We Know You Know About Our Well-Known ‘Secret’ Drone Wars
Pro-Publica summarizes how absurd the Obama administration is being on its secret drone wars they keep telling everybody about:
Over the past year, the American Civil Liberties Union and reporters at The New York Times have filed several requests under the Freedom of Information Act seeking information about the CIA’s drone program and the legal justification for attacks that killed terrorists and U.S. citizens. The government answered with a Glomar response — neither verifying nor denying that it has such documents.
So both the Times and the ACLU sued, claiming that there is widespread acknowledgement by government officials of drones and targeted killing, as well as the CIA’s involvement.
Any public statements by the administration, the motion states, were carefully phrased to avoid discussing specific operations and don’t constitute official acknowledgement of targeted killing or the drone program. This includes Obama’s statements on the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar Al Awlaki — “the President plainly did not acknowledge whether the United States was responsible for his death” — and Holder and Brennan’s speeches this spring, which, according to the motion, address only the “potential targeting” of U.S. citizens, but not specific operations.
At this point, these lawsuits aren’t the only thing the administration faces in this respect. Twenty-six members of Congress have called on President Barack Obama to provide a legal justification for the drone war and specifically signature strikes. The United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has called for a UN investigation into civilian casualties in the U.S. drone war. And now the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Christof Heyns, is in the beginning stages of investigating the US drone war, demanding the Obama administration explain the legal justification for it and suggesting some of them may have already constituted war crimes. Something’s gotta give.