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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    silverscarcat (profile), Jul 1st, 2014 @ 7:35am

    Unredacted?

    "I'm sorry, your honor, but the documents you are looking for are in another agency."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:31am

    And.....

    Executive Privilege...

    to the rescue!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Baron von Robber, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:35am

    ACLU: "You were told to give an unredacted memo"
    DOJ: "It's no redacted"
    ACLU: "What's all that black stuff blocked out?"
    DOJ: "Um...new font called "ACLU type"
    ACLU: "Look, I know redacted when I see and I'm looking at it right now"
    DOJ: "It's pineing for the feuds."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Quiet Lurcker, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:37am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:44am

    Stop whining DoJ/Obama admin. Weren't you the one who kept saying all of these stuff is "legal". You got nothing to be afraid of then, no?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:46am

    the court is curious why the DOJ didn't provide those documents already

    Because IN THIS CASE they believe in the 5th amendment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 9:48am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Mason Wheeler (profile), Jul 1st, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Re: Unredacted?

    Thank you Mario, but our memo is in another department!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 11:16am

    I'm surprised the DOJ doesn't declare themselves a private corporation. The way they're hiding behind secret laws and secret memos, you'd think they already are.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Padpaw (profile), Jul 1st, 2014 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Secrecy is not merited here

    you still have faith in your government this has not happened yet. If it has happened no one would know about it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 1st, 2014 @ 3:24pm

    Contempt?

    How far can they go with these reference bullshit when asked for memos before they fall into contempt of court?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Bergman (profile), Jul 1st, 2014 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Unredacted?

    To which a judge might respond "Then I'm sorry but until your agency finds the documents, you and your director will be sitting in adjacent cells for contempt."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 2nd, 2014 @ 6:22am

    Why won't you guys just let the government kill random people it deems to randomly kill.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anon., Jul 4th, 2014 @ 4:25am

    I'm glad the judges are beginning to get a little bit irritated at the flagrant lawbreaking and criminality shown by the DOJ.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    GEMont, Jul 6th, 2014 @ 4:24pm

    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.

    ---

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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