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US Justice Dep't Ignores Questions on Drones, CIA Torture Report - Lawmaker

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US Senator Ron Wyden’s said that the US Department of Justice has left unanswered all questions concerning the US government's use of drones, government agencies' interpretations of the law and the report on CIA torture.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Department of Justice has left unanswered all questions concerning the US government's use of drones, government agencies' interpretations of the law and the report on Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) torture, US Senator Ron Wyden’s said in a statement of his efforts to obtain information.

“The Justice Department has ignored these questions or declined to answer them, in some cases for years,” Wyden said.

Wyden explained he wrote a letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder on February 3 in which he outlined four main requests for answers.

One request concerns the issue of the US President’s authority to use military force outside of declared war zones, and specifically his authority to take lethal action against certain US citizens.

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Another request concerns the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel interpretation of common commercial service agreements.

Wyden also asked the Justice Department’s opinion on the lawfulness of specific conduct that involved an Executive Branch agency. Finally, Wyden requested an answer as to why the Justice Department has not read the CIA torture report.

“It is never acceptable to keep the basic interpretations of US law secret from the American people. It doesn’t make our country safer, and erodes the public’s confidence in the government and intelligence agencies in particular,” Wyden said.

Wyden concluded that Sunshine Week is the perfect time for the Justice Department to answer all his questions.

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government and freedom of information. The 2015 Sunshine Week falls on March 15 through 21.

The White House announced on the third day of Sunshine Week that its Office of Administration will be exempted from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, which allows the public to request information from federal agencies.

 

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