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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 7:09pm

    'I am altering the deal, pray I don't alter it any further.'

     

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    Devonavar (profile), Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 9:03pm

    What about the rest of the world?

    I think it's great that you're concerned about the four Americans who've been killed by drones.

    But what about all the non-Americans that have been killed. I realize that American law doesn't cover them. But International law sure as hell should.

    These look like war crimes to me. Or, if they are committed against civilians, far worse than that.

    Isn't killing citizens of other nations on their own soil considered an act of war?

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 9:14pm

      Re: What about the rest of the world?

      We have lived long enough to see ourselves become the tyrants we fought against during the past wars.

       

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      That One Guy (profile), Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 9:33pm

      Re: What about the rest of the world?

      Well, it might, except 'Murica! Who needs rules, we got flags and motherfucking eagles! /s

      Sarcasm aside, the main reason is likely that a lot of countries are too weak and/or cowardly to outright call the USG out on their killing of whoever they feel like dropping a bomb on that day.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 10:36pm

      Re: What about the rest of the world?

      This is the reason Obama will not be able to leave the country, just like Bush and Cheney. Obama still has diplomatic immunity until he leaves office.

      Cheney was supposed to go do a book signing in Canada and learned they were waiting for him with a war crimes warrant. He cancelled his book signing over it. Obama will have the same problems should he step outside American controlled soil.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 5:00am

        Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

        WTF are you talking about? Bush has been in Canada, Asia, S. America and the Middle East since leaving office.

        And now the Canadians are waiting with aware crimes warrant for Cheney? You need to go back on your meds.

         

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          BeeAitch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 6:31pm

          Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

          And now the Canadians are waiting with aware crimes warrant for Cheney? You need to go back on your meds.

          ...speaking of going back on your meds.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 4th, 2014 @ 4:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

            "And now the Canadians are waiting with aware crimes warrant for Cheney? You need to go back on your meds."

            ...speaking of going back on your meds.

            *swallows thorazine* auto-correct has to be the worst idea ever..... "a war crimes", not "aware crimes".

             

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    •  
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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 12:40am

      Re: What about the rest of the world?

      Agreed. The robot-killing of four Americans pales against the estimated 2500 "foreigners" that have been slaughtered without due process.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 5:02am

        Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

        Pray tell, what kind of due process is required in a war?

         

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          David, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 7:48am

          Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

          Pray tell, what kind of due process is required in a war?


          I was not aware that the U.S.A. has officially declared war on Yemen, Pakistan, Palestine and other sovereign nations they are raining their bombs on.

          Inofficially, the U.S.A. may have declared war on humanity. But they need to make it official in order to suspend due process legally.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 8:55am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

            As you pretend not to know, the terrorists who oppose us are not unified in an army of a nation. If that was the case, it'd been over faster than the annihilation of the Iraqi army in Desert Shield/Storm. There is no state on which to declare war. So does this mean there cannot be a war or an enemy?

            BTW, this is the first I've heard of the US bombing Palestine. Citation please?

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 8:58am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

              "So does this mean there cannot be a war"

              Yes. It means that we're talking about law enforcement, not warfare.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 11:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

                That's funny. To the people doing the fighting and dying, it looks an awful lot like war.


                Let me guess, you never served in the military?

                 

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                  John Fenderson (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 12:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

                  Serving in the military has nothing to do with it. If we weren't waging unnecessary wars in other lands, none of our soldiers would be fighting and dying, after all.

                  What I'm saying is that we are treating this as a war when that's 100% the wrong way to go about it. So, the only war being waged is the one we're waging. The "war" is a deadly lie.

                   

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 12:41am

      Re: What about the rest of the world?

      Iraq was a war of agression, which is supposed to be the worst kind of violation of international law. The only people who care about these things are those "terrorists".

      The CIA has been torturing and raping kids to death for many decades, noone cares.
      The government lies every single day, yet some people still have faith in them and expect them to do what they promised.

       

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        BeeAitch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 6:42pm

        Re: Re: What about the rest of the world?

        "Iraq was a war of agression, which is supposed to be the worst kind of violation of international law. The only people who care about these things are those "terrorists"."

        Could not agree more.

        "The CIA has been torturing and raping kids to death for many decades, noone cares."

        [Citation Needed]

        But who actually cares? (Rhetorical)

        "The government lies every single day, yet some people still have faith in them and expect them to do what they promised."

        [Citation Not Needed]

        But, what do you propose to change this?

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 9:12pm

    Better to assume forgiveness...

    than getting permission.

    The Americans are very forgiving of their elected officials chicanery, they really do assume it!

    Secret Documents, Memo's, Interpretations of laws, and what have you.

    Forgive me if I ask this... but as the general left voted in this traitor... I mean purveyor of Democracy, how is it I don't feel this blessed notion of "DEMOCRACY" just falling all around my ears with love?

    Just what about Obama and this administration is any better than Bush?

     

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      HegemonicDistortion (profile), Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 10:46pm

      Re: Better to assume forgiveness...

