Jonathan Cook: the Blog from Nazareth - www.jonathan-cook.net

Not ‘may’. US drone strikes are war crimes

One never wants to sound churlish but it is truly astounding that it has taken this long for Amnesty and Human Rights Watch to issue a definitive, non-definitive judgment on whether US drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan and elsewhere are war crimes. In a brave and bold move (sarcasm!), they have concluded that such strikes may be.

Why has it taken so long to reach this tepid verdict?

There is … a risk of militants attempting to skew outside research by forcing interviewees into “providing false or inaccurate information”, the report said.

So these stalwarts of the HR community are concerned that possible tampering with evidence and witnesses may lead to unfair accusations against the US. Is that why they held off? Apparently they needed to carry out very detailed investigations to be sure of all the facts before making even a tentative allegation against the White House.

Well, I could have saved them a lot of time, money and trouble. The drone programme – launching attacks on the citizens of another sovereign state without the backing of the UN – is not only a possible war crime, it is in fact an unjustified act of war, and therefore the “supreme war crime”, according to the Nuremberg principles.

Glad I could be of help.

www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/22/amnesty-us-officials-war-crimes-drones

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