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?

Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
JimWhiteGNV RT @RaysBaseball: Twelfth inning. Time for ice cream, obviously. http://t.co/VsFMJqOWvz
4hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RPullen @stephenlemons @Steve_Irvin That is pretty much an incoherent response. But whatever.
4hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @pastordan REALLY not a fireworks fan, especially living in place where everyone sets them off. Was interesting learning abt buying process
8hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I also managed to buy most of the beer left in the little convenience store still open, so I traded beer for lessons in fireworks.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Fourth of July trivia: I got stuck sleeping on the floor of Nagoya airport w/one of the main fireworks buyers from the NE once.
9hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @WarOnTheRocks: How China can use the #OPMhack data to identify undercover intelligence officers http://t.co/7t2kKtRX9e
9hreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @RPullen @stephenlemons @Steve_Irvin When an arbitrary, by all appearances racist, "umpire" calls anything, it is total laughable bullshit.
10hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 Also, American hubris says we'll never get in a dogfight with another industrial policy, all the contrary evidence notwithstanding
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 It helps if you think of it as an industrial policy instead. Pilots aren't encouraged to turn their head in industrial policies.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @billmon1 Fred: It doesn't much matter because USG will keep paying Lockheed no matter what we do.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @ZaidJilani Means you have to play the license plate game all summer.
11hreplyretweetfavorite
July 2015
S M T W T F S
« Jun    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031