UNAC Statement on Drones

We note that:

The United States government uses unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called Drones, for targeted assassinations in countries with which we are and are not at war, including reckless bombings and missile attacks in civilian areas that result in the deaths of unarmed civilians, and the murder of American Citizens who are suspected of committing crimes, but who have not been duly tried and convicted before a court of law. Extrajudicial targeted killings by the use of unmanned aircraft Drones by the United States of America are intentional, premeditated and deliberate use of lethal force in violation of the US and international human rights law.

In the case of military Drone attacks within a declared theater of combat, the targets of these attacks are decided by military technocrats located within the continental US, who have no experience of direct combat with said targets, and no understanding of the cultural patterns and habits of the surrounding civilians that would allow them to correctly differentiate appropriate military targets. These attacks violate humanitarian law as codified in the Geneva Principles, the Geneva Conventions and the United Nations Treaty and constitute crimes against humanity. Furthermore, they bring mainland U.S. cities and communities into the legally designated war zone.

In the more typical case, where CIA controlled Drone attacks occur in countries with which we are not at war, and therefore in locations that are not war zones, these attacks violate the security and integrity of sovereign nations , and as such they constitute violations of international law, including the United Nations Treaty and the Kellogg-Briand Pact. The specific targets of these attacks are decided by secret unaccountable panels and executive mandate with no legal basis. And they are subject to all the same faults as those attacks engaged in war zones.

Drones are being introduced on the U.S. mainland to support Police and Border patrol. Plans are being made to arm at least some of them, while unarmed Predator and Reaper Drones patrolling our borders require military support for operation, and were designed to carry bombs and missiles. Use of Drones for surveillance within the U.S. creates an unprecedented violation of privacy to citizens, enhanced by a deadly threat. Furthermore, Congressional pressure on the FAA to rush Drones into the common airspace is dangerous yet inexplicable in any terms of common necessity.

UNAC makes the following demands:

  • We demand that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, generally referred to as Drones, by the US Military and the CIA, for purposes of waging war and policing the international community cease immediately.
  • We demand that Drone surveillance and Drone support for Police, Border Patrol and Homeland Security within the US be ended immediately.
  • We demand that, with regard to peacetime uses of Drones within the US common airspace, the FAA be given ample time to scrutinize these uses in light of:
    • Protecting the privacy of individuals, within the US and border states.
    • Protecting the safety and security of ordinary manned air traffic and those who are passengers in such planes.
  • We demand that Congress immediately take up the task of restricting the use of Drones within the continental US as stated above.
  • We demand that Congress and the State Department immediately begin diplomatic initiatives to generate International Treaties and Laws that directly curtail the exploding proliferation of drones used for spying, war making and targeted assassinations.
  • Furthermore, we demand that all of the legal cases brought by the families and communities of civilians and U.S. citizens murdered by Drone attacks be brought before the appropriate courts in a timely manner, prosecuted with due diligence and given a fair and just hearing under current National and International Law in an open courtroom.