Sunday, April 13, 2014

SUPPORT the "Come Clean on Drone Killings" Act (Schiff/Jones HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act)

Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have now submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. See Natasha Lennard, "New Bill Aims for Drone Transparency," and Thomas Earnest, "Representatives Schiff and Jones Introduce Bill to Increase Transparency in U.S. Drone Program."

See also Joint Statement in Support of The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act by Amnesty International, Arab American Institute, Center for Civilians in Conflict, Center for Constitutional Rights, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Global Justice Clinic, NYU School of Law, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, National Security Network, Open Society Policy Center, Peace Action West, Reprieve, and Win Without War.

Some people call it the "come clean on drone killings" act

The "Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act" could be the beginning of the end for out-of-control U.S. drones killings. But it's up to US to make sure this initiative doesn't die on the vine.

As Robert Naiman at Just Foreign Policy has said, "Whether the introduction of this legislation will mark a turning point in efforts to subject the drone strike policy to democratic scrutiny and the rule of law will significantly depend on whether members of the public rally behind the Schiff-Jones bill and press their representatives in Congress to cosponsor it." (See "Pass the Drone Strike Transparency Act")

Call your member of Congress today!

Here are resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in California in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in Illinois in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in New York in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

List for writing to members of Congress in Wisconsin in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)




A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)









The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Congressional Progressive Caucus: On Drones, Human RIghts Must Be a Priority


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2014
Press Contacts:
Adam Sarvana (Grijalva) – (202) 225-2435
Mike Casca (Ellison) – (202) 225-4755

CPC CO-CHAIRS CALL FOR CONSTRUCTIVE ENGAGEMENT ON DRONES: HUMAN RIGHTS MUST BE A PRIORITY

WASHINGTON Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) released the following statement after a vote by the United Nations Human Rights Council on the use of drones:

“Today’s vote at the United Nations reinforces the need for greater oversight of the U.S. drone program. Instead of working closely with the international community to help strengthen current international standards on the use of drones, the U.S. government decided to boycott a discussion of the draft resolution. We are troubled by the ease with which dialogue and diplomacy—values at the center of the president’s foreign policy—were cast aside in this debate.

“Our national security would be stronger with international standards regarding the use of drones. No country has a monopoly on armed drone technology. As of 2011, 76 nations had drone technology of some kind. It is clearly in our interest to help establish the norms and rules that will govern the use of drones by all nations in the future.

“Similarly, it’s important to ensure that the American people and our allies understand the legal justification and on-the-ground impact of our drone policy. The current lack of transparency harms our relationships with other countries and erodes our ability to collaborate on key global security issues.

“Today’s vote highlights the need for Congress to play a larger role in overseeing and regulating the use of lethal force abroad. Requiring that our intelligence agencies provide an annual public accounting of the number of civilian casualties caused by drone strikes overseas—a measure included in the proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Intelligence Authorization Act —would be a good start.

“Members of the CPC are ready to work with our colleagues and the administration to ensure that our policies are transparent, compliant with existing international law, and beneficial to our long-term national security.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus held a hearing on drones in May of last year, the first such hearing on the topic. You can learn more about it at http://1.usa.gov/1dqTR5Y

Related posts


A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)









The reason the Administration is hiding truth about drones is that they don't have a satisfactory answer for how decisions about drone strikes are made.  As we have known all along, we need the public to think about how crummy the whole drone program is, and then they will be ready to be on our side. The best way to get them really thinking is to shine a spotlight on the secrecy, evasiveness, and deceit involved in the U.S. drone program.

(See Drone Killings: Come Clean )


An Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms: linchpin races, scandal, principle, drone testing, and some "special" cases.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations?)

Friday, January 31, 2014

End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization: Call for Spring Days of Action 2014


Today we issue an international call for Spring Days of Action – 2014, a coordinated campaign in April and May to:

End Drone Killing, Drone Surveillance and Global Militarization

The campaign will focus on drone bases, drone research facilities and test sites and drone manufacturers.

The campaign will provide information on:

1. The suffering of tens of thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza who are under drone attack, documenting the killing, the wounding and the devastating impact of constant drone surveillance on community life.

