After Using Promise Of Drone Memo Release To Push Its Appeals Court Nominee Through, Administration Returns To Dragging Its Feet
from the bait-and-switch dept
The American government has killed four Americans with drone strikes since 2009, all of which were completely detached from any notion of due process. At best, the DOJ builds a case against the foreign-located citizen and, if the target resides in a nation where the US can get away with utilizing weaponized drones, the American citizen is sentenced to death via push-button operator.
The administration has never released its legal justifications for the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. The DOJ has fought any demands for this document’s release, but a recent decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the agency to release “key parts” of the secret memo.
The administration declared that it would honor the court’s order and used the supposedly imminent release of the drone killing memo as leverage to push through its nomination for an appeals court seat. This nominee, David Barron, was a controversial pick due to his status as the principal author of the still-unseen drone memo.
Now that the administration’s nominee has been approved, it’s gone back to its standard m.o. of dragging its feet over the release of the memo.
One week after the Obama administration said it would comply with a federal appeals court ruling ordering it to make public portions of a Justice Department memo that signed off on the targeted killing of a United States citizen, the administration is now asking the court for permission to censor additional passages of the document.
Not only does the administration want to remove more information from the memo, but it apparently hoped it could do so in secret.
The Justice Department asked to keep its entire motion seeking additional redactions secret, but on Wednesday the court issued a five-page order denying that request and saying that as much of the motion as possible would have to be made public.
The order also recounted new details about several previous rounds of then-secret negotiations between the court and the government, dating back to February, over what would be redacted.
Some of the information the administration was hoping to redact is already public knowledge — like the agency (CIA) that worked with the Defense Department to carry out the strike on Anwar al-Awlaki — a killing that was carried out even though the DOJ had yet to complete its case against him.
The administration now has the judge it wants and a court order it doesn’t. Judging by the hurry-up-and-wait treatment of the so-called “Torture Report” (which also involves the CIA), there’s little reason to believe this document will be publicized any time soon, or with very much of it left intact. When it does finally make its way into the open, I’d be surprised if it contained anything more than the usual “terrorism renders most laws and civil liberties void” rationale.