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H.R. 2183 (113th): Drones Accountability Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

5/23/2013--Introduced. Drones Accountability Act - Prohibits the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) from operating or controlling armed unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) or combat aircraft.

Prohibit any member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any other employee or contractor of the Department of Defense (DOD) from carrying out an order or authorization from any CIA employee or contractor to use lethal force.

Requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to report to Congress on: (1) the existence and sufficiency of civilian protection mechanisms in accordance with international law concerning armed operations that use unmanned aerial operations; (2) the methodology used to distinguish combatants from civilians before armed operations and after a strike has occurred; (3) the existence and sufficiency of standards for the identification of targets and the sufficiency of intelligence sources and analysis where there is limited U.S. ground presence; and (4) the existence and sufficiency of processes for recognizing the effects of drone strikes on the organization being targeted and on the country or region in which the strike takes place.

Requires the DOD, Department of Justice (DOJ), and CIA, once every three months, to provide Congress with all legal opinions giving advice with regard the authority to use lethal force in order to justify operations.

Expresses the sense of Congress that a moratorium must be enforced against the lethal use of armed unmanned aerial vehicles until the Administration has presented, and Congress has approved, sufficient safeguards and sufficient oversight addressing the concerns highlighted in the report required by this Act.

Bars, until such safeguards are in place, the obligation or expenditure of any funding available for the Armed Forces or the CIA for the purpose of using lethal force against an individual unless: (1) that individual presents an imminent threat to the United States, (2) lethal force is the last resort, and (3) the harm caused to civilians or civilian property is proportional and does not violate international humanitarian law.