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April 23, 2013

Senate Hearing to Shed Light on Administration’s Drone Program

Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First commends the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights for convening today’s hearing, “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing.” The organization hopes this will be the first of many hearings that demonstrate increased Congressional oversight of the administration’s targeted killing program.

“It’s time we received some real answers to the very serious questions of who our government is killing and why,” said Human Rights First’s Daphne Eviatar, who is monitoring today’s hearing. “The public is entitled to know both the legal justification for the U.S. drone war, as well as who exactly has been killed and for what reason. Neither the American people nor our allies abroad can support a covert war that’s killing thousands of people around the world without clear and public explanation.”

Human Rights First has closely monitored the U.S. targeted killing program and has raised repeated questions about it in letters to administration officials and in public statements.  To date, those questions remain unanswered.

“Although we’re disappointed that the administration declined to send someone to testify at today’s hearing, the sustained attention of Congress on the serious questions raised by the U.S. targeted killing program should lead President Obama to fulfill the promises he’s made to provide more transparency on the United States’ use of armed drones in U.S. counterterrorism policy.”

For more information on U.S. targeted killing practice, see Human Rights First’s blueprint, How to Ensure That the U.S. Drone Program Does Not Undermine Human Rights. To speak with Eviatar, please contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bowsersoderb@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3323.