US Seeks Redactions in Drone Strike Memo Ruling

The U.S. government, citing possible “exceptionally grave harm to national security,” told a federal appeals court it wants to give the public less information about its legal justification for using drones to kill Americans suspected of terrorism overseas.

The Justice Department, Department of Defense and Central Intelligence Agency made the request in papers submitted late Thursday to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan.

The document outlining the justification was sought through a Freedom of Information request by The New York Times and the American Civil Liberties Union. In April, a three-judge panel of the court ordered the memo released.

Lawyers for the government said they were not appealing the order but instead were demanding additional redactions to protect national security and to prevent damage to the government’s ability to engage in confidential deliberations and to seek confidential legal advice.

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