Amnesty International has accused the Obama administration of “war crimes” in its drone policy in a new report released Tuesday. The human rights organization reviewed forty-five drone strikes in the Pakistani providence of Waziristan since January 2012, and concluded that they “have resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths, some of which may amount to extrajudicial executions or war crimes under international law.
It was once axiomatic on the left, and in much of the mainstream media, to believe that President George W. Bush and his administration had been responsible for war crimes in Iraq and even in Afghanistan.
The thirty-five articles of impeachment drawn up by Democrats Dennis Kucinich and Robert Wexler in 2008 included, in Article XIII, the accusation that President Bush’s conduct in the Iraq War “under the reach of the same law and principles described as the basis for war crimes prosecution at Nuremburg…including crimes against peace, violations of the laws and customs of war and crimes against humanity…”.
In the same vein, then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) claimed on the presidential campaign trail in August 2007 that American troops in Afghanistan had been “just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.”
Now that President Obama has vastly expanded Bush’s drone policy, he has been accused of the same–though the media show considerably less interest in amplifying the charge.