United States Senators have removed a provision in an intelligence bill that would have forced US President Obama to publicly reveal information about people killed during drone strikes. The move comes at the request of the director of national intelligence, James Clapper. So much for transparency.
According to The Guardian and The New York Times, the provision passed by the Senate Intelligence Committee added language to its authorization bill requiring the president to reveal the total number of combatants and non-combatants offed during “targeted killing operations.” Both reports say the language has been quietly removed for fear that it would reveal too much about the government’s activities.
You could argue, however, that the government wants to keep its targeted killing campaign under wraps because the cold collateral damage is bad publicity at a time when the United States’ secret programs are facing increasing public scrutiny. Regardless of the way you spin it, the one thing that’s certain is that less transparency is almost always a bad thing. [The Guardian and The New York Times]