Treasury, ACLU Still At Odds Over Al-Awlaki

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[Update, 5:21 p.m. EST Wednesday: the ACLU and CCR just got their license.]

On Tuesday, the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights sued the Obama administration. The two rights organizations hoped to obtain a permit that would allow them to sue on behalf of Anwar al-Awlaki, an alleged terrorist who is supposedly on a list of American citizens who the US government is trying to kill. Late last night, Politico‘s Josh Gerstein reported that the Treasury Department intends to give the ACLU and CCR the license they need to sue on al-Awlaki’s behalf. But the ACLU and CCR quickly issued a statement saying that it still hasn’t received that permission:

OFAC has neither issued a license nor stated that we don’t need one. It suggests that it might eventually grant us a license for our work, but our application has already gone unanswered for eleven days. OFAC is well aware that the case relates to the government’s decision to add a U.S. citizen to its ‘targeted killing’ list. To say that the matter is urgent is a dramatic understatement. Instead of issuing press releases, OFAC should simply issue us a license.

I just exchanged emails with two ACLU spokespeople, Laurie Beacham and Rachel Myers. The organization has still not received a license to represent al-Awlaki (who could be killed by a drone strike at any point)—just a “form letter saying they received our application,” Beacham says—”nothing responding to it.” Myers’ response was similar. “I don’t think Josh saw our statement before he wrote,” she says. “We stand by it.”

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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