Bringing the human cost of the drone war to the Senate

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Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights held a hearing entitled “Drone Wars: The Constitutional and Counterterrorism Implications of Targeted Killing.”

It’s crucial that the Senate is raising important questions about targeted killings, and disappointing (though unfortunately not all that surprising) that the administration declined to send a witness to discuss the policy. Chairman Dick Durbin (D-IL) and his colleagues on the subcommittee deserve credit for making sure this issue stays in the spotlight.

While there was a lot of testimony examining important issues like the limitations of the authorization for use of military force passed in 2001 and the definition of associated groups and imminent threats, the most remarkable thing about the hearing was the testimony of Farea Al-Muslimi, a Yemeni youth activist. In his moving testimony, he contrasts his deep connection with and love for the United States with the terror and devastation wrought by drone strikes in his village that he has seen first hand. I highly recommend watching the video of his testimony below.

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