Letter: Are the United States’ drone attacks justified?
Ted Hess’ Feb. 26 letter in The Aspen Times (“Due process doesn’t apply to drone attacks”) indicates he supports U.S. drone strikes without due process based on the U.S. being at “war.”
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, an independent journalist organization, reports that “from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562 to 3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474 to 881 were civilians, including 176 children.” The bureau reports that these strikes also injured an additional 1,228 to 1,362 individuals. We see victims referred to as “militants” without much explanation of why they were an imminent threat to the U.S.
The number of “high-level” targets killed is reportedly around 2 percent of casualties. A study showed that 74 percent of Pakistanis now consider the U.S. an enemy. Since there is limited transparency of the drone program, compliance with international law is unknown. The “war on terror” has justified the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now we have extended it to Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, etc. Are we justified in continuing to kill in 2014 based on events that occurred Sept. 11, 2001? It appears to me that we are flexing our military strength for economic and geopolitical advantages, not to keep Americans safe.
Regarding Jerry Epstein’s Feb. 26 letter in The Aspen Times (“All’s fair”) listing other bombers, I am only accountable for what my government does.
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