(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – In response to reports that President Barack Obama has decided to release further details about his administration's legal rationale for so-called "targeted killings" to Congress, Amnesty International USA's Zeke Johnson, Security with Human Rights Campaign Director, issued the following statement:
"Transparency is not the end goal. Ending kill lists is. Release to Congress of further details about the Obama administration's legal rationale for the use of so-called 'targeted killings' is a welcome step toward transparency, but transparency alone is not the end goal. The President must ensure that the government's use of lethal force fully complies with international law.
"Congress should grill John Brennan tomorrow about his claim, released today in pre-hearing answers to the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, that the Obama administration's drone strikes are 'conducted in full compliance with the law,' given that the Obama administration continues to ignore – as did the Bush administration before it – the applicability of international human rights law to all U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
"Furthermore, Congress should immediately hold public hearings with independent experts to examine the administration's legal reasoning and ensure that the administration is following the 'rule book' for the use of lethal force that already exists: international human rights law and, in the very narrow circumstances to which it applies, international humanitarian law."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.