Desmond M. Tutu response on drone controversies

Let­ter to the edi­tor orig­i­nally pub­lished in the New York Times on Feb­ru­ary 12, 2013

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.

DESMOND M. TUTU
Aboard MV Explorer, near Hong Kong Feb. 11, 2013

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

Image cour­tesy of Flikr.com
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