Judge Rules: Obama Admin Killing Program Will Remain Under Wraps
January 3, 2013 in U.S. News
“The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me”, Judge McMahon said in her ruling.
New York Southern District Court Judge Colleen McMahon issued a ruling on Wed Jan 2nd 2013 , that the Obama Administration’s actions “seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution.” Citing a “veritable Catch-22″ of a “thicket of laws and precedents,” she could not order disclosure of the Department of Justice memorandum supporting the 2011 drone killing of alleged al Qaeda militant and American citizen Anwar al Awlaki.
The Washington Post reports “The case combined separate challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Times to the administration’s refusal to release documents about targeted killings under the Freedom of Information Act….The ACLU lawsuit, filed last February, said the Justice and Defense departments and the CIA were illegally using secrecy claims to deny requests in 2010 for information about the legal basis for the killings and the selection process for targets. The suit cited public comments made by President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and other officials about the drone program in arguing that the government could not credibly claim a secrecy defense.”http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2013/01/02/83799c18-5515-11e2-8b9e-dd8773594efc_story.html
In her introduction to the opinion , Judge McMahon raised concern about “whether we are indeed a nation of laws, not of men. The administration has engaged in public discussion of the legality of targeted killing, even of citizens, but in cryptic and imprecise ways.”
She further went on to write ”this Court is constrained by law,” and (the government ) “cannot be compelled . . . to explain in detail the reasons why its actions do not violate the constitution and laws of the United States.”
The ACLU and The New York Times plan on appealing the ruling.