CIA Must End Silence on Drone Targeted Killings, Appeals Court Says
Armed MQ-9 Reaper drones like this one are used by both the U.S. military and the CIA.
A federal appeals court reinstated a lawsuit seeking Central Intelligence Agency documents outlining its drone targeted killing program, ruling Friday that the agency’s refusal to acknowledge the program and whether records exist about it contradicts public statements by top government officials, including President Barack Obama.
The case concerns a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (.pdf) brought by the American Civil Liberties Union in which the CIA has been refusing to confirm or deny the covert military use of drones to kill suspected terrorists overseas, despite Obama’s and even a former CIA director’s admission of the agency’s targeted killing program.
“The President of the United States has himself publicly acknowledged that the United States uses drone strikes against al-Qaeda,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled.
The development came a week after Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) undertook a 13-hour, old-fashioned filibuster to highlight his disdain for the drone-targeted killing program while tentatively blocking the confirmation of John Brennan as the CIA’s director.
The use of drones to shoot missiles from afar at vehicles and buildings that the nation’s intelligence agencies believe are being used by suspected terrorists began under the Bush administration and was widened by Obama to allow the targeting of American citizens. Drone strikes by the Pentagon and the CIA have sparked backlashes from foreign governments and populations, as the strikes often kill civilians, including women and children.
With Friday’s decision, the ACLU’s case returns to a federal court, where a district judge had sided with the agency’s so-called “Glomar” response which allowed the CIA to neither confirm nor deny the existence of responsive records because doing so would expose national security secrets. The FOIA litigation dates to 2010, when the ACLU sued in federal court seeking records concerning the legal basis for carrying out targeted drone killings; any restrictions on those who may be targeted; any civilian casualties; any geographic limits on the program; the number of targeted killings that the agency has carried out; and the training, supervision, oversight, or discipline of drone operators.
Last year, the same appeals court upheld the National Security Agency’s decision, citing Glomar, to withhold from the public documents confirming or denying any relationship it has with Google concerning encryption or cybersecurity.
The ACLU hailed Friday’s decision, and estimated that U.S. drone strikes have killed some 4,000 people across the globe.
“We hope that this ruling will encourage the Obama administration to fundamentally reconsider the secrecy surrounding the targeted killing program,” said Jameel Jaffer, the ACLU’s deputy legal director. “The program has already been responsible for the deaths of more than 4,000 people in an unknown number of countries. The public surely has a right to know who the government is killing, and why, and in which countries, and on whose orders. The Obama administration, which has repeatedly acknowledged the importance of government transparency, should give the public the information it needs in order to fully evaluate the wisdom and lawfulness of the government’s policies.”
Still, Friday’s decision does not mean the ACLU would win the release of documents. The CIA is likely to now acknowledge documents on the program, but decline to divulge them on an assertion they threaten to expose classified material.
In 2011, Obama acknowledged particular CIA drone strikes at a Joint Chiefs of Staff ceremony. Within hours of the CIA drone strike that killed U.S. citizens Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in Yemen, the president publicly lauded the move as “another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat al-Qaeda and its affiliates” and then acknowledged the U.S. government’s role, stating that “this success is a tribute to our intelligence community.”
Drones Will Target Conservative Americans
British terror suspects quietly stripped of citizenship… then killed by drones (ZERO due process)
Charlottesville, Va Becomes First US City To Ban Government Spy Drones
PBS’ “Rise of the Drones” Documentary Really An Infomercial for Military Industrial Complex
Latest News from our Front Page
The Pilgrims Were Definitely Not Like Modern-Day Refugees
This upcoming Thanksgiving Day is sure to offer you and your family plenty of opportunities to argue over whether America should be welcoming Syrian refugees.
If you have any liberal relatives or friends coming over for your Thursday feast, theyâ€™re going to relish the chance to tell everyone that the Pilgrims were refugees too â€” and hope that statement decimates all ...
ISIS to France: "We will be coming. Victory has been promised to us by Allah"
Homegrown French ISIS fighters have issued a chilling threat of new attacks on France just 24 hours after the terrorist group used movie footage of the Eiffel Tower's collapse in another video.
A balaclava-clad militant is seen warning 'we will be coming, we will come to crush your country' in footage posted on Twitter earlier today.
It is unclear where the film ...
ISIS teenage 'poster girl' Samra Kesinovic 'beaten to death' as she tried to flee the group
She appeared in social media images for the group carrying a Kalashnikov and surrounded by armed men
A teenage girl who ran away from her Vienna home to join Isis in Syria has reportedly been beaten to death by the group after trying to escape.
Samra Kesinovic, 17, travelled to Syria last year with her friend Sabina Selimovic, 15.
The two became a ...
The Right Stuff's flagship podcast "The Daily Shoah" has been censored by Soundcloud
Editor's note: The PC corporate moral police strike again. Just as Radio 3Fourteen & Red Ice Radio were censored from iTunes, The Daily Shoah was pulled from Soundcloud today. As per usual, there is a double standard, they allow any kind of anti-White material:
No counter culture humor making fun of the genocidal mainstream garbage is allowed!
Soundcloud took it upon ...
Merkel Welcomes A Million More: Vows To Stand By Refugee Policy Despite Security Fears
Chancellor Angela Merkel vowed on Wednesday to stick to her open-door refugee policy, defying criticism at home and abroad which has intensified due to growing fears about a potential security risk after the Islamist attacks in Paris.
Conservative Merkel faces splits in her right-left coalition and pressure from EU states, including France, over her insistence that Germany can cope with up ...
|More News » |