Here’s the Full Justice Department Memo That Allowed Obama To Kill an American Without Trial

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/whitehouse/14328819681/">Pete Souza</a>/The White House

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In September 2011, Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical US-born cleric, was killed ??in an American drone strike in Yemen. His death was the first public example of the US government targeting and killing one of its own citizens abroad based on the suspicion of terrorist activities, though the names of other Americans also appear on the Obama administration’s “kill list.”

Last year, NBC’s Michael Isikoff published a Justice Department “white paper” that details the legal rationale for targeting American citizens. Now, as the result of Freedom of Information Act lawsuits brought by the New York Times and the ACLU, the public has access to a redacted version of the full 2010 memo from the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel justifying the Obama administration’s controversial Awlaki assassination. You can read it below:

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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