How Many of the Seven Missing OLC Opinions Authorize Targeted Killing in Unknown Countries?

Dianne Feinstein has released a statement trying to pretend the Senate Intelligence Committee’s post-killing review constitutes enough oversight of the drone program. In it, she reveals that the Committee is still waiting on 5 OLC memos on targeted killing.

Since 2010 the committee has asked for copies of all the legal opinions written by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) at the Department of Justice on targeted killing. I have sent three letters, each joined by Vice Chairman Kit Bond or Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss, requesting these opinions.

In 2012, the committee included a legislative provision in its annual authorization bill to require the executive branch to provide OLC opinions. Unfortunately that provision was removed prior to final passage of the bill. Until last week, the committee had been provided access to only two of the nine OLC opinions that we believe to exist on targeted killings.

Last week, senators on the committee were finally allowed to review two OLC opinions on the legal authority to strike U.S. citizens. We have reiterated our request for all nine OLC opinions—and any other relevant documents—in order to fully evaluate the executive branch’s legal reasoning, and to broaden access to the opinions to appropriate members of the committee staff.

So there are 9 total. The Committee had already seen 2. It got 2 more last Thursday. Leaving 5 memos on targeted killing — purportedly not related to US persons.

Update: Charlie Savage asked for clarification on the number. There are 11 total. The Committee is still waiting on 7.

If they don’t relate to US persons, then why is the Administration so squeamish about releasing them?

Remember, per Ron Wyden, the Administration still hadn’t provided the committee a list of all the countries it has used its lethal counterterrorism authorities.

So it’s hiding where it is using targeted killings in that form. How many specific OLC memos authorize the use of targeted killings in countries not imagined to be part of the scope of the current war on terror?

Update: I’ve changed the title to reflect the likelihood that we’re using targeted killing in some countries we’re not operating drones.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+2Email to someone

4 Responses to How Many of the Seven Missing OLC Opinions Authorize Targeted Killing in Unknown Countries?

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel RT @dnvolz: Here it is. The Supreme Court just submitted Rule 41 to Congress, which would expand FBI hacking authority: https://t.co/c2yi3T
1mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GeorgWebb For the primary probably. His negatives are off the charts, though. How much of that was his own doing? @realDonaldTrump
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel .@kurtopsahl Maybe he should have just titled it, "The Fourth Amendment: Heads I win, tails you lose"?
7mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kurtopsahl Right. Even just releasing correlations memo would change mosaic analysis tremendously. But Litt won't let that one out...
8mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @GeorgWebb It didn't take him out tho. It may have damaged him for General, but I'm not sure that's where most damage came @realDonaldTrump
9mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @kurtopsahl All while limiting himself to the stuff he himself has chosen to make public, which hides much of the impact. Nifty!
10mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel "When someone who controlled the FOIA disclosures writes a law review article on what got released," by Bob Litt https://t.co/YeeyAZE6of
21mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @SuperiorWang Absolutely, but Bernie's fundraising has been unprecedented. @JC_Christian
31mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz But you got in the room Scafe. So much admiration on this end. #FoundingScafes https://t.co/4iL252jyjm
32mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Q: Would FB be obliged to delay reporting of WhatsApp requests 2 years? https://t.co/KmI0hHUhWB
33mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel FB FISA Content: 2013, 1H, 2H: 5000-5499 2014, 1H, 2H: 7000-7499 2015, 1H: 13500-13999 Bigger spike than Apple. https://t.co/OSHx19ApbW
34mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @Matt_Cagle What percent of those were Turkey, though? @zeynep
40mreplyretweetfavorite
February 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Mar »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
2425262728