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 Twitter11Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook7Google+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
bmaz People can talk+squawk ignorantly about the border, and control thereof, but they are politically motivated jackasses http://t.co/XVTrzpC9pB
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz You want horror of Juarez, go see @dcbigjohn feed of last 24 hrs. If you think that is representative, get your head out of your ass. #NOT
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz It was easy for @RubenGallego who I unconditionally supported, to be progressive, will he be so now? @downwithtyranny @ralonzo #TimeTells
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Will_Bunch One of these teams may arguably have better pitching than the other.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong I may join, cause I currently have no dental plan #ThanksObama
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong Also, al-Qaida and ISIS, right?
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong And, heck, parenting is HARD. I mean that. But this shit is just too much.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong Meh, I have no issue with that. These are not great parents that thought this a good idea.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong Different times and places though. I would be dead if I had learned to drive where we live now.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong Hey, my daughter turns 19 tomorrow and has never sought her driver's license. I had my first accident at age 14.
6hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @nicholsong This was a freaking UZI pistol with lame stock, at best!
6hreplyretweetfavorite
January 2013
S M T W T F S
« Dec   Feb »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031