Desmond Tutu to Barack Obama: You Undermine Your Humanity

To the Editor:

I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the suggestion in “A Court to Vet Kill Lists” (news analysis, front page, Feb. 9) that possible judicial review of President Obama’s decisions to approve the targeted killing of suspected terrorists might be limited to the killings of American citizens.

Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.

I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.

Aboard MV Explorer, near Hong Kong Feb. 11, 2013

The writer, winner of the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town.

In NYT letters 2/13/12

Italian Military Intelligence Chief Convicted in CIA Rendition Crime

Italy Jails Ex-Officials for Rendition
Last Updated: Feb. 12, 8:04 PST
ROME — Italy’s former military intelligence chief was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for complicity in the C.I.A.’s abduction of an Egyptian Muslim cleric under a program begun after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The appeals court, in Milan, sentenced the former chief, Niccolò Pollari, to 10 years and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years for their role in the kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, from the streets of Milan in 2003. Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.

NY Times

23 American, all but one CIA, were tried in absentia and found guilty in 2009

Now if they’d just indict Cheney et al

27 More Names …




Good for the New York Times: Front Page, above the fold.

27 more names added  to the 1,014, 216 since 1970… and we will be lectured by the NRA as always about defending our freedoms…

As Bill Moyers said, after the Tucscon, Arizona shootings earlier this year, “The arsenal of democracy has turned into an arsenal of death..

Numbers at Firearm and Injury Center, Penn State