The United Nations announced this morning the official launch of an investigation into targeted killings by the United States and other governments. The inquiry will be led by Ben Emmerson, the U.N. special rapporteur on counterterrorism and human rights. The results of the investigation, to be run from Geneva, will be reported to the U.N. General Assembly in the fall.
"We welcome this investigation in the hopes that global pressure will bring the U.S. back into line with international law requirements that strictly limit the use of lethal force," said Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Security Project. "Virtually no other country agrees with the U.S.'s claimed authority to secretly declare people enemies of the state and kill them and civilian bystanders far from any recognized battlefield. To date, there has been an abysmal lack of transparency and no accountability for the U.S. government's ever-expanding targeted killing program."