Democrat Congressmen seek details of US drone policyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/print/democrat-congressmen-seek-details-of-us-drone-policy/

Democrat Congressmen seek details of US drone policy

The letter seeks a full response and formal report to Congress outlining architecture.

Eight lawmakers from his own Democratic Party have urged the US President Barack Obama to make public the details of his Administration’s drone policy,arguing that every American national has the right to know the underlying legal rationale that ensures due process.

“Authorising the killing of American citizens and others has profound implications for our Constitution,the core values of our nation,our national security and future

international practice,” the lawmakers,in a letter to President Obama said they were referring to the killing of al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki,a US citizen,in a drone strike in Yemen in2011.

The executive branch’s claim of authority to deprive citizens of life,and to do so without explaining the legal bases for doing so,sets a dangerous precedent and is a model of behavior that the United States would not want other nations to emulate,” they said in the letter,copy of which was provided to the media.

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The letter seeks a full response and formal report to Congress outlining architecture of the drone programme going forward,including efforts to limit instances and remunerate victims of civilian casualties by signature drone strikes,broadening of access to due process for identified targets and continuing structuring of drone programme within the framework of international law. “It is far past time that the White House openly discuss the drones programme.

The President has full reign to protect the US as Commander in Chief,but Congress has a vital oversight role in this issue,and we cannot shy away from those responsibilities,” Congresswoman Barbara Lee,who led lawmakers to sign the letter said in a statement. “We have to protect the checks and balances that are at

the heart of our democracy,” she added.

The letter cites several concerning factors of the Administration’s drone policy including,”an unbounded geographic scope,unidentified ‘high-level’ officials with

authority to approve kill-lists and a vaguely defined definition of whether a capture is ‘feasible'”

Democratic Party have urged the US President Barack Obama to make public the details of his Administration’s drone policy,arguing that every American national has the right to know the underlying legal rationale that ensures due process

“Authorising the killing of American citizens and others has profound implications for our Constitution,the core values of our nation,our national security and future

international practice,” the lawmakers,in a letter to President Obama,said.

They were referring to the killing of al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki,a US citizen,in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.

“The executive branch’s claim of authority to deprive citizens of life,and to do so without explaining the legal bases for doing so,sets a dangerous precedent and is a model of behavior that the United States would not want other nations to emulate,” they said in the letter,copy of whichwas provided to the media.

The letter seeks a full response and formal report to Congress outlining architecture of the drone programme going forward,including efforts to limit instances and remunerate victims of civilian casualties by signature drone strikes,broadening of access to due process for identified targets and continuing structuring of drone programme within the framework of international law.

“It is far past time that the White House openly discuss the drones programme. The President has full reign to protect the US as Commander in Chief,but Congress has a vital oversight role in this issue,and we cannot shy away from those responsibilities,” Congresswoman Barbara Lee,who led lawmakers to sign the letter said in a statement.

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“We have to protect the checks and balances that are at the heart of our democracy,” she added. The letter cites several concerning factors of the Administration’s drone policy including,”an unbounded bgeographic scope,unidentified ‘high-level’ officials with authority to approve kill-lists and a vaguely defined definition of whether a capture is ‘feasible'”