Kucinich: US Drone Program Is ‘Vigilantism Conducted by Robots’

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Common Dreams

Kucinich: US Drone Program Is ‘Vigilantism Conducted by Robots’

US Congressman offers scathing look at US drone program, covert wars

by
Common Dreams staff

The U.S. drone assassination program is "vigilantism conducted by robots" and has caused us to "journey into moral depravity," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in an interview with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

In the June 21 interview with the London-based Bureau, Kucinich gives a scathing review of the U.S. wars in Yemen and Pakistan and states that the nation's justice values have been "radically altered" and that we now have a system of trial by execution.

"We have ventured into a world since 9/11 where international law is set aside and where the implements of war are becoming so ubiquitous that all the rules are being ignored and conflict zones are expanding. Where suspected terrorists – and we do not know what they are really suspected of doing, you know – they can be suspects now, and they can be executed. Or they can just be perceived to be a male of combat age and be executed."

Kucinich remarks how the power of Congress to declare war has now morphed into "the derogation to the executive of the power to strike at any nation at any time for any reason."

On the covert, escalating war in Yemen, including drone strikes, Kucinich bluntly states, "We understand that we are at war in Yemen."

The congressman emphasized that the U.S. drone program represents a bastardization of justice:  "What we have done here with the drone program is to radically alter our system of justice. Because, remember, if the whole idea is that we are exporting American values, those drones represent American values. And now we are telling the world that American values are summary executions, no rights to an accused, no arrest process, no reading of charges, no trial by jury, no judge, only an executioner."

And by having such an assassination program without legal justification, we "journeyed into moral depravity," Kucinich stated.

Kucinich added that going against the the UN Charter, the US has been "clearly aggressing against Pakistan, and against Yemen, and against a whole range of countries. This can only lead to more war. With war, these wars, any drone now is an incendiary that spreads war more broadly and it incites more people to join the cause of those who protest the US policies and who seeks to commit violence."

This kind of killing by execution "is vigilantism conducted by robots," he stated.

Highlighting media complicity in war, Kucinich said that as in the Iraq war, "It’s not bad form to kill civilians, it’s only bad form to talk about it. "

"There has been a tradition of American journalists in modern times to serve as the spear carriers for the government." He added that the problem has increased because of the decreasing number of newpapers and ones owned by "large corporate interests."

Kucinich said that civilian casualities in war are by and large ignored. The only time civilian casualties are used is to articulate a cause for further US military involvement in a conflict such as in Syria.

He ended by cautioning that "it’s going to be very disturbing for the American people when they awake from the slumber to look out upon a world where there’s carnage everywhere that’s created by our nation without any legal process, without any constitutional basis and without any articulated justification."

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) discusses the proposed amendments

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