Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll
Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll
By Jon Queally / commondreams.org
May 6, 2014

The Senate Intelligence Committee and the Obama administration agree on this: the American people should not know the number of people killed by U.S. drone attacks overseas, nor should they hope to understand the circumstances under which such lethal killings are authorized or executed.

This high-level agreement was confirmed on Monday after a "modest" provision designed to add transparency to the US drone assassination program was killed in the Senate committee following objections by the Obama administration's intelligence chief.

As The Guardian reports:

At the behest of the director of national intelligence, US senators have removed a provision from a major intelligence bill that would require the president to publicly disclose information about drone strikes and their victims.

The bill authorizing intelligence operations in fiscal 2014 passed out of the Senate intelligence committee in November, and it originally required the president to issue an annual public report clarifying the total number of “combatants” and “noncombatant civilians” killed or injured by drone strikes in the previous year. It did not require the White House to disclose the total number of strikes worldwide.

But the Guardian has confirmed that Senate leaders have removed the language as they prepare to bring the bill to the floor for a vote, after the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, assured them in a recent letter that the Obama administration was looking for its own ways to disclose more about its highly controversial drone strikes.

Critics of the Obama administration's use of drones and ongoing assassination program say that even though the language of the provision was mild, it was at least a step towards transparency and oversight.

“Congress is charged with oversight of the administration and this is a matter of life and death,” Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA, told the New York Times. “A basic report on the number of people killed shouldn’t be too much to ask.”

And Hawkins' colleague Zeke Johnson, Zeke Johnson, who directs the group's security and human rights program asked:
“How many people have to die for Congress to take even a small step toward transparency? It's stunning that after all these years we still don't know how many people the Obama administration has killed with drones."

_________________________________________

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
It’s Time for a National $15 Minimum Wage
Bernie Sanders and Patty Murray6,090 views today ·
Aid in Reverse: How Poor Countries Develop Rich Countries
Jason Hickel5,151 views today ·
10 Films That Make It Easy to See How Our Economy Is Killing the Planet
Tim Hjersted4,591 views today ·
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action3,446 views today ·
The Impossible Hamster
1 min3,330 views today ·
Get Out of the Materialism Trap NOW
10 min2,089 views today ·
The Top 100 Documentaries Inspiring the Shift to a Sustainable Paradigm (2012 Edition)
Films For Action1,927 views today ·
Tomorrow: Take Concrete Steps To A Sustainable Future
2 min1,586 views today ·
50 Eco-Conscious Documentaries to Celebrate Earth Day (That You Can Watch Online)
Films For Action1,223 views today ·
Load More
What's Next
9/11: Blueprint for Truth (2010)
114 min
Koch Brothers EXPOSED (2014)
56 min
DISOBEDIENCE: The Courage To Break Free (2016)
41 min
Like us on Facebook?
Senate Agrees: US People Can't Know Overseas Drone Death Toll