Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues

Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues

by Marjorie Cohn


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Expert analysis of an illegal and immoral practice. The Bush administration detained and tortured suspected terrorists; the Obama administration assassinates them. Assassination, or targeted killing, off the battlefield not only causes more resentment against the United States, it is also illegal. In this interdisciplinary collection, human rights and political activists, policy analysts, lawyers and legal scholars, a philosopher, a journalist and a sociologist examine different aspects of the U.S. policy of targeted killing with drones and other methods. It explores the legality, morality and geopolitical considerations of targeted killing and resulting civilian casualties, and evaluates the impact on relations between the United States and affected countries.

The book includes the documentation of civilian casualties by the leading non-governmental organization in this area; stories of civilians victimized by drones; an analysis of the first U.S. targeted killing lawsuit by the lawyer who brought the case; a discussion of the targeted killing cases in Israel by the director of PCATI which filed one of the lawsuits; the domestic use of drones; and the immorality of drones using Just War principles.

Contributors include: Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Phyllis Bennis, Medea Benjamin, Marjorie Cohn, Richard Falk, Tom Hayden, Pardiss Kebriaei, Jane Mayer, Ishai Menuchin, Jeanne Mirer, John Quigley, Dr. Tom Reifer, Alice Ross, Jay Stanley, and Harry Van der Linden.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566560030
Publisher: Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/30/2017
Edition description: Updated
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, and a former president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is the author of Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9

Foreword Archbishop Desmond Tutu 11

Preface 13

(1) Introduction: A Frightening New Way of War Marjorie Cohn 23

Part I The United States and Drone Warfare

(2) Why Drones Are More Dangerous Than Nuclear Weapons Richard Falk 39

(3) Drones and Assassination in the US's Permanent War Phyllis Bennis 61

(4) The Predator War Jane Mayer 73

Part II Targeted Killing and "Collateral Damage"

(5) A Global Assassination Program Tom Reifer 89

(6) The Grim Toll Drones Take on Innocent Lives Medea Benjamin 101

(7) Documenting Civilian Casualties Alice K. Ross 109

Part III Illegal and Immoral

(8) US Policy of Targeted Killing With Drones: Illegal at Any Speed Jeanne Mirer 145

(9) Drone Warfare and Just War Theory Harry van der Linden 179

(10) Al-Aulaqi v. Obama: Targeted Killing Goes to Court Pardiss Kebriaei 205

(11) The Case of Israel: A Covert Policy of Political Capital Punishment Ishai Menuchin 215

Part IV The Future of Targeted Killing

(12) Drone Strike Blowback John Quigley 231

(13) Surveillance Drones in America Jay Stanley 251

(14) To Stop the Drones? Tom Hayden 267

(15) Epiphany of a Drone Whistleblower Cian Westmoreland 273

Appendix A Department of Justice White Paper: Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a US Citizen Who Is a Senior Operational Leader of Al-Qa'ida or An Associated Force 279

Appendix B White House: Fact Sheet: US Policy Standards and Procedures for the Use of Force in Counterterrorism Operations Outside the United States and Areas of Active Hostilities 299

About the Contributors 303

Index 307

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