Monday, March 31, 2014

REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings

Rep. Adam Schiff
Rep. Walter Jones
[UPDATE April 2, 2014: Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have now submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. See Natasha Lennard, "New Bill Aims for Drone Transparency," and Thomas Earnest, "Representatives Schiff and Jones Introduce Bill to Increase Transparency in U.S. Drone Program." 

[See also Joint Statement in Support of The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act by Amnesty International, Arab American Institute, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Center for Constitutional Rights, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, National Security Network, Open Society Policy Center, Peace Action West, Reprieve, and Win Without War.

[SEE: hub page for all Resources to SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)]




[ORIGINAL MARCH 31 POST BEGINS HERE]

Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.)
Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) have called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings.

Now it's time for all 62 other members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to step up to the plate.

Grijalva and Ellison's initiative creates an opportunity for all of us to demand of our progressive representatives that they, too, take a stand. It's a simple yes-or-no, no-ifs-ands-or-buts question:

"Have you signed on to the CPC co-chairs' demand
that 'our intelligence agencies provide
an annual public accounting
of the number of civilian casualties
caused by drone strikes overseas'?"


BACKGROUND

The Grijalva-Ellison demand was provoked by a series of events at the United Nations.

First, in October, 2013, a pair of long-awaited reports by the U.N. special rapporteurs on counter-terrorism and on extrajudicial executions were published. The included an unambiguous demand for a full accounting of drone killings.

This was followed by a little-publicized General Assembly vote that use of drones in counter-terrorism must comply with international law.

By early 2014, people were beginning to realize that the government was succeeding in quashing debate about its extrajudicial executions simply through its silence. A consensus began to build around the key point of pressure: the need to bear down on the U.S. government to come clean about its drone killings.

When the U.N. Human Rights council convened in March to take up the matter of the drone killings, the U.S. government had a simple solution: boycott.

And thus it was the sight of the U.S. government fleeing a U.N. convocation into human rights that provoked the call by Reps. Grijalva and Ellison. "Instead of working closely with the international community to help strengthen current international standards on the use of drones, the U.S. government decided to boycott a discussion of the draft resolution. We are troubled by the ease with which dialogue and diplomacy—values at the center of the president’s foreign policy—were cast aside in this debate," they said in their statement.

"Today’s vote highlights the need for Congress to play a larger role in overseeing and regulating the use of lethal force abroad. Requiring that our intelligence agencies provide an annual public accounting of the number of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes overseas — a measure included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act — would be a good start," they said. (emphasis added)

NEXT STEPS

Reps. Grijalva and Ellison issued their call in their capacity as co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  The clear next steps is for every other member of the CPC to join the call. This is a simple but unambiguous assertion by Congress of authority in the U.S. drone killing program, and it is vital that there be unanimous support by the CPC.

Please look at the list below and write personally to the member who represents you.  Now is the time for us to insist on public statements from every member of Congress that they unreservedly support the call for the U.S. to come clean about its drone killings.

And if you live in Arizona or Minnesota . . . you have a thank you note to send.

(PS - Raul Grijalva is now a -- CO-SPONSOR of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act - Read more about Raul Grijalva's sponsorship)


Members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus

(note: may of these members signed the May 10, 2012 letter to President Obama calling for drones transparency - 5/10/2012 letter)


CALIFORNIA
CA02 - Jared Huffman @RepHuffman

CA11 - George Miller @askgeorge (5/10/2012 letter)

CA13 - Barbara Lee @RepBarbaraLee (5/10/2012 letter) - Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Peace and Security Task Force. See "Rep. Lee Demands Administration’s Full Response on Drones" March 11, 2013 -- CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act

CA17 - Michael Honda @RepMikeHonda (5/10/2012 letter)

CA20 - Sam Farr @RepSamFarr

CA27 - Judy Chu @RepJudyChu

CA34 - Xavier Becerra @RepBecerra

CA37 - Karen Bass @RepKarenBass

CA40 - Lucille Roybal-Allard @RepRoybalAllard

CA41 - Mark Takano @RepMarkTakano

CA43 - Maxine Waters @MaxineWaters

CA44 - Janice Hahn @Rep_JaniceHahn

CA47 - Alan Lowenthal @RepLowenthal -- CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act


COLORADO
CO02 - Jared Polis @RepJaredPolis - See the call on No Drones Colorado for Jared Polis to support the "Come Clean" bill!


CONNECTICUT
CT03 - Rosa DeLauro @rosadelauro - See the call on No Drones New England for Rosa DeLauro to support the "Come Clean" bill!


DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
DC00 - Eleanor Norton @EleanorNorton


FLORIDA
FL05 - Corrine Brown @RepCorrineBrown

FL09 - Alan Grayson @AlanGrayson - See the call on No Drones Florida for Alan Grayson to support the "Come Clean" bill!

