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House Judiciary Committee May Subpoena White House for Targeted Killing Memos

The Obama administration has ignored over 23 requests from Congress for access to memos explaining the Executive’s legal authority to conduct Targeted Killings of ‘suspected terrorists.’ As former FDL’er Marcy Wheeler writes over at, “Thus far, only the Intelligence Committees and the Senate — but not the House — Judiciary Committees have been able to see the memos, and they’ve not seen much more than the memo authorizing Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing.”

On April 10th, Chairmen of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia 6) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan 13) threatened to subpoena the administration for access to the memos if it did not cooperate by Thursday, the 11th.

That deadline has come and gone, and judging by reports that the committee has announced the meeting to authorize the subpoena, it appears as though the administration is continuing its disgraceful obstruction of constitutional oversight.

We’re organizing phone calls to members of the House Judiciary Committee in support of the subpoena and their ongoing efforts to obtain more information on this program from the White House. As members of Congress call for transparency on the Targeted Killing program, they need to hear from us and know we stand with them.

Over 130 Firedoglake activists have called members of the Committee to urge them to follow through on the subpoena. Please join us by calling a committee member in support of the subpoena today.

*Note: Even if your representative isn’t on the committee, you can still call. This is an issue that affects all of us.

The White House’s secrecy obstructs the Judiciary Committee’s constitutional duty to oversee the administration of justice by federal agencies. Additionally, the more lawmakers who have access to these memos, the closer we are to opening a public debate about targeted killing and a president’s authority to conduct them.

Firedoglake has been tracking the disclosure (or lack thereof) of the Targeted Killing memos at On February 6th, President Obama promised to fully cooperate with Congress and provide access to memos. That promise has still not been completely fulfilled, and Firedoglake activists will continue to fight for transparency until the public has access to information on this program. You can learn about the program, track the days since the promise and take action at

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Brian Sonenstein

Brian Sonenstein

Publishing Editor at Shadowproof and columnist at Prison Protest.