Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Rep. Jim Moran: Support the "Come Clean on Drones Killing" Bill!

Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia will be retiring at the end of the current session.

Notably, the 8th Congressional district of Virginia that Moran represents includes the headquarters of the CIA - one of the principal authors of the U.S. drone killing program. CIA headquarters have been the site of frequent protesters by opponents of drone killings.

Before he finishes his career in Congress, the people of Virginia -- and of the rest of the country -- need Rep. Moran to get strongly behind the bill pending in Congress -- the The Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (HR 4372) -- also known as the "Come Clean on Drone Killing" Act.

As Rep. Moran said recently, "I think we’ve got to be very careful with the use of drones.” (See "Rep. Jim Moran tells NewsChannel 8 he sees few decent U.S. options in volatile Iraq situation," WJLA.com, June 23, 2014)

At this writing, quite a few of Rep. Moran's fellow progressive caucus members have become co-sponsors for HR 4372.  Now we need Rep. Moran!

Rep. Moran's constituents need to contact him and urge him to co-sponsor the bill today.

Additional resources to help:

Identify your member of Congress

Example letter to a member of Congress in support of HR 4372: the Targeted Lethal Force Transparency Act (the "come clean on drone killings" act)

Related posts

First Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) called the U.S. on the carpet for dodging the call from the international community to come clean about its drone killings. Then Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) submitted a bill calling for drone transparency. So ... are we finally going to get the truth?

(See REAL Progressives Demand that the U.S. Come Clean on Drone Killings)

CIA headquarters has been the site of frequent protests by the opponents of U.S. drone assassinations.

(See Bearing witness to drone atrocities at the CIA's doorstep)

A 2013 U.N. report makes it clear that the U.S. has to report fully on all its drone attacks.

(See 2014: The Year of Transparency (for U.S. Drone Use)?)

Friday, March 28, 2014


  MARCH 25, 2014

WHO: Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) have taken action to call attention to, and bring an end to the crimes of the United States Government since the Iraq war began in March 2003.

WHAT: Members of NCNR first brought a criminal complaint against President Obama, CIA Director John Brennan, and others at the CIA who are involved in the drone program to the US Attorney’s office in Alexandria last May when Neil MacBride held the office of US Attorney.  After numerous attempts to follow-up on the complaint, no action was apparently taken.  A copy of the criminal complaint was then sent to the new US Attorney Dana Boente last week.

When the six activists arrived at the US Attorney’s office at 11:00 am they discovered the doors to the public building were locked.  A security officer, John Buffington, came out and told them that they would not be allowed into the building. 
Citizens standing in front of Attorney Boente's doors, which were
 locked against their indictment of U.S. war crimes.
Then a plain clothes security officer, Francisco Gerard from the US Attorney’s office, came out to speak to them.  He acknowledged that the doors were locked specifically to keep the activists out.  Other members of the public were let into the building while the officer spoke with the 6 activists.  The officer said that they received the complaint and US Attorney Boente would take it under advisement.  After several minutes of speaking with Mr. Gerard the nonviolent activists peacefully left the area.

WHY: The six activists believe it is their responsibility to report crimes, especially extrajudicial killing by the US drones.  There are documented reports from organizations such as Amnesty International and news organizations like the UK based Bureau of Investigative Journalism. They also believe US elected and appointed officials have a duty to investigate these crimes.

Joan Nicholson came from Kennett Square Pennsylvania to join the group, and she said, “As a US citizen I was appalled that we were not given the opportunity to determine the progress of the citizens complaint seeking an indictment against President Obama, CIA Director Brennan, and others responsible for war crimes especially those carried out by the killer drones.”

It is chilling that nonviolent citizen activists would be targeted and locked out of a public building because they want their government held accountable for serious lawbreaking, including war crimes as reported by Amnesty International.

Malachy Kilbride from Arlington, VA explained “We tried to give voice to the victims of US drone strikes and their families by going to government officials responsible for maintaining the rule of law.  But what we encountered was a US government legal system that is literally shutting out those who want to report serious crimes and accept their responsibilities under the law.”

Now that crimes have been reported to the US Attorney’s office they are responsible and will someday be held accountable.  The National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance will not give up in their pursuit of this matter.

For more information, contact: Joy First 608-239-4327, Malachy Kilbride 571-501-3729, Max Obuszewski   410-366-1637

Spring Days of Drone Action, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Spring Days of Action are almost here! Join us!


The Spring Days of Drone Action are almost upon us!

When: Sunday, March 30, 2014, 3-5p.m.
Where: Arlington Central Library: 1015 N Quincy St., 2ndFloor Meeting Room
Free parking available on parking lot or inside parking structure. Handicap accessible. 
Light refreshments provided.

