US Congressmen demand justification for drone strikes

Published: June 14, 2012

Send letter to President Obama as latest drone strike in North Waziristan kills five.

WASHINGTON: 

Twenty-six US Congressmen have sent a letter to President Barack Obama “demanding a legal justification from the White House for signature drone strikes.”

According to a press release, Congressman Dennis Kucinich and 25 other members of the Congress said that drone strikes “could significantly increase risks of killing innocent civilians or those with no relationship to a potential attack on the US and further inflame anti-American sentiment abroad”.

The letter, signed by 24 Democrat and 2 Republican members of the US House, demands information regarding the authorisation and execution of signature drone strikes along with the mechanisms used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to ensure the legality of such killings.

It also questions “the nature of the follow-up that is conducted when civilians are killed or injured… and the mechanisms that ensure civilian casualty numbers are collected, tracked and analysed.”

Congressman Kucinich said, “The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound. They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have.  They can generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”

Drone attack in North Waziristan

Meanwhile, a fresh drone strike killed at least five foreign militants in the North Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday.

A US pilot-less aircraft fired two missiles at a vehicle on Esha-Razmak Road in Miramshah, a security official said.

Another official, however, put the number of missiles fired at four – only two of them hitting their target. He added that five Uzbek militants on board the vehicle were killed on the spot.

The vehicle was hit while it was passing through Malik Azdar village, about 15 kilometres east of Miramshah Bazaar.

Malik Azdar village is inhabited by the Borakhel, a sub-tribe of the Waziris. “Residents rushed to the scene and started extinguishing the fire on the vehicle,” he added. Witnesses claimed that five charred bodies were retrieved from the vehicle.

Earlier, 15 militants were killed on June 4 when a US drone fired four missiles on a militant compound in the Mir Ali sub-division of North Waziristan.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT IN MIRAMSHAH)

Published In The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • j. von hettlingen
    Jun 14, 2012 - 2:03PM

    Image-wise drone attacks as a means of target killings outside America is a thorn in the side of the U.S. and doesn’t gain international approval. But since 62% of Americans approve of such actions, including 74% of Republicans, it somehow has legitimised Obama’s use of drones, without taking other countries’ sovreignty into account.

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  • dan
    Jun 14, 2012 - 5:14PM

    yet another step in the elite’s plan for global dominance………………

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  • Crystal
    Jun 14, 2012 - 6:32PM

    Isn’t it funny how you have all these Republicans in Congress give us all lip service to how President Obama is the threat to this country. Yet when you have something like these drones, which is completely UNCONSTITUTIONAL, the Republicans support it at a high percent. So maybe I’m crazy, but if Obama supports this and wants it and the Republicans do as well doesn’t that mean that they are a threat to us as well???? I’m neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am a supporter of the Constitution, because that is the only thing that protects We The People. Not some political party, which both work together and go on Fox News and act like they hate each other. What a HOAX!!! Wake up America, these drones are not good for us and it takes away what makes us Americans!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Jun 14, 2012 - 10:38PM

    It seems the world is getting smaller… while the politicians get greedier and more violent…

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  • Dayvihd
    Jun 14, 2012 - 11:31PM

    what exactly is a “militant” and tell me how 5 of them in a car in somewhereistan is somehow a threat to my freedom? Im confused why we rain death upon people who arent trying to come to the US.

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  • Margaret
    Jun 15, 2012 - 1:55AM

    Amazing, how differently I feel after seeing the filmed drone attack in Pakistan with people screaming everywhere and medics trying desperately to help a man who had half his face blown off. I used to think these were efficient- ok, if this really is war, but we are not at war with Pakistan, and I shudder to think what happens when I have been proclaimed a potential terrorist for just accessing alex jones. Now that USA is officially a battlefield and the drones have arrived…

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  • Isaac
    Jun 15, 2012 - 3:16AM

    How about demanding a moral or ethical reason as well? When has killing solved anything?

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  • Robert
    Jun 15, 2012 - 3:19AM

    The U.S.’s definition of a terrorist is: a male of military age who happens to be in the vicinity of the drone strike. Thus, innocent bystanders are considered terrorists. That in effect, boosts the unknowing or ignorant public’s support of these drones and their strike capability, justifying Obama to continue removing anyone he so deems, off the planet.

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  • Matt
    Jun 15, 2012 - 4:34AM

    Foreign “militants” in Waziristan?? Right. Killing civilians is called murder. Time to take the murderers to task.

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