Clock Running on Legislation to Force White House to Release the Legal Justification for Drone Strikes
Washington D.C. (December 4, 2012) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today urged fellow lawmakers to support, H. Res. 819, a Resolution of Inquiry that would compel the Administration to release to Congress documents which form the legal basis for the targeted assassination of American citizens abroad. Those documents would include memos from the White House’s Office of Legal Counsel.
A Resolution of Inquiry must be considered within 14 legislative days. Unless Congress adjourns before the deadline, Kucinich will be able to call up the bill with privileged status. Kucinich introduced the legislation on November 28, 2012.
The full text of Congressman Kucinich’s remarks follow.
“Before Congress adjourns, this House should vote on my Resolution of Inquiry about the U.S. use of drones.
“The vote will not be about the thousands of deaths of innocent civilians caused by drones, though that is important. It won’t be about whether the drones are creating more terrorism. It won’t be a vote to stop the killing of American citizens without the due process guaranteed by the Constitution.
“It won’t be about whether our ongoing use of drones constitutes violations of the Constitution and violations of international law.
“The vote will, however, be about something fundamental. We will determine whether or not Congress has the power to require the Administration to release their still-secret legal justification to use drones.
“In matters of the Constitution, in matters of war, ‘trust us’ is neither sufficient legally, constitutionally, nor is it morally acceptable. I urge members of the House to reclaim Congress’ constitutional imperative by supporting H. Res. 819, the Resolution of Inquiry demanding the White House produce its legal justification for drone strikes.”