House Committee Seeks To Keep Drone Murders Secret

The House Intelligence Committee on Thursday rejected 15 to 5 what supporters call a "modest" proposal to require that the Obama administration publicly report those killed by U.S. drone strikes overseas. "By blocking transparency the House [committee] denies accountability for the slaughter committed against innocent lives in drone strikes," said Suraia Sahar of Afghans United for Justice in an interview with Common Dreams. "This is a gross disregard for human life." The provision, proposed by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), had already passed the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier this month. It would have required that U.S. agencies involved in drone wars produce annual reports in which they account for all deaths in U.S. drone strikes overseas and identify the civilians and alleged combatants killed. "The production of this report will require minimal resources, but will provide a modest but important measure of transparency and oversight," said Schiff in a statement released Thursday. "People complain justifiably that the Obama administration is not being transparent," said Robert Naiman, policy director for Just Foreign Policy, in an interview with Common Dreams. "But Congress also is not being transparent. Every day this drone policy continues, Congress is voting through its inaction to do nothing."

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