones just like we are using them “…In self-defense”, what action will the United Nations be able to take? The Genie (Assassination Drones) is out of the Lamp. Who started this? The United States of America. End the Wars NOW.

    “The Year of the Drone” Report; 21,000 square miles (about the size of West Virginia) and 15,000 “coalition” troops try to eliminate the “Taliban”

    February 26, 2010

    Two Stories for Today: First, The Year of the Drone, a new report just out. Second, the attack taking place in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    One of the Assassination Drones, the Predator B (YMQ-9A) General Atomics photo

    It is Time to Stop the War(s). Join the March 20 March on Washington to End the War(s). Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

    First Story: New America Foundation Report The Year of the DroneAn Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 by Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann (Read the full report here) Their synopsis is below the Helmand “displaced” story. This is a Must Read for U.S. Drone (“assassination drones”) attack information.

    Second Story: U.S., “Coalition Forces”, and Afghan soldiers attacking in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. The easy victory is not so easy. But there will be a “Victory” that can be broadcast to show how the war is turning in the U.S. favor, another great headline for U.S. voter consumption. JUST IN:
    The Real Objective of the Marja Offensive, by Gareth Porter, read it here.
    “This is all a war of perceptions,” (Gen.) McChrystal said. “This is not a physical war in terms of how many people you kill or how much ground you capture, how many bridges you blow up. This is all in the minds of the participants.”

    The land area of Helmand Province, Afghanistan is about the same size of West Virginia (24,000 square miles). It is about the same size as Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire combined. The total population is over 1,700,000 people, and 92% of them are Pashtuns. Marjah is one of the small villages that make up this population. Here’s a map showing the area.

    Here’s a map of the “displaced” population that ran for their lives prior to the attack beginning, an estimated 25,000 to 40,000 out of a total of 80,000 in Marjah Village. Click here for the map. Map taken from “Knots in the Stomach”, by Joshua Foust at Registan.net.

    What has happened to the people of Swat Valley? Where over 2.5 million villagers were “displaced”. Many have not returned, and those returning, returned to what? Crops all destroyed, homes, roads, bridges, irrigation ditches destroyed, livestock dead or missing, how are they surviving? South Waziristan had many “displaced villagers” also, what has happened to them? Does anyone care? This is being repeated now in Marjah, led by the U.S. government. These are crimes against humanity.

    The Year of the Drone – An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 By Peter Bergen, Katherine Tiedemann, New America Foundation February 24, 2010 | New America Foundation

      The bomber, a Jordanian doctor linked to al Qaeda, detonated his explosives on December 30, 2009, at an American base in Khost in eastern Afghanistan, killing himself and seven CIA officers and contractors who were operating at the heart of the covert program overseeing U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s volatile northwestern tribal regions. The suicide attack was a double cross: Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, the bomber, had earlier provided information to the CIA that was used in targeting some of those drone attacks.[i]

      Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the current number three in al Qaeda, praised the suicide attack, saying it was “to avenge our good martyrs” and listing several militant leaders felled by drone strikes.[ii] The chief of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, appeared alongside al-Balawi in a prerecorded video released on January 9, 2010, saying the attack was revenge for the drone strike that killed Mehsud’s ruthless predecessor, Baitullah Mehsud, in August 2009.[iii]

      The drone program had a busy year in 2009; under the Obama administration, there were 51 reported strikes in Pakistan’s tribal areas, compared with 45 during the entire administration of George W. Bush. Besides Baitullah Mehsud, those killed by Predator drone missiles included Saleh al-Somali, al Qaeda’s external operations chief and the link between the militant group’s central leadership and its affiliates abroad, in December, and a prominent leader of the Islamic Jihad of Uzbekistan, in September.[iv] All told, as many as 10 militant leaders fell to the drones in 2009, in addition to hundreds of lower-level militants and civilians.[1] (Read the rest of the summary here)

    There are Assassination Drone attacks almost daily now in Pakistan. Read some of our Assassination Drone stories, click here.

    It is Time to Stop the War(s). Join the March 20 March on Washington to End the War(s). Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

    More Illegal Killings by the US through the use of Assassination Drones, in violation of the UN Charter and the Geneval Conventions; End the Cycle of Genocide, Sign the ANCA Petition Please

    February 19, 2010

    Another report from Dawn.com on the US using UnPiloted Aircraft (DRONES) to kill suspected individuals on the ground in Pakistan, a country where we have not ever declared war upon, in direct violation of the UN Charter. Below this story, please read Professor Marjorie Cohn’s statement on the US use of Drones and how it is illegal and falls under “crimes against the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions”. You be the judge.

