The Norman Transcript


April 27, 2014

Justice Dept. needs to explain rationale

NORMAN — A federal appeals court decision Monday may shed light on the rationale of the Obama administration in ordering drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen that killed four U.S. citizens without due process of law.

The federal government acknowledged last May that the CIA and the Defense Department carried out the 2011 attacks using unmanned aerial vehicles. At least one of the victims, Anwar al-Awlaki, was a senior al-Qaida leader. The other three, Samir Khan, Jude Kenan Mohammad and Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki (al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son), appear to have been unintended victims.

The American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times used the Freedom of Information Act to try to obtain the government’s legal rationale for authorizing the killings. The government resisted providing the information but a unanimous three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government had to make available a redacted version of the memo.

The Justice Department has the option to appeal the court’s decision, but what it should do is make public as much of the memorandum as it can. The bulk of the argumentation — the justification for killing U.S. citizens without due process of law — needs to see the light of day. Americans understand and some agree that killings need to be done in the war against those who would do lethal harm to the United States.

But killing American citizens is and will continue to be a unique need, if there is one, and the argument for it must be made clearly and publicly.

Breaking news, severe weather alerts, AMBER alerts, sports scores from The Norman Transcript are available as text messages right to your phone or mobile device. You decide which type of alerts you want to receive. Find out more or to signup, click here.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Norman Forward builds momentum

    The quiet campaign to build momentum for a citywide public works project is beginning to attract some attention....

    July 20, 2014

  • Tax those trees out of here

    I read your editorial “Pesky red cedars” in the Norman Transcript of Tuesday, July 15, 2014. I have attended two meetings where the problem of the eastern red cedar trees was discussed. Because of the drought conditions in Oklahoma, we ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Make gun safety a health issue

    Quick, are you more likely to die by a bullet or in a car crash? Common sense would seem to suggest the latter. Cars are everywhere. We are an auto-obsessed nation. To be American is to drive — everywhere. Teenagers itch to get behind the ...

    July 20, 2014

  • They just want to be free ... maybe

    Massoud Barzani, president of Iraq’s semiautonomous Kurdistan region, rattled many cages this month when he announced in parliament that the KRG would be moving ahead soon on a referendum on independence from Iraq. If Kurdistan goes ahead ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Congress must accelerate solutions

    Congress has roused itself, at the last minute, and now is scrambling to save the Highway Trust Fund. Better late than never. Better still will be if lawmakers agree to come up with the money to prevent the fund from becoming insolvent. ...

    July 20, 2014

  • The heavy burden of college aid

    Return on investment is a clear measure of what you get for your money. Incredibly, the federal government doesn’t apply that simple concept to the $137 billion a year it spends on college financial aid....

    July 19, 2014

  • James bears weight of Cav’s dreams

    LeBron James has done it all on a basketball court. He’s a great scorer, rugged defender, proven big-play leader and champion. But that might not be enough in Cleveland, where he’ll also need the powers of Merlin the Magician....

    July 17, 2014

  • Steve Boaz.jpg Breathing Rhythm Studio a center for creativity

    Recording engineer Steve Boaz has brought his musical ambitions to fulfillment in a downtown Norman studio.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Matt Lauer is so last century

    How about we rename “The Today Show” the “Yesterday Show” since host Matt Lauer asks questions from 1953? Isn’t what Lauer asked GM CEO Mary Barra about whether she’ll do “well” at being simultaneously an executive and a mom about, oh, 30 ...

    July 14, 2014

  • Religion’s role shrinking

    Surveying the response to last month’s Hobby Lobby decision, I was struck by a comment from progressive Massachusetts senator and possible Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren....

    July 12, 2014