Lord Justice Moses's rejection of Noor Khan's application to declare that British intelligence officials assisting the US assassination-by-drone campaign in Pakistan may be guilty of "encouraging or assisting murder" is a bewildering judgement.
The High Court judge asserts that Khan's real intent was to persuade the court to condemn US policy as a means of persuading the US to halt such activity.
Lord Justice Moses has ruled that the role of Britain's observation and interception centre GCHQ in pinpointing the whereabouts of al-Qaida members in North Waziristan is overseen by the intelligence and security committee and by the intelligence services and interception commissioners.
His highly political points that North Waziristan is a "lawless territory" and that a High Court declaration would serve only to condemn US policy are particularly perverse.
Every legal system has a responsibility to ensure that state agencies operate within international law.
In this regard, the statement by Khan's legal representative Martin Chamberlain that, since there has been no declaration of war in North Waziristan, British officials cannot plead "combatant immunity" in respect of possible prosecution under English law surely merits consideration.
The judge called Khan's description of rockets "falling from the sky without warning" a "very moving passage," but, in common with most politicians, media and lawyers in Britain, fails to regard such terrorist activities as being in breach of international law.
This is partly due to the military designation of drones as "precision-guided" weapons, designed to clinically murder particular individuals.
Television stations have played along with this pretence, showing video footage supplied by the military, with satellites locking on to targeted buildings or vehicles before rockets blast them to fragments, using imagery similar to that of video games.
None of this footage shows horrific close-ups of what befalls the targets or the hundreds of uninvolved bystanders routinely incinerated by this long-distance assassination programme.
Had low-technology combatants had the forethought to refer to car bombs or improvised explosive devices as "precision-guided" weapons, they too could have claimed that their methods of waging war were fully in line with international law.
The reality is that all of these methods of killing people are virtually guaranteed to massacre innocent civilians. They should be condemned without exception.
Washington's reliance on drones, with Barack Obama engaging in a ghoulish weekly ritual of giving his personal thumbs down to a number of potential targets identified by his intelligence services and pinpointed by British officials, is dictated by a reluctance to commit ground forces to the war in Afghanistan.
Despite David Cameron's parliamentary eulogy to the role of British troops in that country, the reason for talking of bringing more of them home more quickly is that the war is lost there and is increasingly viewed by people in Britain as serving no useful purpose.
Add to that the escalating phenomenon of so-called "insider" attacks by Afghan soldiers on their British counterparts tasked with training them and it is self-evident that keeping British troops in Afghanistan is as criminally irresponsible as collaborating with the US assassination-by-drone campaign.
Lord Justice Moses has delivered the legal equivalent of absolution for Britain's involvement in the criminal US computer-guided slaughter.
However, outside the confines of the High Court the world can see clearly British government complicity in war crimes, which has implications for Britain's international reputation and the safety of its citizens.
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