Monday, August 6, 2012

INDICTMENT FOR VIOLATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHTS

NOTE: See related story: "Put the Drones on Trial! Join Ramsey Clark, Kathy Kelly, Ann Wright and Bill Quigley: Come to Missouri to Join Experts in Constitutional and International Law Supporting Activists in First Anti-Drone Trial Heard in Federal Court, September 10!"

We charge the chain of command, from President Barack Obama, to Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, to Brigadier General Scott A. Vander Hamm, to every drone crew,

With the following crimes; extrajudicial killings, violation of due process, wars of aggression, violation of national sovereignty, and the killing of innocent civilians,

We charge that these crimes are committed in violation of The Constitution of the United States of America, Article 1, Section 8.11, The Charter of the United Nations Article 2 section 4, The Golden Rule and of international law, to which we are especially bound by Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution which states, “all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding”.

We demand that they immediately stop these crimes,

And be accountable to the people of the United States and Afghanistan, We appeal to all United States citizens, military and civilian, and to all public officials, that we are required by the Nuremburg Principles l - Vll, and by Conscience, to refuse to participate in these crimes, to denounce them and to resist them nonviolently.

Indictment

We charge that the United States Air Force, 509th Bomb Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, under the command of, Brig. Gen. Scott A. Vander Hamm, is maintaining and utilizing MQ-9 Reaper Drones for use in combat.

Extrajudicial targeted killings by the use of unmanned aircraft drones by the United States of America are intentional, premeditated and deliberate use of lethal force in violation of US and international human rights law.

The US has used drones for targeted killings in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and Pakistan, with no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can and cannot be used, no rigorous criteria for deciding which people are targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality and accuracy of the killings, and no mechanisms of accountability.

In support of this indictment we cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates "a highly problematic blurring and expansion of the boundaries of the applicable legal frameworks – human rights law, the laws of war and the law applicable to the use of inter-state force….The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum…In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules." See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28 May 2010.

Let all accused in this indictment understand that our words are spoken nonviolently. All are invited to stop the use of drones and refuse to participate in illegal warfare.

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