26 March 2012

George Orwell and the Drones

This first section is background.

On the subject of drones and the CIA's drone program, our friend Glenn Greenwald observes:

Numerous Obama officials — including the President himself and the CIA Director — have repeatedly boasted in public about [the drone program]. Obama recently hailed the CIA drone program by claiming that “we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied,” and added that it is “a targeted, focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists, who are trying to go in and harm Americans, hit American facilities, American bases and so on.” Obama has told playful jokes about the same drone program. Former CIA Director and current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also likes to tell cute little jokes about CIA Predator drones, and then proclaimed in December that the drone program has “been very effective at undermining al Qaeda and their ability to plan those kinds of attacks.” Just two weeks ago, Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech purporting to legally justify these same drone attacks.


The ACLU is suing the Obama administration under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), seeking to force disclosure of the guidelines used by Obama officials in selecting targets for the drones.

In response, lawyers for the government say:

The CIA can neither confirm nor deny the esistence or nonesistence of records responsive to this request without compromising national security... Whether or not the CIA posesses records concerning drone strikes is a currently and properly a classified fact that is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act... To confirm the existence of such records would provide important insights into the CIA's interests and activities to terrorist organizations, foreign intelligence services, or other hostile groups; conversely, to confirm the nonexistence of such records would provide these same entities with valuable information about potential gamps in the CIA's interests and capabilities.

How can you argue with that?!!!

See Glenn Greenwald's blog (link at right) for more info.


1 comment:

LC said...

I may or may not believe that this is, or is not, a factual or fictional story which You could neither confirm nor deny because to do so might cause me to believe or disbelieve that this real or falsified situation about real or perceived drones and the protocols for selection of targets, or places they choose not to hit is designed or perhaps just randomly presented to inform or confuse me. However I AM quite pleased to learn precisely why nothing can be accomplished in Washington since no one can discern what they are or are not supposed to do and they can't tell whether they do or do not have their heads up what may or may not be their own or someone else's asses! Who can argue with THAT?