Press TV has conducted an interview with James Fetzer, a philosopher and political commentator, to discuss the issue of the United States using drones in other countries.
The following is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Perhaps you can clarify this for us. First, let’s look at the line from the US on this. The US will now be allowed to target individuals found to be plotting to attack the US or American territory overseas even if US intelligence cannot identify the people by name. How do you explain the rationale behind this?
Fetzer: The whole situation is completely outrageous. It used to be a principle of American moral and political philosophy that it’s better to let ten guilty men go free than for one innocent person to suffer.
The whole line about al-Qaeda is completely fabricated. This was an entity created by the United States to resist the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is well known to have been our man in the Middle East where a CIA agent even visited him in Dubai where he was undergoing treatment for dialysis.
Studies have shown that use of drones, because of the inability to discern precisely who the target is, properly costs 140 civilian deaths - innocent deaths - for every targeted insurgent. It’s a disgrace that the United States should be abdicating its responsibility.
It represents a grotesque violation of international law and the principles of jurisprudence rooted in the concept of ‘due process’: no man should be deprived of life, liberty or the pursuit of property without the opportunity to defend himself in a court of law.
While this is alleged to be a war context, the complete abdication of responsibility here is grotesque and stains the reputation of the United States.
Press TV: Please expand more about what [our other guest] Gordon Duff is saying there. It sounds like the US has to be somewhat in a perpetual state of war. I don’t quite understand why these signature air strikes now are being brought into the picture and announced officially, as Gordon Duff talked about, [with] different countries that the US is involved in. What is going on?
Fetzer: As Gordon Duff astutely observed, Osama bin Laden died on or about the 15th of December, 2001. He was buried in an unmarked grave in Afghanistan in accordance with Islamic tradition.
The allusions of politics extend, therefore, to the purported attack on the compound in Pakistan which was a way of relieving political pressures that were derived from Obama not having closed Guantanamo, having stationed troops in Pakistan and having his birth certificate being subjected to minute scrutiny which was exposing its fraudulent character.
All of that was taken off the front page by the staged fabricated attack on the compound where no one had ever seen Osama bin Laden. Indeed, how can you kill a man who died in 2001 - another time? The idea that he would be buried at sea in accordance to Muslim tradition was preposterous. That’s disrespectful to bodies which can be eaten by fish, sharks and other crustaceans.
It’s a shame that the United States has been reduced to one lie after another. We seem to be spending more time trying to defend lies than we are solving real problems in the world and this is, yet, one more example.
Press TV: So are they trying to remain in these countries that are using their drones? -We could add to the list Afghanistan, Pakistan, maybe a setup to becoming a [scene] where drones have been officially documented to fly over their airspace. So is that, maybe, a reason for the US to use these assassination drones?
Fetzer: The idea of a perpetual war seems to be necessary to keep the military industrial complex going. We didn’t derive the peace dividend that should have occurred when the Soviet Union collapsed.
But instead, we elaborated a phony, elusive, shadowy terrorist force to alliance ourselves against where we could conveniently bring about any action anytime we want - any terrorist event.
We have been complicit. Even the FBI has shown to have been involved in terrorist activities here in the United States.
So, we’re fabricating events in order to justify massive expenditures and to extend the power of the police state that the United States has become.
Press TV: I’m going to go back to the line that the US gave at the beginning of the program. Even if US intelligence cannot identify the people by name, another way of saying ‘collateral damage: civilians are going to be killed’; the UN, when is it going to act on this given the track record?
Fetzer: This represents a gross violation of human rights by any standards, certainly by that of the Declaration of Human Rights, by that of the US Constitution, by the Declaration of Independence.
I was so affected by the story of two young, beautiful teenage girls being followed by a drone, who looked back at it, laughed and giggled, which irritated the drone operator - so he took them out.
This kind of scenario is being replicated in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now no doubt even in Pakistan.
It’s outrageous. It’s a corruption and it’s a betrayal of every principle for which the United States is supposed to stand. It must end.