The US bishops' conference has urged a public discussion on the use of unmanned targeted killings, also known as drones, and their moral implications, in letters to top government officials, reports the Catholic News Agency.
“Targeted killing should, by definition, be highly discriminatory,” wrote Bishop Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, in the May 17 letter.
“The Administration’s policy appears to extend the use of deadly force to alleged 'signature' attacks and reportedly classifies all males of a certain age as combatants,” he asked.
“Are these policies morally defensible? They seem to violate the law of war, international human rights law, and moral norms,” the bishop said.
Bishop Pates is the chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
The letters were sent to National Security Adviser Thomas Donilon and to leaders of the Committees on Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Relations, Homeland Security and Government Affairs, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform and the Select and Permanent Select Committees on Intelligence in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The bishop requested that these organizations reassess the use of drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, in carrying out targeted killings.
FULL STORY US bishops ask government to reassess drone policy (CNA)