May 1, 2018

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will not comply with a 2016 executive order requiring the release today of annual casualty statistics on drone and other lethal strikes, according to The Washington Post.

President Obama issued the order requiring the government to say how many people it believes it killed in counterterrorism operations “away from areas of active hostilities,” including the number of civilians killed.

The White House said that the order is “under review” and could be “rescinded,” according to the Post.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, had this reaction:

“The Trump administration’s decision not to comply with even the meager transparency requirements of the executive order is a dangerous low. We know from independent assessments that civilian deaths are on the rise from U.S. attacks. It’s unacceptable for the government to simply refuse to release the numbers of people killed, let alone their identities, the rules governing its deadly decisions, or investigations into credibly alleged wrongful killing. 

“This increased secrecy about the costs and consequences of Trump’s killing policies prevents public oversight and accountability for wrongful deaths. The victims of our government’s lethal actions deserve better, as does the American public in whose name the Trump administration is secretly killing people.”

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