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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: doj, drones, extrajudicial killing, legal justification, olc
Companies: aclu

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Quiet Lurcker, 1 Jul 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.