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.