Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) today released the following statement after the Obama administration released data concerning the number of civilian deaths from drone strikes:
“I want to commend the administration for taking this important step toward transparency by releasing information on the number of civilian deaths as a result of U.S. drone strikes. I believe more can be done, but this release of data is a good start.
“I’ve been calling on the administration to release drone strike data for years. Varying numbers have been tallied by outside organizations but as today’s report makes clear, the government has access to unique information to help determine the number of civilian deaths. The American people should be able to weigh the necessity of counterterrorism programs with as much information as possible.
“I do believe that great care is taken to avoid noncombatant casualties during drone strike operations. Since 2009, the Senate Intelligence Committee has devoted significant time and attention to targeted strikes by drones, with a specific focus on civilian casualties.
“While a single civilian death is one too many, I believe this program is more precise than many alternatives such as strikes with cruise missiles, where far more civilians would be at risk.”