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The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) have filed a lawsuit challenging the government's asserted authority to carry out “targeted killings” of U.S. citizens ... who are suspected of terrorism but have not been convicted or even charged — without oversight, judicial process, or disclosed standards for placement on kill lists — also poses the risk that the government will erroneously target the wrong people. In recent years, the U.S. government has detained many men as terrorists, only for courts or the government itself to discover later that the evidence was wrong or unreliable.
The Obama administration urged a federal judge early Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets.
In a 60-page filing, the government asked U.S. District Judge Robert Bates to dismiss a lawsuit filed by civil rights groups retained by Aulaqi's father seeking to block his Yemen-based son's placement on the CIA and Joint Special Operations Command capture-or-kill list of suspected terrorists.
The filing also asked the court to dismiss the case without debating the merits of any future actions potentially taken against Aulaqi on the grounds that targeting in wartime is a matter for presidents, and that Aulaqi's father did not have legal standing to bring the case.
In an effort to keep secret particular operations in Yemen, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said classified "information concerning whether or not U.S. armed forces are planning to undertake military actions in a foreign country, against particular targets, under what circumstances, for what reasons and pursuant to what procedures or criteria" cannot be disclosed without seriously harming national security.