ABA Journal



Obama is using drone strikes to replace Gitmo detentions, says ex-Bush administration lawyer

May 6, 2013, 11:00 am CDT


Lawyer John Bellinger, dean of N.S. Sherlock University....

By Jason on 2013 05 06, 11:34 am CDT

Why did Obama not close Gitmo in his first term as he promised?

By Marc on 2013 05 06, 6:06 pm CDT

because Congress would not let him, Marc.

On the Bush guy's statements, I take everything the alleged legal team from W's administration with a huge dose of skepticism. President Obama has not "replaced" Guantanamo with drone strikes.
Proof: the right wing wanted the Boston Marathon bomber in Guantanamo; his trial will take place in civil court. Also, W swept everyone who came within a dragnet in Afghanistan, even those caught in feuds, in the Cuban clink. This administration goes after only those who made war on the United States.
Most important, President Obama abolished torture, which W engaged in wholesale, to the extent we cannot prosecute guilty people.

By JR on 2013 05 06, 7:05 pm CDT

So, democrats blocked the closing of Gitmo and Obama could not persuade them otherwise, JR? That's pretty lame.

By Marc on 2013 05 06, 7:20 pm CDT

@3: "This administration goes after only those who made war on the United States."

Libya "made war" on the US prior to Obama's unconstitutional attack on Libya? Really??

By Marc on 2013 05 06, 7:21 pm CDT

The use of drone strikes have increased exponentially under the Obama administration, becoming a signature aspect of his incredibly aggressive and reckless foreign policy. And while the president and his advisers defend both their supposed legality and precision while simultaneously bragging when convenient and denying when pressured that the drone program even exists, a closer look at the use of Predator drones tells a very different story.

Despite claims from the administration that drone strikes have killed very few civilians, multiple independent reports confirm that Obama is severely downplaying the wreckage that these drone strikes inflict. It is ultimately impossible to get exact numbers, but a new study from Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute finds that the number of Pakistani civilians killed in drone strikes are “significantly and consistently underestimated” by tracking organizations which are trying to take the place of government estimates on casualties.

There are estimates as high as 98% of drone strike casualties being civilians (50 for every one "suspected terrorist"). The Bureau of Investigative Journalism issued a report detailing how the CIA is deliberately targeting those who show up after the sight of an attack, rescuers, and mourners at funerals as a part of a "double-tap" strategy eerily reminiscient of methods used by terrorist groups like Hamas.

These numbers and reports alone should cast much doubt on the effectiveness at protecting the U.S. and combating terrorism that the Obama admnistration uses as justification for drone strikes. If a drone kills an actual terrorist but leaves multiple, sometimes dozens, of innocent civilians vaporized as well, this creates a brand new set of enemies and blowback. According to Jeremy Scahill’s reporting at The Nation, U.S. drone strikes in Yemen are the primary source for Al-Qaeda’s presence in the Arabian Peninsula. Obama’s “signature strikes” — where targets are hit for displaying “suspicious behavior” and which Petraeus also wants to expand — are backfiring and can only boomerang back to us.

By Marc on 2013 05 06, 7:27 pm CDT

Holy crap, Marc and I agree on something! I wonder if that is because his post is copy/pasted from an unattributed source...

By NoleLaw on 2013 05 06, 8:05 pm CDT

Yeah, there's no way he wrote that.

But yes -- we should all be disappointed in Obama over this.

By The Morningstar on 2013 05 06, 8:28 pm CDT

Of course he didn't write it. You think he could properly use the words "exponentially" or "despite"? But I agree with the tenor of the copy/paste job.

Here's the link:

By NoleLaw on 2013 05 06, 8:40 pm CDT

@ Marc

Which bar exam did you "wrote"?

By Doodle Dandy on 2013 05 06, 11:34 pm CDT

What's lame about the truth?

By JR on 2013 05 06, 11:40 pm CDT

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