News Release

Drone Memo: Justifying Murder

The New York Times is reporting: “A federal appeals court in New York on Monday made public a redacted version of a 2010 Justice Department memo that signed off on the targeted killing of an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaki, without a trial, following Freedom of Information Act lawsuits.” The memo was written months after the killing of Awlaki.

MARCY WHEELER, emptywheel at gmail.com, @emptywheel
Wheeler is an independent investigative journalist who covers national security and civil liberties. She writes for various outlets including her emptywheel.net blog. She just wrote the piece “Working Thread: The Awlaki Memo” and is tweeting critical information about the memo. [PDF]

KEVIN JON HELLER, kh33 at soas.ac.uk
Kevin Jon Heller has written extensively on drone killings — parts of the memo just released appear to be responses to his writing. His pieces include “Let’s Call Killing al-Awlaki What It Is — Murder.” Also see his Twitter feed: @kevinjonheller.

He is professor of criminal law, SOAS, University of London and principal fellow, Melbourne Law School.

PARDISS KEBRIAEI, PKebriaei at ccrjustice.org
Senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, Kebriaei said today: “Separate from problems with the substance of this memo, the administration needs to release all of its legal memos; this is only one among as many as a dozen we still haven’t seen. It also needs to release data about how many killed, who, where, why. Everything we know comes from non-government sources.”