Obama Administration Reportedly Authorizes Targeted Killing Of U.S. Citizen

April 7, 2010 12:00 am

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More Information Needed On Legal Standards For Targeting Americans, Says ACLU

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NEW YORK – According to news reports today, the Obama administration has approved the targeted killing of Anwar al-Alwaki, a United States citizen who is believed to be located in Yemen, far from any active hostilities. The American Civil Liberties Union called on the government to make more details about the targeted killing program available to the public.

The following can be attributed to Jonathan Manes, legal fellow with the ACLU National Security Project:

“Today’s report raises serious questions about the legal standards that govern targeted killings. The American public deserves to know what standard the government uses and how much evidence is required when it decides, in the name of self-defense or otherwise, to place U.S. citizens on a kill list. In order to assess the moral, legal and strategic implications of the program, the public also needs information about how the program is overseen and what its consequences are in terms of civilian casualties.”

In March, the ACLU filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit demanding that the government disclose the legal basis for its use of unmanned drones to conduct targeted killings overseas and related information. In particular, the lawsuit asks for information on when, where and against whom drone strikes can be authorized, the number and rate of civilian casualties, internal oversight and safeguards and other basic information essential for assessing the wisdom and legality of using armed drones to conduct targeted killings.

More information on the ACLU’s predator drone FOIA lawsuit is available here: www.aclu.org/national-security/aclu-seeks-information-predator-drone-program

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