Monday, April 20, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

US memo justifying drone killings is released

By
June 24, 2014 |

NEW YORK — The secret U.S. government memo outlining the justification for the use of drones to kill American terror suspects abroad was released by court order Monday, yielding the most detailed, inside look yet at the legal underpinnings of the Obama administration’s program of “targeted killings.”

The 41-page memo – whose contents had previously been summarized and released piecemeal – was heavily redacted for national security reasons, with several entire pages and other passages whited out.

But it argues among other things that a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen is permissible under a 2001 law passed by Congress soon after 9/11. That law empowered the president to use force against organizations that planned and committed the attacks.

“The release of the memo will allow the public to better assess the lawfulness of the government’s targeted killing policy and the implications of that policy,” said Jameel Jaffer, an American Civil Liberties Union attorney who argued for release of the memo. “Despite the release of this memo, the public still knows scandalously little about who the government is killing and why.”

He said the memo contains the first formal acknowledgment by the government that the CIA is involved in the program.

The July 2010 memo was written by a Justice Department official who is now a federal appeals court judge. It was released after a yearlong legal battle by The New York Times and the ACLU.

The memo specifically provided the legal justification for the September 2011 killing in Yemen of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida leader and one-time cleric at a Virginia mosque who had been born in the United States, and another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan, who edited al-Qaida’s Internet magazine. An October 2011 strike also killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, al-Awlaki’s teenage son and also a U.S. citizen.

Al-Awlaki had been involved in an abortive attack against the U.S. and was planning other attacks from his base in Yemen, the memo said. It said the authority to use lethal force abroad may apply in certain circumstances to a U.S. citizen who is part of the forces of an enemy organization.

The memo said the Defense Department operation was being carried out against someone who was within the core of individuals against whom Congress had authorized the use of “necessary and appropriate” force.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York released the memo after the Times and the ACLU sued for any documents in which Justice Department lawyers had discussed the highly classified “targeted killing” program.

The appeals court ordered the memo disclosed after noting that President Barack Obama and other senior government officials had commented publicly on the subject.

David E. McCraw, vice president and assistant general counsel for the Times, called the memo “a critical addition to the public debate over targeted killings and should fuel a richer discussion of the legal and security issues that are at the heart of that debate.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest, responding to criticism from groups that complained that it took a court order to get the memo released, said the administration worked through the legal system “to produce a redacted document that protected national security interests while at the same time trying to live up to our commitment to transparency.”

“In this case, I think even the groups that sharply criticized us would call this a win for transparency,” Earnest said.

The memo was written by David Barron, who at the time was acting chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. He was recently confirmed as a judge in the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston.

U.S. officials considered al-Awlaki to be an inspirational leader of al-Qaida, and they have linked him to the planning and execution of several attacks targeting American and Western interests, including a 2009 attempt on Christmas Day to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner.

Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the memo’s contents showed that the targeted killing program was built on “gross distortions of law.”

Kebriaei, who worked with the ACLU on two lawsuits challenging al-Awlaki’s killing, estimated that more than 4,000 people may have been killed by drone strikes since 2009.

The lawyer said that although the U.S., England and Israel are the only countries that have used drones to kill, other countries soon will have such aircraft of their own.

“The United States loosening and redefining international rules governing the use of force and war is ultimately not going to make anyone any safer,” the lawyer said.

Meanwhile, the 2nd Circuit indicated that the memo’s release might not be the last. The appeals court also ordered the Justice Department to show other legal opinions to a lower-court judge to determine whether they, too, must be disclosed.

In February 2013, the administration released a 16-page Justice Department “white paper” summarizing the legal arguments detailed in the memo released Monday. The paper asserted that it would be legal to kill a U.S. citizen who had joined al-Qaida if “an informed, high-level official” concluded that the person could not be captured and posed “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.”

The paper said an imminent threat “does not require … clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.”

A Yemeni human rights activist, Abdel-Rahman Barman, said the memo shows that any security tip that reaches the U.S. government could lead to somebody being killed.

