U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears “Playstation” Mentality

June 2, 2010 -

A United Nations Investigator has called for the cessation of CIA-directed drone strikes on suspected Islamic militants, warning that such remote killings could lead to a “PlayStation” mentality.

Philip Alston, a "U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions," believes that drone attacks should only be carried out if circumstances make it impossible to capture a suspect alive and, if drone strikes do need to be used, only regular U.S. Army personnel, armed with “proper oversight and respect for the rules of war,” should control the craft, according to a Reuters report.

Alston, who will present his opinion to the U.N. Human Rights Council tomorrow, stated:

Because operators are based thousands of miles away from the battlefield, and undertake operations entirely through computer screens and remote audio-feed, there is a risk of developing a 'Playstation' mentality to killing.

According to Reuters, “The United States is believed to control the fleet of drones from CIA headquarters in Virginia, coordinating with civilian pilots near hidden airfields in Afghanistan and Pakistan who fly the drones remotely.”

“Intelligence agencies, which by definition are determined to remain unaccountable except to their own paymasters, have no place in running programs that kill people in other countries,” added Alston, who also said that the world has no way of knowing whether such CIA-controlled killings are lawful or not.


|Via Kotaku & PHX Corp|


Comments

Re: U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears ...

Humans long ago left behind the "look your enemy in the eye" battles.

Whether it was the personal long range weapon of a bow and arrow, or the large long range weapon of the catapult, we have long since made efforts to not face our enemies face to face.

From rifles to missiles to time delayed bombs we could mail and either remote detonate or auto detonate, we've done all we can to make the art of killing less personal, more numerical, and therefore less of a sensitive act.

This is just another tool to that effort and complaining about it as not being a Humane way to kill our enemies is absolutely rediculous.

Nightwng2000

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Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears ...

Regardless of who actually does the killing, a drone with a misile or a soldier with a knife, the upper ranks are the people who make the decisions on who to eliminate, and they are miles away.

Re: U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears ...

 Agreed.

Which is why I am more concerned with the "CIA" aspect then the "Remote Camera" one.

(edited to add) looking at the original piece, the 'playstation' part seemed very out of place with the rest of the report.  Probably added for a bit of sensationalism since the report seems to be mostly concerned with 'unaccountable intellgence agencies that have no interest in following the rules of war should not be conducting leathal operations in other countries'.

Re: U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears ...

 I think this might be one of the few cases where you can actually make an argument about the blending of fantasy and reality since the technology, in this case, gives reality a fairly similar look and feel to fantasy.

And I admit, I am not sure how comfortable I am with the CIA having this kind of capability. I know agencies do not like sharing responsibilities, but this kind of stuff is really the domain of the military and when the CIA needs something done, they should had it off to the branch that is responsible for it rather then having their own parrell structure in place with non-soldiers.

I wonder how this actually works in terms of the Geneva Conventions?  It would be ironic if CIA operatives, now that the US has set a precedent, were classified as 'enemy combatants' abroad...

Re: U.N. Investigator Condemns Drone Attacks, Fears ...

The UN should not get our Tax dollars over such comments like this. They are not helping human rights either.

Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

America has just became its own version of the Jerry Springer Show after a bizarre moment in Florida involving a carnival worker.

 
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