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Democratic lawmaker seeks legal justification for drone attacks PDF Print E-mail
WASHINGTON, May 31 (APP): US Congressman Dennis Kucinich, a Democrat from Ohio, has demanded accountability and transparency in the use of drone against suspected militant targets in Pakistan and other countries. According to his office, the Congressman stresses that the drone attacks “undermine the  morals, values and the strategic goals of the United States.” The lawmaker, who is a longtime opponent of drone strikes, is trying to garner support of his Congressional colleagues in sending a letter to President Obama to demand  legal justification for drone attacks on suspected militants, Kucinich’s office said. The letter, endorsed by Amnesty International, has already been signed by nine members of Congress, a statement said.

The Obama administration defends drone strikes against al-Qaeda  linked militants, saying they are an important counterterrorism tool  against militants who plan terrorist attacks against the United States.
The Obama administration officials also dispute  accounts of civilian deaths in drone strikes.
Recently, however, a number of American and international media  reports and analyses  have questioned the moral and legal basis for such strikes, which also kill innocent civilians.
Kucinich pointed out that answers to his questions do not address basic questions “No transparency, no accountability and until now, no Congress. The Constitution requires Congress to weigh in and demand information and legal justification for drone strikes.”
According to the statement, Kucinich has opposed the use of  combat drones against suspected terrorists abroad since the first known attack in 2004.
“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 U.S. helped to create. Even the most ardent supporter of  the current President should consider the precedent created by granting  the President the power to circumvent the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution,” said Kucinich.
The statement by Kucinich’s office also cited estimates of  civilian deaths in drone attacks and said a study by the New American Foundation claimed that out of 114 drone attacks in Pakistan, at least 32 percent of those killed by the strikes were civilians.
 

     

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