Mar 16, 2014
Drone Killings Used as Alternative to Prison, Attorney Says
Posted on May 2, 2013
The lawyer who authored the White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of using them when it didn’t want to capture prisoners who would otherwise go to Guantanamo Bay.
John Bellinger, who worked on the legal framework for targeted drone killings as an adviser in George W. Bush’s administration after 9/11, said he thought lethal drone use was on the rise because President Obama didn’t want to deal with the consequences of jailing suspected al-Qaida members.
“This government has decided that instead of detaining members of al-Qaida [at Guantanamo] they are going to kill them,” he said on a panel Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
Roughly 4,700 people have been killed by about 300 U.S. drone attacks in four countries. The program’s status under international and domestic law remains a subject of intense debate.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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