Friday 20th of September 2019

piously condemning the means, whilst ignoring the ends .....

piously condemning the means, whilst ignoring the outcomes .....

Unmanned weapons are condemned by Lord Bingham as 'beyond the pale'

The use of unmanned drones as weapons of war in conflicts around the world has been called into question by one of Britain's most senior judges. Lord Bingham, until last year the senior law lord, said that some weapons were so "cruel as to be beyond the pale of human tolerance".

In an interview with the British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lord Bingham compared drones, which have killed hundreds of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza, with cluster bombs and landmines.

His comments are bound to intensify calls for new international rules to protect civilian populations from arbitrary attacks launched by the pilotless craft.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/top-judge-use-of-drones-intolerable-1732756.html

ban of arbitrary executions...

The US has been warned that its use of drones to target suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan may violate international law.

UN human rights investigator Philip Alston said the US should explain the legal basis for attacking individuals with the remote-controlled aircraft.

He said the CIA had to show accountability to international laws which ban arbitrary executions.

Drones have killed about 600 people in north-west Pakistan since August 2008.

Mr Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, told the BBC: "My concern is that these drones, these Predators, are being operated in a framework which may well violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

the dark side

from Chris Floyd

Depraved Indifference: Drone Wars, Whack Jobs and Imperial Terror


Written by Chris Floyd      
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 00:03
 I have often admired Jane Mayer's reportage. She has helped expose several elements of "the dark side" of America's worldwide Terror War. Her latest article in the New Yorker outlines the CIA's use of "Predator" drones to kill people by remote control in Pakistan. As the magazine notes, the Obama Administration is relying on these covert drone killers more and more, as it escalates America's military attacks in Pakistan -- ostensibly a sovereign nation allied to the United States.

Mayer's article relates a chilling story of suburban killers -- many of them stateside, firing their missiles from comfortable cubicles before heading home for dinner with the family -- operating in a secret program outside all traditional lines of legality and accountability. (Even the extremely low levels of legality and accountability that weakly adhere to the business of wholesale slaughter and destruction known as war.) For example, part of the program has been "outsourced" to private companies, who are killing people -- including hundreds of innocent civilians -- for profit, with American tax money.

The New Yorker's website has now published an interview with Mayer expanding on the original story. It too is chilling -- but not only for the further details of this state murder program. What is equally disturbing is the bloodless consideration of this bloody enterprise, based on the assumption that there is nothing essentially wrong with such an assassination program (with its inevitable "collateral damage"), as long it is more transparent, with the "legal, ethical and political boundaries" of the death squads clearly drawn.

The very first question gives us a glimpse into the bizarre, depraved moral universe of the American establishment:

How has the use of Predator drones by the United States changed the situation in Pakistan?

Well, there’s good news and bad news. According to the C.I.A., they’ve killed more than half of the twenty most wanted Al Qaeda terrorist suspects. The bad news is that they’ve inflamed anti-American sentiment, because they’ve also killed hundreds of civilians.

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see toon at top and read more of Chris Floyd...

   

they got it all wrong...

Boeing has unveiled its unmanned hydrogen-powered spy plane which can fly non-stop for up to four days.

The high-altitude plane, called Phantom Eye, will remain aloft at 20,000m (65,000ft), according to the company.

The demonstrator will be shipped to Nasa's Dryden Flight Research Center in California later this summer to prepare for its first flight in early 2011.

Boeing says the aircraft could eventually carry out "persistent intelligence and surveillance".

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The best way of doing all this would be to make a hybrid between a pilotless hydrogen airship and a plane with engines running on solar power like the swiss solar plane that flew for more than 26 hours with a pilot on board...

But the best thing would be not to try to spy on anything... Remember the U2s...  

droning around...

Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbours until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops. Why? They refuse to comment. They don't even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? Somebody told them. Who? You don't know, and there are no appeals against the robot.

Now imagine it doesn't end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named "Predators", or "Reapers" – after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won't stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?


...[This] is in fact an accurate description of life in much of Pakistan today, with the sides flipped. The Predators and Reapers are being sent by Barack Obama's CIA, with the support of other Western governments, and they killed more than 700 civilians in 2009 alone – 14 times the number killed in the 7/7 attacks in London. The floods were seen as an opportunity to increase the attacks, and last month saw the largest number of robot-plane bombings ever: 22. Over the next decade, spending on drones is set to increase by 700 per cent.

http://www.chris-floyd.com/articles/1-latest-news/2035-obamas-finest-hour-killing-innocent-people-for-qmade-up-crapq.html