Bob Fernandez, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Sunday, January 25, 2015, 3:01 AM
A Notre Dame University law professor says the legal and moral issues related to the U.S. government’s use of unmanned drones to kill individuals in war zones could be more difficult than similar issues on torture.
“There is a seductive quality of killing with drones” because they are high-tech and sleek, said Mary Ellen O’Connell.
She referred to targeted deaths by drones as “extrajudicial” killings.
“International law does not support what the United States and other countries are doing with drones,” she said.
Marjorie Cohn, professor at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, quoted an expert who called drones “a deadly surveillance platform.” She cited a study that she said indicated drone attacks kill civilians at a significantly higher rate than do attacks by fighter jets.
“We don’t see the pictures of children blown up by drones,” said Cohn, who edited the book Drones and Targeted Killing.
Cohn and O’Connell spoke Saturday at the first Interfaith Conference on Drone Warfare at the Princeton Theological Seminary, which began Friday evening with 150 participants from about two dozen states and Finland. It was scheduled to wrap up on Sunday.