Posts tagged with: "targeted killing"
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18 Jul 2012, 12:16 pm by Jack Goldsmith
In Power and Constraint, I argued (in a chapter summarized here) that the Center for Constitutional Rights litigation strategy for GTMO garnered crucial judicial support for GTMO detentions that in the end significantly strengthened the legitimacy of such detentions.  I think the same thing will happen as a result of the ACLU-CCR lawsuit on behalf of the Al-Aulaqi and Khan families.  In part for reasons outlined by Bobby and Ben, and possibly for many other reasons, the federal courts will rule… [read post]
15 Mar 2013, 7:21 am by Steve Vladeck
Pretty big decision by the D.C. Circuit this morning, reversing the district court’s dismissal of the ACLU’s drone-related FOIA suit against the CIA on the ground that the Agency’s “Glomar response” was not justified. (Jack previewed and Wells recapped the oral argument back in September.) As Chief Judge Garland wrote for the court, Given [the various] official acknowledgments that the United States has participated in drone strikes, it is neither logical nor… [read post]
14 Mar 2013, 10:48 am by Steve Vladeck
I’m not at all happy that today’s news out of upstate New York proves the point that Jack and I (and a cast of dozens) have tried to make about domestic use of lethal force, but it’s worth pointing out the following facts: The target of the government’s use of force, Kurt Myers, is a U.S. citizen. He was killed on U.S. soil. His killing was carried out under color of law. Given that the police stormed the bar in which Myers barricaded himself, and that he wasn’t… [read post]
18 Jul 2012, 7:17 am by Benjamin Wittes
The ACLU has filed suit over the deaths in drone strikes of three U.S. citizens: Anwar Al-Aulaqi, his 16-year-old son, and AQAP propagandist Samir Khan. The complaint is available here. The ACLU’s press release is available here. I haven’t yet read the complaint, which just became available a few moments ago, but Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, says the following in an email: Our lawsuit, which is against senior CIA and military officials, charges that the… [read post]
2 Jan 2013, 1:26 pm by Raffaela Wakeman
Judge Colleen McMahon of the District Court of the Southern District of New York has granted summary judgment to the government in the consolidated FOIA cases brought by the New York Times and the ACLU. The plaintiffs were seeking information about the government’s targeted killing program in the War on Terror. Judge McMahon summarizes the requests as follows: Broadly speaking, they seek disclosure of the precise legal justification for the Administration’s conclusion that it is… [read post]
23 Jan 2012, 1:31 pm by Robert Chesney
Daniel Klaidman at Newsweek, whose forthcoming book on the Obama Administration’s counterterrorism policies promises to be must-read material, reports that the decision has been made to go public with some form of defense of the legality of the al-Awlaki strike.  It seems Attorney General Holder will be tasked with giving the speech that will do so, something on the model of Harold Koh’s ASIL speech a while back. (Daniel reports that the venue for the AG’s speech has not yet been… [read post]
28 Aug 2012, 12:01 pm by Benjamin Wittes
Recent Harvard Law School grads William Marra and Sonia McNeil—authors of the first Lawfare Research Paper—have released a short Brookings briefing paper on the regulation of future drones in domestic airspace. Entitled “Understanding ‘The Loop’: Regulating the Next Generation of Drones,” it opens as follows: Drones have revolutionized warfare. They may soon transform civilian life, too. These machines are already patrolling the U.S.–Mexican border and… [read post]
14 Dec 2012, 1:16 pm by Wells Bennett
Today, lawyers for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and other federal officials sued in their individual capacities, filed a motion to dismiss in the case of Al-Aulaqi v. Panetta et al.  The defendants have asked the district court to throw out the suit brought by Nasser Al-Aulaqi and Sarah Khan.  As is well known, plaintiffs seek money damages in connection with the deaths of Anwar Al-Aulaqi, Abdulrahman Al-Aulaqi, and Samir Khan—all of which resulted from drone strikes… [read post]
10 Feb 2013, 10:59 am by Kenneth Anderson
Georgetown professor Anthony Clark Arend – old friend to many of us at Lawfare – has a new short post on whether judicial oversight of drones would be a good idea – or constitutional.  He is skeptical on both counts (this can be added to the list that Jack gave us earlier of commentary on the drone white paper that includes Michael Ramsey and Ilya Somin on originalism and a judicial role in review of US citizen targeting): But what if there were a legislative act–… [read post]
28 Feb 2014, 12:14 pm by Wells Bennett
When last we debated the Government’s legal authority to kill an American terrorist overseas, some big-ticket questions had to do with proof: exactly how much evidence would be required before executive branch officials would approve a lethal drone strike against U.S. citizen?  And what sorts of proof would suffice, in establishing a target’s stature in Al-Qaeda, his role in past attacks, his continuing involvement in planning future attacks, and so forth? The Department of… [read post]