Below is a fact sheet of web sites with action items and information. Please review them, email any others to Malachy Kilbride, and come prepared to discuss them and draw up a plan of action for the next few months.  Also please share this with any other interested people. 

Questions? - Call Moya Atkinson, 703-941-3707, leave a message. If you can't attend the meeting, but would like to remain on our email list, please let me know. 

To RSVP, Please contact: Moya Atkinson,moyaatk@yahoo.com, Malachy Kilbride,malachykilbride@gmail.com, or Noor Mir,noorraizedmir@gmail.com
Thank you! We look forward to seeing you next Sunday.

Moya Atkinson, Malachy Kilbride and Noor Mir

Additional resources:

You will find information from various organizations on ways you can get involved and join the conversation on U.S.drone policy.  It doesn't include Amnesty International - see below for their petition.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bearing witness to drone atrocities at the CIA's doorstep

On Saturday, March 8th, anti-drone war protesters from Northern Virginians for Peace and Justice, Pax Christi Metro DC/Baltimore, Dorothy DayLangley Hill Friends Meeting and students from Loyola College and local high schools gathered at the main entrance of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia for their 16th consecutive monthly witness since November, 2012.
Dozens came out to bring the anti-drone message to the Langley community.

Approaching the Langley CIA compound with the drone replica.
 Barbed wire visible on the right.

Demonstrators got the attention of many passersby,
 and received a great deal of encouragement.

People of all ages and backgrounds came together to bear
 witness to the atrocities resulting from drone warfare.
Those present placed stones at the gates of Langley to commemorate
 the many innocent people killed by drones.
"Peace is Priceless." 
16 consecutive months, and the Langley community is still going strong as they refuse to let the CIA hide from the consequences of their actions.
 The nationwide Spring Days of Action Against Drones are just beginning! CLICK HERE to learn about events in your area!
Spring Days of Drone Action 2014

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Join us! Indictment of Obama, Brennan, and the CIA for war crimes to be delivered to U.S. attorney's office.

From the Joy First of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR):

Dear Friends,

Please let me know if you would like to sign your name to the letter below.  Email me your name, city, and any organizational affiliations you want listed.  And please share this with others who may want to sign onto the letter.

You may remember that members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance (NCNR) brought a criminal complaint to the office of the US Attorney Neil MacBride in Alexandria, VA last May and had a 40 minute meeting with Assistant US Attorney Eugene Rossi.  This office has jurisdiction over land where the CIA is located.  The complaint called for a criminal investigation into war crimes that are being perpetrated at the CIA through the use of killer drones.

Though we have been ignored, the new US Attorney Dana Boente and Assistant US Attorney Eugene Rossi are concerned enough about what we are doing that they showed up in the courtroom and sat through our appeal for a conviction after being arrested at the CIA last June.

Now we have written a letter with a criminal complaint against Obama, Brennan and others at the CIA, and we are sending it to US Attorney Dana Boente.  This is the letter we invite you to sign onto below.  

We state at the end of the cover letter that we will stop by his office on March 25 at 11:00 am to discuss this complaint further.  We invite all of you to join us in going to the US Attorney's office in Alexandria, VA on March 25.  Please email me and let me know if you would like to join us on March 25

On March 25th, we will visit U.S. attorney Dana
Boente in Alexandria, VA to deliver an
indictment for war crimes against those responsible for drone terror.

March 14, 2014

Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, 
United States Attorney’s Office
2100 Jamieson Ave
Alexandria, VA 22314

Dear Mr. Boente,

We the undersigned citizens hereby petition the U.S Attorney in Fairfax County under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, to wit, we are bringing a criminal complaint requesting a war crimes indictment against President Barack Obama, CIA Director John Brennan, and other government personnel for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones) which are used for extrajudicial and illegal purposes, causing the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and other places around the world.

On May 21, 2013 we delivered the same complaint to Mr. Neil McBride who was at that time the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.  Though we were able to meet with Assistant US Attorney Eugene Rossi, our complaint was ignored and there was not any follow-up, and so we must come again - to you this time. 

A crime is being committed by our government.  The killer drone strikes are NOT the actions of a responsible government.  Such actions are terrorizing citizens in a number of countries.  In these communities children can’t be children because they must deal with the whirring sounds of Predator and Reaper drones as they hover overhead.  Imagine the fright caused by this terror.

We ask you to please accept this complaint and take appropriate action against these war crimes.  You cannot continue to ignore what is happening when you know that people are dying and war crimes are being committed.  We will stop by your office on March 25 at 11:00 am to discuss this further.

Joy First
Malachy Kilbride
Max Obuszewski
Members of the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance


When an individual becomes a public servant, serving in a government position, he or she publicly promises to uphold the United States Constitution. The US Constitution states:
“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

This clause is known as the Supremacy Clause because it provides that the Constitution and laws of the U.S., including treaties made under authority of the U.S. shall be supreme law of the land.
The Supremacy Clause provides part of the Supreme Law of the Land.

