Tag: David Barron

White House to Release Barron Memo on Targeted Killings

President Obama really wants Law Professor David Barron on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The problem is getting him confirmed, since he authored two of the Office of Legal Counsel memos authorizing targeted killings of American citizens. The memos are classified, and the NY Times and ACLU both filed FOIA lawsuits to obtain them. Last month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ordered that redacted versions be publicly disclosed (opinion here).

As a Justice Department lawyer, Mr. Barron wrote two memos concluding that it would be lawful to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, a United States citizen living in Yemen, based on intelligence agencies’ conclusion that he was a senior operational terrorist plotting attacks against the United States and that his capture was not feasible. The lawsuit focused on the second and longer of those memos. Mr. Awlaki was killed by an American drone strike in September 2011.

Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli Jr., has decided not to appeal the Second Circuit order and to release redacted copies of the memos. [More...]

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