Just before a midnight deadline on Wednesday, the government filed its legal brief responding to the ACLU’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking information about the legal and factual basis for the deaths of three U.S. citizens in targeted killing drone strikes last fall. Our initial reaction to the brief is here, but the government’s position is so remarkable that it warrants further comment.
The government’s filing is beyond disappointing. Our government persists in carrying out a policy of killing people, including U.S. citizens, far from active battlefields and in violation of international and domestic law. A handful of speeches by government officials roughly outlining legal theories do not constitute adequate transparency. The government must do better.