      As an unabashed liberal, I have to say that -- at least when it comes to the surveillance state and military-industrial complex -- there's really not any. In fact if anything, it's only expanded under Obama, though perhaps not as much as it would have under McCain or Romney (a counterfactual impossible to know for certain), though that is certainly arguable.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 6:18am

      Re: Better to assume forgiveness...

      Forgive me if I ask this... but as the general left voted in this traitor

      Not only that, they voted him in twice. And will most likely vote in Hillary who played a huge part in the Benghazi cover up/lie. Apparently you can lie to the left all you want and they either believe it or they don't care to be lied to?

      Just what about Obama and this administration is any better than Bush?

      This is the other funny thing about the left. All they did was complain about war and deficit under Bush. Then Obama ran up more debt in 1 term than Bush did in 4 and not a peep from the left. By the time Obama is done, we will be so far in debt the left will finally get their huge tax increase they have been wanting. The only problem is, it won't go to ward more programs, it will have to go toward debt. So what good is that?

       

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      BeeAitch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 6:55pm

      Re: Better to assume forgiveness...

      The "left" in the US is only slightly left of right.

      In other words there really is no "left" in America any more.

      Obama's administration so closely mimics the war-mongering Bush administration politics that there is really no difference.

      Time for a third (fourth, fifth...) Party.

       

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    David, Jun 2nd, 2014 @ 10:45pm

    the usual "terrorism renders most laws and civil liberties void" rationale

    Doesn't that rationale imply that the administration and Department of "Justice" are terrorists?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 12:24am

      Re: the usual "terrorism renders most laws and civil liberties void" rationale

      Nope, because their paradox crumple-zones absorb the impast of the stupidity of that assertion.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 12:44am

      Re: the usual "terrorism renders most laws and civil liberties void" rationale

      Nope. Look up who they consider a terrorist and laugh because reading this site makes you one.

       

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    Greg (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 3:59am

    State Terrorism

    Drone strikes make the US and anyone that supports them in this venture no better than people they claim to be exterminating.
    There will always be a justification for this sort of behavior as there will always be a justification for state sponsored torture but after the 2nd world war and also after the inhumane and degrading way States were run in the cold war era with the Stazi, secret police and all it entailed we have come to this.
    As a British citizen I am ashamed, my country supports this without batting an eyelid my Father survived internment in a Russian Goulag camp to fight in the war for freedom.
    Everyone has the right to have a fair trail and no person or nation deserves drone bombings we are not at war, there is no war on terror what we are doing is seeding terror and anyone involved in this despicable act deserves prosecuting for murder.

     

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      David, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 9:12am

      Re: State Terrorism

      there is no war on terror


      Yes, there is. You just don't understand that "war on terror" is used by the arms industry analogously to "sports on steroids".

      It's like good old regular war, only so much better.

       

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    Dan G Difino, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 6:06am

    terrorism threat

    Well, its a well known fact that terrorists have used US citizenship as a weapon against the US, so wtf? We are at war and terrorists not only threaten us, but promise to wage war against the US. Its a nasty business protecting our country. Get over it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 2:20pm

    If we weren't waging unnecessary wars in other lands, none of our soldiers would be fighting and dying, after all.

    Wait. So now it is a war?

    What is the appropriate response to being attacked; to being declared the enemy? There is a small segment of the Islamic world who has called us out. Now they're reaping the whirlwind. Too fucking bad for them that cringing pacifists like you don't call the shots.

    Pacifist = Pussy

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 3:56pm

      Re:

      Yes, there's ambiguity here. We're treating it as a war, but it's not actually a war in any meaningful sense. We're simply using the wrong tool.

      "What is the appropriate response to being attacked; to being declared the enemy?"

      Who cares if people call us "the enemy"? Don't be so thin-skinned. We can't actually go around blowing away everyone who calls us the enemy.

      As to the appropriate response to being attacked, it depends on the nature of the attack. In the case of something like 9/11, the appropriate response is to treat it as a heinous crime, not as the opening shot of a war.

      "Too fucking bad for them that cringing pacifists like you don't call the shots."

      And here's where you reveal that your hatred and anger has completely clouded your vision: I am not a pacifist. But pacifists are most definitely not pussies: pussies would abandon their principles when faced with the vitriol and retribution(both from the government and from people like you) that pacifists get. Pussies would abandon their principles when faced with prison for sticking to them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2014 @ 4:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Christ, you will think up just about any excuse to justify doing nothing. A military/terrorist organization attacks us from a region where governance and rule of law are unknown and you propose.... what.... to swear out an arrest warrant with the Afghan government?

        Glad to hear you're not a pacifist, as you'd give them a bad name.

        Fenderson = Pussy

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jun 4th, 2014 @ 9:05am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Another swing and a miss. I don't advocate "doing nothing". I advocate doing things that will actually help to resolve the problem.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 5th, 2014 @ 2:54am

    We don't even know what the laws of this country are anymore. Increasingly, more laws are being kept secret.

     

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