According to the New York Times:
A senior United Nations official is expected to call on the United States next week to stop Central Intelligence Agency drone strikes against people suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda, complicating the Obama administration’s growing reliance on that tactic in Pakistan.My thoughts:
Philip Alston, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Thursday that he would deliver a report on June 3 to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva declaring that the "life and death power" of drones should be entrusted to regular armed forces, not intelligence agencies.
1) U.N., butt out: "There is no world government and thus no "sovereign" to exercise police powers." President Obama was elected Commander in Chief, not Ban Ki-moon. If the U.N. persists, ignore 'um.
2) No domestic or binding international law requires anti-terrorism to be effectuated either as law enforcement or warfare. That is a national policy decision. And it's not a binary--depending on the circumstances, the military, intelligence agencies and police each have a role.
3) Lefties will love this. The next step is obvious, says law prof Kenneth Anderson:
The ACLU will presumably respond, via its FOIA lawsuit for information on all this, that we can’t know unless the Obama administration reveals all this information. But that’s why we have Congressional oversight committees -- to make determinations about that consistent with national security interests, not those of the ACLU, whose FOIA request is remarkable chiefly for the amount of operational detail that is directly or impliedly asked for. It would take AQ months or years to get through the stuff for which the ACLU FOIA request serves as a stalking horse. That, plus a strategic sense that those who object to drone warfare on fundamentalist legal grounds would rather peel off the CIA from this first, rather than saying anything bad about Our Men and Women in Uniform. Far fewer will vigorously object to dark mutterings about the CIA.Thanks, U.N., for encouraging lawfare.
4) It's another attempt "to tie the hands of civil societies through false moral equivalencies, in which the terrorist trying to kill civilians is equated to the people trying to stop the terrorist." Remember my rule:
The number of human rights violations in a country is inversely proportionate to the number of human rights complaints about that country.Given leftist accommodation of terrorism, as Instapundit quips, "the currently popular way of insulating oneself from war-crimes charges is to simply gain a reputation for beheading critics."
Marc Thiessen in the June 8th Washington Post:
On The Post's op-ed page Sunday, Treasury Undersecretary Stuart Levey called the killing of Yazid a "major blow" to al-Qaeda because "Yazid has essentially served as al-Qaeda's 'chief financial officer,' coordinating the group's fundraising and overseeing the distribution of money essential to its survival." By the ACLU's reasoning, this would make the strike that killed Yazid illegal. Does the ACLU want to see the Predator operator who took out al-Qaeda's third in command prosecuted for murder? The ACLU has already gone after CIA interrogators -- surreptitiously photographing these covert operatives and sharing the images with al-Qaeda terrorists in Guantanamo. CIA drone operators may soon be in for similar treatment.
The Obama administration has put the Predator operators at greater risk by dramatically narrowing the legal underpinnings for their actions.