FL22 - Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel

FL24 - Frederica Wilson @RepWilson


GEORGIA
GA04 - Henry Johnson @RepHankJohnson (5/10/2012 letter)

GA05 - John Lewis @repjohnlewis (5/10/2012 letter)

See the call on No Drones Georgia for Henry "Hank" Johnson and John Lewis to support the "Come Clean" bill!


IOWA
IA02 - David Loebsack @daveloebsack - See the call on No Drones Iowa for David Loebsack to support the "Come Clean" bill!


ILLINOIS
IL04 - Luis Gutierrez @RepGutierrez (5/10/2012 letter)

IL07 - Danny Davis @RepDannyDavis

IL09 - Jan Schakowsky @janschakowsky Offered an unsuccessful amendment in late 2013 that would have banned signature strikes.


INDIANA
IN07 - André Carson @RepAndreCarson - See the call on Indiana Drones Project for André Carson to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MASSACHUSETTS
MA02 - James McGovern @RepMcGovern (5/10/2012 letter) -- CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act

MA04 - Joseph Kennedy @RepJoeKennedy

MA07 - Michael Capuano @mikecapuano

See the call on No Drones New England for Joseph Kennedy and Michael Capuano to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MARYLAND
MD04 - Donna Edwards @repdonnaedwards (5/10/2012 letter)

MD07 - Elijah Cummings @RepCummings

See the call on No Drones Maryland for Donna Edwards and Elijah Cummings to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MAINE
ME01 - Chellie Pingree @chelliepingree - See the call on No Drones New England for Chellie Pingree to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MICHIGAN
MI13 - John Conyers @repjohnconyers (5/10/2012 letter) - See the call on No Drones Michigan for John Conyers to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MINNESOTA
MN08 - Richard Nolan @USRepRickNolan


MISSOURI
MO05 - Emanuel Cleaver @repcleaver - See the call on No Drones Missouri for Emanuel Cleaver to support the "Come Clean" bill!


MISSISSIPPI
MS02 - Bennie Thompson @HomelandDems


NEW JERSEY
NJ06 - Frank Pallone @FrankPallone

NJ12 - Rush Holt @RushHolt - - See the call on No Drones New Jersey for Rush Holt to support the "Come Clean" bill!


NEVADA
NV04 - Steven Horsford @RepHorsford


NEW YORK
NY07 - Nydia Velázquez @NydiaVelazquez

NY08 - Hakeem Jeffries @RepJeffries

NY09 - Yvette Clarke @YvetteClarke (5/10/2012 letter)

NY10 - Jerrold Nadler @RepJerryNadler (5/10/2012 letter) - Watch Rep. Nadler on drones during a February, 2013, committee hearing.

NY12 - Carolyn Maloney @RepMaloney

NY13 - Charles Rangel @cbrangel (5/10/2012 letter)

NY15 - José Serrano @RepJoseSerrano

NY25 - Louise Slaughter @louiseslaughter

See the call on No Drones New York State for these progressive members of Congress from New York to support the "Come Clean" bill!


OHIO
OH11 - Marcia Fudge @RepMarciaFudge - See the call on No Drones Ohio for Marcia Fudge to support the "Come Clean" bill!


OREGON
OR01 - Suzanne Bonamici @RepBonamici

OR04 - Peter DeFazio @RepPeterDeFazio (5/10/2012 letter) - CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act - Read more about Peter DeFazio's sponsorship


PENNSYLVANIA
PA02 - Chaka Fattah @chakafattah

PA17 - Matt Cartwright @RepCartwright

See the call on No Drones Pennsylvania for Chaka Fattah and Matt Cartwright to support the "Come Clean" bill!


RHODE ISLAND
RI01 - David Cicilline @davidcicilline - See the call on No Drones New England for David Cicilline to support the "Come Clean" bill!


TENNESSEE
TN09 - Steve Cohen @RepCohen - See the call on No Drones Tennessee for Steve Cohen to support the "Come Clean" bill!


TEXAS
TX18 - Sheila Jackson Lee @JacksonLeeTX18

TX30 - Eddie Johnson @RepEBJ

See the call on No Drones Texas for Sheila Jackson Lee and Eddie Bernice Johnson to support the "Come Clean" bill!


VIRGINIA
VA08 - James Moran @Jim_Moran - See the call on No Drones Virginia for Jim Moran to support the "Come Clean" bill!


VIRGIN ISLANDS
VI00 - Donna Christensen @DelegateDonna


VERMONT
VT00 - Peter Welch @PeterWelch - July 12, 2013Welch introduces legislation to limit domestic drones, protect privacy -- CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act


WASHINGTON
WA07 - Jim McDermott @RepJimMcDermott (5/10/2012 letter) -- CO-SPONSOR! HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act - Read more about Jim McDermott's sponsorship


WISCONSIN
WI02 - Mark Pocan @MarkPocan

WI04 - Gwen Moore @RepGwenMoore

See the call on No Drones Wisconsin for Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore to support the "Come Clean" bill!


Related posts

A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)









The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )


An Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms: linchpin races, scandal, principle, drone testing, and some "special" cases.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations?)