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.
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