A bipartisan effort is under way to keep the White House accountable for "kill/capture" missions by requiring Congressional notification ahead of time.
Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, introduced the "Oversight of Sensitive Military Operations" bill in the House on Thursday, The Hill
reports. A bipartisan group of 28 House members co-sponsored the bill.
Thornberry, head of the House Armed Services subcommittee on emerging threats and intelligence, told The Hill his legislation provides for more transparency and gives Congress greater oversight.
"We must ensure that every action is consistent with our civil liberties and freedoms," Thornberry said. "This balance can only be achieved by proper oversight and accountability, and it is Congress’s job to provide both."
Armed drone strikes against Islamic militant groups are covered by the bill, as are raids by U.S. special operations forces such as the one that killed Osama bin Ladin.
The bill requires military and intelligence officials to outline "all legal and policy considerations" made before any kill/capture operation. The bill also would require lawmakers be given "in-depth quarterly updates" on all counterterrorism missions.
The notification extends down to defense appropriations subcommittee members. Actions that are part of ongoing missions, such as the war in Afghanistan, would not fall under the requirements of advance notification.
"There has been bipartisan support in the House and Senate for more ... oversight of such operations to ensure they are carried out in ways that are consistent with the United States Constitution," Thornberry said.
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