Tuesday, March 27, 2012
ACLU sues Obama administration under Freedom of Information Act
The ACLU is suing under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The group seeks information on the guidelines Obama officials use in deciding on targets to be killed in drone attacks.
The request “seeks to find out when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, and how the United States ensures compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killing”. The administration has refused to provide any information on these issues. The CIA is insisting to federal courts that it is unable even to confirm or deny the existence of the drone program.The CIA argues that revealing any of that information would endanger national security. This is such astonishing nonsense that it is almost beyond belief.
Consider this! A number of Obama administration officials have publicly not only recognised the existence of the program but praised it as being effective. Obama recently said:“we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” and and the program is “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on.” Former CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also spoke about the program noting that the drone program has “been very effective at undermining al Qaeda and their ability to plan those kinds of attacks.” Finally Attorney General Eric Holder in a speech tried to justify the program in legal terms.Should not all these officials be prosecuted for endangering the national security of the U.S. by revealing all this about a drone attack program that cannot be admitted even to exist?
Obama administration officials are free to say whatever they like about the program for their own political ends. But when the public seeks basic information it cannot be revealed for reasons of national security. For much more see the full article in Salon.