Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Obama used secret DOJ memo to justify Awlaki killing...but now he won't let you see it

President Obama used a secret memorandum to authorise the killing of U.S.-born Al Qaeda terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki - but the White House is refusing to make the document public.

The legal writ, issued by the Justice Department, tackled the issues surrounding the targeted killing of a U.S. citizen by the American government - on the surface an unconstitutional act.

The Washington Post quoted one of the officials involved in the negotiations surrounding the memo as saying, 'What constitutes due process in this case is a due process in war.'

The administration has remained tight lipped on the exact nature of the authorisation to kill Awlaki, instead sticking to a vague justification.

On Friday an administration official said: 'As a general matter, it would be entirely lawful for the United States to target high-level leaders of enemy forces, regardless of their nationality, who are plotting to kill Americans both under the authority provided by Congress in its use of military force in the armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces as well as established international law that recognizes our right of self-defence.'

Officials at both the White House and the Justice Department have since refused all requests to answer how fifth amendment rights - guaranteeing a fair trial for all U.S. citizens - were satisfied by the secret memorandum. Read More