dailycaller.comNo military tactic has been more employed, and more controversial, in the “Global War on Terror” than the “air strike” — whether from drones, jets, or even from ships at sea.
Oftentimes these strikes go awry, killing innocents.
The deaths of civilians in those strikes has served as ammunition for human rights activists and journalists worldwide, plaguing policy planners from the likes of Leon Panetta, to the disgraced General David Petraeus.
And now, Whitehouse Press Secretary Jay Carney got his serving, from Amina Ismail, a journalist for McClatchy, who asked him straight up, “Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism?”
She framed her comments around the Boston Bombing — certainly a tender subject, but no less tender than the loss of life experienced by families in Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Jay Carney of course hemmed and hawed, easing his way out of the exchange as slyly as possible.
Part of his response was to say, “the President’s objective … is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda.”
Here’s the whole thing:
The definition of “terrorism” has been an elusive one for researchers to pin down for years. The general definition that some people tend to go by is “The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.”
But then, that would include any and all state-sanctioned wars (whether Congress and the U.N. OK them or not).
The official definitions are just as sticky though.
U.S. Code, Section 2656f(d) defines terrorism as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.”
That definition would certainly land Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA in hot water though — they are clandestine agents, arguably conducting acts of premeditated violence, often against folks who could easily be viewed as noncombatants.
The FBI’s definition is “the unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.”
Better with the use of the word “unlawful,” but still places the Whitehouse in a corner in which it would need to justify drone strikes in countries with whom the U.S. is not lawfully at war.
Which, in turn, places Jay Carney at the whim of a well-informed, gutsy journalist.
(h/t Rania Khalek)
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