    Death by Assassination, the US Drone Policy at work in Pakistan

    MIRANSHAH: Missiles fired from a US drone aircraft slammed into a militant compound in the northwest tribal belt on Thursday, killing at least four militants, officials said.

      The attack was the fourth US bombing raid since Sunday in North Waziristan district, and hit a stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, known for staging attacks on US and Nato troops fighting in Afghanistan.

      “The US drone fired two missiles; one hit a compound and another, a vehicle. Four militants were killed in these attacks,” a senior security official told AFP from the northwest city of Peshawar. An intelligence official in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, confirmed that four militants were killed, adding: “Three of the militants were Afghan militants attached with the Haqqani network.” The strike hit the Dandey Darpa Khel area about five kilometres from Miranshah, which is close to the border with Afghanistan.

      North Waziristan, also a stronghold of Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-linked groups, has seen a surge in drone strikes in the past two months. On Wednesday, a US missile strike killed four insurgents just a few kilometres from the border with the Afghan province of Khost.

    Professor Marjorie Cohn outlines the illegal use of Drones by the United States

      ….Many countries use drones for surveillance, but only the United States and Israel have used them for strikes. Scott Shane wrote in the New York Times, “For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for targeted killings in a country where the United States is not officially at war.”

      The use of these drones in Pakistan violates both the UN Charter and the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit willful killing. Targeted or political assassinations—sometimes called extrajudicial executions—are carried out by order of, or with the acquiescence of, a government, outside any judicial framework. As a 1998 report from the UN Special Rapporteur noted, “extrajudicial executions can never be justified under any circumstances, not even in time of war.” Willful killing is a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions, punishable as a war crime under the U.S. War Crimes Act. Extrajudicial executions also violate a longstanding U.S. policy. In the 1970s, after the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence disclosed that the CIA had been involved in several murders or attempted murders of foreign leaders, President Gerald Ford issued an executive order banning assassinations. Although there have been exceptions to this policy, every succeeding president until George W. Bush reaffirmed that order.

    Marjorie Cohn is the immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she teaches criminal law and procedure, evidence, and international human rights law. She lectures throughout the world on human rights and US foreign policy. Click here to go to her website.

    UPDATE: From the Long War Journal (full article, click here):

      The US carried out the fourth airstrike in five days against the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan’s lawless tribal agency of North Waziristan. Unmanned US strike aircraft, the Predators or Reapers, struck a compound and a vehicle in the village of Danda Darpa Khel just outside of Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan. Three members of the dangerous Haqqani Network were among the four terrorists killed.

      “The US drone fired two missiles; one hit a compound and another, a vehicle,” a Pakistani intelligence official told AFP. ” “Three of the militants were Afghan militants attached with the Haqqani Network,” another security official told AFP.

      The target of the strike has been identified as Siraj Haqqani, the military commander of the network, but there is no evidence that he or any other senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders were killed. “He was targeted as part of a strike, and we think he might have been hit, but I’m waiting for the DNA tests,” a Pakistani official told Newsweek. “We’ve been trying to kill him for a long time, and he’s escaped before.” An unconfirmed report at Daily Times claimed that Mohammed Haqqani, a brother of Siraj, was among those killed in the attack.

    Read some of our past Posts on Assassination Drones here.

    END THE CYCLE OF GENOCIDE: SUPPORT CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NOW, SIGN THE PETITION, PLEASE. CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. This is a personal matter for me and my family. I am of Armenian descent. My relatives died at the hands of the Turkish soldiers, ordered to massacre and destroy all Armenians and the Armenian civilization. Almost 1/2 of all Armenians died during the Armenian Genocide. For years, the Turkish government has blocked our Congress from voting on this resolution. They play Hard Ball and threaten the U.S. Government with severe repercussions if the Armenian Genocide is recognized. The Turkish Government denies that this happened. Please pass this Post link along to your friends.

    Anti-Genocide activists gear up to bring America back to right side on key human rights issue. Chairman Howard Berman Sets Committee Vote for Armenian Genocide Resolution for Thursday, March 4th. Your Signature Is Necessary. Please sign the Petition below the video of ANCA Executive Director, Mr.Aram Hamparian outlining the support needed to pass this out of Committee. Thank You Mr. Hamparian, for all you do for the Armenian Cause.

    Take Action Now (Read more information, click here)

    Be one of the first to sign the Petition, Click Here.

    Is your House member on the Foreign Relations Committee? Click here.

    Go to the ANCA website for more information, click here.

    Read More about the Armenian Genocide, click here.

    Malalai Joya posts on the US attack in Helmand; Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Gonzales charged at the Hague for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition.”

    February 13, 2010

    Malalai Joya condemns US attack in Helmand, calling it a “ridiculous” military strategy. Read her remarks at her website, click here.

    * * * * *
    Professor Francis A. Boyle filed a Complaint on January 19, 2010 with the Hague against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet, Gonzales charged at the Hague for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition.”

    About Professor Francis A. Boyle (visit his website, click here).Professor Boyle lectures on international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. A scholar in the areas of international law and human rights, Professor Boyle received a J.D. degree magna cum laude and A.M. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Harvard University. Prior to joining the faculty at the College of Law, he was a teaching fellow at Harvard and an associate at its Center for International Affairs.

    Professor Francis Boyle, Esq.

    The Complaint: Read the Transmission letter in full, click here.
    This policy is still in use by the Obama Administration and Professor Boyle points this out in the body of this transmission letter and should be stopped immediately. Here’s the opening paragraph:

      The Honorable Luis Moreno-Ocampo
      Office of the Prosecutor
      International Criminal Court
      Post Office Box 19519
      2500 CM, The Hague
      The Netherlands
      Fax No.: 31-70-515-8555
      Email: OTP.InformationDesk@icc-cpi.int

      January 19, 2010

      Dear Sir:

      Please accept my personal compliments. I have the honor hereby to file with you and the International Criminal Court this Complaint against U.S. citizens George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet, Condoleezza Rice , and Alberto Gonzales (hereinafter referred to as the “Accused”) for their criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition.” This term is really a euphemism for the enforced disappearances of persons, their torture, severe deprivation of their liberty, their violent sexual abuse, and other inhumane acts perpetrated upon these Victims. The Accused have inflicted this criminal policy and practice of “extraordinary rendition” upon about one hundred (100) human beings, almost all of whom are Muslims/Arabs/Asians and People of Color. I doubt very seriously that the Accused would have inflicted these criminal practices upon 100 White Judeo-Christian men.

    The following is taken from Afterdowningstreet.org (click here to visit their site and read more) Bush To The Hague! The Hague acknowledges Francis Boyle on his filing against Bush et al for the war-crime “Extraordinary Rendition”

      Dear Accountability Advocates and previous impeachment advocates,

      The day of accountability is at hand. The International Criminal Court at the Hague has acknowledged receipt of Prof. Francis A. Boyle’s complaint (attachment below).

      We need your help:

      Contact the Hague to insist they proceed an investigation of war-crimes committed by the accused (Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Tenet and Gonzales) in the acts called “Extraordinary Rendition” as quickly as possible. Send me a reply (neimpeach@gmail.com) if you would like your group listed as endorsing Prof. Boyle’s filing.

      Send this message to all your groups – this is the accountability we’ve all been working on for the past several years.

      Contact Eric Holder 202-353-1555 AskDOJ@usdoj.gov to tell him the International Community will prosecute even if he does not. Facebook page & website coming soon!
      …Prof. Boyle…is looking for endorsements. Please respond if you’d like your group named as endorsing the arrest of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Tenet and Gonzales for the international war-crimes.


    From an Interview with Professor Boyle (click here for the full interview):

      Smile Politely: I can see that connection. You mentioned that the Obama Administration is continuing the policy of extraordinary rendition. I was wondering if you knew of any examples of this policy being acted upon under the new administration, or whether the rhetoric is just the same?

