Federal Judge rules in FAC case: US can keep secret a legal memo on drone strikes targeting US citizen
In a national security case brought by the First Amendment Coalition, a federal judge has ruled (Read the decision here) that the Obama administration does not have to disclose a Justice Department legal memo explaining the legal rationale for drone strikes and, in particular, drone strikes abroad against suspected terrorists who are also US citizens.
FAC’s suit, based on federal FOIA, was filed shortly after a September 2011 drone strike in Yemen that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a US-born Muslim cleric and Al-Qaeda operative whom authorities suspected of plotting strikes against US citizens. Another U.S. citizen was also killed in the drone attack.
FAC, represented by Davis Wright Tremain lawyer Thomas Burke, made clear that it sought only the Justice Department’s legal reasoning and analysis, not sensitive, legitimately-classified information about intelligence methods or military capabilities. Read More