One Treaty duly ratified by the U.S. is the United Nations Charter. It was ratified by a vote of 89 to 2 in the U.S. Senate, and signed by the President in 1945. It remains in effect today. As such, it is part of the supreme law of the land.

The Preamble of the U.N. Charter states that its purpose is to “save future generations from the scourge of war” and it further states, “all nations shall refrain from the use of force against another nation.”

This Treaty applies both collectively and individually to all three branches of government, on all levels, U.S. federal, state and local governments, starting with the executive branch: the U.S. President and the executive staff; the judicial branch: all judges and staff members of the judiciary; the legislative branch: all members of the U.S. Armed Forces and all departments of Law Enforcement and all civilian staff, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, which includes Article VI.

Under the U.N. Charter and long established international laws, anyone--civilian, military, government officials, or judges- who knowingly participate in or support illegal use of force against another nation or its people is committing a war crime.

The Central Intelligence Agency, overseen by President Obama and relevant US Congressional Committees, engages in the use of drones (UAVs) to target and kill people without guilt of any crime.  Those following orders, from the president and down through the chain of command, after promising to uphold the United States Constitution, and promising to obey Treaties and International Law – as part of the Supreme Law of the Land, and furthermore, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of the U.S., are required to disobey any clearly unlawful order from a superior.
These drones are being used not only in combat situations for the purpose of assassinations but also for killings far removed from combat zones without military defense, to assassinate individuals and groups far removed from military action.

For example:
· On October 24, 2012, a 67-year-old Pakistani woman was killed by an alleged U.S. drone while picking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren.
· Missiles fired by a U.S. drone killed three people in Pakistan on October 31, 2013, according to Pakistani intelligence officials, the first such attack since Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif asked U.S. President Barack Obama to end the campaign of drone strikes.
A drone strike on a wedding in Yemen in December, 2013 created just
 a few of the thousands of victims of U.S. drone killing.
These are just a few examples of thousands of people who have been murdered by the CIA.  These are extrajudicial killings, and are an intentional, premeditated, and deliberate use of lethal force to commit murder in violation of U.S. and International Law. 

It is a matter of public record that the US has used drones in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen for targeted killings to target specific individuals which has nearly always resulted in the deaths of many others.

There is no legal basis for defining the scope of area where drones can or cannot be used, no legal criteria for deciding which people can be targeted for killing, no procedural safeguards to ensure the legality of the decision to kill and the accuracy of the assassinations.

We believe we have a responsibility to file this criminal complaint.  We cite Misprision of a Felony, 18 USC § 4 - Misprision of felony,http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/4
 “Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

In support of this indictment we also cite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, who has said that the use of drones creates “a highly problematic blurring of the law applicable to the use of inter-state force.... The result has been the displacement of clear legal standards with a vaguely defined license to kill, and the creation of a major accountability vacuum.... In terms of the legal framework, many of these practices violate straightforward applicable legal rules.” See United Nations General Assembly Human Rights Council Study on Targeted Killings, 28, May 2010.

To further bolster our case, and to illustrate the seriousness with which others around the world view our actions, we quote from http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/05/09/pakistan-court-decision-finds-us-drone-strikes-are-war-crimes-which-are-absolutely-illegal/   which just recently reported, “A high court in Pakistan has found that United States drone strikes carried out in Pakistan by the CIA are war crimes, which are ‘absolutely illegal’ and a ‘blatant violation’ of Pakistan’s state sovereignty.”

The drone attacks supported, ordered, and executed by the CIA are a deliberate illegal use of force against another nation, and as such are a felonious violation of Article VI of the US Constitution.

By giving material support to the drone program, the individuals named in this complaint are violating the United States Constitution, dishonoring their oath, and committing war crimes.

We demand that the CIA stop immediately and end all drone attacks, being accountable to the people of United States and Pakistan, Afghanistan,Iraq, and Yemen.

As citizens of this nation, which maintains CIA bases around the globe with the largest, most deadly military arsenal in the world, we believe these words of Martin Luther King still hold true, ”the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government”.

There is hope for a better world when WE, THE PEOPLE, hold our government accountable to the laws and treaties that govern the use of lethal force and war. To the extent that we ignore our laws and constitution and allow for the unchecked use of lethal force by our government, allowing the government to kill whoever it wants, where ever it wants, however it wants with no accountability, we make the world less safe for children everywhere.

Based on all the above,















We appeal to the Court of Fairfax County to do as required by the Nuremburg Principles I-VII, and to launch a full investigation into these crimes.

