Cameron seems keen to join the ranks of British war criminals

Reyaad Khan (L) and Ruhul Amin (R), who were killed in a drone strike by the RAF in August.(YouTube)

Reyaad Khan (L) and Ruhul Amin (R), who were killed in a drone strike by the RAF in August.(YouTube)

Someone should tell David Cameron that getting his retaliation in first is not an act that is recognised by the law; people need to commit crimes before being punished for them, and even then the punishment must be appropriate according to the law.

It seems strange to be discussing the Cameron-supported killing of Reyaad Khan, a Cardiff man alleged to be a member of Islamic State, so soon after This Blog expressed concern over the legality of the killing of Osama Bin Laden by US troops, supported by President Obama – but that is how recent events have transpired.

Cameron has told us that Khan was planning terror attacks on the UK, so the Conservative Government ordered his death in a drone strike on August 22.

How do we know this man was planning terror attacks on the UK? Where is the evidence? Is it in another ‘dodgy dossier’, similar to that in which, according to Tony Blair, he had evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

Had this man participated in previous terror attacks? If so, when? Where is the proof that shows him taking part?

Cameron said the UK had taken action in “self-defence”, invoking the right to do so under Article 51 of the UN charter – but Article 51 specifically states that an “armed attack” must take place against a UN member state before any such response.

Apparently, under the ‘Caroline principle’, a pre-emptive strike is permissible if the “necessity of self-defence was instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment of deliberation”. We have no evidence to show that this was the case.

“It’s extremely alarming that the UK has apparently been conducting summary executions from the air,” Kate Allen, Amnesty International’s UK director told International Business Times. “In following the United States down a lawless road of remote-controlled summary killings from the sky, the RAF has crossed a line.”

On the information we have, she’s right. We’ve seen no evidence of any prior attacks, nor have we seen evidence of the need to prevent future attacks.

All we have seen is an act of murder against a UK citizen by his own government.

Even more worrying is the claim that defence secretary Michael Fallon has a “kill list” of alleged terrorists operating in the Middle East. He is on record as having said the Conservatives “wouldn’t hesitate to do it again”.

Until we see the evidence of terrorist activity, the British public should not see the death of Reyaad Khan as anything other than a war crime.

The onus on David Cameron, Michael Fallon and their co-conspirators is to deliver this evidence at once – or deliver themselves to The Hague for trial.

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  1. Michael Broadhurst September 9, 2015 at 12:35 am - Reply

    they wont worry about these deaths,they haven’t worried about all the benefit related
    murders have they ?
    murdering tory scum !!

  2. Daniel Margrain September 9, 2015 at 2:19 am - Reply

    Of course Cameron was complicit in the illegal regime change in Libya so his war criminal credentials have been added to with these latest atrocities. What is disconcerting from a media perspective, is that the BBCs Joshua Rozenberg who is a lawyer claimed the attacks were legal. He is married to the ultra Zionist Melanie Phillips and the attacks are a portent of what’s to come in terms of the impending regime change in Syria from which the Zionist fanatics in Washington, Whitehall and the Knesset are set to enrich themselves from. If you’ve got time I recommend that you do some research into Genie Energy.

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

      I’m not convinced that Zionists are behind everything, you know.

      • Daniel Margrain September 9, 2015 at 2:25 pm - Reply

        Neither am I and I didn’t claim otherwise. You’d be advised to read Craig Murray’s blog with regards to Genie Energy in order to grasp what I’m ACTUALLY arguing.

        • Mike Sivier September 13, 2015 at 1:07 pm - Reply

          You would be well advised not to rely on Craig Murray for anything.

      • Daniel Margrain September 9, 2015 at 5:31 pm - Reply

        Neither am I convinced Zionists are behind everything and I never claimed otherwise. Your attempt at pigeon-holing me as some kind of conspiracy theorist is a fail on your part and, frankly, is beneath you. Now perhaps you would actually care to engage in the issue at hand. This piece, by former UK Ambassador Craig Murray may be of assistance to you to that end:

        • Mike Sivier September 13, 2015 at 1:06 pm - Reply

          I think pigeon-holing people as Zionists is a mistake – unless you can quote sources that prove the allegiance. You didn’t. I didn’t say you were any kind of conspiracy theorist, so that’s a fail on your part that, frankly, is beneath you (see? Two can play that silly game). As for Craig Murray, I find his articles and opinions extremely suspect.

