The American Civil Liberties Union, otherwise known as the ACLU, asked a federal court in New York City on Monday to force the U.S. government to divulge information on an ill-fated January raid in the country of Yemen that resulted in multiple civilian casualties, and the death of one active duty Navy SEAL. The ACLU said it is concerned on what legal basis led to the decision to execute the raid, which has been rather controversial due to the civilian casualties, some young children.
The ACLU said in the lawsuit that the raid “raised deep concerns about the legal and factual basis, planning, and execution of the operation.”
The ACLU filed a number of Freedom of Information Act requests with the CIA, Department of Defense, Department of State, and Department of Justice. They have said that while each agency has promised an expedited response to these requests, they have yet to receive any documentation. The ACLU wants more clear and concise numbers to be released, as the initial government reports differ from those of independent journalists who continue to argue that the civilian death toll was increasingly higher than originally reported.
“We have seen that this White House cannot be trusted to give the public accurate information, which is especially critical when the president authorizes military action that kills civilians,” Hina Shamsi, the director of ACLU’s National Security Project, said.
Shamsi also said the Obama administration was just as culpable for the lack of transparency involving strikes into Yemen.
Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens was supporting U.S Central Command Operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula when he received fatal wounds during the January 28 raid. The 36-year old lost his life in the first raid on Al Qaeda headquarters that occurred during Trump’s presidency.