Signed by,
Joy First, Mt. Horeb WI, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
Malachy Kilbride, , Arlington, VA, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance

EMAIL JOY FIRST at joyfirst5@gmail.com to find out more about the delivery of the petition on March 25th. Or, visit the National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistence.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

MARK YOUR CALENDER: Holy Week Stations of the Cross, April 14-18, 2014

 Join the Norfolk Catholic Worker and Hampton Roads Pax Christi for a five-day, 50 mile Via Dolorosa that will stop at 14 area military bases in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area, the most militarized place on the planet. There will be an hour vigil at each base to remember the crucifixion of Jesus and the crucifixion of humanity in war. Stops will include Norfolk Naval Base, the CIA’s training camp, the home of Navy SEAL Team 6, and the only builder of aircraft carriers in the country. The walk will end on Good Friday at Langley Air Force Base.
Norfolk Naval Base, the largest naval base in the world

Headquarters of Raytheon, a major player in the drone war industry.
Langley Air Force Base, where the Stations of the Cross
 will conclude on Good Friday

For more information, contact Steve Baggarly at williamsbaggarly@gmail.com. To learn more about the nationwide Spring Days of Action, visit http://springdaysofdroneaction.org

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

To Drone or Not to Drone? The Strange Choice in Virginia's 2nd District

Is it possible that voters in Virginia's 2nd congressional district will be forced to choose between a "centrist Democrat" -- who is also a retired Navy officer and just also happens to be a big proponent of the U.S. drone buildup -- and a "Tea Party Republican" -- who also happens to have been an opponent of the Obama administration's plan to attack Syria.

(Does it matter that the 2nd district -- surrounding the port of Norfolk and the military installation at Hampton Roads -- is heavily populated by active service families and veterans?)

Suzanne Patrick served as deputy undersecretary of defense for industrial policy under President George W. Bush. In June, 2003, she testified before the Senate Banking Committee about the Defense Production Act.  In that testimony, she said
The Act's authority to prioritize was key to the rapid fielding of Predator UAV's armed with Hellfire missiles and the provision to the British military of satellite communications technology essential to the conduct of joint operations in Afghanistan. It was used to procure precision- guided munitions, supplies of which were being exhausted by their greater-than-ever rates of expenditure.

Predator UAV's armed with Hellfire missiles were used for the first time in Afghanistan. They included an upgraded sensor package, the Multi-Spectral Targeting System. The contractor's original delivery date for these systems was March 2003, just a couple months ago. Using DPAS, we jumped this order to the head of the production line, and the contractor was able to deliver three systems in December 2001, 18 months earlier than originally promised. Since that time, we have further used DPAS to accelerate 40 additional Multi-Spectral Targeting Systems. We are all aware of the dramatic impact that unmanned Predators had in waging war in Afghanistan, and most recently in Iraq.
It seems odd to suggest that Patrick's opponent in the 2nd district, Republican incumbent Scott Rigell, may be the "dove" in this race. However, when the Obama administration was on the verge of attacking Syria, Rigell was one of the members of Congress that insisted that Congress be consulted. "Rigell authored one of the congressional letters, demanding the president come before Congress and put forth the necessary information so the lawmakers can make an informed vote," Politico reported.

Despite being characterized as someone who entered office on the wave of Tea Party victories in 2010, Rigell professes pride in his independence of judgement and his willingness to stick to principled stands, even if it leads his constituents to abandon him at the polls.  (See NPR Interview: Audie Cornish speaks with Rep. Scott Rigell, Republican of Virginia, who says he will vote for the Senate plan to end up the government shutdown and increase the debt ceiling.)

At the same time, Rigell is a member of the Unmanned Systems Caucus, the so-called "drones caucus" in the House. One wonders if he's really capable of being objective on drones.

Patrick and Rigell both come from military families: she describes herself as a "fourth-generation military officer" and Rigell speaks proudly of his "Iwo Jima Marine" father and the "yes-sir, no-sir home" he grew up in.

And we don't really know where exactly Patrick and Rigell, respectively, stand on the burning issues of surveillance, government secrecy, and drone assassination being practiced by the (Democratic) Obama administration.

So here's a modest proposal:  how about if they tell us?

Related posts

There will be elections for 435 House seats in 2014. In at least some of those races, U.S. surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations will be an issue.

Herewith an Insider's Guide to the 7 S's (surveillance, secrecy, and assassinations) in the 2014 Midterms.

(See Will the 2014 Midterms be a Referendum on Obama's Surveillance, Secrecy, and Assassinations? )

Just this past June, people around the country and around the world were startled to hear that an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), or drone, had crashed in Maryland. "The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone crashed during a routine training flight from Naval Air Station Patuxent River," reported CNN.

(See Maryland Drone Experience A Harbinger for U.S.A.? )