Twenty-six Members of Congress sent the following letter to President Obama asking that Congress be provided with information on the CIA and JSOCs use of "signature" drone strikes. Signers were: Dennis Kucinich, John Conyers, Rush Holt, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Maurice Hinchey, Charlie Rangel, Pete Stark, Mike Honda, Raul Grijalva, Bob Filner, Barbara Lee, Jim McGovern, Lynn Woolsey, Hank Johnson, Luis Gutierrez, Ron Paul, John Lewis, George Miller, Jim McDermott, Yvette Clarke, Peter DeFazio, Peter Welch, Donna Edwards, Jerrold Nadler, Keith Ellison, Walter Jones.
The text of the Dear Colleague sent by Rep. Kucinich on May 10 follows below, then the text of the final letter as it was sent to President Obama on June 12.
The PDF of the letter as it was sent to President Obama on June 12 is here.
ENSURE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE U.S. COMBAT DRONE PROGRAM
From: The Honorable Dennis J. Kucinich
A recent article published in The Washington Post revealed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) have been given new authority that allows them “to fire on targets based solely on their intelligence ‘signatures’ – patterns of behavior that are detected through signals intercepts, human sources and aerial surveillance, and that indicated a presence of an important operative or plot against U.S. interests.” Allowing the CIA and JSOC to conduct drone strikes without having to know the identity of the person they’re targeting is in stark contrast to what the Administration has previously claimed regarding its drone campaign: that they are targeted strikes against suspected terrorists on lists maintained by the CIA and JSOC.
The following letter is being circulated by the office of Rep. John Conyers. Ask your Rep. to sign by calling the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121. Current signers include: Blumenauer, Brown, Capuano, Clay, Clarke (MI), Clarke (NY), Conyers, Cohen, Deutch, Edwards, Ellison, Farr, Grijalva, Gutierrez, Hastings, Holmes-Norton, Honda, Jackson, Johnson (GA), Kucinich, Lee, Lewis (GA), Maloney, McCollum, McDermott, McGovern, Moran, Olver, Rangel, Rush, Schakowsky, Stark, Towns, Waters, and Wilson (FL). The Conyers letter was cited in a New York Times editorial. Urge your Rep. to support this letter.
From: The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Please join me in supporting efforts to address the cholera epidemic in Haiti by signing a letter to U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice urging UN authorities to play a central role in addressing the crisis.
The cholera outbreak began in October 2010, ten months after Haiti’s tragic earthquake, and “has become one of the largest cholera epidemics in modern history” according to the Pan-American Health Organization. To date, at least 7,200 Haitians have died from the disease and more than 530,000 people have been infected.
As cholera was brought to Haiti due to the actions of the UN, it is imperative for the UN to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic. UN authorities should work with Haiti’s government and the international community to confront and, ultimately, eliminate this deadly disease from Haiti and the rest of the island of Hispaniola. A failure to act will not only lead to countless more deaths: it will undermine the crucial effort to reconstruct Haiti and will pose a permanent public health threat to the populations of neighboring nations.
John Conyers, Jr.
Member of Congress
May XX, 2012
Dear Ambassador Rice,