U.S. is Open to UN Probe of Drone Strikes

November 13, 2012  

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations announced Monday that the White House has not ruled out cooperating with a pending U.N. probe into the Obama administration’s use of drone strikes, The Hill reported.

“Well, we have questions about the appropriateness of that approach,” Ambassador Susan Rice told reporters. “But we will look at it on its merits, and as we do with all the work of the rapporteurs, we’ll judge their work on the substance of their products.”

Rice’s comments came after the U.S. won a second three-year term on the U.N. Human Rights Council on Monday, beating out Greece and Sweden.

Two U.N. experts announced last month that a panel would likely investigate civilian deaths caused by the drone strikes in Pakistan and other countries where they have been carried out. 

The investigation is being led by the U.N.’s special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights, Ben Emmerson of Great Britain, and Christof Heyns of South Africa, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, according to The Hill.

President Obama’s counterterrorism strategy of increased drone strikes has been coming under increased scrutiny both in the United States and abroad, with critics claiming they kill far more civilians than commonly acknowledged and haven’t made America any safer.

The administration, however, has defended the use of drones as an effective military strategy and has recently expanded the strikes to northern Yemen in October, successfully targeting and killing three members of al Qaeda.

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