Letter on Drone Strike Transparency: Senator Paul: We Stand With You for the Rule of Law

May 20, 2014

Senator Paul: We Stand With You for the Rule of Law

Dear Senator Paul,

The undersigned groups stand with you in objecting to cloture on the nomination of David J. Barron to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. We share your concerns regarding Barron’s authorship of secret memos purporting to give legal justification for drone strikes against U.S. citizens and others outside of a legal armed conflict or imminent threat to the United States. We agree that before the Senate votes on Barron’s nomination, the Administration should share all of these memos with the Senate and the public, implementing the letter and spirit of the decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in its April 21 ruling.

As the American Civil Liberties Union noted in its statement on May 16 on the filing of the cloture petition: 

“No senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation of providing ‘advice and consent’ on the nomination without reading all of Mr. Barron’s opinions on the drone program. The White House has continued to play hide the ball by not providing all of the opinions written or signed by Mr. Barron on targeted killing, regardless of citizenship. The memos raise fundamental due process and rule of law issues, and no senator should agree to vote on the nomination without first getting each and every one of his memos on targeted killing.”

As you wrote in your New York Times op-ed on May 11,

I believe that all senators should have access to all of these opinions. Furthermore, the American people deserve to see redacted versions of these memos so that they can understand the Obama administration’s legal justification for this extraordinary exercise of executive power.

[…]

I agree with the A.C.L.U. that “no senator can meaningfully carry out his or her constitutional obligation to provide ‘advice and consent’ on this nomination to a lifetime position as a federal appellate judge without being able to read Mr. Barron’s most important and consequential legal writing.”
 

At this writing, the Administration still has not complied with the appellate court ruling and still has not complied with demands to share with all of the Senate “all of the opinions written or signed by Mr. Barron on targeted killing, regardless of citizenship.” Other efforts to compel the Administration to comply with these demands have failed. We therefore strongly support your efforts to block cloture on the Barron nomination. 

Signed:

Robert Naiman, Policy Director, Just Foreign Policy

Jodie Evans, co-founder, CODEPINK

Medea Benjamin, co-founder, Global Exchange

Becky Bond, Political Director, CREDO

Shahid Buttar, Executive Director, Bill of Rights Defense Committee
Deena R. Hurwitz, Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic and Human
   Rights Program, University of Virginia School of Law **

Richard Levy, Labor Attorney, Levy Ratner, P.C., New York **

Kevin Martin, Executive Director, Peace Action

Phyllis Bennis, Director, New Internationalism Project, Institute for Policy Studies

Mark Weisbrot, Co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research

John V. Walsh, Founding Member of Come Home America **

Bruce K. Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

Michael T. McPhearson, Interim Executive Director,  Veterans For Peace

Leah Bolger, CDR, USN (Ret), Former President, Veterans For Peace

Coleen Rowley, retired FBI Agent, national security whistleblower

Carolyn Eisenberg, Professor of US Foreign Policy, Hofstra University **

Alexis Goldstein, Communications Director, The Other 98%

Ed Kinane, Upstate Drone Action, Syracuse, New York

Kevin Zeese, Organizer, Popular Resistance

Margaret Flowers, Organizer, Popular Resistance

Pepperwolf, Director, Women Against Military Madness

 

** Affiliation listed for identification purposes only.

 

 

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