Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen and Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy – 2013-11-26 20:43:08
ACTION ALERT: Senator Collins:
Who’s Getting Killed by Drone Strikes?
Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen and Megan Iorio / Just Foreign Policy
Maine Senator Susan Collins should support legislation requiring the Administration to report on who is being killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (commonly known as the Senate intelligence committee) has passed legislation that would require the Administration to publicly report how many civilians and how many “combatants” are being killed in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia by US drone strikes.
When the committee passed this legislation, Maine Senator Susan Collins voted no. In order for the Senate to pass this legislation, it’s crucial for Senator Collins to change her position.
The CIA has claimed that civilian casualties from US drone strikes have been extremely rare. The record of independent reporting says otherwise. But because the CIA has never publicly stated on the record how many civilians it believes are being killed by US drone strikes, the CIA has never been forced to defend its claims on the record. If the intelligence committee provision becomes law, the CIA would have to defend its claims about civilian deaths on the record, and we could have a meaningful democratic debate.
Urge Senator Collins to reverse her opposition to telling the public about civilian deaths from US drone strikes.
The American public doesn’t know how many civilians have been killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
So far, Maine Senator Susan Collins wants to keep it that way.
When the Senate intelligence committee voted to require the government to report on how many civilians are being killed by US drone strikes , Susan Collins voted no.
Because of the way the Senate works, Susan Collins’ opposition could keep this crucial reform of the drone strike policy from becoming law.
Urge Senator Collins to reverse her opposition to making the government report on who is being killed by drone strikes.
Senator Collins’s support for this provision is crucial because it’s not likely that the Senate will pass it into law unless it attracts some Republican support. Republicans outside the committee tend to defer to Republicans on the committee. But no Republican supported the amendment in committee. Susan Collins is the Republican member of the committee considered most likely to change her position.
Urge Senator Collins to change her position by signing our petition HERE
Because the US government number is secret, we can’t have a normal democratic debate about the policy. Government officials anonymously tell the press that civilian deaths from drone strikes have been rare.
Independent reporting says otherwise. Government officials anonymously tell the press that the independent reporting isn’t accurate, but they won’t say why it isn’t accurate and they won’t say what is accurate. So the broad public is left with “he said, she said.”
Media that reach the broad public won’t challenge the government’s claims about civilian casualties until we can force the government onto the public record to defend its claims.
Urge Senator Collins to reverse her position on telling the public about civilian deaths from US drone strikes.
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