Drone Assassinations: A Perfect Catch-22

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in Politics, War on Terrorism | No Comments

Glenn Greenwald, who I read daily, highlights something today I have to admit I had not considered:

On Saturday in Somalia, the U.S. fired missiles from a drone and killed the 27-year-old Lebanon-born, ex-British citizen Bilal el-Berjawi. His wife had given birth 24 hours earlier and the speculation is that the U.S. located him when his wife called to give him the news  [….] El-Berjawi’s family vehemently denies that he is involved with Terrorism, but he was never able to appeal the decree against him for this reason:

Berjawi is understood to have sought to appeal against the order, but lawyers representing his family were unable to take instructions from him amid concerns that any telephone contact could precipitate a drone attack.

Obviously, those concerns were valid. So first the U.S. tries to assassinate people, then it causes legal rulings against them to be issued because the individuals, fearing for their life, are unable to defend daithemselves. Meanwhile, no explanation or evidence is provided for either the adverse government act or the assassination: it is simply secretly decreed and thus shall it be.

I’m already opposed 110% to assassinations of U.S. citizens, and not even OK with the assassinations of non-U.S. nationals either. So this doesn’t really change my mind, but it does make the whole thing a lot more Kafka-esque than I had imagined.

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