Charlie Savage and The New York Times have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice (DoJ) over their unwillingness to release the memo authorization the assassination of Anwar al-Awalki:
That story has become, in part, the basis for a lawsuit Savage and the Times have filed against the DOJ for not disclosing the memo that justifies al-Awlaki’s assassination. The lawsuit, which Savage posted online today, “seek[s] the production of agency records improperly withheld by the United States Department of Justice in response to requests properly made by Plaintiffs.” While Savage and the Times don’t know how many documents exist, Savage’s contact in the administration revealed to him that “there exists at least one legal memorandum detailing the legal analysis justifying the government’s use of targeted killing.”
Good on them. Unfortunately in this country the president is above the law has history demonstrates:
Even if The New York Times and Savage win their suit, there is a chance the Obama administration will not comply with the ruling. In spring 2009 Obama refused to comply with a U.S. Court of Appeals decision ordering the Pentagon to release photos of detainees captured in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Regardless of the fact we have a kind instead of a president I’m glad somebody has finally brought attention to this mess. Anwar al-Awalki may have been a terrible person but we’ll never know because no trial was every held, he was an American citizen killed by simple decree for the king. What makes matters worse is nobody besides the king’s men have even seen this decree.
In a country supposedly built upon equality under the law al-Awalki should have been captured and brought to trial to face is accusers. Instead we flew a drone over to his hiding place and sent a missile in to blow him apare.