Obama Maneuvers to Keep Kill List Memos Permanently Secret
Inside deal-making looks to truimph over transparency, despite declarations that White House would keep Congress ‘fully informed’
Saturday, February 23, 2013
Referring to the administration’s ongoing targeted assassination program in his State of the Union address recently, President Obama said—despite the statement’s glaring inaccuracy—that his executive branch, throughout the development and execution of the “kill list” program, had “kept Congress fully informed of our efforts.”
New reporting by the New York Times on Thursday, however, reveals the effort now underway to keep Congress—not to mention the public—permanently uninformed about the nature and content of several still secret memos used by the president to justify the targeted killing of foreign and US citizens it suspects of terrorist activities.
Leading up to the confirmation hearings for the president’s nominee to lead the CIA John Brennan—the chief architect of the ‘kill list’ and Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser—members of Congress, most notably Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), demanded more detailed information about the legal framework used to appropriate such extreme executive authority.
Subsequently, after the controversy mounted during dramatic protests during Brennan’s testimony, members of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee put a hold on the confirmation, demanding more information on the killing program and requesting access to the undisclosed legal memos.
But now, the Times reports: