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US drone strikes being used as alternative to Guantánamo, lawyer says

Dan Roberts
London Guardian [1]
May 2, 2013

The lawyer who first drew up White House policy on lethal drone strikes has accused the Obama administration of overusing them because of its reluctance to capture prisoners that would otherwise have to be sent to Guantánamo Bay.

John Bellinger, who was responsible for drafting the legal framework for targeted drone killings while working for George W Bush after 9/11, said he believed their use had increased since because President Obama was unwilling to deal with the consequences of jailing suspected al-Qaida members.

“This government has decided that instead of detaining members of al-Qaida [at Guantánamo] they are going to kill them,” he told a conference at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Obama this week pledged to renew efforts to shut down the jail but has previously struggled to overcome congressional opposition, in part due to US disagreements over how to handle suspected terrorists and insurgents captured abroad.

Full article here [1]