CREW Calls on Holder To Release Secret Drone Strike Memo
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and other groups on Monday called on U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to release a memo that provided legal justification for the killing of American terror suspects overseas.
“By withholding this memo, DOJ seems to be trying to evade the accountability that stems from transparency,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan. “Insisting that the memo remain secret is all the more surprising given President Obama’s stated commitment to an open government.”
Drones operated by the U.S. reportedly killed al Qaeda operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Kahn last year in Yemen. Both men were U.S. citizens. Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, who was born in Colorado, was reportedly killed by a drone strike about two weeks later.
Despite an executive order banning assassinations, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) had issued a legal memorandum justifying the targeted killing of al-Awlaki if it was not feasible to capture him. The Justice Department has so far ignored requests by members of Congress and others to publicly disclose the memo.
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