Texas Republican Ron Paul, Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, and New Jersey Democrat Rush Holt are continuing the fight in the House of Representatives against the use of drones for targeted killing by the Obama administration. They have once again called upon the Obama administration to release documents to justify the use of the overseas drone strikes.
According to the two-page “resolution of inquiry” Attorney General Eric Holder would have to "transmit to the House of Representatives not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, any documents and legal memoranda in the Attorney General’s possession relating to the practice of targeted killing of United States citizens and targets abroad.”
Earlier this year, leaks of classified documents have shed some light on the use of drones, but rather than garnering harsh backlash over some of those counter-terror efforts that were exposed through the leaks, the information only made lawmakers attack what they perceived to be intentional leaks by the Obama administration to bolster his image as a strong anti-terrorist leader. The unconstitutionality, immorality, or illegality of drone use never entered the discussion.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has reported that drone strikes have killed over 3,000 people, including more than 1,000 innocent civilians, since 2002.
When introducing the legislation to the House, Kucinich acknowledged, “According to a memorandum prepared by the White House Office of Legal Counsel, when the United States conducts such an attack it is legal. The Congress and the American people have a right to know this legal framework. Congress has an obligation as the sole authority under the Constitution to declare war to know how the use of force abroad is being used, especially against U.S. citizens.”
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Photo of MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle