Clive Stafford Smith

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pages: 188 words: 54,942

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin

airport security, autonomous vehicles, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Clive Stafford Smith, crowdsourcing, drone strike, friendly fire, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, megacity, nuremberg principles, performance metric, private military company, Ralph Nader, WikiLeaks

His father had left years ago, working as a driver for a sheikh in the United Arab Emirates and sending money home to his family whenever he could. His cousin Waheed was equally poor, his family relying on the boy’s monthly salary of $23 as a shop assistant to make stretched ends meet. Thanks to the fateful meeting in Islamabad days before, the death of these boys—unlike other drone victims never mentioned or mourned beyond the village—was reported in newspapers around the world. American lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, who had just met the boy in Islamabad, wrote a compelling New York Times Op-Ed.208 “My mistake had been to see the drone war in Waziristan in terms of abstract legal theory—as a blatantly illegal invasion of Pakistan’s sovereignty, akin to President Richard M. Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia in 1970,” Stafford wrote. “But now, the issue has suddenly become very real and personal. Tariq was a good kid, and courageous.

the judge inquired.276 The UK-based human rights law group Reprieve is considering bringing litigation against some European governments that have been complicit in the drone attacks on their nationals, including the governments of the UK, Germany, Belgium, France, and Spain. The laws in Europe make it easier than in the United States to sue in the courts. “We’re going to sue the government in Britain because the British have admitted that they provide intelligence for the drone attacks,” said Reprieve director Clive Stafford Smith. “I think we have every chance to find violations of Geneva Conventions and humanitarian law. Whether we win in court or not, though, it’s the kind of thing where the British government cannot prevail in the court of public opinion, as what they are doing is just wrong.” Reprieve assisted its Pakistani partner organization, Foundation for Fundamental Rights, to lodge a legal case in Pakistan against John Rizzo, the former acting CIA general counsel who gave the final okay for adding names to the CIA’s hit list, and against the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Jonathan Banks, who fled the country after he was named in the case.

In Pakistan, the State Department is forced to collaborate on drone killings with the CIA. US Ambassador Cameron Munter was put in the most undiplomatic position of having to give a thumbs up or thumbs down on each of these strikes. “Can you imagine if the Pakistani ambassador to Washington DC Sherry Rehman was required to say yea or nay to killing people in Texas every other day?” asked Reprieve lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. “She would be assassinated if she wasn’t prosecuted for the death penalty in Texas itself. What they are doing is making the State Department’s job absolutely impossible.” In the past decade, the State Department has become a weaker and weaker institution, watching its anemic attempts at diplomacy go up in smoke. It’s only gotten worse since Predators and Reapers became key players in US foreign policy.


pages: 229 words: 67,869

So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, different worldview, don't be evil, Donald Trump, drone strike, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Stanford prison experiment, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks

I’ve worked on dark stories before - stories about innocent people losing their lives to the FBI, about banks hounding debtors until they commit suicide - but although I felt sorry for those people I wouldn’t feel the dread snake its way into me in the way these shaming stories had. I’d leave Jonah and Michael and Justine feeling nervous and depressed. And so it was a nice surprise to receive an email from Richard Branson’s sister Vanessa inviting me to appear at a salon of talks at her Marrakech palace / holiday home / hotel, the Riad El Fenn. ‘Other speakers,’ she emailed, ‘include Clive Stafford Smith - human rights lawyer. David Chipperfield - architect. Hans Ulrich Obrist - Serpentine curator. Redha Moali - rags-to-riches Algerian arts entrepreneur.’ I googled her Riad. It ‘combines grandeur and historic architecture with hideaway nooks, terraces and gardens’ and is ‘just five minutes’ walk from the world-famous Djemaa el Fna square and bustling maze of streets that make up the souk’.

I was feeling tired and jittery and less languid than the others, who were dressed in white linens and seemed carefree. Then I heard a noise. I looked up from my book. Vanessa Branson was rushing across the courtyard to welcome someone new. He too was dressed in linen and was tall and thin, with the gait of a British man of privilege. He might have been a diplomat. After a few minutes he bounded over to me. ‘I’m Clive Stafford Smith,’ he said. I knew a little about him from his interview on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs - about how he was all set for a life in British society until one day at his boarding school he saw a drawing in a book of Joan of Arc being burned at the stake and realized she looked like his sister. So in his twenties he became a death row lawyer in Mississippi, and has been defending death row and Guantanamo prisoners ever since.


pages: 283 words: 77,272

With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful by Glenn Greenwald

Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Clive Stafford Smith, collateralized debt obligation, Corrections Corporation of America, crack epidemic, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Brooks, deskilling, financial deregulation, full employment, high net worth, income inequality, Julian Assange, mandatory minimum, nuremberg principles, Ponzi scheme, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

