Member of Peace Delegation to Pakistan Back in US, Available for Interviews

For Immediate Release
October 15, 2012

Media Contacts:
(US) Robert Naiman, 217-979-2957, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org
(US) Megan Iorio, 908-400-9480, iorio@justforeignpolicy.org

Member of Peace Delegation to Pakistan Back in US, Available for Interviews

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 15—Robert Naiman, Policy Director at the U.S. foreign policy reform group Just Foreign Policy, has arrived back in the United States after two weeks in Pakistan participating in a peace delegation advocating for an end to U.S. drone strikes. He is available for interviews.

While in Pakistan, Naiman and other members of the U.S. delegation, which was organized by CodePink, met family members of people killed by U.S. drone strikes, Pakistani officials, and members of Pakistani civil society. They also met twice with Richard Hoagland, Acting US Ambassador to Pakistan. Naiman wrote about the meeting with Hoagland here: "Americans Press U.S. Ambassador for End to Drone Strikes in Pakistan, and the Ambassador Responds," http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/americans-press-us-ambass_b_1941919.html

During the meetings with Hoagland, the ambassador addressed aspects of US drone strike policy that have not previously received public comment from the administration. Among other things, Hoagland acknowledged that there was no reason why the US could not compensate civilian victims of US drone strikes and their families, but said that there was no structure in place to provide such compensation to civilian victims of US drone strikes in Pakistan. The ambassador also acknowledged the existence of an official, classified civilian death count, denied press reports that the US has targeted rescuers via “secondary” or “follow-up” strikes, and denied a New York Times report that the U.S. was counting every "military-aged male" killed by a U.S. drone strike as a "militant."

"What Ambassador Hoagland acknowledged should be a spur to Congressional action," Naiman said. "Hoagland acknowledged there is no reason the U.S. could not compensate civilian victims and their families. Congress could create a mechanism to do this. Hoagland acknowledged there is an official U.S. count of civilian deaths. Congress could force the Administration to make this number public. And Congress could force Administration officials to answer on the record whether the U.S. is targeting rescuers with drone strikes."

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Just Foreign Policy is a nonprofit nonpartisan advocacy organization that works to reform U.S. foreign policy so that it reflects the values and interests of the majority of Americans. For further information see, go to http://www.justforeignpolicy.org.