APRIL DAYS OF ACTION 2013 – A National Uprising to Stop Drone Spying and Killing
CODEPINK and other national and local groups have joined to form the Network for Stopping Drone Spying and Warfare and are organizing April Days of Action 2013 to generate a public uprising across the United States to stop drone spying and drone warfare.
We urge you to select one or more of the days in April listed below to organize actions in your community to focus on drone-related activities where you live. The national coordinator for each set of days is listed. Please be in touch with that person to ask questions and to let them know the days on which you will focus.
April 4 – 6: Drone Manufacturing
Organizers around the country are encouraged to identify drone manufacturing facilities in their regions and organize demonstrations, teach-ins and other actions calling for an end to drone attacks and an end to the manufacture of weaponized and surveillance drones. Coordinator – Joe Scarry – email@example.com
April 16- 18: Drone Research/Training
In a brief but powerful letter to the editor in today’s New York Times, world leader Desmond Tutu spoke out against the suggestion by many in the past week that Obama’s kill lists be reviewed by the judiciary when it comes to U.S. citizens. He writes:
“I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the suggestion in “A Court to Vet Kill Lists” (news analysis, front page, Feb. 9) that possible judicial review of President Obama’s decisions to approve the targeted
16 year old U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was killed by a drone strike on October 14, 2011.
killing of suspected terrorists might be limited to the killings of American citizens.
Do the United States and its 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? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than 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.
I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.
DESMOND M. TUTU
Aboard MV Explorer, near Hong Kong Feb. 11, 2013
The writer, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town.
Watch the video of Radack speaking here
The Government Accountability Project supports human and civil rights and, as such, stands against anyone who seeks to violate those rights or suppress rights of individuals to speak out about any such abuses.
John Brennan is responsible for the biggest atrocities of two different administrations. He was considered for the same position – CIA Director – in 2009, but eventually withdrew his name from consideration following uproar over his support of the use of torture after 9/11. The fact that there is significantly less controversy surrounding Brennan’s nomination this time around suggests that the public – and Congress – have been quick to forget the atrocities that have occurred over the past decade. If anything, Brennan’s record has only gotten worse over the past few years.
To begin with, the passage of four years since Brennan was first considered for the position does not change the fact that he played an extremely troubling role in the Bush administration’s torture policies.
Brennan served as the CIA’s Deputy Executive Director from 2001 until 2003. Many of his colleagues say – and email traffic shows – he was well aware of the torture techniques used by the agency at that time.
If we have truly accounted for our past, then at the very least, an individual who either approved of the torture – or even tacitly condoned the torture – is certainly not someone that we should allow to now lead the agency. Meanwhile, my client, John Kiriakou, is the only CIA officer to go to jail in connection with the torture program, and he blew the whistle on it. In fact, I am convinced that if John had actually tortured someone, he would not be going to jail. Read More
Cora Currier | ProPublica
This post has been updated. It was originally published Jan. 11, 2013.
Jan. 11, 2013: This post has been corrected.
A U.S. Air Force MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle. The U.S. is conducting drone strikes in in at least three countries beyond Iraq and Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Stanley Thompson)
You might have heard about the “kill list.” You’ve certainly heard about drones. But the details of the U.S. campaign against militants in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — a centerpiece of the Obama administration’s national security approach – remain shrouded in secrecy. Here’s our guide to what we know—and what we don’t know.
Where is the drone war? Who carries it out?
Drones have been the Obama administration’s tool of choice for taking out militants outside of Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones aren’t the exclusive weapon – traditional airstrikes and other attacks have also been reported. But by one estimate, 95 percent of targeted killings since 9/11 have been conducted by drones. Among the benefits of drones: they don’t put American troops in harm’s way.
The first reported drone strike against Al Qaeda happened in Yemen in 2002. The CIA ramped up secret drone strikes in Pakistan under President George W. Bush in 2008. Under Obama, they have expanded drastically there and in Yemen in 2011.
The CIA isn’t alone in conducting drone strikes. The military has acknowledged “direct action” in Yemen and Somalia. Strikes in those countries are reportedly carried out by the secretive, elite Joint Special Operations Command. Since 9/11, JSOC has grown more than tenfold, taking on intelligence-gathering as well as combat roles. (For example, JSOC was responsible for the operation that killed Osama Bin Laden.) Read More
Karen McVeigh | The Guardian
A Reaper drone, as used by the CIA and American military in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama’s administration is in the process of drawing up a formal rulebook that will set out the circumstances in which targeted assassination by unmanned drones is justified, according to reports.
The New York Times, citing two unnamed sources, said explicit guidelines were being drawn up amid disagreement between the CIA and the departments of defense, justice and state over when lethal action is acceptable.
Human-rights groups and peace groups opposed to the CIA-operated targeted-killing programme, which remains officially classified, said the administration had already rejected international law in pursuing its drone operations.
“To say they are rewriting the rulebook implies that there isn’t already a rulebook” said Jameel Jaffer, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Center for Democracy. “But what they are already doing is rejecting a rulebook – of international law – that has been in place since [the second world war].”
Testimony by Medea Benjamin, author of Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control; cofounder of Global Exchange and Code Pink
November 16, 2012
I recently returned from leading a US delegation of 34 Americans to Pakistan, looking at the results of US drone attacks. We found that drones are actually jeopardizing our security by spreading hatred of Americans and sowing the seeds of violence for decades to come. Drones help extremists recruit more discontented youth. In the tribal society of Waziristan where the drones are attacking, we learned that people who have lost their family members in these deadly attacks are bound by the Pashtun honor code — Pashtunwali — to retaliate and seek revenge.
While for the most part we were received with great hospitality, we found intense anger over the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and what people perceived as a cavalier attitude towards their lives. “To Americans, we are disposable people; our lives are worth nothing” an angry young man told me. At a meeting with the Islamabad Bar Association, we were confronted by a group of lawyers yelling, “Americans, go home. You are all a bunch of terrorists.”
A June 2012 Pew Research poll found that 3 out of 4 Pakistanis considered the US their enemy. With a population of over 180 million, that means 133 million people! Surely that cannot be good for our national security. When Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was asked why there was so animosity towards the United States, she gave a one word answer: drones.