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The U.S. Congress must launch an immediate independent inquiry into the Obama administration’s drone strikes overseas, Amnesty International said following today’s publication of a series of files and documents disclosing long-standing secrets of the global killing program.

“The Drone Papers,” leaked by an anonymous whistle-blower to the online media outlet The Intercept, reveal the startling human costs of armed drone use and highlight chronic flaws in the decision-making process behind the strikes carried out in multiple countries.

These documents raise serious concerns about whether the USA has systematically violated international law, including by classifying unidentified people as ‘combatants’ to justify their killings,” said Naureen Shah, director of Security with Human Rights at Amnesty International USA.

“This warrants an immediate congressional inquiry into why the Obama administration has kept this vital information secret, including the real identities of all those killed in this global killing program.

“These revelations are further damning evidence that the Obama administration is continuing the Bush-era project of treating the world as a global battlefield while evading public accountability.”