But as that ruling was about to be released—and the world about to learn the details of Mohamed’s abuse at the hands of his American captors—the British government warned the court that British national security would be severely jeopardized if these details were disclosed. Specifically, the British government said, the Obama administration had issued a threat: if the British court disclosed the facts of Mohamed’s torture, U.S. intelligence agencies would no longer pass on to Britain any information about terrorist plots aimed at British citizens. In April 2009, I interviewed the British international law expert Clive Stafford Smith, who was representing Mohamed in the British proceedings. In his view, the Obama administration’s extraordinary effort to force British courts to conceal evidence of torture was in itself probably a criminal act. It is clear that there has now been a threat, and indeed the judges say eight times in the latest opinion, that the British government was threatened with sanctions if they were to release evidence of torture.

See also equality under the law Rule of Law Index Rumsfeld, Donald Russia Rwanda Salmon, Felix Salomon Smith Barney Salon Sandinistas Sasson, Theodore Savage, Charlie Schumer, Chuck Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Seidenberg, Ivan sentencing, mandatory minimums Sentencing Project Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sex offenders Shaw, Bernard Sherman Antitrust Act (1890) Shia Islam Shorrock, Tim Shreveport, Louisiana Sifton, John Sirota, David Slate slavery Smith, Clive Stafford Smith, Francis X. Smith, William French Smith, Yves Somin, Ilya Soud, A. C. Souter, David South America South Korea Spain Sprint Standard Oil Starkman, Dean State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices domestic eavesdropping and Iran-Contra and torture and WikiLeaks release of cables of states criminal justice spending prison sentences and state secrets State Sponsors of Terrorism List Stengel, Rick Stephanopoulos, George Stern, Vivien Stettner, Andrew Steward, Martha Stiglitz, Joseph Stored Communications Act Strigl, Dennis Sullivan, Andrew Summers, Larry Sunlight Foundation Swanson, David Sweden Syria Taguba, Antonio Taibbi, Matt Talking Points Memo (Web site) Talvi, Silja J.


pages: 443 words: 125,510

The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities by John J. Mearsheimer

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, Clive Stafford Smith, Donald Trump, drone strike, Edward Snowden, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, liberal world order, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, Peace of Westphalia, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, Steven Pinker, Ted Kaczynski, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs

This is not to deny there are cases where it is not feasible to capture a suspected terrorist, thus leaving American decision makers with no choice but to either assassinate the individual or let him go. The focus here, however, is on cases where it is possible to capture the suspect but the decision is made instead to kill him because of all the legal problems that attend dealing with detainees. 91. Jo Becker and Scott Shane, “Secret ‘Kill List’ Proves a Test of Obama’s Principles and Will,” New York Times, May 29, 2012; Clive Stafford Smith, “Who’s Getting Killed Today?,” Times Literary Supplement, June 28, 2017. 92. Micah Zenko, “How Barack Obama Has Tried to Open Up the One-Sided Drone War,” Financial Times, May 23, 2013. Writing in January 2016, Zenko says: “Whereas President George W. Bush authorized approximately 50 drone strikes that killed 296 terrorists and 195 civilians in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, Obama has authorized 506 strikes that have killed 3,040 terrorists and 391 civilians.”


pages: 1,744 words: 458,385

The Defence of the Realm by Christopher Andrew

active measures, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Clive Stafford Smith, collective bargaining, credit crunch, cuban missile crisis, Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fall of the Berlin Wall, G4S, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, job satisfaction, large denomination, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, North Sea oil, post-work, Red Clydeside, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, strikebreaker, Torches of Freedom, traveling salesman, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, Winter of Discontent

From May 2006 MI5 staff also had the option of consulting a part-time ‘ethics counsellor’ within the Service, who had the rank of director and guaranteed confidentiality to those who came to see him.75 Though not many did so (fewer than twenty over the next two years), there is no evidence that staff with ethical concerns felt inhibited from raising them.76 The most controversial case involving allegations that the Security Service connived in the use of torture is that of Binyam Mohamed al-Habashi, an Ethiopian and British resident arrested in Pakistan in 2002 who claims he was moved by US ‘extraordinary rendition’ operations to Morocco and Afghanistan before being interned in Guantánamo in 2004. While in Guantánamo, Mohamed told his British lawyer Clive Stafford Smith that British officials had interrogated him after his arrest in Pakistan and that ‘one of them did tell me that I was going to get tortured by the [Arabs].’ He also claimed that he was later tortured by the Moroccans, told that ‘they were working with the British Security Service’ and ‘asked questions, containing details about his life that could only have come from UK sources’. In evidence to the Intelligence and Security Committee in 2006, Manningham-Buller denied that the Security Service officer who had questioned Binyam Mohamed in Pakistan had told him he would be tortured or that he had seen any evidence of torture.