Sunday, September 26, 2010
Over the weekend, the Obama Administration filed a brief in a lawsuit brought by civil liberties groups on behalf of the father of U.S.-born al-Aulaqi, arguing that the state secrets doctrine prevents U.S. courts from reviewing the administration's decision to engage in a targeted killing of Aulaqi. Aulaqi is a cleric believed to be in Yemen where he is allegedly in charge of a branch of al-Qaeda. Earlier this year, the U.S. government placed Aulaqi on its capture or kill list of suspected terrorists. Plaintiffs argue that it is illegal extrajudicial execution for the government to engage in targeted killing of an American citizen outside a warzone and absent an immiment threat. The government argues that if Aulaqi wants to access the U.S. legal system, he is free to submit to U.S. authorities and return to the United States for trial.
Earlier this month, the Obama Administration received a favorable ruling in another case in which it had invoked the states secrets doctrine to prevent judicial review of allegations regarding a Boeing subsidiary's participation in the CIA's extraordinary rendition program and alleged torture of prisoners. According to The Washington Post, this is the fourth time the Obama Administration has invoked the states secrets doctrine.