The Trump administration’s failure thus far to release and explain the changes it has made to a previously public policy is a dangerous step backwards. Transparency around the use of lethal 2 force is critical to allowing independent scrutiny of the lawfulness of operations and to providing accountability and redress for victims of violations of international law. Transparency also helps governments identify and address civilian harm. It enables the public to be informed about some of the most important policy choices the government makes in its name – ones that involve life and death decisions. While transparency can enhance the legitimacy of government actions, secrecy, by contrast, heightens existing concerns and creates new ones.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Amnesty International, Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Center for Constitutional Rights, Coalition for Peace Action, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Human Rights Clinic, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Open Society Foundations & Reprieve,
NGO Statement on Reported Changes to U.S. Policy on Use of Armed Drones and Other Lethal Force,
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/human_rights_institute/26