To avoid accountability, US government equivocates over whether Obama’s ‘kill list’ of suspected terrorists even exists.
Last week, the Obama administration submitted a Motion for Summary Judgment in response to a lawsuit filed by the New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that demanded government agencies release documents on its alleged programme of targeted killings.
As early as June 2011, the Times and the ACLU had filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that the government blocked in the name of national security. In its brief, the government argues for the continuation of complete secrecy surrounding its reported assassination programme. In fact, the government goes further, claiming that whether the programme even exists is “classified” information.
In light of last month’s Times exposé that drew an intimate – and fawning – portrait of the inner chambers of the US president’s counterterrorism programme and his process of drawing up the “kill list”, it is baffling that, in court, the administration argues that the programme may not actually exist.
But it appears that the president of the United States will attempt the impossible: to have his cake and eat it too. He will appear like a tough-talking cowboy to the public, and then hide behind “national security needs” to dodge responsibility for his policies that decimate villages and destroy thousands of lives.