MIT professor Noam Chomsky on Monday decried the use of drones against suspected terrorists, saying that it was murder and violated due process.
“If Bush, the Bush Administration, didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers,” he said on Democracy Now. “If the Obama Administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them, so you don’t have to have torture chambers all over.”
In late April, White House counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan gave a detailed justification and description of U.S. drone strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda militants. The Obama Administration had been notably silent on using drones to target suspected terrorists until then.
“You know, this American cleric in Yemen who was killed by drones,” Chomsky said in reference to Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader in al Qaeda’s outpost in Yemen. “He was killed. The guy next to him was killed. Shortly after, his son was killed. Now, there was a little talk about the fact that he was an American citizen: you shouldn’t just murder American citizens.”
“But, you know, the New York Times headline, for example, when he was killed, said something like ‘West celebrates death of radical cleric,’” he continued. “First of all, it wasn’t death, it was murder. And the West celebrates the murder of a suspect. He’s a suspect, after all. There was something done almost 800 years ago called the Magna Carta, which is the foundation of Anglo-American law, that says that no one shall be subjected to a violation of rights without due process of law and a fair and speedy trial. It doesn’t say, if you think somebody’s a suspect, you should kill them.”
Watch video, courtesy of Democracy Now, below: