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May 22, 2013

Human Rights First: Make the Targeted Killing Policy Public

Washington, D.C. — In response to Attorney General Eric Holder’s release of a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) concerning lethal targeting of four American citizens, including Anwar al-Alawki, Human Rights First’s Dixon Osburn said:

“We welcome the Obama administration’s commitment to additional transparency, but are deeply concerned that the administration appears to be institutionalizing a problematic targeted killing policy without public debate on whether the rules are lawful or appropriate. The Obama administration should make public the classified document institutionalizing the administration’s targeted killing policy.  The American public deserves to know whether the administration is complying with the law, and Congress should debate the legal and policy implications of our targeted killing operations.”

This announcement of an institutional policy governing targeted killing operations comes the day before President Obama is to give a major counterterrorism speech at the National Defense University where he is expected to address targeted killing, Guantanamo, and the state of armed conflict in Afghanistan.

For more information about today’s hearing or to speak with Osburn, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.