Mary O Connel on the ‘rights v. security’ myth

Professor Mary O’ Connell talked about extrajudicial killings before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties here.

The only place where it is lawful today for the United States to intentionally target and kill persons is in Afghanistan. The only persons who may plausibly be held without trial until the end of hostilities are detainees in Afghanistan. With respect to individuals outside Afghanistan of concern to the United States, the U.S. must treat them as criminal suspects, just as it is treating Julian Assange and just as it is treating a number of persons within our own borders.

To do otherwise, weakens American security by fueling anger and hatred in response to our law violations. We also fuel anger by extending rights to people in the U.S. and in Europe that we do not extend in poorer regions. Law violations and disparate treatment weakens America’s ability to lead in strengthening the rule of law in the world. Fundamentally, it will be respect for law and rejection of violence that will give Americans the greatest security

Read also O’Connel’s article on the ‘choice of law against terrorism’ here.


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