The White House on Wednesday directed the Justice Department to release to the two Congressional Intelligence Committees classified documents discussing the legal justification for killing, by drone strikes and other means, American citizens abroad who are considered terrorists.
…”Today, as part of the president’s ongoing commitment to consult with Congress on national security matters, the president directed the Department of Justice to provide the Congressional Intelligence Committees access to classified Office of Legal Counsel advice related to the subject of the Department of Justice white paper,” said an administration official who requested anonymity to discuss the handling of classified material.
The official said members of the Intelligence Committees would now get “access” to the documents.
Please note that access to the documents means that members of the Intelligence Committees only get to read it, take no notes, no trascripts, and the document goes back to being secret. Oh, and they cannot discuss what they learned about it. And We the People are never to learn about it?
That’s not transparancy, that’s making members of the Intelligence Committees co-conspirators.
Wasn’t this the same routine that Chimpy allowed his coterie of toadies and minions to read John Yoo’s justification of the War Crime of torture?
I’m not a policy wonk, and I’m not sure it would matter to me if I was allowed to read it. There is nothing about the Drone Strikes that I like. This is a terrible policy and if it is not illegal it should be made explicitely illegal.
This is as morally repugnant to me as Torture was under Chimpy. I don’t want the President to have an enemies list, let alone justification to kill civillians–including US Citizens–at will, without due process, trial by a jury of his peers, etc. This is not who we are supposed to be.
The always excellent Jon Perr has a piece up at his site that might appeal to the more legal-wonk out there. Worthwhile reading.