Monday, July 30, 2012

ACTION LINK added: Call on GE/US to suspend strikes -- especially for 'Olympic Truce'



Drone part manufacturer and 2012 sponsor GE must respect ‘Olympic truce’

Major Olympic sponsor GE is facing calls to honour the ‘Olympic Truce’ by acting to stop the use of its drone components in strikes carried out by the US in Pakistan and Yemen.

GE Intelligent Platforms, which operates in Towcester, UK, describes itself as “The UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] Company,” and highlights in promotional material how its products are used in military drones, including control systems for the Predator – which is commonly used by the CIA to carry out strikes on alleged ‘militants.’ The strikes have killed hundreds of civilians, including at least 175 children in Pakistan alone.

Reprieve is calling on GE, as a Worldwide Partner to the Olympics, to honour the ‘Olympic truce’ – an ancient tradition that hostilities should be suspended during the Games, which was recently revived and received the backing of a UN resolution.

GE could fulfil its obligations by bringing pressure to bear on the US Government to suspend its programme of illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, at the very least for the duration of the truce period.

Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith, has written to GE asking them to act. In the letter, he states:

“As proud sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, I urge your company to respect and uphold the Olympic Truce. You could achieve this goal by publicly urging the US government to require that the CIA halt the deadly and illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen at least throughout the duration of the Olympics. The people of Pakistan and Yemen would be grateful to you and so would their athletes present at the Olympics knowing that they can come and go to this extraordinary sports event without fear for their own lives or the lives of their families.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Donald Campbell in Reprieve’s press office: +44 (0) 207 427 1082.

2. A GEIP brochure confirms that their components are used in the control systems for Predator drones – the drones which the CIA uses to carry out strikes in Pakistan: “GE products helped to launch early UAV platforms, and we continue to develop products that will help advance UAS future operations […] Subsequent deployments have included our PPCM2 6U VME Dual PowerPC SBC in the Watchkeeper ground station [and] PPC4A 6U VME SBC in the Predator ground station.” – GEIP Unmanned Aerial Systems, p3.

GEIP refers to itself as “The UAV Company” on its website:

3. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism puts reported civilian deaths due to CIA drone strikes in Pakistan at 482-849, including 175 children. The numbers may well be higher, given the difficulty in identifying the victims in the inaccessible FATA region of NW Pakistan, and the lack of openness from the US Government concerning the programme.

4. According to the United Nations, “The Olympic Truce, or ekecheria, is based on an ancient Greek tradition, dating back to the ninth century B.C. All conflicts ceased during the period of the Truce, which began seven days prior to the opening of the Olympic Games and ended on the seventh day following the closing of the Games, so that athletes, artists, their relatives and pilgrims could travel safely to the Olympic Games and afterwards return to their countries […] Since 1993, support for the Olympic Truce has grown steadily within the General Assembly, reaching the unprecedented unanimous co-sponsorship of the latest resolution. During these turbulent times, Member States are demonstrating their confidence in the Olympic Truce Ideal.”

The Olympic village’s ‘Truce Wall’ was opened this week:

5. Clive Stafford Smith’s letter to GE is available on Reprieve’s website.

6. Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 15 prisoners in the US prison at Guantánamo Bay, assisting over 70 prisoners facing the death penalty around the world, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’

Follow Reprieve on twitter: @ReprieveUK; if you were forwarded this release, sign up to join our press mailing list.

PO Box 52742
London EC4P 4WS
Tel: 020 7353 4640
Fax: 020 7353 4641
Twitter: @ReprieveUK

Reprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900 Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Chair: Ken Macdonald QC; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Richard Rogers, Ruth Rogers, Jon Snow, Marina Warner, Vivienne Westwood


CN said...

Former Chief Prosecutor at Gitmo to Speak in LA 7:30 PM Tuesday at the UCLA Hammer Museum

See for July 30, 2012

CN said...

Another recent one on the drones here: (and notice all the comments -- over 380 or so....

And find more here at oneheartforpeace -- in the JULY archive;

CN said...

CN said...

ISI chief reaches US for talks with CIA Director August 1, 2012 Posted in: NEWS ALERTS beginning ... Zaheerul Islam arrived in the US capital on Tuesday on his first official trip to Washington DC since assuming office.

CN said...

There is some talk in the few news items available that the ISI chief will discuss "new options” which would be “explored” as an “alternative for drone attacks”.
Also see
(scroll down to find several items on this blogposts news: Pakistan's ISI Chief Visits The US For Talks
and this one unrelated yet about drones: U.S. Navy reveals deadly stealth plane mistaken for UFO on Washington D.C. highway -- Daily Mail ...

While I'm unfamiliar with this reporter -- here's an extensive article: My Drone War - By Pir Zubair Shah | Foreign Policy drones have changed everything for al Qaeda and its local allies in PIR ZUBAIR SHAH | MARCH/APRIL 2012

Pakistan, US to Resume Talks on Drone Strikes -

CN said...

ISI chief reaches US for talks with CIA Director August 1, 2012 Posted in: NEWS ALERTS beginning ... Zaheerul Islam arrived in the US capital on Tuesday on his first official trip to Washington DC since assuming office.

CN said...

Older yet startling story:

CN said...

lz check out my other blogsite:

CN said...

Clive Stafford Smith on Drones and Law in US/UK and World

CN said...

Air Force works to fill need for drone pilots The Virginian-Pilot - Aug 09 09:01pm

Air Force works hard to fill up pressing need for drone pilots Casa Grande Dispatch

U.S. drone strikes in Yemen defended Los Angeles Times - Aug 08 08:24pm

Friday, Aug. 10, 2012 | 2 a.m. - They can fly, swim​drones-rocketing-- Cached
Drones rocketing into new uses, raising questions of privacy ...