Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of Amnesty International, weighs in, in a letter to the New York Times.
Over the last four years the use of drones has become ever more permissive. Lethal strikes are no longer restricted to “high-value targets,” Guilt, not innocence, is the apparent presumption.
Administration sources have told the media that in the tribal areas of Pakistan, men of fighting age are assumed to be combatant targets in the absence of intelligence to the contrary. If true, this is both unconscionable and a violation of the laws of war.
This can’t go on. American drones have taken lives in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and the Philippines. Meaningful public review of this most secretive of government programs is long overdue. We don’t need a new rule book; we just need the existing rules — international human rights and humanitarian law — to be applied.
Amnesty International USA
New York, Nov.