    • casalealex September 9, 2015 at 2:22 pm - Reply

      Internationally recognized as Syrian territory, the Golan Heights has been occupied and administered by Israel since 1967.

      Construction of Israeli settlements began in the remainder of the territory held by Israel, which was under military administration until Israel passed the Golan Heights Law extending Israeli law and administration throughout the territory in 1981

      Israel demolished over one hundred Syrian villages and farms in the Golan Heights. After the demolitions, the lands were given to Israeli settlers.

      Israel granted a U.S. company the first license to explore for oil and gas in the occupied Golan Heights’

      A local subsidiary of the New York-listed company Genie Energy — which is advised by former vice president Dick Cheney and whose shareholders include Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — now have exclusive rights to a 153-square mile radius in the southern part of the Golan Heights.

      Israel’s administration of the area — which is not recognized by international law — has been mostly peaceful until the Syrian civil war broke out 23 months ago.

      • mohandeer September 10, 2015 at 12:40 pm - Reply

        Wasn’t the reason for the acquisition because the US and Israel thought there were massive deposits of oil and gas but it turned out the geological surveys showed the opposite?

      • Neilth September 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm - Reply

        153 square mile radius wtf? Which is it 153 square miles approx 10×15 miles or 153 mile radius ie 2×3.14×153 approx 1000 sq miles?

  3. Thomas September 9, 2015 at 5:12 am - Reply

    If he had got the death penalty after a fair trial, with a proper defence lawyer and unbiased jury, for a murder he did, he would deserve it. But just blowing him up without a trial is wrong.

  4. Michelle September 9, 2015 at 6:08 am - Reply

    This terrible story has had numerous permutations, I note the Express frenzy even tied them into a plot to kill the Queen (just as the longest serving Monarch story is being promoted).

    How can we be sure of who they really were and aren’t drones murdering innocent bystanders every day they fly?

  5. Andy Bulman September 9, 2015 at 7:12 am - Reply

    a clear and present danger you say? going by those rules it should be possible to book an air strike for IDS as its been made perfectly clear he is deadly to anyone who is sick or disabled.

  6. Tony Dean September 9, 2015 at 7:32 am - Reply

    I will get some flack for this, but sorry folks, it is a case of do it to them before they do it to us.
    To put someone on the “target of opportunity” list is not something that is done lightly, and politicians have next to no input into it.
    A sniper or someone on the ground with a laser designator can’t hang about waiting for a decision to pull the trigger or call in an airstrike.
    We can’t have what are highly trained terrorists or skilled bomb makers sneaking back into Britain.

  7. casalealex September 9, 2015 at 7:50 am - Reply

    If it is possible for an individual to be pinpointed in a war zone and singularly killed from the air by a drone, then how come, as so often, is there such massive ‘collateral damage’ (civilians), caused in ‘strategic attacks’ on targets which are much larger than one person?
    This is probably one of the most scariest reports I have ever seen. It puts me in mind of the video ‘game’ Grand Theft Auto. People have been desensitized, and if this “act of self defence” is not fully explained to our satisfaction, we should be scared, very scared.

  8. Sam Wallander September 9, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

    He is already a War Criminal Mike… Libya Mali [and Syria]

  9. Neilth September 9, 2015 at 8:28 am - Reply

    The”reasoning” of Cameron et al is alarmingly resonant of what we hear from Israel. There they regularly attack “identified targets” for the purposes of self defence.
    Mossad, certainly the most effective secret services in the world commit many assassinations yearly.
    There is often the inevitable collateral damage – dead civilians.
    The UK and US governments refuse to criticize these illegal attacks.
    I believe that both governments have access to Mossad intelligence and that Israel uses that information to spin the responses of the US and UK security organisations.
    It won’t shock me to discover that the intelligence that led to this recent”defensive” strike had it’s origin in Israel.
    I do recognize that I sound like a conspiracy theorist on this but….

  10. amnesiaclinic September 9, 2015 at 8:33 am - Reply

    I think cameron has a lot of deaths from Libya already on his slate. He is joining the club – obama has his kill list drawn up on a Tuesday every week and Hollande is doing the same.
    They make their own rules but you are absolutely right, we should see bush, cheney, kissinger, blair and cameron at the Hague now. Oh, and don’t forget netanyahu.

  11. Greg September 9, 2015 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Bleeding heart liberals and their PC views. They’re complaining that the men killed hadn’t had chance to prove they were terrorist by attacking first? Good! That’s innocent lives saved by the uk government with their decision.

