Where the mooslems at?

Funny how eye-popping pieces of OMG WTF can often be buried in otherwise banal reports of Washington goings-on:

[T]he CIA engages in a controversial practice known as “signature strikes,” targeting groups of military-age males whose identities are not known but who bear certain characteristics—or signatures—associated with terrorism. Under new protocols, the strikes, sometimes referred to as “crowd killing,” may still be permitted but would likely be more heavily regulated.

O.o  What?

Does that description strike anyone else as a smidge insane?

Think about that.  Some CIA folks point at a random group of scary mooslems, ponder a collective gut feeling that said brown people bear terrorist “signatures” and then rain drone-borne hellfire down upon them on a hunch.  I.e.: mass execution without any actual information on any of the individuals involved.  Seriously!?

For more brain-melting WTF, here’s a legal analysis of this CIA “kill groups of swarthy fuckers” strategy:

The vast majority of drone attacks conducted by the U.S. have been signature strikes – those that target “groups of men who bear certain signatures, or defining characteristics associated with terrorist activity, but whose identities aren’t known.” In 2010, for example, Reuters reported that of the 500 “militants” killed by drones between 2008 and 2010, only 8% were the kind “top-tier militant targets” or “mid-to-high-level organizers” whose identities could have been known prior to being killed. Similarly, in 2011, a U.S. official revealed that the U.S. had killed “twice as many ‘wanted terrorists’ in signature strikes than in personality strikes.”

Despite the U.S.’s intense reliance on signature strikes, scholars have paid almost no attention to their legality under international law. This article attempts to fill that lacuna. Section I explains why a signature strike must be justified under either international humanitarian law (IHL) or international human rights law (IHRL) even if the strike was a legitimate act of self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter. Section II explores the legality of signature strikes under IHL. It concludes that although some signature strikes clearly comply with the principle of distinction, others either violate that principle as a matter of law or require evidence concerning the target that the U.S. is unlikely to have prior to the attack. Section III then provides a similar analysis for IHRL, concluding that most of the signature strikes permitted by IHL – though certainly not all – would violate IHRL’s insistence that individuals cannot be arbitrarily deprived of their right to life.

Aside from torturing people and continuously escalating the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can someone tell me again how different the current administration is versus the former when it comes to extreme tactics to prosecute the never-ending “War on Terror™”?


  1. jurassicpork says:

    No, I cannot because this administration is in some ways worse than its murderous and idiotic predecessor.

    • Metavirus says:

      it’s pretty sad, considering that one of the driving forces behind my vote back in 2008 was Obama’s supposed contrast to Bush in these areas. i guess i am fully coming to grasp how wrong i was (with the usual caveat for torture, etc.)

  2. jurassicpork says:

    I could’ve told you four years ago (as I’d predicted) that there was no way Obama was going to shelve that much power left behind by his idiot predecessor. Like Bob Barr once said, “If you give government power, it will use it.” I held my nose voting for Obama in 2008. I voted with a clear conscience for Jill Stein in 2012.

  3. Not really happy about the seeming unlimited use of drones myself, but it is much better than the 52 carpet strikes that other want used. We should have never invaded Afghanistan to begin with. Just hit what ever camp that showed up then left.

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