Yemeni to Senate: "What the violent militants had failed to achieve, one drone strike accomplished in an instant."
Yesterday’s Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights hearing on the use of military drones received testimony from Farea al-Muslimi, a Yemeni whose village suffered a drone strike last week. Muslimi described how the terror and anger from the strike quickly inspired anti-American sentiments among innocent members of the community. “What the violent militants had failed to achieve,” he said, “one drone strike accomplished in an instant.”
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), who convened the hearing, expressed disapointment in the Obama administration for not sending a representative to witness the proceedings, a fact that right-wing media outlets were eager to highlight. Concern over the constitutionality with which the administration conducts drone strikes has in fact become a bi-partisan issue. While many decried the administration’s free reign in calling drone strikes, a common sentiment at the hearing was that all that is therefore needed is proper oversight. With such oversight, the argument goes, weaponized drones can ba a valid part of the U.S. military arsenal.
The anti-drone protests nationwide this month express a refusal to accept the use of drones regardless of the legal framework the senate may construct for it. Drones represent an evolution in war powers that can only increase the terror, impunity, and irresponsibility of modern war. This weekend will see actions at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse, NY; Beale AFB in Linda, CA; and Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ; as well as protests in Monterey, CA; Taos, NM; Racine, WI; Greensboro, NC; Long Island, NY: and Pompton Plains, NJ.