Israel must justify its policy of secret killings

Ben MacIntyre; 26/3/10

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was diplomatically livid. “Such misuse of British passports is intolerable.” Israel had broken every rule, he said, by cloning British documents that were used by some of the hit-team sent to kill the Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room. In retaliation for forging Her Britannic Majesty’s signature, the senior Mossad officer in London is heading home – presumably on his own passport. Miliband is firmly opposed to state-sponsored identity theft. He did not, however, offer an opinion in his Commons statement on whether it is acceptable to break into a hotel room in a sovereign foreign country, inject its occupant with muscle relaxant and smother him with a pillow. A few months earlier, a notorious Taliban terrorist named Baitullah Mehsud was sitting on the roof of his father-in-law’s farmhouse in Pakistan. He was spotted by an unmanned Predator drone operated from CIA headquarters thousands of kilometres away in Langley, Virginia, and was blown to pieces by two precisely aimed Hellfire missiles. Twelve others also died.