Legal justification: Obama asked to give criteria for drone strikes

Congressman and members of US House ask Obama to explain the targeting criteria, legal justification of drone strikes.

Huma Imtiaz June 01, 2012


Congressman Dennis Kucinich and ten members of the US House have asked the President Barack Obama to provide the targeting criteria for signature strikes aka drone strikes and the legal justification for them.

The letter, being circulated by Democratic House of Representatives member Dennis Kucinich, expresses concern at the use of signature strikes against suspected militants by the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

In a press release, Congressman Kucinich said, “These drone strikes are being conducted in the name of our national security and yet Congress and the American people have not been provided with the legal justification for such strikes.

The use of drones must be subject to the same legal constrains and oversight as any other weapon. “These attacks undermine the morals, values and the strategic goals of the United States. The fact that they are conducted with complete impunity and with no accountability threatens to set a dangerous precedent that could unravel the very laws and international standards the US helped to create.”

The letter, says that “as members of Congress, we are deeply concerned about the full impact of drone strikes.” It asks the President to provide the “targeting criteria for “signature” strikes; mechanisms used by the CIA and JSOC to ensure that such killings are legal; 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 analyzed.”

The letter follows an article published in The New York Times earlier this week that stated that the President not just signed off on drone strikes, but also had a kill list.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2012.


American Muslim | 9 years ago | Reply

Lets not forget the Drone program was NEVER a successful one, and was on the books for a veryy long time, and for good reason too, it's target capability was/is weak, and rarely ever hits its targets, usually schools, madrassahs, families, weddings, funerals are bombed. So why should ANY country put up with such terror espousing tactics that will only give legitimacy to what the militants are fighting for? Has militancy in Pakistan not increased directly in proportional to American intervention and terror tactics? As an American, I am ashamed that my government is lying to its people, and blindly killing our Muslims just because they can.

American Muslim | 9 years ago | Reply

No one has the right to play remote controlled video games and take the lives of our people in a blink of an eye, entire families are made shaheed with just one click of a button, Obama says every target is authorized by him after close scrutiny? Well that's not saying much when the hit and miss target is 95% off the mark, when more children are killed, than any 'militants' as long as it's not American lives on the line who cares about third world Pakistanis?

Forget drones, this whole WoT is illegal that has rocked the Muslim world, and given rise to militancy in Pakistan, today the US has forced Pakistan into a battlefield between its own people, the sooner Pakistanis leave this war, the BETTER, insha'a Allah.

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