Group demands DOJ memo authorizing drone strike

February 29, 2012 - 9:15 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Demands are mounting on the Department of Justice to release a memo that reportedly authorized a drone strike that killed U.S.-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last year.

The First Amendment Coalition of San Rafael filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday after the DOJ cited national security in refusing to acknowledge the memo's existence. The lawsuit argues that the memo's existence has already been reported by several media outlets.

The suit also claims that diplomatic cables leaked by Wikileaks show the Yemeni government agreed to allow U.S. drone strikes there.

At least two similar lawsuits have been filed demanding disclosure of the memo. Other groups have filed formal requests for the document, and influential politicians from both major parties have called for its release.

The DOJ declined comment.