Image Source: USAF

BY MADISON MACK

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


On Friday, the U.S. government asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit over the killing of three American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen earlier last year.

Anwar Al-Awlaki, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula and Samir Khan, editor of Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine were killed by a drone strike in September of 2011. Anwar’s son, Abdulrahman was killed in a strike a month later. All were American citizens. (Via Al Jazeera

The lawsuit was filed by relatives of the three victims in July and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It charges that the CIA and military officials violated the Constitution and international law by denying the victims due process, and it seeks unspecified compensation for damages.

The Justice Department said in a court filing the issue is best left to the government's political branches.

"Courts repeatedly have recognized that the political branches, with few exceptions, have both the responsibility for — and the oversight of — the defense of the nation and the conduct of armed conflict abroad … The judiciary rarely interferes in such arenas.

Per Politico,  “The administration also threatened to invoke the State Secrets Privilege if the suit is not dismissed on other grounds. The privilege, allows the government to seek dismissal of a suit if it could expose national security secrets.”

Despite being heavily covered by the media and acknowledged by top Obama administration officials, including the president, the government has never officially acknowledged the existence of the drone program, and it remains highly classified.

And although the drone program and its strikes have been widely reported, fallout from the strikes, including this lawsuit, have been largely underreported.

In response to the government’s filing, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement saying the essence of the government’s argument is that it has the authority to kill Americans in secret without having to justify its actions under the Constitution.  

"To claim, as the administration has today, that the courts have no role at all to play in assessing whether the government's targeted killings of Americans are lawful – even after the fact – simply cannot be squared with the due process clause.”

Anwar’s father filed a lawsuit in 2010 seeking to prevent the U.S. for targeting his son. A U.S. District court judge threw out the case saying he didn’t have the authority to review the president’s military decisions but noted is was a "unique and extraordinary case." 

Al-Awlaki is believed to be central to the 2009 Christmas Day attempt to bring down a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The State Department has also formally designated him as a terrorist.




 

 

 

US: Toss Lawsuit Over Americans Killed by Drone Strikes

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Dec 16, 2012

US: Toss Lawsuit Over Americans Killed by Drone Strikes

Image Source: USAF

BY MADISON MACK

ANCHOR ZACH TOOMBS


On Friday, the U.S. government asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit over the killing of three American citizens in drone strikes in Yemen earlier last year.

Anwar Al-Awlaki, the alleged Al-Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula and Samir Khan, editor of Al-Qaeda’s Inspire magazine were killed by a drone strike in September of 2011. Anwar’s son, Abdulrahman was killed in a strike a month later. All were American citizens. (Via Al Jazeera

The lawsuit was filed by relatives of the three victims in July and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights. It charges that the CIA and military officials violated the Constitution and international law by denying the victims due process, and it seeks unspecified compensation for damages.

The Justice Department said in a court filing the issue is best left to the government's political branches.

"Courts repeatedly have recognized that the political branches, with few exceptions, have both the responsibility for — and the oversight of — the defense of the nation and the conduct of armed conflict abroad … The judiciary rarely interferes in such arenas.

Per Politico,  “The administration also threatened to invoke the State Secrets Privilege if the suit is not dismissed on other grounds. The privilege, allows the government to seek dismissal of a suit if it could expose national security secrets.”

Despite being heavily covered by the media and acknowledged by top Obama administration officials, including the president, the government has never officially acknowledged the existence of the drone program, and it remains highly classified.

And although the drone program and its strikes have been widely reported, fallout from the strikes, including this lawsuit, have been largely underreported.

In response to the government’s filing, the American Civil Liberties Union issued a statement saying the essence of the government’s argument is that it has the authority to kill Americans in secret without having to justify its actions under the Constitution.  

"To claim, as the administration has today, that the courts have no role at all to play in assessing whether the government's targeted killings of Americans are lawful – even after the fact – simply cannot be squared with the due process clause.”

Anwar’s father filed a lawsuit in 2010 seeking to prevent the U.S. for targeting his son. A U.S. District court judge threw out the case saying he didn’t have the authority to review the president’s military decisions but noted is was a "unique and extraordinary case." 

Al-Awlaki is believed to be central to the 2009 Christmas Day attempt to bring down a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. The State Department has also formally designated him as a terrorist.




 

 

 

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