The New York Times is suing the Department of Justice over the legality of targeted killings and withholding information on the controversial drone program. Reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage are pushing for the DOJ to release its own legal analysis and conclusions of the situation, pointing to news reports in which officials mentioned a DOJ memorandum that authorized the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki and statements alluding to DOJ legal analysis of the situation.
Part of the complaint reads:
Given the questions surrounding the legality of the practice under both U.S. and international law, notable legal scholars, human rights activists, and current and former government officials have called for the government to disclose its legal analysis justifying the use of targeted lethal force, especially as it applies to American citizens.”
“Both before and after the death of al-Awlaki, NYT duly filed FOIA requests seeking memoranda that detail the legal analysis behind the government’s use of targeted lethal force. To date, DOJ has refused to release any such memoranda or any segregable portions, claiming them to be properly classified and privileged and in respect to certain memoranda has declined to say whether they in fact exist.”
When CNN contacted the DOJ by email, a spokeswoman replied, “Sorry, don’t have any comment.”
Read the document in full here.
Read the write-up by Courthouse News.