"The consequence of drone strikes has been to radicalize an entirely new generation."—U.N. Special Rapporteur on drones, British lawyer Ben Emmerson.
And Emmersen, whose "legal insights will form the basis of his report to the U.N., expected later this year," has an additional warning about the long-term effects of the US' drone program:
Emmerson says the drone strikes are illegal under international law as they violate Pakistan's sovereignty and fly in the face of Pakistani government calls for them to desist -- and that they also legalize al Qaeda's fight against America.Droning is not making us safer. Droning is not making us safer. Leaving aside any debate about whether droning would be justified even if it were making us safer, IT IS NOT MAKING US SAFER.
He said: "If it is lawful for the U.S. to drone al Qaeda associates whereever they find them, then it is also lawful for al Qaeda to target U.S. military or infrastructure where ever (militants) find them."
Until now the U.S. has used its own lawyers to give legitimacy to the covert war being waged by drones. Now Emmerson believes it is time to challenge them.
"There is a real risk that by promulgating the analysis that is currently being developed and relied up by the United States they legitimize, in international law, al Qaeda, by turning it in to an armed belligerent involved in a war and that makes the use of force by al Qaeda and its associates lawful," he told me.
The security argument is a red herring designed to obfuscate important ethical discussions we should be having about the drone program. It is bullshit. It is bullshit. It is bullshit. Droning is not making us safer.