There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of drones by the U.S. government. On March 16, 2013, Fox News has reported on an Associated Press story,
CIA drone secrecy ruling rejected by federal appeals court. On Friday a federal appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that allowed the CIA to refuse to confirm whether it had information on the use of unmanned drones being used to kill suspected terrorists. An initial refusal to confirm even the existence of a record is a Cold War-era legal defense which is known as the Glomar response after the Glomar Explorer, a ship which was built with secret CIA financing to try to raise a Soviet submarine from the ocean floor.
The CIA had said that either confirming or denying records in this case would reveal "among other things, whether or not the CIA is involved in drone strikes or at least has an intelligence interest in drone strikes." In his opinion for the panel, Judge Merrick Garland has noted that officials from President Barack Obama to John Brennan, previous counterterrorism chief and now the new CIA director, have all acknowledged the
use of drones by the government. Garland wrote, "Given these official acknowledgments that the United States has participated in drone strikes, it is neither logical nor plausible for the CIA to maintain that it would reveal anything not already in the public domain to say that the agency 'at least has an intelligence interest' in such strikes."
Peter Finn and Julie Tate have reported on this story for The Washington Post, Appeals court rejects CIA’s argument over acknowledging drone operations. The Washington Post has confirmed a federal appeals court on Friday has rejected the CIA’s claim that it could neither confirm nor deny whether it has an “intelligence interest” in the use of drones. This ruling could force the CIA to disclose limited details about the use of drone technology in counterterrorism operations. In recent months the Obama administration has been under increasing pressure from Congress and civil liberties groups to be more open about drone operations, including offering some access to the legal opinions written by the Justice Department that justify targeted killings.