America

From Desmond Tutu, A Scathing Rebuke Of U.S. Drone Program

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. i i

Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Hidden in the "letters to the editor" section of The New York Times, this morning is a scathing rebuke of the United States' targeted killing program.

It's a short note by Cape Town's Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in response to a Times piece that talked about the idea of having a secret court that would have to OK the assassination of American citizens abroad.

Tutu writes:

"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."

The Obama administration's targeted killing program has been under scrutiny recently. In fact, we've had two earlier headlines on the subject today:

— Scott told us that Obama pledged "transparency on drone strikes."

— And Carrie Johnson told us that the Senate intelligence committee reviews drone attacks after they happen.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.