Thursday Jun 14, 201201:24 PM GMT
Members of Congress call on Obama to justify drone strikes
Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:23PM
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Twenty-six members of Congress have called on President Barack Obama to provide a legal justification for so-called “signature” drone strikes that the CIA and special operations forces have been launching in Pakistan and Yemen.


Signature strikes are drone bombings that target individuals that the administration cannot identify.


Decisions to kill a person or group of people in these countries can be based on “suspicious behavior,” a loosely-defined judgment that would give the administration carte blanche to kill whoever it pleases.


The request to provide legal justification is warranted, but is unlikely to be heeded by the administration. The technically covert nature of the drone program - even though everyone knows about it - has so far allowed them to dismiss court challenges for the legality of these strikes.




“We are concerned that the use of such ‘signature’ strikes could raise the risk of killing innocent civilians or individuals who may have no relationship to attacks on the United States,” the members of Congress, lead by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), wrote Wednesday in a letter to Obama. Raw Story


“Our drone campaigns already have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight. We are further concerned about the legal grounds for such strikes under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.” Raw Story


The report added: “The joke was that when the C.I.A. sees ‘three guys doing jumping jacks,’ the agency thinks it is a terrorist training camp, said one senior official. Men loading a truck with fertilizer could be bomb-makers - but they might also be farmers, skeptics argued.” Antiwar


Robert Grenier, a previous CIA station chief in Pakistan, said recently the drone program is too sweeping and may be creating terrorist safe havens. “We have gone a long way down the road of creating a situation where we are creating more enemies than we are removing from the battlefield. We are already there with regards to Pakistan and Afghanistan.” Antiwar



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