by Vladimir Gladkov
Moscow, Russia (Voice of Russia) Jun 22, 2012
Recently, US human rights organization called "American Civil Liberties Union" filed in a suit against President Obama's administration. This organization demands that the president's administration should no more keep secret some details of its anti-terrorist operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mainly, the human rights activists are worried about using drones in these operations.
The court has accepted their suit and started an investigation. This is not the first time that this issue becomes an apple of discord between the US authorities and human rights activists.
On the one hand, using drones has already allowed the US to deliver decisive strikes on the positions of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan. On the other, it is no secret that rather often, peaceful civilians are killed in these operations as well.
However, the US authorities prefer to keep details concerning these operations secret, and it is not always clear who, in fact, were killed in an operation - militants or peaceful people.
The American Civil Liberation Union started its fight against using drones in anti-terrorist operations back in 2010. Referring to a law called "Freedom of Information Act", it demanded that the US authorities should publish documents which would tell more about under which principles the US commandment decides that these particular people are militants and have to be killed.
At present, President Obama and his administration are facing an uneasy choice of either to publish these documents or explain to the public why they are kept secret.
However, the US authorities have chosen to occupy a rather strange position. Lawyers who represent the interests of the US government in this case keep on saying that the very fact that the US uses drones in Afghanistan and Pakistan is dubious, although several high-ranking US officials, including Prosecutor General Eric Holder and President Obama himself, have recently acknowledged this fact several times.
It looks like the US government has again chosen to keep to the favorite tactics of the CIA - to be leaded by the so-called Glomar Doctrine.
The term "Glomar Doctrine" appeared after an incident in the early 1970s, when the CIA investigated the circumstances of the wreck of a Soviet submarine. For this investigation, they used a vessel called Hughes Glomar Explore - hence the name "Glomar Doctrine".
An article about these investigations was published in the Los Angeles Times newspaper. The readers wanted to know more details, but the government replied that it could not answer their questions, because this would demand revealing some secret information.
True, initially, using drones was really an effective measure of fighting against terrorists. But some circumstances have changed since then - and, at present, it has become ineffective.
The US air operations with the using of drones are, in fact, the reason why Pakistan is now one step from breaking its relations with the US. After several Pakistani servicemen were killed as a result of an US air attack, Pakistan blocked the road via which the US used to deliver cargos to and from Afghanistan. Now, the US has to look for some roundabout way to deliver them.
However, after an unsuccessful attempt of improving the relations with Pakistan, the US resumed the risky policy of using drones in Pakistani regions which border with Afghanistan.
But the scandal concerning drones is not the only evidence that President Obama does not want to - or, probably, cannot, for this or that reason, - fulfill the promises of his first pre-election campaign.
As you may remember, at that time, Mr. Obama promised that if he becomes president, he would free the country from the "heritage" of the bellicose George W. Bush. Mr. Obama promised that he would try to stop all the wars which Mr. Bush had started, and close the notorious prisons for POWs.
However, Mr. Obama's current presidential term is already close to its end, but the prisons have not been closed yet, and US drones still "mistakenly" kill Pakistani servicemen and civilians instead of terrorists.
We should dare to give some advice to Mr. Obama. It would be probably better for him to reveal the "top secret" information which the human rights activists are demanding from him. This can add some points to his popularity - something which he would surely appreciate on the eve of the coming presidential elections.
Source: Voice of Russia
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