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. From weakening reporting on anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes to reinvigorating the CIA’s drone program, these policy changes threaten what little public oversight and accountability exist, particularly where investigations into civilian casualties are concerned.
On July 27th, we’ll explore where the openness community can engage in efforts to improve accountability for the U.S. drone program and wars in Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. The discussion will feature Steven Aftergood (Federation of American Scientists), Alex Moorehead (Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute), and Wendy Patten (Open Society Policy Center), but will be an open conversation. Attendees are encouraged to bring ideas and questions.
When: Thursday, July 27th, from 2-4 pm
Where: 1100 G St. NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005
Please RSVP here.
Steven Aftergood is the director of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy. The Project works to reduce the scope of national security secrecy and to promote public access to government information. He writes Secrecy News, which reports on new developments in secrecy policy and provides direct access to significant official records that are otherwise unavailable or hard to find.
Alex Moorehead is the Director of the Counterterrorism, Armed Conflict and Human Rights Project of the Human Rights Institute at Columbia Law School, and recently co-authored a report on transparency and use of lethal force. Alex has extensive legal and research experience working on the inter-operability of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in situations of armed conflict. Prior to joining the Institute, Moorehead served in a number of roles as a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations.
Wendy Patten is a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Policy Center in Washington. She works to develop and implement advocacy strategies on immigration and refugee, human rights, and counter-terrorism issues. Patten has worked on many issues as a legal aid lawyer, government official, and advocate for non-governmental organizations. Prior to joining Open Society, Patten was the U.S. advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, where she handled legislative, policy, and media advocacy on human rights in the United States.
Lisa Rosenberg, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment, will moderate the discussion.