April 5, 2014
U.S. officials can’t be held liable for the death of an American al-Qaeda leader killed by a drone strike in Yemen in 2011, a federal judge ruled, saying the courts have to stay out of military decision making.
President Barack Obama has said the U.S. targeted and killed Anwar Al-Awlaki, an alleged terrorist and key leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Awlaki and another U.S. citizen were killed in a Sept. 30, 2011, drone strike. Two weeks later, Al-Awlaki’s teenage son was killed in a separate drone strike, in which he wasn’t a target.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington ruled yesterday that the judiciary must defer to Congress and the administration in national defense and military affairs.
“In this delicate area of war-making, national security, and foreign relations, the judiciary has an exceedingly limited role,” Collyer said.