      Francis Boyle: They have officially stated that they are continuing the policy; however, so far I do not have any evidence as to precisely what they have done, because it’s all surreptitious to begin with. For that reason, I have not included the Obama Administration in my complaint. I’m an attorney, and I have an obligation to investigate the facts and the law before I take legal action against someone, and right now I do not have the legal evidence that that’s what Obama is doing, so I had to limit this complaint to what Bush was up to, because that has been very well-documented by the Parliamentary Assembly for the Council of Europe, or the so-called Marty Report [found here in pdf form], the official investigation by the Council of Europe, they had access to all the governments, solidly based. I could not really start drafting this complaint, couldn’t really contemplate it, until that report came out, and then it became clear that they had violated the ICC statute, and there was enough credible evidence produced by a report, and not just relying on news media sources. So, that came out last year, and it took a while to put that together, a 50-page, single-spaced complaint. And then referenced back to the Marty Report, which is even more substantial. So, my guess is, it’s going to take the prosecutor a while to work his way through all these documents.

    Please pass this story around to all your friends. It is important that some justice is being sought for the actions of the Bush Administration participants during the Bush Administration war years. Thank you Professor Boyle.

    Pepe Escobar writes “The Roving Eye”, America’s Plan of Action; End the Cycle of Genocide, Recognition of the Armenian Genocide coming up for Committee Vote, please sign the Petition and call your legislators

    February 10, 2010

    In today’s Asia Times, Pepe Escobar paints the al-Qaeda myth and how President Obama has furthered the George W. Bush plans to control the oil and gas resources and pipelines throughout the areas of the world that produce these resources. It is Time to Stop the War(s). Join the March 20 March on Washington to End the War(s). Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

    WAR COUNCIL Emir Faisal, leading the Saudi Wahhabi armies in 1926, prepares an advance BETTMANN ARCHIVE.CORBIS

    THE ROVING EYE :Yemen, the new Waziristan By Pepe Escobar

      Like an ever-profitable horror B-movie franchise, the al-Qaeda myth simply refuses to die. United States intelligence has now focused its lasers on the alleged 300 al-Qaeda jihadis concealed in Yemen’s craggy, rural Maarib province – as much as the Pentagon has deployed infinite might to find those maximum 100 prowling the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.

      But wait. Didn’t top US intelligence officials recently swear on their government paychecks that it’s all but “certain” that this sinister, multifaceted hydra with sleeper cells all over the planet – “al-Qaeda” – will attack inside the US within the next six months? What is more likely is that these neo-jihadis will never come from Yemen or the Waziristan tribal areas in Pakistan or the whole AfPak tribal belt for that matter. And they will not be native, pious Sunnis from Saudi Arabia or Egypt either. They will have at best a vague connection to some Middle Eastern dictatorship/petro-monarchy. They will certainly be young, ultra-globalized and passionately, perversely addicted to a fantasy – the virtual ummah (Muslim community).

      Their life journey will certainly have evolved as in a triangulation. Many will have moved from their home country to live in a Western country – or even have been born there; and that’s where they will have honed their yearning to join jihad in a third country.

      Like characters in a novel
      Neo-jihadis may eventually – but not necessarily – go to Yemen or the Waziristans only after they have made the conceptual leap from idealizing the ummah on the Internet to actually feeling the irresistible urge to act on the ground.

      Whenever this happens, they have already broken communication with their families. This is the pattern followed by virtually every neo-jihadi – from Dhiren Barot (who planned to bomb the New York Stock Exchange) to the shy underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. They are all living exercises in deterritorialization. It’s all virtual – especially their idea or vision of Islam itself. It’s all very individualistic – no orchestration by a sinister “al-Qaeda” network. And it’s all done in English – the lingua franca of global communication – not Arabic. Welcome to the age of the virtual jihadi nomad. In earlier times, these would have been characters in a Fyodor Dostoevsky or Albert Camus novel.

      As for the motivations of “al-Qaeda”, Olivier Roy, professor at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and a top global scholar of terrorism, argues that al-Qaeda “does not have a political strategy of establishing an Islamic state”. But he insists al-Qaeda’s global enemy is the West – not local regimes. That’s not true; al-Qaeda, the historic leadership, treats local regimes as US lackeys, thus they should be toppled. It’s not their priority; a hefty case can be made that “al-Qaeda” is nothing but a dissidence (or a “rogue” arm) of Saudi intelligence, considering the very close relationship between Osama bin Laden and wily Prince Turki bin Faisal, the former director general of Saudi intelligence.

      Unlike Roy’s assessment, al-Qaeda’s fight has nothing to do with Che Guevara’s in the 1960s. Al-Qaeda is certainly not about ideology – but about an idea/flame that seduces, as Roy puts it, “the lonely avenger, the hero, who can redeem a life he is not happy with by achieving fame while escaping a world where he finds no room”. But that could also be a portrait of John Lennon’s murderer.

