The New York Times reports that the Obama administration is working on a deal to give Senate Republicans on the Intelligence Committee more information on the Benghazi embassy attack in exchange for the confirmation of CIA Director John Brennan, without having to release the targeted killings memos to the committee first as he promised.
This bargain will leave Congress in the dark about the President’s so-called authority to execute anyone, anywhere – including American citizens – without charge or trial. It will set back efforts to make the memos fully public and further obscure the most controversial executive program since torture and rendition under the Bush administration.
The confirmation of John Brennan, whose career spans working on George W Bush’s torture regime to being the ‘architect’ of Barack Obama’s kill list, will be the product of a shadow effort to keep the targeted killing memos secret unless we speak up now.
President Obama has consistently promised to be more transparent. Working behind closed doors to appease Lindsey Graham in order to keep legal opinions on the President’s supposed extrajudicial killing powers secret does not meld well with the administration’s frequent claims of exceptional transparency.
It is the job of the Senate Intelligence Committee to oversee the intelligence community. The idea that any senator on that committee would vote to confirm John Brennan without seeing these memos is truly amazing. We must demand that these senators carry out this most basic charge.
Please call your Senators immediately to oppose the President’s deal.