Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -
Refresh  

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter 1 Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest 1 Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (3 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   3 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Courts Must Hold Executive Branch Accountable for Drone Strikes

By       Message Marjorie Cohn     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 3 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 4   Supported 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 7/14/17

Author 7148
Become a Fan
  (7 fans)

From Smirking Chimp

From commons.wikimedia.org: Predator Drone {MID-141619}
Predator Drone
(Image by commons.wikimedia.org)
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

In 2012, the bin Ali Jaber family gathered in Khashamir, Yemen, for a wedding celebration. Ahmed Salem bin Ali Jaber (Salem) was asked to deliver a guest sermon, which challenged al Qaeda to justify its attacks on civilians. In response to his sermon, three strange men arrived to see Salem.

Fearing trouble, Salem asked Waleed bin Ali Jaber (Waleed), a police officer, to accompany him to meet the three men. A US-operated drone deployed four Hellfire missiles, killing all five men. Salem and Waleed were not the intended targets of the drone strike. The three strangers were not "high-level, high-value targets to the United States." This was a "signature strike" in which the government targets anonymous suspected militants solely based on their pattern of behavior.

The Yemeni government ordered that the victims' families receive approximately $55,000 as "condolence" payments. When a member of Yemen's National Security Bureau offered a family member $1,000,000, the official stated the money was from the US government, but he later recanted when Faisal bin Ali Jaber (Faisal) asked the official to produce his statement in writing.

- Advertisement -

Drone Victims' Relative Sues in Federal Court

Faisal, who was Salem's brother-in-law and Waleed's uncle, sued the US government in federal district court. He requested an apology for the wrongful deaths of his relatives and a declaration that the drone strike violated domestic and international law.

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff made the following allegations:

- Advertisement -

-- "No urgent military purpose or other emergency justified" the drone strike;

-- Killing the alleged targets was not "strictly unavoidable" to defend against an "imminent threat of death" to the "United States or its allies"; and

-- The risk to nearby civilians was excessive in comparison to the military objective since "there [was] no evidence" the three men were "legitimate military targets," and "there were no US or Yemeni forces or military objectives in the vicinity that were in need of protection against three young Yemeni men."

The district court dismissed the case, concluding it had no jurisdiction to adjudicate the issue of legality of the drone strike because that was a "political question" reserved to the executive branch.

On June 30, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed the dismissal. Relying on a prior decision of the DC Circuit, the judges ruled that courts cannot review military targeting decisions by the executive without violating the separation of powers doctrine.

Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote for the panel, "It is not the role of the Judiciary to second-guess the determination of the Executive, in coordination with the Legislature, that the interests of the US call for a particular military action in the ongoing War on Terror."

- Advertisement -

Courts Are Competent to Review Executive Targeting Decisions

As law professors Mary Ellen O'Connell and Douglas Cassel pointed out in their amicus brief filed in this case, courts regularly adjudicate the legality of the use of military force. They cited the United Nations Charter, which permits a country to attack another country only in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 4   Supported 2   Well Said 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

http://www.marjoriecohn.com

Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild. She is author of  'The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse, and 

Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Stanford Antiwar Alums Call for War Crimes Investigation of Condoleezza Rice

"Big Brother is Watching You" -- Beyond Orwell's Worst Nightmare

Bradley Manning Treatment Reveals Continued Government Complicity in Torture

Obama's Af-Pak War is Illegal

Obama Spells New Hope for Human Rights

Bradley Manning's Legal Duty to Expose War Crimes