Feds Ordered to Release Targeted Killing Memo
Secret papers were used to justify killing US citizens
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2014 4:21 AM CDT
Anwar al-Awlaki speaks in a video message posted on radical websites.    (AP Photo/SITE Intelligence Group, File)

(Newser) – The Obama administration needs to release secret papers explaining its legal justification for killing American citizens in drone strikes overseas, a federal appeals court has ruled. The court decided that public statements from officials including President Obama and the release of a Justice Department "white paper" on targeted killings of Americans meant the government could no longer keep its analysis secret, reports the New York Times.

The memo the administration has been ordered to release justified the 2011 assassination of New Mexico-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen along with another American citizen. Obama later said he had authorized the strike. "The government can't pretend that everything about its targeted killing program is a classified secret while senior officials selectively disclose information meant to paint the program in the most favorable light," an ACLU spokesman tells the AP.

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Showing 3 of 17 comments
vchorseguy
Apr 22, 2014 8:16 PM CDT
Personally I don't care how many of these dirt bags we kill. However the Justice Department White Paper should be of concern to everyone because it contains the opinion of AG Holder that interprets the law as allowing the president to use drones to execute American citizens on American soil without due process if they are considered enemies of the US. Overseas is one thing but on American soil is constitutionally illegal.
Ultraworld
Apr 22, 2014 4:38 PM CDT
I have no problem with drone attacks against terrorists. Any American that goes over there and joins a terrorist group gets what he deserves. The Gov't should NOT have to release secret documents justifying the killing of this animal.
HANKHILL
Apr 22, 2014 1:20 PM CDT
THIS IS JUST ABOUT THE ONLY THING OBAMA HAS DONE RIGHT! WHEN THE SCUM GOES OVER TO THE OTHER SIDE KILL IT FAST! END OF STORY! FOR THIS ONE TIME ONLY I SAY GOOD ON OBAMA!