Senate Intelligence Committee Member Ron Wyden STILL Hasn’t Seen Targeted Killing Memo

Every time I get into debates about the targeted killing program–especially the killing of Anwar al-Awlai–drone boosters insist that the oversight provided by the Intelligence Committees is adequate to the task.

That’s a quaint thought.

Ron Wyden, in a letter preparing John Brennan for his confirmation hearing, reveals that he still hasn’t seen the “secret legal opinions” (plural) authorizing the targeted killing program.

First, as you may be aware, I have asked repeatedly over the past two years to see the secret legal opinions that contain the executive branch’s understanding of the President’s authority to kill American citizens in the course of counterterroism operations. Senior intelligence officials have said publicly that they have authority to knowingly use lethal force against Americans in the course of counterterrorism operations, and have indicated that there are secret legal opinions issued by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that explain the basis for this authority. I have asked repeatedly to see these opinions, and I have been provided with some relevant information on the topic, but I have yet to see the opinions themselves.

[snip]

As I have said before, this situation is unacceptable. For the executive branch to claim that intelligence agencies have the authority to knowingly kill American citizens but refuse to provide Congress with any and all legal opinions hat explain the executive branch’s understanding of this authority represents an alarming and indefensible assertion of executive prerogative.

Remember, Wyden is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, that group of select men and women with whom the Executive must share even the findings authorizing the most covert operations.

And yet for two years, they have rebuffed Wyden’s questions about their claim to be authorized to kill Americans.

There’s more in the letter demonstrating how arrogant the Obama Administration has been with the purported overseers of its covert operations.

But it doesn’t get much scarier than the fact that the President won’t tell Congress the bases and limits to his authority to unilaterally kill Americans.

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+0Email to someone

11 Responses to Senate Intelligence Committee Member Ron Wyden STILL Hasn’t Seen Targeted Killing Memo

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @KKiermaier39: So cool to be nominated for the gold glove award...never thought this random thursday would turn out so great haha
2mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ryanjreilly Holder did a great job helping all those corrupt as hell GOPers avoid Material Support charges. And now they defect.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pwnallthethings Also remember Gravel managed to do it w/Pentagon papers by introing it into his committee. I wonder if Udall could do that?
24mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pwnallthethings Because that person would be violating Senate ethics? I'm wondering whether, if he loses, Udall might consider it though.
25mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @20committee @AllThingsHLS Dang, we agree on that!
28mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Reup: At least 8 pieces of evidence of CIA's torture has been altered or disappeared. https://t.co/A4G2WfmObL Were access logs another?
37mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @TheTweetOfGod: The people who say I send viruses and disasters as a means to punish you for your sins, are the means by which I punish …
41mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @astepanovich Gonna keep nagging you, you know...
44mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @trevortimm @ncardozo Could do a LOT worse. For instance, @stewartbaker once served in government.
44mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @donachaidh Lol yes!
48mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @astepanovich Hey, did you sign up for frequent flier miles yet?
50mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The hyperbole being engaged in by the relentless @ggreenwald haters is light years more ridiculous than any potential hyperbole by Glenn.
50mreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031