    These men chose to go join the ISIS ranks knowing they were going to war with the west. They’re not civilians like most claim them to be, come on… they’re posing with assault rifles for f**ks sake – it would have only been a matter of time before they killed people. Sod political correctness in times like these!

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 9:06 am - Reply

      That’s innocent lives killed by the UK government. Where’s your proof that they were about to attack anybody here?
      This is not about political correctness and I wonder about the state of mind that allows you to suggest such a thing. It’s about the law.

  12. John Gaines September 9, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

    We are well aware that Cameroon the stupid is modelling his reign on Mad Mags Thatcher even down to the insanity that they were both the very Models of a Modern Major General. Do not accept for one moment that he intends to stand down, that was just to appease the waiting/wanting hopefuls, poor fools. If he can gain popularity through ‘doing a Falklands (which a failing and desperate Thatcher had to do) this limpit will stick and stick and stick to the Premiership, absolutely no doubt about it.
    A/Gan and Libya did not evolve the way he needed (we got stuffed) so now it is the Drone warrior, except that we actually have No Drones,
    I repeat, we do not have any Drones.
    By Chris Cole on 04/06/2015 • ( 1
    Mystery over UK’s armed drones – MoD says some in storage in UK while Defence Secretary says all 10 are “out on service”

    Analysis: Where are British Reaper drones heading after Afghanistan?

    By Chris Cole on 07/05/2014 • ( 1 )

    Drone advocates seduce us with the notion that we can achieve control over the chaos of war through technology. However, as Professor Maja Zehfuss of Manchester University points out “Faith in precision bombing… requires an under-examination of the actual practicalities of precision bombing and the ways in which ‘precision’ has been defined.” The reality is that there is no such thing as a guaranteed accurate:

    And lastly;

    While Israeli and US companies dominate the drone export market (and are also involved in lobbying efforts to ‘relax’ the international controls on their export), drones are increasingly been seen by the UK arms industry as a growth area and already a number of smaller niche companies have been swallowed up by the big guns.

    We closed down the Israeli manufacturers in UK last year…so, the big question is where did these claimed Drones come from, the DOD most certainly did not order them.

    See for yourselves:

  13. daijohn September 9, 2015 at 9:33 am - Reply

    I wonder where we are going with this – is it ok to undertake these assassinations in other countries only or will we soon see drones patrolling the sky over the UK looking for people to take out?

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 10:26 am - Reply

      Should I be worried?

      • Tony Dean September 9, 2015 at 11:07 am - Reply

        Mike put it this way if you are ever found having committed “suicide” by hanging, dressed in women’s clothing and surrounded by kiddie porn, we will all know you really have rattled the Tory cage.
        (I am not joking by the way there are several precedents.)
        As a fellow member of the “vexatious and sinister minority” I risk a similar fate.

        • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 12:29 pm - Reply

          Yes indeed – and the appropriate question would be to ask where THEY obtained the kiddie porn!

      • daijohn September 9, 2015 at 11:10 am - Reply

        Possibly – especially in the wilds of mid-Wales!

  14. sasson1 September 9, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    Note how the news whipped up support for the refugees in the last 2 weeks, then we have this announcement.

    This smacks of government involvement in directing the media, galvanising support from the general public and M.P.s, for action that was NOT supported by parliament in the first place, let alone the establishment of ‘kill lists’ and drone strikes to facilitate the killings.

    I’m going to go a bit off topic here now Mike, so I’ll link back to your article on and have my say on there, but it’s concerning what I feel is the obfuscation of the DWP deaths.

  15. hilary772013 September 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm - Reply

    I am in two minds about this Mike.

    Firstly they decided to go and join ISIS knowing full well what they were joining and what they would be asked to do i.e KILL. The westerners being beheaded is still fresh in my mind, I personally believe we are in a war & in my eyes them joining ISIS they became soldiers.

    Secondly they were pictured holding guns god knows what they intended to do with them but it wasn’t to go and play paintball that’s for sure. Do we wait for them to come back or contact someone still in this country to inflict another 7/7 then we would be saying the secret service knew about them why wasn’t something done before hand.

    In my eyes they have turned their back on our country & only intend harm to our country & countrymen.

    You know my feelings towards the Tories I HATE THEM but in my personal opinion I feel they have done the right thing by attacking them before they attack us, it would have been better if they could have been brought to trial but what devastation could they have perpetrated before that happened & how would we go about getting hold of them to put them on trial.


    No one forced them to go and join Isis, they did so on their own free will.

