US Cites State Secrets, Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit

Case involves US citizen as CIA target
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2010 1:05 PM CDT
US Cites State Secrets, Asks Judge to Dismiss Suit
A 2008 photo of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.   (AP Photo/Muhammad ud-Deen, File)

The Obama administration has for the fourth time summoned the "state secrets" argument in asking that a lawsuit be dismissed, reports the Washington Post. White House lawyers told a federal judge today that a suit on behalf of Anwar al-Awlaki—a US citizen who's on the CIA's capture-or-kill list because of his ties to al-Qaeda—would jeopardize national security.

The case "would require the disclosure of highly sensitive" information, said a Justice Department spokesman, as per CNN. "It strains credulity to argue that our laws require the government to disclose to an active, operational terrorist any information about how, when and where we fight terrorism." Responds the ACLU: "The idea that courts should have no role whatsoever in determining the criteria by which the executive branch can kill its own citizens is unacceptable in a democracy." (More national security stories.)

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