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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/24/13

America: Prosecutor, Judge and Jury With Jurisdiction Over the World

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Message Michael Payne

A new World Court, created by the U.S. government, has been given license to determine the fate of people in other nations of the world. This court, administered by the government, hears the charges brought by the prosecution, declares the accused as guilty as charged, and then launches deadly Predator and Reaper drones in the skies over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia to carry out the sentence.

Those who are a part of the Washington Establishment and watch as these proceeding continue on an almost daily basis find them to be totally acceptable based on their particular interpretation of the law. And when confronted with the fact that, when these sentences have been carried out in these nations, hundreds of innocent civilians have died, they either vociferously deny it or just ignore the question.

This court answers to no other authority other than the president of the United States. All decisions are final and no appeal is allowed. This policy of drone warfare was instituted by G.W. Bush initially and has been greatly expanded under President Obama. While many legal experts contend that the use of these drones is illegal and violates international law, their legal interpretations don't count as officials in the Obama administration have declared that this brand of warfare is, in fact, completely legal. Therefore, they have declared that these objections and those of the nations that have been subjected to these continuing attacks are irrelevant and the matter is closed.

But, wait a minute, that may not really be the case because there seems to be a developing problem that no one has previously foreseen, one that could present great danger to America in the future. It just so happens that America is not the only country that possesses these deadly drones. There are numerous other countries that currently have functional drones and many others that are working to develop them. And guess which countries now have operational drones?   Russia, China and Iran, certainly not close friends of America.

In the near future as the number of these drones rapidly increases around the world j ust think of how easy it will be for Al-Qaeda or some other terrorist organization to be able to obtain drone technology or, through allied agents, purchase drones that have the same destructive potential as America's. Don't think that these terrorist groups can't get into the drone business. Remember 9/11 and how terrorists were able to demolish the World Trade Center in an attack that most people thought could never happen, and the belief that terrorists didn't possess such sophisticated capabilities.

President Obama has, quite likely, opened a door that he may well be unable to close. This president's drone policies and actions are generating so much anger and outrage against the U.S. that it is very possible that we could, in the future, experience a terrible blowback in which these same kinds of drones will be used against Americans in this country or against our overseas embassies; and, as brought out in this article, " Armed Drones Could Target President: Former U.S. Intelligence Chief" , they could conceivably be used to target a U.S. president or government officials


With each passing day it becomes more and more evident that the War on Terror (a term that the Obama administration no longer uses) is a complete failure and that it is taking a very dangerous situation and making it much worse. What this government has done, first under Bush and now under Mr. Obama, is to use these drones and other military operations in selected countries to go after suspected terrorists but, in doing so, they have created thousands more new enemies that want to seek revenge.


Here is another complicating factor in this evolving scenario. There are plans by the U.S. government to promote the use of drones for surveillance and other purposes of control by various law enforcement entities across America. In February, 2012, President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act which directs the FAA to integrate the operation of drones into this nation's airspace by 2015. Analysts have said that we may see up to 30,000 drones in the skies over American in the next three years. In other words, Big Brother will be looking down upon us from his overhead vantage point.


In recent years Americans have seen the enactment of the following legislation that is designed to restrict the rights and freedoms of citizens: The Patriot Act, the FISA laws (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), the NDAA (The National Defense Authorization Act) as well as other lesser known laws intended to conduct surveillance and monitor citizens' activities. Now we can add the FAA legislation that will use the skies above us to further impinge on our privacy and restrict our rights.


The era of drones is upon us. Up to this point in time, millions of Americans have been unconcerned and apathetic about this government's use of drones in other countries; others have been very supportive of what they see as new, exciting weapons of war. Now, as their government fills the skies over them with drones and they think about what terrorists might do with these same weapons in the future, I wonder how the attitude of these Americans might change.


Michael Payne

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