Wednesday, May 22, 2013

US terror drones kill more civilians than terrorists: ICG report

From:  PressTV 

COMMENT -  Stanford Law School and New York University of Law are quoted in the article below setting the percentage of 'terrorists' assassinated by drone strikes at 2%.  

Most of us think those who study and understand the law can be trusted to adhere to the limits set out both for others and for themselves.  This is not true and the example below makes this case.  

Craig Franklin is a graduate of Stanford University.  His family has a special relationship with the school, from which his brother Larry took his undergraduate degree and the combined MBA Law program, and Dr. Franklin received his Master's Degree in Economics.   

Dr. Franklin funded the Carl Mason Franklin Prize in International Law at the  institution.  All three of his sons attended as undergraduates and while Craig, the oldest did not major in law he is very familiar with the law and routinely writes his own contracts.  

Does Craig know the actions taken by Green Hills violate the Geneva Conventions?  Yes, but being a psychopath he does not care.  Or, alternatively, Craig is following in his father's footsteps.  When Craig's mother died, on April 1, 1991, Dr. Franklin burned her last will and testament to gain untrammeled control of her entirely separate property rather than see it go to their only daughter.  This had been Mrs. Franklin's earnest wish and this was a bone of contention between the couple for years.  

Given his resume it would be assumed Dr. Franklin, understood the difference between right and wrong.  

From his Obituary appearing in the Los Angeles Times, 23 September 2004 

"Dr. Franklin was very civic minded. In 1962, he was named a consultant to the U.S. State Department, evaluating academic programs at American universities in Cairo, Istanbul, and Lebanon. He served as President of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities from1964 to 1966, when he led a successful campaign to pass a statewide initiative to have the State of California provide graduate fellowshipgrants to students in both public and private colleges and universities. In 1967, he served as President of Town Hall of California, the Los Angeles civic forum, initiating its Life Member Program and its Endowment Fund. He was a Little League coach and a supporter of the Westchester Methodist Church. He was a Member of the Board of Trustees of the Eisenhower Medical Center in Palm Desert, California for ten years and was made an Honorary Life Trustee when he retired from the Board in 1984.

Dr. Franklin was so trusted as a financial manager, investor, and legal advisor that he was named to serve as a Trustee of many charitable trusts.  He participated in donating to colleges, universities, hospitals, and other charities throughout the United States (but predominantly in California) more than $100 million during his service on the Seeley G. Mudd Fund, Rufus B. von Kleinsmid Trust, Torrey H. Webb Charitable Trust, John Stauffer Trust, Emmett Jones Trust, Donald and Katherine Loker Foundation, Rita H. Small Trust, and Morris S. Smith Foundation. He gained over $40 million from these trusts for USC.

Dr. and Mrs. Franklin were themselves philanthropists. Having achieved some wealth by careful saving and astute investing, during their lifetimes they donated over $13 million to various charities, including the eight institutions of higher education from which they held degrees and to USC, to which they donated over $4 million via gifts to Town and Gown, the USC Law School, the Loker Hydrocarbon Institute, and other USC schools and departments. They were involved in raising funds for the President's Chair at USC, the Chair for the Dean of the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and for eight of the 13 Dean's Chairs in the professional schools at USC."

Sounds good, doesn't it?  Of course, Dr. Franklin did not expect his troubled secretary, who knew witnessed this, to tell his daughter, which, distraught, she did.  What we see is often different from the unseen reality.  

Perhaps the apple did not fall far from the tree.  


A US Predator drone (file photo)
A US Predator drone (file photo)
Wed May 22, 2013 2:31AM GMT
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the United States’ drone strikes in Pakistan have killed up to 3,587 people since 2004.
A new report shows that US assassination drones in Pakistan have killed “scores of innocent civilians” instead of targeting terrorists.

On Tuesday, the Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) published a report entitled “Drones: Myths and Reality in Pakistan” that says the United States’ refuses to acknowledge that the CIA-led drone campaign “undermines efforts to assess the program’s legality.”

The ICG called on Washington to “demonstrate respect for the international humanitarian law principles of humanity, distinction, proportionality and military necessity.”

The report said the US must “establish clearer lines of authority and accountability, including greater congressional and judicial oversight.”

“The Obama administration should terminate any practice, such as the reported signature strikes, that does not comply with principles of international humanitarian and human rights law. It must also introduce transparency to the drone program, including its governing rules, how targets are selected and how civilian damage is weighed.”

Signature strikes target groups of men by using behavior patterns associated with terrorist activity rather than targeting terrorists with known identities.

Pakistan’s tribal regions are often attacked by US assassination drones.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the United States’ drone strikes in Pakistan have killed up to 3,587 people since 2004.

Washington claims that its airstrikes target militants who cross the border into and out of Afghanistan.

Pakistanis have held many demonstrations to condemn the United States’ violations of their national sovereignty.

In September 2012, a report by the Stanford Law School and the New York University School of Law gave an alarming account of the effect that assassination drone strikes have on ordinary people in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The report noted, “The number of ‘high-level’ targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low -- estimated at just 2%.”

The killing of Pakistani civilians, including women and children, has strained relations between Islamabad and Washington.


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