2. How attack and surveillance drones have become a key element in a massive wave of surveillance, clandestine military attacks and militarization generated by the United States to protect a global system of manufacture and oil and mineral exploitation that is creating unemployment and poverty, accelerating the waste of nonrenewable resources and contributing to environmental destruction and global warming.

In addition to cases in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, we will examine President Obama's "pivot" into the Asia-Pacific, where the United States has already sold and deployed drones in the vanguard of a shift of 60% of its military forces to try to control China and to enforce the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership.  We will show, among other things, how this surge of "pivot" forces, greatly enabled by drones, and supported by the US military-industrial complex, will hit every American community with even deeper cuts in the already fragile social programs on which people rely for survival.  In short, we will connect drones and militarization with "austerity" in America.

3. How drone attacks have effectively destroyed international and domestic legal protection of the rights to life, privacy, freedom of assembly and free speech and have opened the way for new levels of surveillance and repression around the world, and how, in the United States, increasing drone surveillance, added to surveillance by the National Security Agency and police, provides a new weapon to repress black, Hispanic, immigrant and low-income communities and to intimidate Americans who are increasingly unsettled by lack of jobs, economic inequality, corporate control of politics and the prospect of endless war.

We will discuss how the United States government and corporations conspire secretly to monitor US citizens and particularly how the Administration is accelerating drone surveillance operations and surveillance inside the United States with the same disregard for transparency and law that it applies to other countries, all with the cooperation of the Congress.

The campaign will encourage activists around the world to win passage of local laws that prohibit weaponized drones and drone surveillance from being used in their communities as well as seeking national laws to bar the use of weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will draw attention to the call for a ban on weaponized drones by RootsAction.org that has generated a petition with over 80,000 signers and to efforts by the Granny Peace Brigade (New York City), KnowDrones.org and others to achieve an international ban on both weaponized drones and drone surveillance.

The campaign will also urge participation in the World Beyond War movement.

The following individuals and organizations endorse this Call:

Lyn Adamson – Co-chair, Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Dennis Apel – Guadalupe Catholic Worker, California
Judy Bello – Upstate NY Coalition to Ground the Drones & End the Wars
Medea Benjamin – Code Pink
Leah Bolger – Former National President, Veterans for Peace
Canadian Voice of Women for Peace
Sung-Hee Choi – Gangjeong Village International Team, Jeju, Korea
Chelsea C. Faria – Graduate student, Yale  Divinity School; Promoting Enduring Peace
Sandy Fessler – Rochester (NY) Against War
Joy First
Bruce K. Gagnon - Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space
Holly Gwinn Graham – Singer/songwriter, Olympia, WA.
Regina Hagen - Darmstaedter Friedensforum, Germany
Kathy Kelly – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Malachy Kilbride
Marilyn Levin and Joe Lombardo – Co-Coordinators, United National Antiwar Coalition
Tamara Lorincz – Halifax Peace Coalition, Canada
Nick Mottern – KnowDrones.org
Agneta Norberg – Swedish Peace Council
Pepperwolf – Director, Women Against Military Madness
Lindis Percy, Coordinator, Campaign for the Accountability of American
  Bases  CAAB UK
Mathias Quackenbush – San Francisco, CA
Lisa Savage – Code Pink, State of Maine
Joe Scarry, No Drones Network
Janice Sevre-Duszynska
Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck- Friedenswerkstatt Mutlangen, Germany
Cindy Sheehan
Lucia Wilkes Smith – Convener, Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) – Ground
   Military Drones Committee
David Soumis – Veterans for Peace; No Drones Wisconsin
Debra Sweet – World Can’t Wait
David Swanson - WarisACrime.org
Brian Terrell – Voices for Creative Nonviolence
United National Antiwar Coalition
Veterans for Peace 
Dave Webb – Chair, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (UK)
Curt Wechsler – Fire John Yoo! (a project of World Can’t Wait) – San Francisco, CA
Paki Wieland, Northampton (MA) Committee to Stop War(s)
Loring Wirbel – Citizens for Peace in Space (Colorado Springs, CO)
Women Against Military Madness
Ann Wright – Retired US Army colonel and former diplomat
Leila Zand - Fellowship of Reconciliation

Related posts


An Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms: linchpin races, scandal, principle, drone testing, and some "special" cases.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations?)







