From ACLU’s Blog of Rights:
Today the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking information about a horrific U.S. missile strike that killed dozens of civilians in Yemen.
This was the Obama administration’s first known missile strike in Yemen, carried out with one or more cruise missiles launched from an American warship or submarine on December 17, 2009. The U.S. military reportedly used cluster bombs, killing at least 41 people in the remote mountain village of al-Majalah in Yemen’s Abyan province. The government was purportedly targeting “militants,” but those killed include at least 21 children and 14 women. Entire families were wiped out. It is the worst reported loss of civilian life from a U.S. targeted killing strike in Yemen to date.
…The U.S. asserts the right to use lethal force against suspected terrorists anywhere in the world, a claim that is legally questionable and deeply controversial, not least because killings far from any battlefield increase the risk that innocent civilians will die. Government officials repeatedly minimize or deny civilian deaths caused by the targeted killing program, but increasing reports of civilian casualties caused by strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, and elsewhere raise serious questions about whether the government is violating international and domestic law by failing to distinguish between civilians and combatants, and by using lethal force away from active battlefields.
See the full video here.