3/14: Outlaw Drone Strikes in the United States!

3/14: Outlaw Drone Strikes in the United States

Tell your Senators to support S. 505, a bill that would prohibit drone strikes in the United States.


You have to start somewhere.

Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have introduced a bill that would prohibit drone strikes in the United States. If this bill is passed into law, it would mark the first time that Congress has acted to limit the "war without borders" created by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks. At long last, the "global war on terror" would have a boundary. Passage of the bill would create a precedent: Congress can act to limit the endless war.

Urge your Senators and Representative to support legislation to limit the drone war:

Last week, Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul introduced S. 505, legislation to prohibit drone killings of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil if they do not represent an imminent threat. [1] Cruz and Paul have said they plan to try to attach the language of the bill as an amendment to the continuing resolution which would fund federal agencies through Sept. 30. [2]

Introduction of the bill followed Senator Paul's filibuster of John Brennan's nomination to head the CIA. Paul said the purpose of his filibuster was to force the Administration to disclose more information about its claimed legal authority to conduct drone strikes. The filibuster—and Senator Cruz' questioning of Attorney General Eric Holder in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing—drew public attention to the fact that the Administration is claiming legal authority to target people in other countries with drone strikes, far away from any battlefield, even when they are not an imminent threat, as the term “imminent” is ordinarily understood. That's a clear violation of international law. [3]

New York University law professor Ryan Goodman noted in the New York Times that the Administration's "extraordinary secrecy" makes it difficult to know who the Administration thinks it can target. [4] Attorney General Holder has written that the President does not have the authority to "use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil." Goodman asked: what, exactly, does the Obama administration mean by "engaged in combat"? The public record suggests that the Administration believes it can declare "drug traffickers" and "terrorist financiers" to be "enemy combatants" who can be targeted with drone strikes, even if they are not engaged in any fighting. Goodman notes that this "stretches the laws of war beyond recognition."

Congress has been asleep at the switch on oversight of the drone strike policy since 2004. At long last, some Members of Congress are showing interest in holding the Administration to account. Help us use the Cruz-Rand bill as a tool to pressure other Members of Congress into speaking up. Urge your Senators and Representative to support the Cruz-Rand bill.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a more just foreign policy,

Robert Naiman, Chelsea Mozen, Sarah Burns and Megan Iorio
Just Foreign Policy

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1. "Cruz, Paul Introduce Bill to Prohibit Drone Killings of U.S. Citizens," Press Release, Office of Sen. Cruz, March 7, 2013, [The bill text is not in Thomas yet, but is available at this link. The link to the bill in Thomas is here:]
2. "Ted Cruz, Rand Paul want drone language in CR," Jonathan Allen, Politico, 3/8/13,
3. "What Rand Paul & Ted Cruz Exposed About the Drone Strikes," Robert Naiman, Huffington Post, 3/07/2013,
4. "The Drone Question Obama Hasn't Answered," Ryan Goodman, New York Times, March 8, 2013,


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