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REIGN OF TERROR February 8, 2013

Posted by wmmbb in Modern History, Terrorism Issues.
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Endorsement of the “Counterterrorism Czar”, John Brennan, as the Director of the CIA is probably a foregone conclusion.

The adoption of the practice and principle that terrorism must be fought with terrorism leads to a new form of permanent war, qualitatively different from the cold war which was a context between states. With the war against international terrorism, states, more particularly their ruling elites are co-opted in the related processes, from the corruption of Pakistani leaders to allow missions of death on the Tribal Areas, to the use of Saudi Arabia to launch drone attacks on Yemen, and apparently and shockingly the co-operation of the Australian authorities in the rendition and torture of supects, often loosely defined.

The New York Times was responsible for releasing the information with respect to Saudi Arabia. The reporters recorded the following event:

Late last August, a 40-year-old cleric named Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber stood up to deliver a speech denouncing Al Qaeda in a village mosque in far eastern Yemen.

It was a brave gesture by a father of seven who commanded great respect in the community, and it did not go unnoticed. Two days later, three members of Al Qaeda came to the mosque in the tiny village of Khashamir after 9 p.m., saying they merely wanted to talk. Mr. Jaber agreed to meet them, bringing his cousin Waleed Abdullah, a police officer, for protection.

Precision and certainty count for a lot measuring the effectiveness of the weapon technology. The divulging the of the secret information by The New York Times is not expected to attract any penalty. They had kept the secret for two years.

New technology raises new issues for the consensus of international law, but there are pre-existing principles that might be applied. There are legal issues that, among others have attracted the attention of the United Nations, albeit the safeguard of the Security Council Veto remains. Al Jazeera’s Inside Story reviewed the legal justification set out in a leaked US Government Document:

The Executive Office in the US now assumed powers not envisaged by the Constitution because the condition of permanent war against a non-State actor was not envisaged, while the democratic citizenship protections of the Bill of Rights are trashed by the Courts, although not all judges. These are troubling developments.

Related Articles:

  • Mark Rothchild, Does the Drone War need a Kangaroo Court? (AntiWar.Com)    Time, I think, to dispute the slander against kangaroos, and I can imagine how their gatherings might be understood as a court – an extremely laid back one I would suggest. Only human beings are capable of the heinous behavior suggested. And then there is always the possibility of international law and arraignment with indictments for those for which grounds could be established for  international crimes.
  • No mention of human rights agreements in the “legal justification” for the drone murders. Must be an oversight. Amnesty International is on the case.
  • Wouldn’t you have guessed the killing continues – but that is OK the other live in remote Pakistan, so they are not real human beings, although they bleed, grieve and suffer like we would. Jason Ditz, US Drone Strikes Kills Nine in South Waziristan Hours After  Brennan  Testified (AntiWar.com) Nobody thought to ask was the immediate plans were, and if they did they would not have been given an answer.
  • Mark LeVine, The Dangerous Rebranding of John Brennan (Al Jazeera).  I find it surprising that apparently there is not more outrage from within US society in relation to the use of drone murder and terror, and the potential application of s.121 B(11) of the NDAA. I suppose the potential exists for democracy to be so corrupted by the combination of money politics, monopoly concentration, and the deployment of fear and violence, that it becomes not simply dysfunctional, but meaningless. Where is the American Spirit when it is needed – or was that simply a myth constructed to avoid facing the truths of the past, the present and the future?
  • Matt Mazzetti & Scott Shane, Drones are Focus as CIA Nominee goes before Senate (The New York Times)
  • Report reveals secret US drone base in Saudi Arabia (dawn.com)
  • ‘CIA drone base’ in Saudi revealed (bbc.co.uk)
  • Adam Serwer, 5 Questions John Brennan dodged in his CIA Confirmation Hearing (Mother Jones)

POSTSCRIPT:

Please note “Terrorism Czar” was amended to ” Counterterrorism Czar”.

UPDATE: 10/02/13

Paul Jay talks with Michael Ratner on the legal justification for the drone kill instructions and presidential decision making on The Real News:

Democracy interviewed Jeremy Scarhill:

And Mel Goodman:

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