DOJ Admission of Drone Killings of Americans Is a First Step

May 22, 2013, New York – In response to news today that the Department of Justice has acknowledged killing four Americans in drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

The Justice Department’s acknowledgement of what we already know is a welcome step. But it is only the first step that is needed. Just as DOJ has now reversed its long-held position that it could not acknowledge these strikes – the position it took in its motion to dismiss our lawsuit – it can and should reverse course on its position against judicial review. A letter to Congress is no substitute for judicial process. The government should defend the legality of its actions on the merits in a court of law, including its decision to authorize the strike that resulted in the death of 16-year-old Abdulrahman, about whom Mr. Holder’s letter had almost nothing to say.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for the last 11 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country to represent the men at Guantánamo, ensuring that nearly all have the option of legal representation. Among other Guantánamo cases, the Center represents the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking justice in international courts.
CCR, together with the ACLU, is challenging the legality of the drone strikes that killed three American citizens, including 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, in Yemen in September and October 2011. More information is at: and and
Visit and follow @theCCR.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

May 22, 2013