Obama Tries To Censor More of the Drone Strikes Memo

Obama Tries To Censor More of the Drone Strikes Memo

Obama’s “homemade” Justice Department just ditched their previous promise about the drone strikes memo.

If you remember my coverage about last week’s confirmation vote in the Senate regarding David Barron’s appointment as a Federal Judge, well, at that time the Justice Department solemnly promised that it will comply with the court order to release a partially censored version of Barron’s memo about drone strikes. The respective memo offered legal justification to the administration for killing American citizens overseas without a trial using drone strikes.

Well, guess what? After the Senate confirmed the drone memo author as Appeals Court Judge (Judge Dredd as I like to call him, remember the “I am the law” line?), the administration performed a 180. They completely changed their mind and is now trying to push the court for permission to censor a little bit more from the drone strike memo. Because, why not?

According to Sarah Normand (an assistant U.S. attorney), as reported by the NY Times, let me quote her on that in “legalese”:

“Some of the information appears to have been ordered disclosed based on inadvertence or mistake, or is subject to distinct exemption claims or other legal protections that have never been judicially considered.”

As you can see, even if the initial ruling of the court allowed some censorship on that parts that may contain classified intelligence, the court insisted that the legal justification for the drone strikes (the point in question) must remain in the clear, which sounds very reasonable. Well, what’s reasonable for me and you is not enough for the Justice Department. They claimed that more passages must be “redacted”, or they fall under more “legal protections” (?!) that the court supposedly forgot about when they made the initial ruling. Hard to believe, don’t you think?

But wait, there’s more! In addition to the DoJ’s motion to censor more of the drone strikes memo, they asked the Court to keep the motion a secret. Yes, it sounds Orwellian, because it is. Legalese, you must love it!

Naturally, the court rejected this ridiculous claim, and they issued a five page order on Wednesday that denied the DoJ’s request for secrecy.

What can I say? Fingers crossed and looking forward to seeing what the future will bring. What do you think about the so-called classified information regarding the drone strikes memo? Is it in the interest of the American public to know about it or it must be buried in some obscure archive? Feel free to comment on our Facebook page or send us a tweet.

Written by Chris Black

(Photo courtesy of opensource.com, via Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

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