WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement after the House Rules Committee rejected a CPC amendment to the Intelligence Authorization Act requiring the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community to audit the use of targeted lethal force operations conducted by unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Congress must exercise its oversight authority and demand more transparency in the U.S. drone program. The White House acknowledged last month that a drone accidentally killed Warren Weinstein, an American hostage, while targeting al-Qaeda operatives. Mr. Weinstein’s death is not an isolated tragedy; U.S. drone strikes have killed at least five Americans since 2002.
“Targeted drone strikes claim the lives of innocent civilians too often, creating deep resentment towards the U.S. around the world. We are disappointed that the Rules Committee rejected this opportunity to begin bringing accountability to this program.”
The Progressive Caucus amendment would have required that the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community audit the effectiveness of existing U.S. efforts to report, track and investigate civilian deaths caused by the drone program. The Progressive Caucus also attempted to offer this amendment on last year’s intelligence authorization bill and has held ad-hoc hearings on accountability for the drone program.
# # #