April Days of Action Against Drones 2013 included a multi-day convergence in San Diego, the campaign against Boeing in Chicago, actions all up and down the East Coast, and much, much more!

(See April Days of Action 2013)


RESOURCES: There are a large number of online tools, resources, and platforms for supporting the movement to stop drone warfare and surveillance.

(See Online Tools, Resources, and Platforms Supporting the Movement to Stop Drone Warfare and Surveillance)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

ORGANIZE! Build the National Network Against Drones

We had a great network-building session at the 2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" (Nov 16/17).

To join the US national network against drones go to the opt-in page for the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW). We plan a comprehensive email blast around December 20, and we want to make sure you're on our list!

MOREOVER . . . in our time together in DC, we strengthened our ability to support each other in our common endeavors, particularly:
(1) protests against existing and planned drone bases and command centers
(2) college and university outreach
(3) high school education

(4) organizing in communities with drone manufacturing
(5) press outreach
(6) online tools
. . . as well as other areas.

SO . . . please give some thought to two questions:
* do you have expertise, experience, resources specific to one (or more) of those 6 areas mentioned?

* would you be willing to commit time to an ongoing effort to share expertise, experience, resources specific to one (or more) of those 6 areas mentioned?
Planning will begin soon for spring protests (April Days of Action Against Drones 2014)!

Thank you and best regards,

Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Nick Mottern, KnowDrones
Joe Scarry, No Drones Network


Related posts

Five big realizations I'm taking away from the 2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" in Washington, DC.

(See The 2013 DC Drones Conference: 5 Big Takeaways )





The biggest idea coming out of the 2013 Drone Summit? We will only deal successfully with the crimes being committed using drones when we understand them as part of the much larger war against communities of color . . . .

(See Drone Gaze, Drone Injury: The War on Communities of Color )






Many of us who weren't in Pakistan to participate in the massive rally against U.S. drone strikes participated in this protest by holding rallies where we were (for instance, in London), or by participating virtually via the #PakistanAgainstDrones campaign on Twitter.

(See What Would a Global Movement to Ground the Drones Look Like?)

Organizing Resistance to Drones at High Schools, Colleges, and Universities

This group focusing on organizing to do work at high schools, colleges, and universities as part of the resistance to drone warfare and surveillance met Sunday, November 17, 2013, in Washington, D.C.  It was a breakout session of the network-building workshop at the CODEPINK drones summit.

Below are general notes.  Next steps are being planned.  Please email Leila Zand at Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) lzand@forusa.org to be part of this group.  (Also: if you have not already done so, please also provide your information at the opt-in page for the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW).)

November 17, 2013, Meeting - Quick Summary

There were a little more than 30 people in our group.  We all shared:  
  1. Frustration 
  2. All are ready to be more involved with actions 
Groups believe we need to reach out to students in high schools and colleges with various strategies and plans, including:
  1. Drone Replica 
  2. Street theater 
  3. Music country tour 
  4. Alternative job suggestion 
  5. $ spends for drone building, research and student education
  6. Alternate spending of $ for peaceful projects
  7. Competitions for students on writing essays and making short films
  8. Connecting with teachers and professors already are working with students
  9. Creating 10 minutes document, to be shared with schools

Related posts

Preliminary research into University and Academic UAV programs indicates that a research centers are operating in dozens of locations.

(See List of U.S. Drone Research Sites)





Did you know there is an online resource FULL of materials to use in organizing your local activism against drones?

(See Organizer Manual on the NSDSW wiki)






What are some of the forms that campus activism might take? Since Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has a contract to do drone research, the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR], on May 1, sent a letter to Ronald J. Daniels, JHU president, and Dr. Ralph Semmel, director of the APL, seeking a meeting . . . .

(See Anti-Killer Drone Activists Seek Meeting with Johns Hopkins University President )

Monday, November 18, 2013

Online Tools, Resources, and Platforms Supporting the Movement to Stop Drone Warfare and Surveillance

We had a great network-building session at the 2013 CODEPINK Drone Summit "Drones Around the Globe: Proliferation and Resistance" (Nov 16/17). A group is forming to expand the available online tools, resources, and platforms for supporting the movement to stop drone warfare and surveillance.

Below is a quick guide to some existing tools.


State-by-state Groups and Corresponding Websites

There are active groups in most states working on the drone issue.  Many maintain one or more website specific to their work on drones; a number of sites have also been set up with the assistance of the No Drones Network to give as much visibility as possible to the work of these groups. Find a group near you by consulting the state-by-state list and getting involved!


E-mail Blasts

We are working toward having a good list of people participating in these efforts nationwide. Please add your name to the list by going to the opt-in page for the Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare (NSDSW).


Social Media, News Groups, List-serves and Forums

There is a Facebook group for people at the grass-roots working to stop drones: STOP! the Drone Killing Grassroots Coalition

There is a large community that tweets about drones using the #drones and #nodrones hashtags. We have begun a list of the most responsive tweeters/retweeters: twitter.com/NoDronesNetwork/lists/nodrones

CODEPINK curates a news list on the Global Drones Watch website.

There are several listserves.  For instance, to subscribe/unsubscribe, go to https://lists.riseup.net/www/sigrequest/nodrones - if you are having trouble, please just email nodronesinfo@gmail.com

In addition, there is discussion of developing an online forum dedicated to the work of the no-drones movement.


NSDSW Wiki

The newest project of the NSDSW is a wiki to allow the broadest possible participation by people in the drone opposition movement in assembling and sharing resources.

View the main NSDSWiki page.

View a full list of NSDSW Participating Organizations.

View the Organizing Manual Project.

View the latest NSDSW Events.

To add or edit content on the wiki, establish an account (see upper right hand corner of the wiki) and start editing. (Some pages of the wiki may have limited editing access.)


To get involved working with others to develop/improve these and/or other aspects of the online tools, resources, and platforms for supporting the movement to stop drone warfare and surveillance, please email Joe Scarry jtscarry@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oct 25: US to Respond to UN Call for Full Accounting of "Extrajudicial, Arbitrary, and Summary Executions"?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Joe Scarry, Network to Stop Drone Surveillance and Warfare -- jtscarry@yahoo.com
or Peter Lems, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) -- plems@afsc.org


What: U.S. Ambassador responds to UN Report on US drone extradjudical executions
Where: United Nations Headquarters, New York City
When: October 25, 2013


US to Respond to UN Call for Full Accounting of 
"Extrajudicial, Arbitrary, and Summary Executions";
Records of Thousands of Killings Using Drones at Issue

At a session on October 25 in New York City, the US delegation of the United Nations is expected to respond to new reports that call for a full public accounting of extrajudicial, arbitrary, and summary executions carried out by the U.S. in countries around the world using drones. The reports require full transparency of drone killings, including, "the legal basis for the use of drones, operational responsibility, criteria for targeting, impact (including civilian casualties), and information about alleged violations, investigations and prosecutions." [See links to reports below]

"The recommendations of these two reports reflect a clear international mandate that the U.S. comply with the duties and obligations of every law-abiding nation," said Medea Benjamin, co-founder of antiwar group CODEPINK. "Now the question is: how soon will the U.S. come into compliance?" she said. "For the first time ever, on October 29 Congress will have a chance to hear firsthand from civilians harmed in US drone attacks. To date, the US has refused to acknowledge, apologize or offer compensation to civilians harmed in drone attacks in countries like Pakistan and Yemen where the US is not officially at war."

Debate remains about how fully the U.S. will comply. "The Department of Defense and/or the CIA documents every drone strike, including the details of the decision process and the video of the actual strike," said David Swanson, author, antiwar activist, and sponsor of a petition for an outright ban on armed drones. "Compliance with the UN mandate will require the public disclosure of all of that, we believe."

Experts agree the compliance demands on the U.S. are widely supported. "The time when the U.S. could stonewall the international community on its drone killings has long passed," said Peter Lems, drones program coordinator at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). "Barack Obama even has 16-year-old human rights activists from Pakistan like Malala Yousafzai telling him in an Oval Office meeting that 'drone attacks are fueling terrorism' and 'lead to resentment' among the people where the killings occur. "

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Key report findings: 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?

FULL REPORT: Report of UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns: Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

FULL REPORT: Report of UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Ben Emmerson: Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

Independent tallies of US Drone Strikes: The Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Petition to ban weaponized drones