U.S. court of appeals considers if drone strikes count as intelligence in ACLU case
Feb 23, 2016 03:45 AM EST
The ACLU has been fighting for the release of CIA lists of drone killings. As a result, a federal court considered whether the U.S. government must disclose more details about its lethal drone operations.
According to The Guardian, Judge David Tatel and his colleagues, Thomas Griffith and David Sentelle, were in view of the latest case by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for the release of CIA lists of drone killings. The ACLU has appealed in the courts to find out when, where, and against whom the unmanned drones have been authorized.
The judge claimed that the definition of "intelligence" is such a critical topic. Also, under an executive order, the government is permitted to hide the information about intelligence activities for the sake of the national security.
However, on Wednesday, Tatel contemplated whether a drone strike counts as an intelligence activity. The American Civil Liberties Union also pushed for a bigger picture of the targeted-killing program. The U.S. drone strikes have already killed a lot of civilians in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, which had also brought terror to thousands of people.
Huffpost Politics reported that almost 90 percent of people were exterminated in recent drone strikes in Afghanistan "were not the intended targets" of the attacks. On the other hand, the opponent lawyers disagreed with the idea. Justice Department lawyer Sharon Swingle, representing the CIA, made a difference between broad, general statements by officials and the type of "granular data" the ACLU has requested that she stated that would "reveal very sensitive information."
Stars And Stripes claimed that U.S. officials have also already presented several details about the use of armed drones "in order to provide greater transparency on a topic of significant public interest," according to the government's filing. "That effort should not be penalized by compelling the disclosure of additional classified and privileged information."
Meanwhile, in the long-running Freedom of Information Act proceedings, the civil liberties group has been continuously asking for statistics about the strikes. These include the dates, locations and number of people killed, in addition to a number of legal memorandum related to the drone operations.