U.N. Official Calls Out CIA Drone Strikes As Bad Idea

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Alston.Photo: Rodrigo Arangua/AFP

A senior U.N. official is expected to ask the U.S. to put a halt to CIA drone strikes against suspected Al Qaeda targets, a tactic that the Obama administration has come to rely on in Pakistan. Philip Alston, the U.N.'s special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, told the Times he will be delivering a report on June 3 to the U.N. Human Rights Council positing that the “life and death power” of drones should be wielded by armed forces rather than intelligence agencies. While Alston’s recommendation is not legally binding and he will not assert that the implementation of combat drones by nonmilitary personnel is a war crime, he will argue that while the Defense Department demonstrates “not perfect but quite abundant accountability” when a bombing doesn’t go according to plan, the CIA “by definition … [is] not going to answer questions, not provide any information, and not do any follow-up that we know about.”

U.N. Official Set to Ask U.S. to End C.I.A. Drone Strikes [NYT]