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Chomsky: US drone killings are state terror

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The U.S. policy of targeting terror suspects in foreign countries using unmanned aerial vehicles amounts to “state terror”, leading academic Professor Noam Chomsky has said.

“There is no justification for targeted assassination,” Chomsky said in an interview with PublicServiceEurope.com which was published on Friday.

“There were things going on before, under the last president, but the Obama administration has extended earlier procedures to a global assassination campaign directed at people suspected of encouraging others to carry out what the U.S. calls terrorist acts. What are called ‘terrorist acts’ also raises rather serious questions — and that’s an understatement,” he said.

Asked if he believed Obama’s foreign policy in relation to drone strikes had been worse than that of his predecessor George W Bush, Chomsky said: “In terms of state terror and that’s what I would call this, I have to say yes — and that has already been pointed out by military analysts.”

“The Bush administration policy was to kidnap suspects and send them to secret prisons where they were not treated very nicely, as we know. But the Obama administration has escalated that policy to you don’t kidnap them, but you kill them. Now remember, these are suspects — even in the case of Osama bin Laden.” defencemanagement.com

FACTS & FIGURES

Since 2001, the U.S. government is known to have used drones to mount lethal attacks in at least six countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. commondreams.org

The Washington Post has reported that the Obama administration is building a constellation of secret drone bases in the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa, including one site in Ethiopia. Antiwar

Bombing raids by robotic unmanned U.S. aircraft dramatically increased under President Barack Obama. Dawn

Human rights groups have raised concerns that the use of drones by the CIA has allowed the conduct of a secret assassination campaign abroad without public scrutiny and little oversight by lawmakers in Congress. AFP

The U.S. drone campaign is deeply unpopular among anti-American Pakistani public and the government has publicly demanded an end to the attacks. AFP

Barack Obama’s administration authorized the assassination of the radical cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, a rare move against an American citizen. Al-Awlaki was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Yemen on October 14.

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