Obama Administration To Release Memo Justifying Drone Strikes On Americans.
May 21, 2014
The Obama Administration will cave into pressure and release a secret document justifying Drone Strike hits on Americans, including Yemen-based al-Qaeda foreign-ops chief Anwar al-Awlaki
The Justice Department will release the classified 2011 memo that provided legal justification for the killing of American terrorist suspects overseas, according to unnamed U.S. officials.
The Obama Administration has been under pressure from both Republicans and Democrats to release the document.
The Washington Post reported that a group of Senators said on Tuesday it would fight President Obama’s nomination to a federal-appeals-court judgeship of David J. Barron, one of the memo’s authors, unless the document was released. Barron is a Harvard professor and former Justice Department official.
DroneStrikes have killed four U.S. citizens, including Yemen-based Anwar al-Awlaki, described as the foreign-operations chief for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Awlaki’s teenage son, also American, was killed in the same strike.
Reporters for New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the memo, which was rejected by a federal court.
On April 21, an appeals court overturned that decision. The Administration had until June 5 to object but instead it has reportedly chosen to publicize the memo on the eve of the Senate vote on Barron’s nomination, the Associated Press says.
Lawmakers have apparently been allowed to preview a copy of the memo.
ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer welcomed the release of the document, the Washington Post said. “The public surely has a right to know the breadth of the authority the government is claiming [for a drone strikes against Americans] as well as the legal basis for it,” Jaffer said
(Sources: Washington Post, Associated Press)
Obama Admin. To Release Memo Justifying American Drone Strikes.