Judge: Legal Justification for Killing Americans with Drones to Remain Secret
Thursday, January 3, 2013
A federal court today dismissed most of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit seeking records about the government’s targeted killing of three American citizens in Yemen in 2011: Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan in September, and Al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son Abdulrahman in October.
The ACLU plans to appeal the decision.
“This ruling denies the public access to crucial information about the government’s extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizens and also effectively green-lights its practice of making selective and self-serving disclosures,” said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. “As the judge acknowledges, the targeted killing program raises profound questions about the appropriate limits on government power in our constitutional democracy. The public has a right to know more about the circumstances in which the government believes it can lawfully kill people, including U.S. citizens, who are far from any battlefield and have never been charged with a crime.”