US drone in Pakistan/Getty images

“The Obama administration has floated a plan to shift drone operations from the Central Intelligence Agency to the military. This is supposed to make targeted killings of suspected terrorists more transparent and accountable, but so far it looks as if it would be a marginal improvement”. This was the first paragraph of an editorial of the New york Times a week ago, that still make me shivering because it talks about killings of “suspected” terrorists without a proper prove or judicial process as something accepted only pending of “transparence”.

Today the ex-president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf said that his government secretly signed off on U.S. drone strikes, and according to the CNN “Musharraf insisted Pakistan’s government signed off on strikes only on a few occasions, when a target was absolutely isolated and no chance of collateral damage.”

The number of strikes are very high, especially during the Obama Administration, with an estimated of 2,426 to 3,969 killed from the beginning, including the Bush-era, and 276 to 386 civilians among them, all according to the New America Foundation.

It is OK to kill a suspect? In this case a suspect terrorist? It is OK to kill suspects with there is danger to kill innocents in the process? It is OK to do it because no human being is doing so directly but a machine by remote control is taking the job without eyes and feelings? Is this an act of war? I would say it is.

But I thing there is no right to kill “suspects”, sometimes signaled by no reliable intelligence or local leaders with their owns agendas, but to bring them to justice. There is no right to kill innocent people and civilians in the process and call them “collateral damages” without taking any responsibility.

Many would talk about the victims of the terrorists attacks against Americans and the right to self-defense. But there have to be another ways than to kill without look at and in secrecy.

So, more transparency its OK, but some way to fight terrorism without killing civilian and innocent people and suspects without the right to a trial has to be found.

I think that the new technologies like the drones, the blind arms with a human being so far away of the potential victims are making to easy to kill without too much considering other options more complicated but maybe more according to justice, to human rights and to make secure the life of  civilians in dangerous places, and that’s not good.


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  1. […] terrorists targets in Pakistan and Afghanistan from de CIA to the military to more transparency. I commented that in my entry “drones: the blind and silent assassins”. What about Guantánamo transparency? After more than a decade maybe is time to put more light over […]

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About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.


Ethics, Ideals, Justice, Middle East, World and Politics


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