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

      But in the eyes of the law, the Conservative Government acted illegally.
      They should at least have been able to demonstrate that evidence existed to implicate these UK citizens in acts of terror against their own country. Have you seen any? I haven’t.

  16. che September 9, 2015 at 12:36 pm - Reply

    once anyone joins ISIS they deserve what they get, British or not

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 5:57 pm - Reply

      Really? But wouldn’t one of them say something like, “Once anyone joins the British Army they deserve what they get”? Falling to their level is not a sign of moral superiority. We have laws for a reason.

  17. Bookworm September 9, 2015 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    So anyone deemed an enemy of the state can now be murdered by the govt. by remote control secretly found guilty without any proof.
    Basically anyone who opposes them is in danger then.
    What exactly were we meant to be fighting for?

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

      At the moment I’m fighting to ensure I don’t have a drone strike targeted at Mid Wales.

  18. hilary772013 September 9, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Is it not guilty by association, it was Isis that murdered by beheading UK Citizens, they may not have been there when it happened, I don’t know but they joined ISIS and are therefore guilty by association & they haven’t gone there for a holiday & I honestly feel they are right to withhold sensitive information (evidence) if it could mean a security breach.

    All I am saying Mike is we don’t know, I don’t know what has lead to this action & why wait until now, why did they not act sooner when UK et al Citizens were being beheaded, so in my mind they must have had a reason to act now but it would be foolish to release sources if it would be detrimental to the security of the UK. Also anyone that can take a charity humane worker & behead him & distribute the video does not deserve my sympathy even if their involvement is by association.

    They know full well what they are doing & what they are going to be asked to do no one was holding a gun to their heads when they joined up, they have gone there to inflict atrocities, that is what the pull is, so sorry Mike no sympathy here.

    I think this is different to the Iraq war, they were not recruiting from this country to fight against the west that war was all about oil and was nothing to do with us, of that I totally agree we should never have been involved in it & Blair should be brought to book over it.

    • hilary772013 September 9, 2015 at 2:06 pm - Reply

      Also a young lad in Blackburn was arrested for planning a terrorist attack in Australia on the WW1 Memorial Day with another person, it is frightening the times we are living in.

      • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 5:55 pm - Reply

        Maybe, but at least he was arrested. The authorities will be able to interrogate him and, hopefully, get information on further attacks and the people likely to be involved.

    • Mike Sivier September 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      Guilt by association is not recognised in law, in the manner you suggest. It’s a false argument: Isis has been beheading UK citizens; you are a member of Isis; therefore you must have beheaded UK citizens. No – you need proof that it has taken place. The information should be made public. Any sensitive security issues may be redacted. Your arguments have no weight in law. If they are also David Cameron’s arguments, then he really should be reporting to The Hague for trial.

  19. gary September 9, 2015 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    i’m with you on what you say Mike, i think its dreadful that cameron is using death sentences for anyone he deems wrong, this includes the sanctions regime. including the threat he made about not having to break the law to have them come after you. he is the main terrorist and he is making a mockery of every area he delves into

  20. Neilth September 9, 2015 at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Daesh are a despicable organisation indiscriminately slaughtering anyone who does not adhere to their narrow and twisted misinterpretation of The Koran. They enslave young women and girls for sexual purposes and murder them when they get fed up with them. They try to re-write history to fit their ridiculous world view and destroy cultural treasures, those that they can’t sell off to raise cash for weapons or just to grow their own corrupt wealth. They, like Boko Haram in sub-Saharan Africa, and many other maniac organisations worldwide, need to be stopped in order to protect the general, law abiding citizens.
    However military intervention needs to be legal and internationally co-operative, preferably with the full involvement of the Middle East nations, in whose immediate sphere of concern this particularly vicious cancer is growing.
    Before WW2 there were opportunities to intervene to stop the Nazis (the Anschluss or Sudetenland) when military action took place across international borders or even the Luftwaffe bombing of government forces in the Spanish Civil War which were illegal in modern day law. We missed our opportunities then; we should not miss them now. But we must only act legally and with the full support and involvement of the UN.
    I don’t say this lightly as I regard myself as a pacifist. But pacifism does not mean standing by while evil destroys the innocents.

    • Michelle September 10, 2015 at 12:04 pm - Reply

      Before WW2 wouldn’t it have been sensible if the Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman had worked with diplomacy? After all, he was a close confidant of the Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht (1923-1930) who was also the minister responsible for German rearmament programs from 1933. Schacht also lent his name in business and banking circles to Hitler’s forceful campaign that took Germany!

