USA: Pax Christi USA signs onto letter asking Congress to end CIA use of armed drones
26/2/19 - Pax Christi USA has joined with a number of other faith-based organisations in the US in signing an interfaith letter to the US Congress about CIA drone strikes. The letter was released on February 19th and asks members of Congress to end the CIA’s use of armed drones to carry out lethal attacks. The letter begins:
As members of the American faith community, we believe that all people have human rights given to us by God, and that there must be transparency and accountability regarding the use of lethal force undertaken on our behalf. Therefore we are writing to ask you to end the CIA’s use of armed drones to carry out lethal attacks.
The CIA’s use of drones to target and kill suspected militants began in 2004 and has continued through three Administrations. Reports indicate that the CIA’s program of drone strikes has expanded in the past two years to include strikes in Libya and Afghanistan. This is in addition to the CIA’s long term program of carrying out strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, and possibly other countries. These strikes amount to a secret war, one that now spreads across at least four countries. There has never been a robust public or congressional debate over this war. In most cases it isn’t even officially acknowledged - despite being common knowledge in the affected countries.
Democracies must debate and take moral responsibility for decisions to use violent force. By refusing to acknowledge most of its strikes, the CIA prevents civilian victims from receiving justice and conveys moral responsibility for killing on to an American people who have never been informed about this secret war, nor had their Members of Congress vote on it.