White House: U.S. Drone Killings Legal to Combat Threats


Tabassum Zakaria
Reuters
April 30, 2012

The U.S. campaign of drone strikes to kill militants in other countries is legal under international law, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser insisted on Monday in a rare public admission and justification of the controversial tactic.

John Brennan’s speech, on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the U.S. killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a raid in Pakistan, was remarkable in that U.S. officials in public rarely discuss the drone program, which has for years been considered a covert CIA operation.

The bin Laden commando raid and drone strikes have severely strained U.S. relations with Pakistan. But the frayed ties have not stopped the United States from pursuing militants with the unmanned aircraft that can be remotely piloted from hundreds or thousands of miles away.

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Yesterday John Brennan made a statement confirming the use of US drones to kill suspected terrorists abroad.


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