      American intelligence is unlikely to consider these subtleties. The multi-billionaire machine is still hostage to the outdated notion of “territory”. So it’s automatic to have the Pentagon dispatch its might to fight “al-Qaeda” in Yemen and in the Waziristans. They will find nothing but ghosts.

      Iraq, AfPak and now Yemen have been granted by Washington the same holy trinity of building “development” and “governance”, and counter-terrorism, which in practice means governance hijacked by Beltway-conceptualized counter-terrorism. No wonder this recipe was a failure in Afghanistan and will be a failure in Yemen.

      The Yemeni theater will feature yet another deadly mix of counter-insurgency as applied by the Israelis in Gaza and West Bank and the Americans in AfPak. What happened in the AfPak tribal belt is enlightening. The power of hardcore locals – the Pakistani Taliban – was greatly enhanced; and “al-Qaeda” jihadis quietly left the building, spawning a mini-global migration. The same will happen in Yemen.

      All this is tragically farcical. Obama has done a George W Bush in Afghanistan, branding the al-Qaeda ghost to justify Washington’s “soft” invasion of Yemen. The government of US-aligned President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sana’a accuses the Huthis of being linked to both al-Qaeda (Wahhabi radicals who consider Shi’ites as worse than the plague) and Iran (Shi’ites who abhor al-Qaeda). It doesn’t matter whether this is utter nonsense. Sooner or later, Washington will inevitably brand the Huthis as “terrorists” – just like every resistance in Iraq was “terrorist”, whether they were Sunni or Sadrists.

      And the Pentagon runs amok
      Tens of thousands of foreign troops are bogged down in Afghanistan because the North Atlantic Treaty Organization invoked its Article 5 collective defense provision in 2001 to fight “al-Qaeda”. Sooner rather than later, NATO will also hit Yemen.

      As much as oil is power, the good ol’ “war on terror” – rebranded or not by the US – is alive and kicking. Iraq, Afghanistan (then AfPak), Yemen, Somalia, these are all cogs in the relentless full spectrum dominance machine, the real deal behind the “war on terror” cover story, intimately linked to Washington’s scramble to control and/or monitor as many global sources of oil and gas as possible.

      And for a Pentagon already running amok, it is getting deeper and deeper into this key stretch of the “arc of instability”, from North Africa to the Persian Gulf, and at the same time instilling the flames of a new Cold War between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Blessed are those “al-Qaeda” virtual jihadi nomads.

      Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007) and Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His new book, just out, is Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

    Pepe Escobar may be reached at pepeasia@yahoo.com.

    * * *

    The time has come for your personal action to End the War(s). The date to show how you feel is March 20, 2010. There will be a March on Washington, led by the ANSWER Coalition. Spread the word. There will be a lot of news on this in the upcoming months. Organize your local town for action on March 20. Show the world WE CARE. Take action now. Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

    * * * *
    END THE CYCLE OF GENOCIDE: SUPPORT CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NOW, SIGN THE PETITION, PLEASE. CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. This is a personal matter for me and my family. I am of Armenian descent. My relatives died at the hands of the Turkish soldiers, ordered to massacre and destroy all Armenians and the Armenian civilization. Almost 1/2 of all Armenians died during the Armenian Genocide. For years, the Turkish government has blocked our Congress from voting on this resolution. They play Hard Ball and threaten the U.S. Government with severe repercussions if the Armenian Genocide is recognized. The Turkish Government denies that this happened. Please pass this Post link along to your friends.

    Anti-Genocide activists gear up to bring America back to right side on key human rights issue. Chairman Howard Berman Sets Committee Vote for Armenian Genocide Resolution for Thursday, March 4th. Your Signature Is Necessary. Please sign the Petition below the video of Chairman Ken Hachikian outlining the support needed to pass this out of Committee. Thank You Mr. Hachikian, for all you do for the Armenian Cause.

    Take Action Now (Read more information, click here)

    Be one of the first to sign the Petition, Click Here.

    Is your House member on the Foreign Relations Committee? Click here.

    Current List of Co-Sponsors. 137 House Members are co-sponsors, is your House Member a Co-Sponsor? Click here. Call your member of Congress if they are not on this list and ask them to become a Co-sponsor. For your Information: Here’s some talking points from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)

    Go to the ANCA website for more information, click here.

