AQIM

The Targeted Killing Memos Shared with NYT, But Not Senate Intelligence Committee

According to the National Journal, one of the memos the Administration refuses to share with the intelligence committees authorizes the use of force in Algeria and, perhaps also in the same memo, with Mali.

Despite President Obama’s pledge in his State of the Union address to make the drone program “even more transparent to the American people and to the world,” his administration continues to resist efforts by Congress, even from fellow Democrats, to obtain the full range of classified legal memos justifying “targeted killing.”

A key reason for that reticence, according to two sources who have read the memos or are aware of their contents, is that the documents contain secret protocols with foreign governments,

[snip]

Others may have been signed with the leaders of Algeria and Mali, the legal expert said. Given the widespread unpopularity of the drone program, the disclosure of these agreements could prove extremely embarrassing both for the United States and partner governments.

The Senate Intelligence Committee can’t learn the details of what the government is up to, the Administration says, because even sharing information (much less publicizing details) about our agreements with governments like Algeria would be embarrassing for all parties involved.

So who are the former and current government officials and senior administration officials leaking information to the NYT about new efforts — including the use of unarmed drones — to target the Algerian militant Mokhtar Belmokhtar in Algeria and Mali?

The NYT reports that earlier concerns about conducting operations not covered by the 2001 AUMF have recently been allayed.

The idea of taking stronger action in the region has been supported in recent months by Michael Sheehan, the senior counterterrorism official at the Pentagon, and Daniel Benjamin, who until December was the senior State Department counterterrorism official. In the past, State Department lawyers have questioned whether the military action approved by Congress against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks authorized efforts to target extremists who were not clearly linked to the group. But according to some officials, those legal arguments  have recently been overcome.

“Those legal arguments have recently been overcome.” By the adoption of new OLC advice the Administration won’t share with Congress?

→']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz RT @emptywheel: @bmaz How come no one is counting all the Jewish SCOTUS justices who are ALSO blowing off Bibi?
32sreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @bmaz How come no one is counting all the Jewish SCOTUS justices who are ALSO blowing off Bibi?
3mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @emptywheel The big drinking party is at RBG's pad.
5mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz RT @ScottGreenfield: Politics Aside, Statutory Interpretation Matters http://t.co/0hm8PEE2WG
8mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV Another day, another hot-headed war monger spouting lies in Congress. Only difference is this one not elected by misinformed Americans.
14mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @csoghoian: Compare and contrast what China wants of US tech co's to what the US demands of foreign telcos http://t.co/WgBcMUjWdS http:/…
17mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Other part of Clapper's speech that is precious. He talks abt losing tools in our toolkit. As if the IC has EVER lost a surveillance tool.
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel One thing Clapper admitted yesterday at CFP is "moderate [in Syria] is anyone who's not affiliated w/ISIL." http://t.co/aO5y1KF2MX
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @nickmanes1 Best part is this is the NICE part of the day, weather wise.
57mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @georgecolombo Yes. Perhaps I wouldn't be so annoyed if Cole hadn't started by accusing others of not doing their reading. @froomkin
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @froomkin Betcha a dollar that Cole doesn't even know what those "underlying discussions" refer to. Sort of critical to doc. @Thomas_Drake1
2hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @froomkin You did. Cole did not. @Thomas_Drake1
2hreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031