Mali

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?

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emptywheel @JasonLeopold Snide little fuckers, too.
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emptywheel RT @JasonLeopold: NEW after I rpted CIA gave Centra $40M contract for vetting torture docs Centra removed bios of officials w/CIA ties http…
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JimWhiteGNV Hungry students on way over. Grill status: loaded. http://t.co/Djl2sjkdPN
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bmaz Ben Ferguson is basically a wind up assclown for @CNN. But guess he is less of a racist misogynous pig than Erick Erickson, so there is that
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bmaz Right. Lewinski, and cover he+his ilk give, is huge in the belligerent #OnlyCopLivesMatter attitude of police today. https://t.co/W4mgnIUgTz
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bmaz RT @Popehat: /1 Ron Rosenbaum's "Travels with Dr Death" concerned an expert who always testified convicted murderers were psychopaths who'd…
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bmaz RT @Popehat: /2 Bill Lewinski is like Dr. Death, except he always testifies cops acted appropriately, in any shooting. h/t @bmaz http://t.c…
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bmaz junk into evidence to start with. That should not occur for a guy that has manufactured a fraud on the court for sale to cops/Govt 11/X
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bmaz The real damage, same as was case in bite mark evidence cases https://t.co/wEs4QN3AQh comes from courts allowing the quack Lewinski 10/X
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bmaz out and once they do that jurors tend to support the finely sandpapered govt/cop side of story. It is just what happens with juries 9/X
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bmaz then counters with a sound expert, it doesn't overcome Lewinski's bullshit, it simply turns into a "battle of the experts" + jurors tune 8/X
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bmaz well that he comes off sincere. Much as they train cops to present and lie well at LEO academies. When the party opposing the govt. 7/X
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