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Tags: Drone | Attacks | Pakistan | Legal

Are Drone Attacks in Pakistan Legal?

Thursday, 14 June 2012 03:50 PM EDT

I ask the question again. What gives us the right to bomb (by drone) countries that are sovereign and with whom we are not at war?

The New York Times reported on June 8, “Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta brushed aside concerns on Wednesday that drone strikes against leaders of al-Qaida in Pakistan violate that country’s sovereignty. ‘We have made clear to the Pakistanis that the United States of America is going to defend ourselves against those who attack us,’ Mr. Panetta said. ‘This is not just about protecting the United States. It’s also about protecting Pakistan. And we have made it very clear that we are going to continue to defend ourselves.’”

And defend them, whether they like it or not.

When I raised my question on an earlier occasion, a reader wrote me that our right to do so fell under the doctrine of “hot pursuit.” I don’t think so. I believe “hot pursuit” means that you pick up the trail of the terrorist in Afghanistan and follow him into Pakistan. That is not what is happening here. Here, the trail starts in Pakistan.

I am delighted that our president and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta are willing to protect us no matter what. Perhaps it’s a question not to be raised, but just support their continuing to protect us. I’ll go along with that.

Pakistan is not our friend. Remember, Osama bin Laden lived for years in Pakistan next to one of the latter’s largest military posts before he was killed by Navy SEALs.

Edward Koch was the 105th mayor of New York City for three terms, from 1978 to 1989. He previously served for nine years as a congressman. Read more reports from Ed Koch — Click Here Now.

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Thursday, 14 June 2012 03:50 PM
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