Contemporary Issues in Law - Volume 12 - Issue 4
LAW, EHTICS AND COUNTER TERRORISM: PART 2
BETWEEN COVERT AND OVERT ACTION: THE OBAMA ADMINSITRATION'S USE OF ARMED DRONES AS A TOOL OF COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICY
Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations University of Leicester
This article analyses the principal areas of contention surrounding the use of armed drones by the Obama administration as an element of post-9/11 US counterterrorism policy. It explains the depth of controversy generated by the operation of armed drones by reference to the convergence of two processes; the emergence of armed drones as a new kind of 'action' that is neither fully covert nor overt, and the development of international law as a means of promoting human rights. The former has necessitated a public defence that is problematic in the context of the latter. The article draws on Law, Politics and Intelligence Studies approaches to consider the legal bases presented by the Obama administration and the legal, political and ethical issues these raise. It goes on to argue that the extent to which the Obama administration has gone in publicly articulating a legal basis for armed drone strikes should be seen as an indication that they will remain a core option in contexts that the US defines in counter-terrorism terms, enabling the US to police terror preventively and without geographical restriction.
BANKS IN DEFENCE OF THE HOMELAND: NEXUS OF ETHICS, LEGALITY AND SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY REPORTING IN THE UNITED STATES
Dr. Nicholas Ryder and Dr. Umut Turksen
School of Law, University of the West of England.
This article considers the impact of the legislative and policy responses by the United States of America towards terrorist financing. Firstly, the article provides an overview of the mechanisms utilised by terrorist organisations to fund their operations and the subsequent legislative reactions. Secondly, a critical analysis of the two key parts of the US CTF policy - the ability to freeze or confiscate known or suspected terrorist assets and the imposition of onerous reporting requirements on financial and credit institutions, known as the SAR regime is provided. Thirdly, the article highlights the banks' use of CFT provisions that raise the spectre of racial profiling, and critiques the fairness and success of such measures imposed on particular group of persons. It is argued that these practices, such as SARs, are a shift to a pre-emptive criminal justice framework which raises serious questions as to their ethics and legality. The objective is not to provide a comprehensive analysis of the laws and policies, but to emphasise areas that have not yet been subject to sufficient scrutiny from the perspective of success and equality in the application of the US CFT regime.
MAKING THINGS WORSE? INTERROGATIONAL TORTURE AS COUNTER-TERRISIOM STRATEGY
Philip N.S. Rumney
Professor of Criminal Justice, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England
This article focuses on the use of interrogational torture as a counter-terrorism strategy and the possibility that its use may serve to bolster terrorist groups rather than undermine them. It will examine two case studies involving the use of illegal interrogation methods in Northern Ireland against suspected members of the IRA and the use of interrogational torture against suspected jihadist terrorists. These case studies suggest that the use of torture, along with other contributory factors, may boost support for terrorist groups, fuel anger and a desire for revenge amongst recruits to the terrorist cause. Such unintended consequences emphasise the need for policy-makers and scholars to consider a wide body of empirical evidence when advocating for the introduction of counter-terrorism measures which are subject to challenge on legal, moral and ethical grounds. This empirical evidence also poses a challenge to the critics of interrogational torture who sometimes give the impression that terrorist acts can be explained by the use of interrogational torture alone, without considering other underlying reasons for why people involve themselves in terrorism.