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US considering lifting secrecy on drone strikes

Last Updated: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 18:58

Washington: The Obama administration is considering a proposal to lift up secrecy from controversial drone strikes.

The US has recognized to lift the secrecy, as the expanding program has become a regular part of US global counter terrorism operations, the Wall Street Journal reports.

US drone strikes are hardly a secret. Officials have spoken openly about them, but they are still classified, and unauthorized disclosures about details of individual missions could constitute a crime. According to US officials, the policy changes under consideration could include specifying which extremist groups associated with al Qaeda can be targeted by the Pentagon.
The debate has been given urgency by lawsuits seeking information on drone strikes.

Many officials also believe that it is time to re-evaluate US policies on secrecy about the targeted-killing program.

Unmanned aerial strikes on terrorist suspects began after the September 11 attacks.

Under the Obama administration, drone strikes carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency and the military have increasingly become common as a primary tool in US national-security strategy.

The considered changes could most likely adopt greater openness regarding the military drone program, while keeping most or all details of CIA strikes classified, US officials said.

CIA officials are opposed to publicly acknowledging the details of drone programs under its control, for fear of setting precedents that could affect other covert programs.

Some US officials believe they will prevail in the courts if they choose to keep the drone program secret and refuse to provide any documents sought in the lawsuits.


First Published: Friday, May 18, 2012 - 18:56
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