“This will only endanger the lives of more people,” Barman said.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Residents roll dice for scholarship dollars

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Speaking event set to motivate students

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3

     
    Pet adoptions popular at home, garden show

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

     
    Celebrate Rush Ranch’s 25th annual open house

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Standalone: Egrets move into Dover Park

    By Steve Reczkowski | From Page: A3, 6 Comments | Gallery

     
    Jelly Belly to celebrate National Jelly Bean Day

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Local government to conduct public’s business

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

    Nonprofits don’t tap into beer garden offer

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Fairfield police log: April 18, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: April 18, 2015

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Biz Buzz: Watson makes partner at law firm

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Biz Buzz: Visit Vacaville announces tourism dinner

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A10

    Biz Buzz: Retail space sells in Dixon

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Weather for Monday, April 20, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B12

    .

    US / World

    California delta smelt survey turns up only 1 fish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 4 Comments

     
    Officials: Cooking fire started California wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Pill-taking can be less yucky for kids, study review finds

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Empty chairs honor 168 victims of Oklahoma City bombing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Reagan shooter finds rejection, indifference in future home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Tank named “Beautiful Bulldog” in Iowa contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Video: Islamic State kills Ethiopian Christians in Libya

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    Report: Kuwait discovers 4 new oil fields in kingdom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Survivor: Smugglers locked hundreds in hold of capsized boat

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: April 20, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Today in history: Monday, April 20, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Horoscopes: April 20, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

    Randall: When mothers need to pray for themselves

    By Sharon Randall | From Page: B8

     
    Horoscopes: April 21, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B8

    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A10

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

    Lambert wins 4, but Luke Bryan take top prize at ACM Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Bobby Brown tells concert goers his ailing daughter is awake

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Select winners from the 50th annual ACM Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Furious 7′ speeds ahead of the competition

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    .

    Sports

    Athletics furious after 4-2 loss and 5 Royals’ ejections

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Pelicans’ Tyreke Evans questionable for Game 2 vs. Warriors

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Pelicans’ Anthony Davis more comfortable heading into Game 2

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Matt Kenseth ends 51-race drought with win at rainy Bristol

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Slumping Giants drop 9th in 10 games, 5-1 to Diamondbacks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Djokovic beats Berdych in Monte Carlo Masters final

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Sources: Tim Tebow expected to sign with Eagles on Monday

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sei Young Kim holes out from fairway to win in Hawaii

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Volvo Ocean Race fleet sets out on 6th leg toward US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Thailand’s Kiradech wins Shenzhen in playoff

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    For Boston winner Meb Keflezighi, a year of thanks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Browne wins rain-shortened Greater Gwinnett Championship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Jim Furyk tops Kevin Kisner in playoff to win RBC Heritage

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Hamilton wins Bahrain GP ahead of Raikkonen and Rosberg

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Toronto GM Masai Ujiri and team fined for expletive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Can Bryant live up to expectations as next rookie star?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott wins AAU Sullivan Award

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Scott Dixon wins Grand Prix of Long Beach

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Korver scores 21, Hawks hold off pesky Nets 99-92 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    “Big 3″ lead Cavaliers past Celtics 113-100 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    For Pelicans and Bucks, there were lessons in Game 1 losses

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    CP3, Griffin lead Clippers past Spurs 107-92 in opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grizzlies never trail, rout Trail Blazers 100-86 in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    This date in sports history for April 20

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    .

    Business

    Researcher denied flight after tweet poking United security

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dennis Burkhart von Ting

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Frances Bayona Lozano

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Garfield April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    B.C. April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    For Better or Worse April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Rose is Rose April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Bridge April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Wizard of Id April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baldo April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Beetle Bailey April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Baby Blues April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Frank and Ernest April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Get Fuzzy April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Blondie April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Pickles April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sally Forth April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Zits April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Dilbert April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Peanuts April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Sudoku April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Cryptoquote April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    Crossword April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    Word Sleuth April 20

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    B.C. April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Rose is Rose April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Wizard of Id April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Blondie April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Frank and Ernest April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Beetle Bailey April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Baldo April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Baby Blues April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Zits April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    For Better or Worse April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Pickles April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Dilbert April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

     
    Get Fuzzy April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Sally Forth April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Garfield April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

    Peanuts April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

     
    Crossword April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

    Cryptoquote April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

     
    Word Sleuth April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8

    Sudoku April 21

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B8