Focus Issues

To ensure accountability for use of lethal force, advocates look to Congress

So far, the Trump Administration has shown a willingness to accelerate the use of military force overseas, while continuing and sometimes expanding on the excessive secrecy of its predecessors.  As the number of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes grows at a shocking pace, government transparency and Congressional oversight may be the surest way to advance accountability in U.S. use of military force.

To ensure accountability for use of lethal force, advocates look to Congress

So far, the Trump Administration has shown a willingness to accelerate the use of military force overseas, while continuing and sometimes expanding on the excessive secrecy of its predecessors.  As the number of civilian casualties from U.S. strikes grows at a shocking pace, government transparency and Congressional oversight may be the surest way to advance accountability in U.S. use of military force.

OTG Supports the Promoting Transparency in Trade Act

OpenTheGovernment is pleased to support the 2017 Promoting Transparency in Trade Act (H.R. 3339), introduced Thursday by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) with 16 co-sponsors.

Rep. Dingell also introduced a version of the bill in 2016, which failed to advance. OTG and several of our partners supported the bill then, and the 2017 bill goes even farther toward making U.S. trade negotiations more open and inclusive.

The next FBI Director should commit to transparency and accountability

During its recent confirmation hearing for Christopher Wray to succeed James Comey as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Senate Judiciary Committee properly focused on whether Wray would be independent enough to withstand potential political pressure on the agency. Noting that he would resign if asked by the president to do anything “illegal, unconstitutional or even morally repugnant,” Wray’s answers reassured Committee members, and he seems headed toward a smooth confirmation. But before the final vote, Senators should demand that Wray commit to fostering openness and accountability at the FBI, and put in the record the nominee’s positions on warrantless surveillance, the use of cell phone interception technology, and police data collection.

Join OTG for a Town Hall on Advancing Accountability for the Use of Military Force

Excessive secrecy has been a hallmark of the use of lethal force by the United States since the September 11th attacks, both in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in drone strikes and other operations outside areas of active hostilities. The Trump Administration has so far continued to reject transparency around military actions, in some ways further shrouding the military and the drone program in secrecy.

ICE secrecy on immigration enforcement stokes fear, prevents accountability

An internal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) memo obtained by ProPublica appears to confirm what advocates and immigrant communities have suspected for months; the Trump administration is targeting all undocumented immigrants for deportation, rather than a subset with criminal backgrounds as the White House has claimed.

Coalition calls for stronger Congressional oversight of use of military force

In a letter to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Monday, OpenTheGovernment joined a coalition of organizations in calling on Congress to ensure that any new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) improves transparency and oversight of U.S. wars. The groups commended the Committee for considering the issue of a new AUMF, and urged Senators to hold a full and transparent debate in the full Senate if the Committee moves forward with any new authorization.