    Read More about the Armenian Genocide, click here.

    We marched when Bush was President, now let's march when Obama increases troops. Come March 20 to Washington, DC and demand the End to the War(s)

    Thank you for signing the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide Petition and passing this link on to your friends.

    UPDATE: Helmand, Afghanistan: Swat Valley, South Waziristan destruction to be Repeated? End the Cycle of Genocide, Recognition of the Armenian Genocide coming up for Committee Vote, please sign the Petition and call your legislators

    February 5, 2010

    Helmand, Afghanistan, the biggest battle since the Viet Nam war is about to begin.(See Map of Helmand, click here) In 2007, the British and Coalition forces tried to clear the Taliban out of Sangin Valley, Helmland under Operation Ghartse Gar Now the destruction of Swat Valley, Fallujah, South Warziristan will be repeated.

    UPDATE: UN calls for aid pledges for displaced Pakistanis $537 Million needed for six months.

    Update: Hundreds flee south Afghan town ahead of offensive

    Many Aghani citizens will be leaving their homes in the winter, abandoning their livestock and fields of produce (and yes, opium fields also) to escape being caught in the middle of a battle that the Coalition (US) forces will use aircraft, Assassination Drones, artillery, helicopter gun ships, and soldiers firing 100,000’s of rounds of ammunition. This beautiful valley floor will be destroyed. Homes and bridges will be destroyed. In the end, what will be achieved? I asked before “Show us Swat Valley NOW (see story, click here). Let us see if the 2.5 Million people “displaced” have come back, and have come back to what? Can the Pakistan Government make life better for the people of Helmand? Did they make life better for the Swat Valley people after the government bombings and attack?

    END THE CYCLE OF GENOCIDE: SUPPORT CONGRESSIONAL ACTION NOW, SIGN THE PETITION, PLEASE. CALL YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. This is a personal matter for me and my family. I am of Armenian descent. My relatives died at the hands of the Turkish soldiers, ordered to massacre and destroy all Armenians and the Armenian civilization. Almost 1/2 of all Armenians died during the Armenian Genocide. For years, the Turkish government has blocked our Congress from voting on this resolution. They play Hard Ball and threaten the U.S. Government with severe repercussions if the Armenian Genocide is recognized. The Turkish Government denies that this happened. Please pass this Post link along to your friends.

    Anti-Genocide activists gear up to bring America back to right side on key human rights issue. Chairman Howard Berman Sets Committee Vote for Armenian Genocide Resolution for Thursday, March 4th. Your Signature Is Necessary. Please sign the Petition below the video of Chairman Ken Hachikian outlining the support needed to pass this out of Committee. Thank You Mr. Hachikian, for all you do for the Armenian Cause.

    Take Action Now (Read more information, click here)

    Be one of the first to sign the Petition, Click Here.

    Is your House member on the Foreign Relations Committee? Click here.

    Current List of Co-Sponsors. 137 House Members are co-sponsors, is your House Member a Co-Sponsor? Click here. Call your member of Congress if they are not on this list and ask them to become a Co-sponsor. For your Information: Here’s some talking points from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)

    Go to the ANCA website for more information, click here.

    Read More about the Armenian Genocide, click here.

    * * * * *

    Thank You for Taking Some Action. We are in war in three countries in Central Asia.
    These wars must stop. Go to defundwar.org and make a difference.

    Read the Flyer: We Call for the United States to End Its Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan!

    * * *
    “March on Washington on March 20, End the War(s)” was first Posted on January 2, 2010. It is being Re-Posted today because we all must participate on March 20. Read all you can and organize locally if you can’t get to Washington on March 20. Come the week before as there will be events of protest leading up to the day of the march. Please pass this Post link along to your friends.

    Show your support on March 20. A day for Peace…..

    The time has come for your personal action to End the War(s). The date to show how you feel is March 20, 2010. There will be a March on Washington, led by the ANSWER Coalition. Spread the word. There will be a lot of news on this in the upcoming months. Organize your local town for action on March 20. Show the world WE CARE. Take action now. Personally endorse the March 20 March on Washington, click here.

    We marched when Bush was President, now let's march when Obama increases troops. Come March 20 to Washington, DC and demand the End to the War(s)

    Thank you for signing the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide Petition and passing this link on to your friends.


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