Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rep. John Conyers: Support the "Come Clean on Drones Killing" Bill!

John Conyers, representing Michigan's 13th congressional district, has been one of the leading voices in Congress on peace and justice issues.

On the problems of drone killing and drone surveillance, he has said,

I am not convinced . . . by the Administration’s legal rationale for the targeted killing of a United States citizen overseas. The [Administration's] white paper describes a balancing test for Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights tilted so far in favor of government interests that a potential target appears to have little chance at meaningful due process when he is nominated to the so-called ‘kill list.’

“I also remain unconvinced about the targeted killing of terrorist suspects who are non-citizens. Although the Administration appears to rest its claim of authority on the Authorization for Use of Military Force passed by Congress in 2001, it is not clear to me that Congress intended to sanction lethal force against a loosely-defined enemy in an indefinite conflict with no borders and no discernible end date.

“And I remain deeply troubled by the widely reported use of so-called ‘signature strikes,’ where suspects display suspicious activity but their identities are unknown prior to the government’s use of lethal force against them. To date, the Administration has not even acknowledged that this program exists—let alone provided this Committee with the information it requires to examine the legality of the program.

(See "Conyers Statement at Oversight Hearing on Drones", February 27, 2013)

A bill is pending in Congress -- the The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (HR 4372) -- also known as the "Come Clean on Drone Killing" Act. At this writing, quite a few of Rep. Conyers' fellow progressive caucus members have become co-sponsors for the bill. Now we need Rep. Conyers' strong leadership.

Rep. Conyers' constituents need to contact him and urge him to co-sponsor the bill today.

Additional resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

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

"We started on June 3 at Boeing corporate headquarters in Chicago, where the manufacture of drones and conventional war planes are managed and designed. We finished on June 14, with about 100 people holding an action at the Michigan Air National Guard Facility at the Battle Creek Airport, site of a new drone command center. Along the way, we talked to lots of people, made presentations to local groups and reached out to local media . . . ."

(See Report Back from "On the Road to Ground the Drones" Walk by Bob Palmer)

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)?)

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