Print Edition

Off the Record: The National Security Council, Drone Killings, and Historical Accountability

PDF Download

The central and expanding role of the National Security Council in compiling the “kill list” of U.S. citizens and others approved for drone killing outside of recognized battlefields highlights the largely overlooked fact that, since the mid-1990s, the U.S. government has taken the categorical position that the National Security Council is exempt from both the documentation requirements of the Federal Records Act and the disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act. The current situation undermines long-term processes of accountability for, and transparency about, drone killings, and hinders the role of Congress and the courts in providing a check on executive power. This Article argues that stronger documentation and disclosure requirements are necessary to restore the National Security Council’s accountability to Congress, the public, and history.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email