3 Jul 2012, 6:37 am by Wells Bennett
A three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit (Judges Tatel, Garland and Griffith) has rejected the CIA’s motion to remand in ACLU v. CIA, the FOIA action regarding the Obama Administration’s targeted killing program.  The appeal thus will be argued on September 20, as scheduled.  The reasons behind the decision are opaque; the court’s one-page order denied the CIA’s motion without explanation.  But – and since it is very much the season for speculating about the motivations… [read post]
18 Jul 2012, 9:48 am by Robert Chesney
As Ben says, there is a lot to talk about with respect to al-Aulaqi v. Panetta, a civil suit filed today by the ACLU in an attempt to obtain money damages for airstrikes conducted by the United States in Yemen that resulted in the deaths of three U.S. citizens (Anwar al-Aulaqi, his son, and Samir Khan).  This post picks at just one of the issues raised by the suit, though I think it a very important one:  Whether IHL applies to the airstrikes in question. The suit claims that IHL should not be… [read post]
6 Feb 2013, 8:27 am by Rick Pildes
The central substantive issue, legally and morally, in the administration’s Targeted Killing White Paper is how the concept of an “imminent threat” should be understood. This is where much of the debate is going to focus. Already, outrage from American critics has been directed to this point, as in the response from Jeff Rosen and, from the ACLU, Jameel Jaffer. For example, Jaffer argues that the administration “redefine[s] the word imminence in a way that deprives the word… [read post]
16 Mar 2012, 7:36 am by Raffaela Wakeman
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed its opening brief in its appeal of the District Court of the District of Columbia’s granting of a motion for summary judgment for the Central Intelligence Agency. The case stems from a FOIA request filed by the ACLU on January 13, 2010 requesting government records related to the use of drones in targeted killings. The various government departments with which the ACLU filed the FOIA requests (DOD, DOJ, DOS, and CIA) eventually cited FOIA exceptions… [read post]
7 Apr 2014, 10:19 am by Matt Danzer
As Ben mentioned on Friday, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a Bivens suit brought by the families of Anwar al-Aulaqi, his son Abdulrahman, and Samir Khan—three U.S. citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in 2011—seeking to hold various federal officials personally liable for their roles in those strikes. After laying out the facts, including the U.S. Government’s admission that it targeted and killed Anwar al-Aulaqi and killed… [read post]
29 Aug 2012, 8:42 pm by Robert Chesney
I’m happy to report that I’ve recently completed drafting an article that has been much on my mind for the past few years.  Beyond the Battlefield, Beyond al Qaeda: The Destabilizing Legal Architecture of Counterterrorism (Michigan Law Review, forthcoming 2013) is now posted to SSRN.  In it, I argue that (i) there is a widespread perception that the legal framework for detention and targeting has reached a point of relative stability thanks to a remarkable wave of interbranch and… [read post]
7 Feb 2013, 6:11 pm by Robert Chesney
There is an increasing amount of talk about judicial review for at least some decisions to place specific persons on targeting lists for the use of lethal force outside of a combat zone (drones are not the only platforms that might be used, after all).  As I think we may at last be on the verge of a real debate on this topic, I want to weigh in with a few preliminary points that I hope folks will bear in mind: Reviewing Nominations, Not Firing Decisions I encourage everyone to bear in mind… [read post]
11 Aug 2013, 4:32 pm by Zachary Eddington
Last Tuesday, Judge Vitaliano of the Eastern District of New York dismissed a FOIA suit seeking access to NSC records about the drone program. Ritika already noted the court’s order in the news roundup; this post provides an overview of the opinion itself. In November 2012, Main Street Legal Services, a City University of New York legal clinic, submitted a FOIA request to the NSC seeking all documents related to the drone program and minutes for NSC meetings in 2011. The NSC denied the request… [read post]
2 Jan 2013, 3:44 pm by Robert Chesney
As Raffaela posted earlier, the government has won a substantial victory in the FOIA litigation in which the Times and the ACLU sought disclosure of information about CIA drone strikes, including the legal justification underlying the use of lethal force against U.S. citizens.  What I’d like to focus on here is a remarkable section in the opinion in which Judge McMahon makes two problematic suggestions, in dicta:  First, that killing Anwar al-Awlaki may have violated the Treason… [read post]
18 Jul 2012, 11:29 am by Benjamin Wittes
I have now read through the ACLU-CCR lawsuit on behalf of the Al-Aulaqi and Khan families. Here are my initial thoughts: First, this lawsuit does not suffer from the prohibitive standing problem that plagued these groups’ earlier efforts to block prospectively the targeting of Anwar Al-Aulaqi. That case suffered from the basic jurisdictional problem that its plaintiff was not Anwar Al-Aulaqi. Al-Aulaqi’s father had an insurmountably tough climb in arguing that he should be able to walk into… [read post]