Saturday, November 16, 2013

Do resistance in Congress against killer drone strikes

Friends, Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR] are gearing up for a visit to Congress on Monday, November 18 to express our disgust with killer drone strikes. While the letter below is addressed to Senator Chuck Schumer, it can also be sent to your legislators. During the Code Pink drone conference, we will have a meeting on Saturday, November 16 at 7 PM at the Washington Friends Meeting, 2111 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008, to plan a resistance action[s]. Let us know if you plan to attend the planning meeting. Also let us know if you plan to join us in D.C. on November 18, if you want to sign on to the Schumer letter, or if you plan to mail the letter to your legislators and then visit their district offices. Thank you. Kagiso, Max National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], 325 East 25th Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 Email mobuszewski at; Phone 410-366-1637 Senator Charles Schumer, 322 Hart Senate Office Building Washington D.C. 20510 November 14, 2013 Honorable Senator Schumer: We are members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, and are deeply concerned about our government’s use of unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, to assassinate people in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other places. NCNR representatives would like to meet with you on Nov. 18, 2013 to urge you to support an end to this assassination program which we believe to be illegal. We are quite flexible, and would accept a meeting any time on Monday. In 2011 in Yemen, CIA drone attacks were used to kill, first, Anwar Al-Awlaki and weeks later his son. They were U.S. citizens, who were never charged, brought to trial, or convicted of any crime. In fact, two other U.S. citizens have been assassinated by killer drone strikes without any pretense of due process. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights brought a lawsuit in US federal court against the Obama Administration regarding the assassination of Al-Awlaki. The suit was lost on procedural grounds; however, the judge in the case stated "Can the executive order the assassination of a US citizen without first affording him any form of judicial process whatsoever, based on the mere assertion that he is a dangerous member of a terrorist organization?" The killer drone strikes only promote more terrorism directed at the US. This point was made by Malala Yousafzai when she met with President Obama and his family. On Oct. 11, 2013 Philip Rucker of THE WASHINGTON POST wrote this: “Yousafzai said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration's use of drones, saying they are ‘fueling terrorism.’” We are also disturbed by the lack of transparency and oversight by congress. In spite of assurances from President Obama that the victims of drone strikes are surgical targets, it has been reported that hundreds of victims who are innocent of crimes against the US have been killed including civilian men, women, and children. These people have names and families who love them. According to a report, “US: Reassess Targeted Killings in Yemen,” released on October 21, 2013 by Human Rights Watch “United States targeted airstrikes against alleged terrorists in Yemen have killed civilians in violation of international law." The report added that the strikes are creating a public backlash that undermines US efforts against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). We hope that you will take our concerns seriously, as it is our position that killer drone strikes are wrong on many levels: the illegality and immorality of assassinations, the violation of international law and the Constitutional protection of due process, the targeting of civilian populations, and the disregard of sovereignty. We have great concern for people caught up in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, the Philippines, Somalia and Yemen. We believe the US killer drone program must be brought to an end immediately. Please respond to our request to meet and to discuss the termination of the assassination program. This is an opportunity to consider our proposal of reconciliation and diplomacy rather than pernicious killer drone strikes. A U.S. policy of endless wars must be placed in the dustbin of history. We look forward to your response. In peace, Max Obuszewski On behalf of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

No comments: