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Murderous US Regime Says Drone Killings Are “Lawful”

Would They Be Lawful Or Effective If A ForeignRegime Did The Mass Civilian Killings On US Soil?

Pakistani Prime MinisterNawaz Sharif has demandedan end to the drone attacksand two eminent rights bodyreleased reports allegingthat the drone attacks haveresulted in large scale civiliancasualties and by doing so UShas violated international law.

WASHINGTON – The Obamaadministration has virtually said “no”to the Pakistani demand of an “end tothe drone strikes”, saying such attacksagainst terrorist groups are not onlyprecise, but also “lawful” and “effective”.“The US counterterrorism operationsare precise, they are lawful, andthey are effective,” White House presssecretary Jay Carney told reporters onTuesday.His remarks came immediatelyafter Pakistani Prime Minister NawazSharif demanded an end to the droneattacks and two eminent rights bodyreleased reports alleging that the droneattacks have resulted in large scale civiliancasualties and by doing so US hasviolated international law.One of the conditions for endingthe drone strikes, top administration officialsindicated, would be eliminationof safe havens; which is unlikely to beachieved in the near future.“The United States does not takelethal strikes when we or our partnershave the ability to capture individualterrorists.Our preference isalways to detain, interrogate,and prosecute. Wetake extraordinary careto make sure that ourcounterterrorism actionsare in accordance with allapplicable domestic andinternational law and thatthey are consistent withUS values and US policy,”Carney said.State departmentdeputy spokeswomanMarie Harf told reportersthat the answer to the Pakistani demandof ending the drone attacks can be neitheryes nor no.“It’s just more complicated thanthat,” she said in response to a question.“I don’t think it’s that easy of a question,”she added.“Counterterrorism’s a shared threat;we’ll continue talking about it with themgoing forward,” she said.The Obama administration differedwith the assessment of the two rightsgroups – Amnesty International and theHuman Rights Group. While the Amnestyfound 29 civilians had been killedin the nine Pakistan strikes it investigated,the HRW said 57 civilians were among 82killed in six Yemen strikes.“We are reviewing these reportscarefully,” Carney said. “There’s a widegap between US assessments of suchcasualties and nongovernmental reports… We undertake every effort to limit civiliancasualties in our counterterrorism operations.There’s a process that goes intohow these operations are chosen, and aspart of that process, we take every effortto limit these casualties,” she said.Referring to a speech by PresidentBarack Obama in May this year, Carneysaid he laid out the legal and policyframework for the US counterterrorismstrategy.“The president directly addressedthe issue of civilian casualties in thatspeech and he made clear that it is a hardfact that US strikes have resulted in civiliancasualties — a risk that exists in everywar,” he said.“Before we take any counterterrorismstrike outside areas of active hostilities,there must be near certainty that nocivilians will be killed or injured, and thatis the highest standard we can set,” hesaid.

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