Lawfare

In recently published leaked documents, by National Security whistle-blower Edward Snowden, Clive’s work, along with other human rights defenders, is noted as seeking to “undermine the [U.S.] use of remotely piloted vehicles”.   

Last updated: 9th November 2021

Remotely piloted vehicles, commonly known as drones, have been used extensively since 9/11 to target and assassinate individuals around the world; essentially the death penalty without charge, trial or any due process whatsoever.

 

What does the term ‘Lawfare’ mean?

The term “Lawfare” is being used by U.S. intelligence agencies and others to describe law (international law in particular) as a weapon in the hands of human rights advocates, who they believe are waging a war against U.S. national security, by meddling in their right to kill.

Just two months after 9/11,  Charles Dunlap jnr, then a Major General in the U.S. Airforce, wrote in a November 2001 presentation to the Carr Centre at Harvard:

“Is lawfare turning warfare into unfair? In other words, is international law undercutting the ability of the U.S. to conduct effective military interventions? Is it becoming a vehicle to exploit American values in ways that actually increase risks to civilians? In short, is law becoming more of the problem in modern war instead of part of the solution?”

 

Human rights as a threat to national security

In one entry of the leaked documents, entitled “Targeted Killing: Policy, Legal and Ethical Controversy”, under a subsection, “Lawfare”, it goes on to state that they have not yet developed evidence that Clive’s work was sponsored by a “violent extremist”.

The implication uncovered here, though not entirely surprising, is that U.S. national security agencies see human rights lawyers and anti-drone campaigners as a threat that requires further investigation.

Those who seek, and reveal, the truth are considered criminals, such as U.S. Intelligence Analyst and whistle blower, Daniel Hale, who was recently sentenced to 45 months in prison for revealing that, in just one 5-month period, 90% of the victims of the drone strike program were innocent bystanders.

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