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ACLU appeals for greater transparency on drone killings

ACLU appeals for greater transparency on drone killings

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is appealing a January decision that allowed the CIA to withhold details of its drone targeted killing program. In a statement given to Wired, Hina Shamsi, the ACLU National Security Project director explained that "the targeted killing program raises serious questions about government power in a constitutional democracy."

Last week, McClatchy released evidence from secret documents that showed the extent of US drone killings. The evidence showed that, despite CIA assertions to the contrary, the targeted killing program was not restricted to high-level targets; according to McClatchy, "at least" 265 of the 482 people killed in the 12-month period ending September 2011 were "unknown extremists."

ACLU's Shamsi says that "the public has a right to know the circumstances in which the U.S. government believes it can kill people, including American citizens, who are far from any battlefield and have never been charged with a crime." In February, a leaked Department of Justice memo declared targeting US citizens with drone strikes was acceptable in some cases.