June 23rd, 2014
Press Contacts:
Dan Lindner (Grijalva) – (202) 225-2435
Mike Casca (Ellison) – (202) 225-4755
James Lewis (Lee) – (202) 225-2661

Progressive Caucus Leaders Applaud Release of Drones Memo

WASHINGTON—Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M.
Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined CPC Whip Rep. Barbara Lee (D-
CA) in applauding the release of a White House memo outlining the government’s
authority for using drones to kill U.S. citizens overseas.

“With the release of this memo, the American people have a glimpse into decisions
made in our name where lives hang in the balance,” said Rep. Grijalva. “The fact that
American lives are on the line too should give all of us pause. It’s time to end the secrecy
surrounding our drone policies, and I applaud the administration’s move to release this
memo. It’s a far cry from outright transparency, but it is a good first

“The American people have a right to know their government’s justification for the use
of force abroad,” Rep. Ellison said. “We need to restrict the use of drones in Yemen,
Pakistan and elsewhere. The American people can now learn more about a program that
has claimed the lives of innocents and damaged our reputation abroad. The release of
this secret memo is a victory for transparency. But more must be done to inform the
public and have accountable policies.”

“The release of this secret memo is a good step toward transparency but we have a long
way to go,” Rep. Lee said. “Congress must repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of
Military Force (AUMF), which is has allowed endless war with little Congressional
debate, input or oversight.”

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has led the way on transparency in the U.S.
drone program, holding an ad-hoc hearing last summer and endorsing legislation to
bring the legal reasoning behind the drone program into the light.

An unredacted version of this press release is available here.

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