President Obama’s Memo: The Legal Justification for the Targeted Killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki
Bruce Van Baren
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
November 26, 2011
This Article analyzes whether the U.S. could legally kill Awlaki, an American-Yemeni dual citizen who was outside of the military battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. This Article first describes the development of the CIA’s covert drone program. Next, this Article discusses the targeted killing of Awlaki and the legal debate inside the White House prior to the strike. Then, this Article analyzes the secret legal memo that the White House relied on to justify the strike, concluding that the CIA’s targeted killing was legal because of Awlaki was “cobelligerent” with al Qaeda.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 14
Keywords: Anwar, Al-Awlaki, Aulaki, drone, targeted killing, targeted strike
JEL Classification: K33
Date posted: January 26, 2012
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