For Immediate Release

Kucinich Challenges Sec. Gates on Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON - Congressman
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), a vocal critic of the war in Afghanistan,
yesterday wrote to Defense Secretary Robert Gates demanding information
on the decision-making process and the underlying intelligence that led
to a NATO attack on a civilian convoy. Media reports indicate that 27
civilians were killed, including women and children and many more were
injured.

“The
U.S. government has an obligation to protect civilians under
international law.  As Secretary of Defense, you have an obligation to
ensure that all military operations conducted in Afghanistan are
conducted in accordance to such laws... 
“Please
provide information about the events leading up to the air strike … a
detailed description of how it was determined that the civilians
traveling by minibus were Taliban insurgents, and the protocol for
ordering this airstrike and all other airstrikes,” wrote Kucinich in
the letter. 
Kucinich
demanded a response within two weeks, citing “the gravity of the
situation and the tragic loss of life.” Kucinich added, “The United
States must demonstrate a clear commitment to protecting civilian lives
in Afghanistan, and the results of this investigation are vital to
ensure that an adequate system of oversight and accountability is in
place.”
Kucinich
warned, “If necessary, I will direct the request for information via a
Resolution of Inquiry in the House of Representatives.”  A Resolution
of Inquiry is a procedure to force a House vote to force the release of
documents from the Executive Branch.  Under House Rules, a Resolution
of Inquiry must be referred to committee and acted upon within 14
legislative days. 
Read the full letter here.

 

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