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Forcing Obama to Handover Drone Documents, Rep. Ron Paul Makes Last Stand before Leaving Congress
by Ezra Van Auken
Along with his colleague Dennis Kucinich from Ohio, Congressman from Texas, Ron Paul is leaving the Capitol in a few weeks. But before the stern non-interventionist advocates depart, they will introduce a resolution in Congress that would pressure President Obama to handover documents revealing the apparent justification for drone use overseas.
The office of Rep. Kucinich sent a press release to the Houston Chronicle, which states, “Thus far, the administration has refused to release the memo or any documents, despite multiple requests from members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. Intelligence operations that have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight raise serious legal questions, particularly when such programs may constitute possible violations of international law or the Constitution of the United States,” a trend in the Obama administration.
Paul and Kucinich’s resolution was introduced on the 28th of November and could be taken in front of the House before the end of 2012. According to the two Congressmen, the reason for disliking drones is because “they increase radicalization among the population of the countries we use them in, violate the U.S. Constitution, kill innocent people and stain our nation’s moral consciousness.”
Many Americans are fed up with U.S.’ foreign policy and Rep. Paul has been a key vent for those who are angered. In Paul’s recent farewell speech to Congress he touched on the topic of drones saying, “The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted. Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.”
The resentment Rep. Paul is referring to be also known as blowback or the U.S. meddling in affairs of foreign nations, which leads to retaliation on the homeland. Paul’s thought-process that America’s excessive drone use will come to an end is most likely right considering the United States’ economic state as well as the rate of return that drones produce; more bad than good.
Pakistan, a country that sees drone strikes on the regular, and has become a symbol of American drone deployment, is a first-hand witness. “I am not saying drones have not assisted in the war against terror, but they have diminishing rate of returns,” Pakistani Ambassador, Sherry Rehman explained at the Aspen Security Forum. Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Rehman Malik also spoke out on the issue and cited some staggering statistics.
Malik noted that out of 336 strikes by the U.S. on Pakistani soil, some 2,500 to 3,000 civilians were killed as a result and an alleged 174 were children. In regard to these strikes, PakNationalists Forum correspondent, Ahmed Quraishi told Russia Today, “The Americans have been trying very, very hard to convince Pakistanis the drone attacks are actually for the betterment of the country…but I think with this kind of statement coming from a senior Pakistani minister [Malik], this just totally destroys the position of the US from inside Pakistan. I’m sure that the American diplomats at the US embassy here in Islamabad are increasingly applying pressure on Washington and their counterparts, especially at the CIA and the Pentagon.”
Unfortunately the U.S. has yet to reform their policies overseas, which for one, cannot be afforded any longer and two, are only creating more enemies.