NEW YORK, NY A federal appeals court has released a previously secret memo that provided legal justification for using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorism overseas.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan released the memo Monday. Portions of it are blacked out.
The memo concluded that the killing of an al-Qaida leader who had been born in the United States had legal justification. It said the authority to use lethal force abroad may apply in appropriate circumstances to a U.S. citizen who is part of the forces of an enemy organization. It said the killing was justified as long as it was carried out in accord with applicable laws of war.
The memo was released after the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.