      Would Norman have had some influence? Well, he thought he had some clout… his motto was “never explain, never excuse”, and he wasn’t just a very long serving B of E Governor, he also played a critical role in rebuilding the international monetary system (watching debt after WW1 cripple and rile the Germans), creating the Bank of International Settlements and he was active in the League of Nations as well as being close to the key players in the USA’s banking system.

      However, Norman operated with Churchill (the ‘war man’) and was also a confidant of Sir Herbert Lawrence who just happened to be a director and chairman of a swathe of banks, including the banks for the services and the UK’s largest arms company!

      Today, shouldn’t we be looking to stop the flow of cash and armaments to Daesh via those gulf states who are supplying the rebels, some of them strangely described as “moderate” rather than bombing them and causing more mayhem?

      Do you know how much we have sold in armaments to Saudi Arabia recently (also a country of fanatical be-headers) with an Al Saud family who have been backed by zealous Wahhabi’s that have dominated central Arabia since the mid eighteenth century? Where does this evil you speak of begin?

      • Neilth September 10, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

        Good points but not contrary to my comments. Evil has many faces and there are many degrees of cruelty. Daesh and one or two other terrorist forces that are militarily organised, well armed and merciless represent one of the one extreme those who hide behind respectability while financing these organizations represent another.
        Innocent people are dying minute to minute and need protection.

      • Michelle September 11, 2015 at 11:06 am - Reply

        Neilth, yes, people need protection but what gives us the right to selectively define who and who will not be protected with more military action in the Middle East quagmire, when our very own government with corporate trade has knowingly sold death dealing arms to the very nations who have over recent years been fuelling the current crisis?

        The only people who win here are those who deal in death and those who are trying to destabilise the area for their own geopolitical gains (of which there are many theories!) The newspapers are mostly controlled by those same corporate interests and are likely being used to soften up the publics resolve on non-intervention in Syria.

  21. mrmarcpc September 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    Cameron like all of the rest of his party are murderers and should all be tried as such and then either have their arses thrown in jail or executed, the latter suit me just fine!

    • Neilth September 11, 2015 at 1:54 pm - Reply

      Michelle yes and once again you’re right. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Mistakes, crimes, cynical capitalistic profiteering from others misery. All these and others are responsible for contributing to the tragedy we are seeing now. But I say again – innocent people – particularly women and children, are having their lives destroyed by Daesh and the Assad regime. We have heard again today about the use of poison gas by both sides. I imagine, as they’re choking they are contemplating the evils of capitalism rather than wondering why no one is coming to their immediate aid.

      We need to save as many noncombatant lives as possible and arguing about the history of the Middle East won’t get that done. We do need to address the responsibilities of countries such as Saudi, Qatar etc who bear considerable guilt in their involvement and who have both the wealth and territory to offer more practical support. The majority of the victims seem to be Shia so Sunni Saudi are being less than forthcoming.

      The U.S. Should be, but aren’t putting huge pressure on their friends and allies in the Saudi Kingdom to get their fingers out of their fundaments and do something practical.

      Meanwhile people are dying by the minute.

      • Michelle September 13, 2015 at 11:46 am - Reply

        Hi Neilth, hindsight should be a wonderful thing by which we learn and change behaviour accordingly, but we do not.

        Hindsight straight from the horses mouth… well, Hilary Clinton’s:

        In fact there is so much hindsight Dick Cheny predicted how bad it would be if they invaded Iraq…

        but they did invade anyway some years later.

        You are right the US aren’t putting pressure on the allies including Saudi, it appears that UK isn’t either, we like to send out a Royal to dance for them – remember last year Prince Charles danced the sword dance for the Saudi sheik’s and the very next day the big BAE deal was clinched with them!

        In fact the UK has a lot of business ‘interests’ with Saudi:

        War is just that, a BUSINESS, that needs stirring up cyclically, with people spouting for it and here’s the USA business dealings (they call it a budget) for arms in Iraq in 2015:

        $1,618,000,000 reference:

        So would you put on you soldier’s outfit with inadequate protection to kill / slaughter some rebels for our profiteering war mongering corporates? How would you discern which were the moderate rebels? Would you be able to prevent any collateral damage while you are busy being paid to murder? And upon your return would you be able to stay sane? UK soldier and veteran suicides ‘outstrip Afghan deaths’:

        Though even with the dear BBC, we shouldn’t always believe all we hear, after all their Vice Chair is head of BAE.

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