Human Rights Challenges Await New Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
Washington, D.C. – Human Rights First congratulates newly-confirmed Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and looks forward to working with him to advance U.S. national security policies that protect and promote American ideals. This afternoon, the Senate voted 58 to 41 in support of Secretary-designate Hagel, who is expected to assume his new post tomorrow.
“President Obama has said that, in the arena of national security, our nation’s values and our interests are aligned,” said Human Rights First’s Dixon Osburn. “Secretary-designate Hagel now has the opportunity to fulfill that vision by working to address serious human rights challenges that continue to face the Pentagon. We look forward to working with him to tackle tough questions about the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo, drones and targeted killing, military commissions, how to end the wars spawned by the 9/11 attacks, the changing U.S. role in the Middle East, and ways to prevent mass atrocities.”
Human Rights First recently issued a series of blueprints containing practical steps lawmakers and administration officials can take to address some of the most pressing human rights issues in the world today. These documents – including How To Close Guantanamo, How to Ensure that the U.S. Drone Program Does Not Undermine Human Rights, and How to Disrupt Enablers of Mass Atrocities – offer specific recommendations for Secretary-designate Hagel and the Department of Defense.