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Friday, June 22, 2012

Drone Strikes: Government lawyers hold that even existence or non-existence of strikes should not be revealed



The U.S.government which itself has now admitted, defended, and praised the drone program has asked a federal court to reject ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) demands that the government release information on drone attacks. U.S. government lawyers filed a brief that says in part:“Whether or not the CIA has the authority to be, or is in fact, directly involved in targeted lethal operations remains classified"

Logically it would seem that to refuse either to affirm or deny the existence of the program is ludicrous given that there is a constant flow of information about the attacks. The situation is so ludicrous that even the ludicrous main stream press has on the whole given up on reporting suspected U.S. drone strikes by simply describing them as U.S. or CIA drone strikes. But being illogical has a rational purpose and that is to keep information about the drone strikes from the populace while leaking out any information that might be found politically positive. Much of the leaked information may be misinformation as well since the populace cannot gain access to genuine information since it is classified.

The ACLU together with the New York Times has requested documents that explain the legal basis for the raids and killing of U.S. citizens. The U.S. government wants a summary judgment to dismiss the lawsuits. The government brief warns:“Even to describe the numbers and details of most of these documents would reveal information that could damage the government’s counter terrorism efforts,” The ACLU's Jamee Jafeer countered:“Senior officials have discussed it, both on the record and off. They have taken credit for its putative successes, professed it to be legal and dismissed concerns about civilian casualties,”

While the government brief said that it realized that there was public concern about the details it had to take into consideration the need to keep information classified. If there is so much concern about releasing classified information about the program why are top officials such as Obama, Brennan, and Panetta constantly releasing information?

The UN has also been asking the same sorts of questions as the ACLU and has even suggested that some attacks may involve war crimes. However, the Obama administration has been accountable in the only way it knows how by selectively setting out purported data about the strikes that is meant to serve their own interest. For more see this article.

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