Court Tells DOJ To Cough Up The Other Secret Memos That Justify Killing People By Drone

from the no-more-hiding-death-from-the-skies-justification dept

Last week, we wrote about how the DOJ finally released (a heavily redacted) copy of its memo authorizing drone use for killing Americans (though, some have pointed out that the memo was written well after the US started trying to kill Americans with drones). More importantly, we noted that the memo actually pointed to another secret memo as part of the justification. It’s secret memo on top of secret memo, all the way down. The ACLU went back to court to see about getting its hands on that other memo, and the court has now ordered the DOJ to cough up any such memos related to killing people with drones. Specifically, the judge has ordered the DOJ to provide:

Unredacted copies of the “other legal memoranda prepared by OLC and at issue here” that are the subject of the Mandate (hereinafter “The OLC Opinions”)

Furthermore, the court is curious why the DOJ didn’t provide those documents already. Thus, it also has asked the DOJ to provide a memo under seal explaining itself as to why it didn’t already release those memos. The government now has three weeks to comply, though, I imagine the DOJ will try to come up with some way to protest all of this, because that’s what the DOJ tends to do.

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Comments on “Court Tells DOJ To Cough Up The Other Secret Memos That Justify Killing People By Drone”

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Quiet Lurcker says:

Secrecy is not merited here

The government would have the courts – and, ultimately, us – believe there is some interest in or need for secrecy regarding the governments conduct overseas.

This is wrong.

Under the international law of war, the government was in the wrong. Under the Constitution, the government was wrong. Even under the domestic law as it is written, the government was in the wrong.

The government tried to rationalize its obviously illegal, not to say unconstitutional actions in secret, and has now been caught with its hand in the cookie jar.

Given this administration, I have to ask. How long will it be before we see another American killed by drone or armed fighter, this time on American soil but still rationalized by a secret memo?

Kudos to the court for ordering the memos turned over.

Boos to that same court for allowing the secrecy to continue, in whatever form. This is a matter of the gravest public interest and should be treated as such.

Anonymous Coward says:

The round robin designed to kill the FOIA. Request the info, be forced to give the info by court, and never get all the info that allows some action or justifies it.

A way to hide info by splitting it up all over the place. At best a hint of something else.

I’m thinking they didn’t count on the court saying hand it all over and in that may reveal far more than they intended should happen.

GEMont (profile) says:

Probably time for a NSA Blackmailing to this group of “errant” judges I guess.

Can’t have a bout of integrity ruin the game plan now after all. Time to get these judges back into marching order and singing the right tune.

Nothing like a video of a judge’s mistress earning her keep, or pictures of his kids sleeping in their beds with a masked man holding a knife inches above their heads, to get almost anyone “back on track”.

As the MAFIA proved long ago, every man has his price.

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