Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement opposing the codification and the streamlining of the United States' "Kill Matrix" which determines when and where the United States uses drones to conduct targeted killings. Kucinich added, "state-sponsored murder has killed so many people that it is becoming routine, bureaucratized and pathological."
"A recent Washington Post article contains an unsettling confirmation of what many of us have feared for years; the United States is establishing state-sponsored murder as a permanent condition of foreign policy.
"Three hundred fifty drone strikes by the U.S. have killed as many as 3,378 people including as many as 885 civilians, including women and children. Our drone strikes create sympathy for our enemies among the populations we bomb. Numerous academic reports have detailed that our policies are counterproductive and lead to increased radicalization.
"Yet, according to The Washington Post "targeted killing is now so routine that the Obama administration has spent much of the past year codifying and streamlining the process that sustains it."
"According to these officials, the government expects to keep adding names to the kill list, now called a "disposition matrix.' The Kill Matrix will continue at least another decade. The institutionalization of the kill/capture list should concern us all. This program has been created and expanded absent any oversight from Congress. With the Kill Matrix the ultimate decision to kill rests in the hands of a single individual: the President of the United States.
"Let's take a moment to reflect. Targeted killing under international law is legal only under very narrow circumstances. Significant questions remain as to whether or not the U.S. is conducting these strikes in accordance with the law. Thus far, the evidence says otherwise. We have killed thousands of people. We have evidence that this policy creates new U.S. enemies, and our government wants to make this program permanent. We continue to kill "top leaders.' How many times have we killed "Al Qaeda's number 2?' Will we keep killing until everyone who disagrees with us is dead?
"This short-sighted policy has been likened to mowing the grass. As soon as you stop cutting the grass down, it comes right back. Nations aren't made of grass. They are made of people. Innocent civilians are being killed. We are not solving our problems or making the world safer. We are simply staining our own global image, undermining our ethical place to lead and descending into moral depravity."