Obama Said Ready to Release Secret Legal Memo on Drone Killings

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 06:35 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

President Barack Obama’s administration will make public a secret legal memo it has used to justify drone strikes against U.S. citizens overseas who are suspected terrorists, an administration official said.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has agreed not to appeal a court ruling that required disclosure of the memo, said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Redactions will be made before the release, which will take time, the official said.

Administration disclosure of its decision to release the memo was made a day before a vote scheduled today in the U.S. Senate on advancing the nomination of its author to become a federal judge. Former Justice Department official David Barron was nominated by Obama for the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

Lawmakers led by Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky have been demanding the release of the legal advice written by Barron justifying the use of lethal force against U.S. citizens during counterterrorism operations.

The controversy arose with the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen, by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011. The U.S. said al-Awlaki was a key leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Awlaki’s teenage son was killed in a separate drone strike, in which he wasn’t a target, two weeks after his father died.

In an opinion article published yesterday in the Boston Herald, Paul wrote that he didn’t argue with the notion that al- Awlaki deserved to die.

Deciding Punishment

“I don’t necessarily disagree with his punishment,” Paul wrote. “I disagree with how the punishment was decided. American citizens not on a battlefield must be convicted before they are sentenced to death.”

Paul said he would oppose Barron’s nomination because of his memos justifying such strikes.

The American Civil Liberties Union, while not taking a position on Barron, urged all senators to read Barron’s policy paper before voting.

“The release of this memo will allow the public to better understand the scope of the authority that the government is claiming,” said ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer, who argued the lawsuit seeking release of the targeted killings papers before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. “We will continue to argue in court for the public release of the other targeted killing memos and related documents.”

“In order to make a fair assessment about the drone program, the American people need to know who is being killed in our name,” Daphne Eviatar of advocacy group Human Rights First said in a statement.

Holder accepted the recommendation of U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. not to appeal the case, said the administration official, who wasn’t authorized to make a statement.


© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

US Plans to Arm, Train Ukraine National Guard

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 23:20 PM

The Obama administration has notified Congress of its plans to train and arm the Ukrainian national guard next year, the . . .

House GOP Lauds Passage of 'Responsible' Border Bill

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 23:02 PM

House Republicans praised the passing of legislation that would give President Barack Obama $694 million to address the  . . .

Congress Approves $225 Million for Israeli 'Iron Dome' System

Friday, 01 Aug 2014 22:54 PM

Congress approved $225 million in emergency funding for Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system on Friday, sending t . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved