Court denies ACLU challenge to drone attack aimed at Al-Aulagi

Al Qaeda operative and U.S. citizen Anwar Al-Aulagi would be wise to be looking over his shoulder at every turn, or else permanently hole up in a cave somewhere because a U.S. District Court judge dismissed his father's challenge to the U.S. government's determination to capture or kill him.

Federal District Judge John Bates dismissed the ACLU suit, saying “there are no judicially manageable standards by which courts can endeavor to assess the President's interpretation of military intelligence and his resulting decision – based on that intelligence – whether to use military force against a terrorist target overseas.”

Bates also ruled that Al-Aulagi's father lacked standing to bring the suit, with or without ACLU assistance.

Washington Legal Foundation general counsel Richard Samp praised the decision:

“We applaud the district court’s determination that military decisionmaking is properly delegated to the President and Congress, not the courts. As determined by Congress when it adopted the Authorization for Use of Military Force in 2001, the United States is now engaged in armed combat with al Qaeda and affiliated groups. It is wholly proper for the American military to be making plans to defeat al Qaeda by eliminating its military leaders.

“Anwar Al-Aulaqi is a leader of an al Qaeda affiliate. His U.S. citizenship does not entitle him to an exemption from the normal rules of war; we need not wait until he initiates his next strike against Americans before taking steps to kill him.”

The WLF had filed an amicus brief in the case calling for its dismissal. You can the WLF brief here: http://www.wlf.org/litigating/case_detail.asp?id=638

 

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